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Crisis. 2004;25(4):161-8.

Newspaper reporting of suicide cases in Hong Kong.

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1
Hong Kong Jockey Club Center for Suicide Research and Prevention, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.

Abstract

This study addresses the concerns over newspapers' reporting of suicide cases in Hong Kong, SAR (Special Administrative Region), using the WHO guidelines on the reporting of suicide news as a reference for comparison. We compared the official suicide information extracted from the Coroner's Court for the year 2000 with newspaper reports on suicides taken from five major Chinese local newspapers, which accounted for about 80% of the total circulation in Hong Kong. The type of newspaper reporting on suicides was also examined. Newspapers tended to report on those suicide victims who suffered relationship problems, whereas those who had family problems were significantly underreported. Among the suicides reported in the newspapers, 6.2% were found on the front page and the majority of the reports were presented pictorially. The reporting of suicides was selective and the coverage was incomplete, with student suicides reported excessively. The method of reporting for Hong Kong newspapers was not in line with the recommendations of the WHO or international best practices on presenting suicide news. For this reason we recommend a partnership approach with active participation from the media on suicide prevention so that communication professionals can proactively participate in suicide prevention work more effectively.

PMID:
15580851
DOI:
10.1027/0227-5910.25.4.161
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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