Government vs NGO influence within online health communication

Jeremy John Watkins, Mark Boyd, Denton Callander

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Australian NGOs and health departments are key stakeholders within HIV/AIDS health information initiatives. Effective supply of – and user interaction with – authoritative HIV/AIDS information by these stakeholders is critical to engage people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) with test-and-treat programs as well as to retain PLWHA within lifelong healthcare programs in order to achieve and maintain full viral suppression. We conducted two webcrawls (28 Feb and 26 Aug 2016, full hyperlink network ~25,500 entities) to ascertain the relative influence of online public-facing HIV/AIDS information resources. It was hypothesized that (a) Australian government health departments aim to serve as sites of authoritative HIV information e.g. testing, safer sex and/or pre-exposure prophylaxis); and (b) Australian NGO/NFP/charity HIV organisation sites fulfil a recommender function by providing a medium between their audience (e.g. gay men, sex workers) and authoritative HIV-related health information. This soft hypothesis was not upheld following comparative analysis of the webcrawl data. No Australian government site was highly ranked for either inbound (authoritative) or outbound (recommender) influence. The webcrawl data indicate that NGOs and charities operating at a national level as well as state-based NGOs from the larger states of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria are most highly ranked for influence. This methods-oriented paper is aimed at quantitative and mixed methods communication researchers. Its findings are relevant to health communication specialists at both government and non-government organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRefereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference 2017
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherAustralian & New Zealand Communication Association
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2017
EventANZCA 2017: Communication Worlds: Access, Voice, Diversity, Engagement - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 7 Jul 20177 Jul 2017

Publication series

NameANZCA Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1448-4331


ConferenceANZCA 2017: Communication Worlds: Access, Voice, Diversity, Engagement


  • webcrawl

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