Journal of Public Health Policy

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 420–436 | Cite as

Media Advocacy: A Strategy for Empowering People and Communities

  • Lawrence Wallack


Media advocacy is a new strategy that is emerging in the public health community. It has been particularly visible in communities of color. Media advocacy is defined as the strategic use of mass media to advance public policy initiatives. Media advocacy is rooted in community advocacy and has as its goal the promotion of healthy public policies. It can be differentiated from traditional mass media strategies in a number of ways. Media advocacy shifts the focus from the personal to the social, from the individual to the political, from the behavior or practice to the policy or environment. While traditional media approaches try to fill the “knowledge gap,” media advocacy addresses the “power gap.” Improvements in health status are believed to come about primarily from gaining more power over the policy environment rather than simply gaining more knowledge about health behaviors.


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Copyright information

© Journal of Public Health Policy, Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence Wallack

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