Mass media programming in reproductive health can influence individual behaviors by providing accurate information, building self-efficacy, and promoting attitudes and social norms that support healthy reproductive behaviors. This brief describes the evidence on and experience with mass media programming in family planning. The distinguishing characteristic of mass media programs, relative to other social and behavior change (SBC) interventions, is that they reach a large audience—often national in scope—with consistent, high-quality messages, primarily through TV and radio (e.g., public service announcements or advertisements, talk shows, or serial dramas). Some mass media programs also use ancillary print materials. Approaches that rely on digital technologies, such as mobile devices and social media, are not covered in this brief.
Programs frequently use mass media as part of a package of interventions to influence the individual, family, peer group, and/or community simultaneously. Mass media should be linked with other SBC approaches, such as interpersonal communication or community group engagement, and/or investments in service delivery improvement for greater impact.
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