After years of bombarding women with messages about the importance of mammograms for the detection of a leading killer, breast cancer, now American women are getting shocking information, by way of radio, newspaper and television, about the very tests they’ve been urged to use.
On June 27, 2002, after a year-long investigation, reporter Michael Moss of The New York Times broke the bad news. Doctors in two states may be putting women’s lives at risk, with some missing as many as four tumors in every ten, because they may lack the ability to read the shadows and swirls of a mammogram.
Ten years ago the federal government set out to clean up the mammography industry, but the sad reality is that today women may be no better off than they were back then.
The searing results from the two-part investigative report spread well beyond the circulation of the Times. The findings hit radio stations all around the country to promote the weekly PBS news series NOW with Bill Moyers, featuring a segment on the state of mammography screenings in the United States. This cooperative undertaking between The New York Times and PBS also stressed ways that women can protect themselves and help them seek out the highest quality mammograms available.
Working with the publicity team at Kelly & Salerno Communications, News Generation added radio to the effort, resulting in an additional 10 million listeners benefiting from the investigation’s findings. An audio news release sent out to stations across the country reached the ears of more than six million listeners and interviews booked with reporter, Michael Moss, on news and news-talk stations reached another four million.
This cooperation between newspaper, radio and television achieved what the media was designed to do in the first place: serve the public. A vitally important issue received immediate and widespread coverage arming women with information necessary for the protection of their well-being.