California study on media adherence to national consensus recommendations for reporting on suicide


(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)


Ly T, Guard A, Black S
Education Development Center, Inc.

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The California Suicide Prevention Social Marketing Project aims to improve reporting on suicide through training individuals in counties on media outreach, providing counties with a guide to media advocacy, conducting forums with journalists and other stakeholders, and disseminating the consensus Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide to news media throughout the state. To measure how effective these interventions will be, the project conducted the nation’s first study to examine how well news media currently adhere to the Recommendations. The authors created a unique tool to measure California media outlets’ adherence and applied it to a sample of more than 200 recent reports to establish a baseline measure. The California Study on Media Adherence to National Consensus Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide reports on the findings in 12 areas: coverage type; resources; how to help; warning signs and risk factors; attributing suicide to a single condition; reporting on location; reporting on method; sources of quotes; content of suicide notes; language used; reporting on numbers and rates; and visuals.