Document Detail


Suicide news reporting accuracy and stereotyping in Hong Kong.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22608053     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
BACKGROUND: The mass media are often criticized for oversimplifying the causes of suicide and overlooking some of the risk factors. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence to support this assertion. The study aims to examine the accuracy of news reports in Hong Kong (HK) and in particular whether or not such reports stereotype victims according to gender and suicide method. METHODS: Data from a case-control psychological autopsy (PA) study of 150 HK suicides were utilized. The reports of the PA cases from five major HK newspapers were collected and reviewed to identify whether or not there was a match in terms of the cases' profile and risk factors. RESULTS: The age, gender, and method of the suicides were largely reported correctly (>70%) but accounts of risk factors were seldom accurate (<46%). No significant difference was found between tabloid- and non-tabloid-type newspapers' accuracy. Media stereotyping of gender-specific suicide and charcoal-burning suicide was identified. LIMITATIONS: The study was based on a HK sample so the findings are not necessarily applicable elsewhere. CONCLUSIONS: The HK mass media generally demonstrated poor accuracy in reporting suicide risk factors. Their reporting was also problematic in terms of stereotyping gender- and method-specific suicides. Clinical practitioners should be alerted to these findings when working with the media. They can also adopt this novel usage of PA data to extract further information from other PA studies and thereby broaden the investigation of reporting accuracy and stereotyping of suicide to more diverse social contexts.
Authors:
Qijin Cheng; Paul S F Yip
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-5-17
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of affective disorders     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1573-2517     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-5-21     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7906073     Medline TA:  J Affect Disord     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Affiliation:
Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
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