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Suicide and the Media: Pending New Zealand Research. Brian McKenna, Centre of Mental Health Research, University of Auckland.

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Presentation on theme: "Suicide and the Media: Pending New Zealand Research. Brian McKenna, Centre of Mental Health Research, University of Auckland."— Presentation transcript:

1 Suicide and the Media: Pending New Zealand Research. Brian McKenna, Centre of Mental Health Research, University of Auckland

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3 Media and mental illness Coverdale, Nairn, & Classen (2002). Nairn (1999). Mental Health Commission (2000; 2005).

4 McKenna, Thom and Simpson (2007) Media Coverage of Homicide Involving Mentally Disordered Offenders: A Matched Comparison Study International Journal of Forensic Mental Health. Vol. 6(1), 57-63

5 The Myth Deinstitutionalisation of the mentally ill has contributed to the increase of homicide.

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7 Mentally abnormal perpetrators of homicide rate per 100,000 population by year

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9 Role of the media in perpetuating the myth? 10 cases of (NGRI) from 1996 to Matched to 10 cases of convicted homicide.

10 NGRI prominence characteristics On the front page The lead article on any page, Alarmist heading e.g “Scissor-death mother found to be insane” (NZ Herald, February 8, 2000).

11 Making public the private lives of mentally ill offenders Social dysfunction. Private psychiatric history made public

12 The use of photographs

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15 Conclusion Certainly treated differently Impact on the public psyche? Etched in the public memory.

16 Ministry of Health (1998; 1999) Preventing Suicide: Guidelines for the Media on the Reporting of Suicide

17 Tully, J. and Elsaka, N. (2004). A study of the media response to Suicide and the Media: The reporting and portrayal of suicide in the media

18 Aims To investigate the nature, reporting and portrayal of suicide in non-fiction media. Replicates the Australia study and adds the internet. Adapted to NZ (Maori or Pacific Island).

19 Design Media items over 12 months Using recognised search terms. Source - media retrieval company. Screening for appropriateness.

20 Extract identifying and descriptive information. E.g. newspapers Total number of articles Newspaper type: e.g metropolitan, suburban or regional. Month of publication. Where placed. Who wrote the article. What was the content about. Geographical reference. Demographics of those involved Suicide method

21 Quality ratings of 10% of randomly selected media items in each division MOH guidelines Coroner’s Act Quality indicators - Australian study. Binary determination.

22 In depth framing analysis. Five case studies. Qualitative research Factors that shape news selection and presentation.

23 Data analysis Quantitative analysis - SPSS. Qualitative analysis - NVIVO.

24 Sample 262 media types Newspaper print media Radio stations –18 stations: Television - 9 free-to-air and paid networks. Internet - 49 news sites

25 Research Team Brian McKenna. Tony O’Brien, Senior lecturer. Katey Thom. Research Fellow. Dr Raymond Nairn. Gareth Edwards. Ingrid Leary.

26 Expert Reference Group. Dr Simon Hatcher. Ata Suma. Dr Terryann Clark.

27 Report Next October.

28 First Month of Data Collection Newspaper -134 Internet - 41 Radio - 22 Television - 7

29 Potential Framing Themes Youth issues - “Net Safety” and Text bullying. Murder suicide. Determination at 3 months.


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