The main source of topical information in most parts of the world is through the mass media – principally newspapers and television. Television news and current affairs have a duty to remain impartial, as they provide a service for the whole population. Newspapers, on the other hand, have a greater journalistic and editorial freedom as they target subgroups. British newspapers are currently being scrutinised as to how they report both factual and speculative information of a general kind. At the same time there seems to be an increase in their interest in psychological matters. However, work on newspaper reporting of psychiatric disorders (Day & Page, 1986; Matas et al, 1986) has shown that the mentally ill are usually portrayed in a rather negative light with few positive images.
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