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Am J Public Health. 1998 Oct;88(10):1510-4.

News media coverage and the epidemiology of homicide.

Author information

  • 1School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles 90095-1772, USA. sorenson@ucla.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study assessed how newspaper coverage of homicides corresponds to the epidemiology of homicide.

METHODS:

Stories in the Los Angeles Times about homicide (n = 2782) were compared with the homicides that occurred in Los Angeles County from 1990 through 1994 (n = 9442). The generalized linear model assessed how victim, incident, and suspect characteristics related to coverage.

RESULTS:

Even when multiple variables were taken into account, some homicides (those with female, child, or elderly victims; those in which the suspect was a stranger to the victim; those in wealthier neighborhoods) received more coverage and others (those with Black or Hispanic victims or victims with less than a high school education; those committed with nonfirearm weapons; those in which the suspect was an intimate of the victim) received less coverage than expected.

CONCLUSIONS:

Some homicides are more newsworthy than others. Potential implications of not providing the public with representative data are discussed.

PMID:
9772853
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1508479
Free PMC Article
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