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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2010 Oct;40(5):524-34. doi: 10.1521/suli.2010.40.5.524.

Suicide coverage in U.S. newspapers following the publication of the media guidelines.

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1
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA.

Abstract

A nationally representative sample of 968 local and national newspapers was examined to determine whether the 2001 U.S. media guidelines were followed in articles published in 2002-2003, and featuring individual cases of suicidal behavior (N = 157). We found that, during this period of time, U.S. newspaper suicide coverage did not consistently reflect the influence of the media guidelines. On the positive side, only 19% of stories included inappropriate imagery. On the negative side, suicide stories often detailed suicide method (56% of stories) and location (58%), and rarely provided information about warning signs and risk factors (1%), the roles of depression (4%) and alcohol (2%), and prevention resources (6%). Our findings, together with previous evidence, suggest the need for sustained dialogue with the media about suicide reporting.

PMID:
21034215
PMCID:
PMC3015096
DOI:
10.1521/suli.2010.40.5.524
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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