Evaluating the Ozioma cancer news service: A community randomized trial in 24 U.S. cities

Charlene A. Caburnay, Douglas A. Luke, Glen T. Cameron, Elisia L. Cohen, Qiang Fu, Choi L. Lai, Jonathan T. Stemmle, Melissa Paulen, Lillie Jackson, Matthew W. Kreuter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: This community randomized trial evaluated effects of the Ozioma News Service on the amount and quality of cancer coverage in Black weekly newspapers in 24 U.S. cities. Method: We created and operated Ozioma, the first cancer information news service specifically for Black newspapers. Over 21. months, Ozioma developed community- and race-specific cancer news releases for each of 12 Black weekly newspapers in intervention communities. Cancer coverage in these papers was tracked before and during the intervention and compared to 12 Black newspapers in control communities. Results: From 2004 to 2007, we coded 9257 health and cancer stories from 3178 newspaper issues. Intervention newspapers published approximately 4 times the expected number of cancer stories compared to control newspapers (p12,21mo<.01), and also saw an increase in graphics (p12,21mo<.01), local relevance (p12mo=.01), and personal mobilization (p12mo<.10). However, this increased coverage supplanted other health topics and had smaller graphics (NS), had less community mobilization (p21mo=.01), and is less likely to be from a local source (NS). Conclusion: Providing news releases with localized and race-specific features to minority-serving media outlets can increase the quantity of cancer coverage. Results are mixed for the journalistic and public health quality of this increased cancer coverage in Black newspapers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-430
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Saint Louis University (#12794), and was supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute 's Centers of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research program ( P50-CA95815 ).

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • African Americans
  • Cancer
  • Mass media
  • Minority health
  • Newspapers


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