We use the theories of the imaginary to understand how journalism tends to redefine the status of what it is to be or to feel sick through the dissemination of the culture of risk. The journalistic devices promote the potential or imaginary disease, acting on the daily practices, thus becoming a “technology of the imaginary”. We suffer in anticipation, afraid of the future that may carry a disease. We should be aware, either through the regulation of our habits or the discovery of genetic tendencies that predispose us to development of diseases. Prolonging existence and living with quality have evolved into an almost a moral duty. The corpus is composed of eight stories from Folha de S. Paulo. Journalism employs resources considered rational, but mobilizes readers by emotion, producing an imaginary that tends to spread in society.
Journalism; Imaginary; Mental disorders; Risk