Milestones matter, and achieving a century of anything is worth noting. In Poland, where I have lived and worked since 2005, birthdays are celebrated not with a chorus of “Happy Birthday to You,” but with a raucous song called “Sto Lat!” that means “100 Years.” My adopted country clearly gets the message.
There is no question that over the span of its existence, the Journal of Health Communications has made a real difference in advancing and diffusing knowledge in this critical sector of the communications discipline. As a member of the Journal’s editorial board, I’m excited to celebrate this 100 issue achievement, however, the question that I ask myself is, “Where do we go from here?” I think that the challenges of staying relevant in the years that lie ahead will be both plentiful and, hopefully, invigorating ones for this journal, its editors, contributors and readers.
The first change I expect to see is in the focus of the articles we publish. These changes will be driven by a combination of profound global demographic changes, ongoing economic pressures and the plethora of new media and media apps that are the currency of early 21stcentury communications. With respect to demographics, we are right now in the midst of two profound currents of change: on the one hand, western society is aging rapidly, and on the other hand, the number of young people in the developing societies of Asia, Africa and Latin America is growing at an extraordinary rate. (more…)