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Newspaper Reporting on a Cluster of Suicides in the UK.

Johnson, A., Hawton, K., Gunnell, D., Lloyd, K., Scourfield, J., Jones, P.A, Luce, A., Marchant, A., Platt, S., Price, S. and Dennis, M.S, 2017. Newspaper Reporting on a Cluster of Suicides in the UK. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 38 (1), 17- 25.

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PDF (Crisis: Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention © 2016 by Hogrefe)
Mediapaperaccepted.pdf - Accepted Version


DOI: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000410


BACKGROUND: Media reporting may influence suicide clusters through imitation or contagion. In 2008 there was extensive national and international newspaper coverage of a cluster of suicides in young people in the Bridgend area of South Wales, UK. AIMS: To explore the quantity and quality of newspaper reporting during the identified cluster. METHOD: Searches were conducted for articles on suicide in Bridgend for 6 months before and after the defined cluster (June 26, 2007, to September 16, 2008). Frequency, quality (using the PRINTQUAL instrument), and sensationalism were examined. RESULTS: In all, 577 newspaper articles were identified. One in seven articles included the suicide method in the headline, 47.3% referred to earlier suicides, and 44% used phrases that guidelines suggest should be avoided. Only 13% included sources of information or advice. CONCLUSION: A high level of poor-quality and sensationalist reporting was found during an ongoing suicide cluster at the very time when good-quality reporting could be considered important. A broad awareness of media guidelines and expansion and adherence to press codes of practice are required by journalists to ensure ethical reporting.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention. It is not the version of record and is therefore not suitable for citation.
Uncontrolled Keywords:guidelines ; newspaper reporting ; suicide cluster
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:24549
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:07 Sep 2016 09:19
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:57


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