Journal article

Reporting suicide: Interpreting media guidelines

A Machlin, J Skehan, M Sweet, A Wake, J Fletcher, M Spittal, J Pirkis

Australian Journalism Review | Published : 2012

Abstract

Numerous international studies have shown that media reporting of suicide can encourage copycat acts. Australia, like other countries, has developed guidelines (referred to as Reporting Suicide and Mental Ill-ness) to encourage responsible reporting of suicide and to avoid imitative behaviour. These guidelines have been well-received by media professionals. Some, however, have indicated that the guidelines are not always easy to interpret. This study explored the interpretability of the Australian guidelines. Three trained independent reviewers coded 197 newspaper articles (relating to 28 suicides) for quality against nine criteria from the Australian guidelines. The level of inter-rater agr..

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