Presentation of the book 'Medicine and Health in the daily papers. 10 years of the Quiral Report'

The presentation ceremony for this book took place on Thursday, 12th March, at 12.30 p.m. in the IDEC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra auditorium . In addition to the authors, the act was attended by Josep Eladi Baños, vice-rector of Teaching and Academic Management at UPF; Mª Lluïsa de la Puente, director general of Planning at the Health Departament of the Generalitat de Catalunya; Antoni Vila Casas, president of the Fundació Vila Casas; and Jesús Acebillo, president of the Grupo Novartis, Spain.

For over a decade the Quiral Report, a joint initiative between UPF\'s Observatori de la Comunicació Científica and the Fundació Vila Casas, has been a basic tool for the analysis and reflection of the role of the media in the communication and transmission of health information for the health care community, communication professionals and the general public.

The result of this reflection is this commemorative edition Medicine and Health in the daily papers. 10 years of the Quiral Report. The book is a compilation of the results of the analysis of approximately 90,000 texts relating to health information, which were published between 1997and 2006 in the five most widely-read newspapers in Spain: El País, El Mundo, ABC, La Vanguardia and El Periódico de Catalunya. The project was directed by Vladimir de Semir and Gema Revuelta, director and assistant director of the Scientific Communication Observatory, with the collaboration of over sixty others including the co-ordinators of annual editions, researchers and consultants and the assistance of the Institut Novartis for Biomedical Communication.

The evolution of health care information

The 10 year Quiral Report is a work which, through a descriptive analysis, delves into a few of the issues which have been decisive throughout the decade, such as the impact of the growth of the Internet in media coverage of health issues, the influence of the media on health policies, the question of gender regarding health issues in the press, the evolution of specialised sections in newpapers or the transmission of information through humour.

The last six chapters of the book are dedicated to the study of specific cases. For example, they relate how the press has from its own perspective resumed a good part of the most recent history of biotechnologies in the health sector (promises, criticisms, the role of scientists and different actors, the use of language, etc.) At the same time, it also looks into the role of the press in social changes regarding smoking and its regulation and the development of information about specific illnesses such as AIDS, cancer and anorexia.