News coverage of suicidal behaviour in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland

Marzano, Lisa, Fraser, Lorna, Scally, Mia ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7301-4142, Farley, Stuart and Hawton, Keith (2018) News coverage of suicidal behaviour in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention . ISSN 0227-5910 (Published online first)

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Abstract

Background: Media reporting of suicide has been associated with imitative acts. Internationally, this has led to the development of guidelines to promote responsible reporting of suicide.

Aims: To examine the nature and quality of news coverage of suicidal behaviour in the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (ROI).

Method: UK and ROI press clippings relating to suicide over 12 months (N=8101) were coded for content and assessed for quality against existing guidelines. We examined variability in relation to key characteristics (e.g. type of publication) and compared newspaper portrayal of suicide against official statistics.

Results: Reports were biased towards young, female and relatively unusual suicides (including those involving a celebrity, more than one individual and violent methods). Almost a third of reports had inappropriate headlines, but only a minority was of poor overall quality, and editors appear to be responsive to feedback. There was considerable variability in the quality of reports for different suicide methods.

Limitations: This work cannot account for the impact of reporting on suicidal behaviour. The speed of change in media trends also limits its conclusions.

Conclusion: Our findings underscore the need for sustained efforts to promote responsible reporting of suicide.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 23275
Notes on copyright: https://doi.org/10.1027/0227-5910/a000533, Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, [volume no.], [issue no.], © 2018 by Hogrefe Publishing. This version of the article may not completely replicate the final version published in the journal 'Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention'. It is not the version of record and is therefore not suitable for citation.
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Depositing User: Lisa Marzano
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2018 16:13
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2019 22:31
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/23275

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