Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Newspaper coverage of psychiatric and physical illness

  • Stephen M. Lawrie (a1)
Abstract
Aims and Method

To compare how newspapers cover psychiatric and physical illness. We conducted a survey of relevant headlines in nine daily newspapers over a one-month period and judged whether the content was essentially positive, neutral or negative.

Results

Over the one-month period, 213 article headlines about various aspects of medicine and 47 on psychiatry were identified. Ninety-nine (46%) of the former were critical intone as compared with 30 (64%) of the latter (odds ratio=4.42, 95% CI 1.64–11.94).We gained the impression that negative articles about physical medicine tended to criticise doctors whereas negative articles about psychiatry tended to criticise patients. Tabloid and broadsheet newspapers did not differ in their rates of negative coverage.

Clinical Implications

Psychiatry, psychiatrists and particularly psychiatric patients tend to be represented negatively in the newspapers. Psychiatrists should strive to influence the news agenda by proactively reporting positive messages, such as treatment advances.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Newspaper coverage of psychiatric and physical illness
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Newspaper coverage of psychiatric and physical illness
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Newspaper coverage of psychiatric and physical illness
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
Hide All
Angermeyer, M. C. & Matschinger, H. (1996) The effect of violent attacks by chizophrenic persons on the attitude of the public towards the mentally ill. Social Science and Medicine, 43, 17211728.
Barnes, R. C. & Earnshaw, S. (1993) Mental illness in British newspapers (or My Girlfriend is a Rover Metro). Psychiatric Bulletin, 17, 673674.
Day, D. M. & Page, S. (1986) Portrayal of mental illness in Canadian newspapers. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 31, 813817.
Hart, D. & Phillipson, J. (1998) Public education: 12 years on. Psychiatric Bulletin, 22, 590592.
Hammond, P. (1996) Why is the press so down on the NHS? The Independent, Tuesday 1 October, pp. 67.
Nunnally, J. C. (1961) Popular Conceptions of Mental Health. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
Philo, G. (1996) Media and Mental Distress. London: Longman.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 22 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 124 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 2nd January 2018 - 18th June 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Newspaper coverage of psychiatric and physical illness

  • Stephen M. Lawrie (a1)
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *