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Am J Public Health. 2014 Mar;104(3):406-13. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301557. Epub 2014 Jan 16.

News media framing of serious mental illness and gun violence in the United States, 1997-2012.

Author information

  • 1Emma E. McGinty is with the Department of Health Policy and Management, the Center for Gun Policy and Research, and the Institute for Health and Social Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD. Daniel W. Webster and Colleen L. Barry are with the Department of Health Policy and Management, Center for Gun Policy and Research, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Marian Jarlenski is with the Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Abstract

Recent mass shootings by persons seemingly afflicted with serious mental illness (SMI) have received extensive news media coverage and prompted national dialogue about the causes of, and policy responses to, mass shootings. News media framing of SMI as a cause of gun violence may influence public attitudes about persons with SMI and support for gun violence prevention proposals. We analyzed the content of a 25% random sample of news stories on SMI and gun violence published in 14 national and regional news sources from 1997 to 2012. Across the study period, most news coverage occurred in the wake of mass shootings, and "dangerous people" with SMI were more likely than "dangerous weapons" to be mentioned as a cause of gun violence.

PMID:
24432874
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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