How big is the gap between health news and research?

For my data storytelling assignment, I’d like to see how health journalism coverage in the US compares to mortality data and health-research spending. I hope to tell a story about whether there is adequate coverage in the US media of things that harm and kill people here, and how that maps against where the government invests in health research to find out whether there are under-covered areas of science.

NIH has data on spending by category for 2010 and beyond:
http://report.nih.gov/categorical_spending.aspx

CDC has mortality data by cause (most recent being 2010):
http://wonder.cdc.gov/mcd.html

I hope to work with a programmer to access all news articles related to health from LexisNexus and use automated clustering to identify the most covered topics.

I’ll probably use Many Eyes to visualize the data in a bubble chart so that comparisons among research spending, journalism, and mortality can be easily made. But suggestions welcome!

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