TV Monitoring Project

tv monitoring icon_tv screen

The TV Monitoring Project tracks the frequency, prominence and nature of health- and climate change-related topics.

What do we see when we watch TV? In 2003, in collaboration with faculty from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the Department of Preventive Medicine at Keck School of Medicine, Hollywood, Health & Society launched the TV Monitoring Project, a systematic content analysis of health depictions in the most watched primetime TV shows.

Over the course of more than 10 years, the TV Monitoring Project has tracked the frequency, prominence, and nature of depictions of more than 100 different health topics and beginning in 2012, issues related to climate change and sustainability. 

This analysis enables us to answer questions such as what types of health issues are featured most often and most prominently, as well as how these issues are framed. For instance, our research has shown that although the majority of health storylines address treatment (61%) and symptoms (57%), relatively few provide information on risk factors (13%) or prevention (6%).

Each year, HH&S recruits a team of graduate students to serve as content coders on the TV Monitoring Project. After completing a rigorous training, coders are assigned shows to view and code from January through May. 

To learn more about the HH&S TV Monitoring Project, see our publications below.