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The press

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Title: The press


1
The press mental illness a study
  • by Mary OHara

2
the team
  • Mary OHara Alistair Cooke Fulbright Scholar
  • Professor Stephen Hinshaw UC Berkeley
  • Research assistants
  • Robert Villaneuva
  • Laura Gildengoran
  • Natalia Garcia

3
Robert Villaneuva
4
On the agenda
5
  • Mental illness the media in context
  • Research objectives
  • Methodology
  • Key findings
  • Conclusions and next steps

6
Mental health in context
7
what we know
  • 1 in 4 people will experience a mental illness at
    some point in their lives
  • stigma affects millions of people
  • the media plays a key role

8
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9
Why do this research?
10
Research objectives
11
research questions
  • What are the differences and similarities in the
    coverage of mental illness in mainstream press in
    the US and the UK?
  • Has coverage altered over time and if so, in what
    ways?
  • Are there things to learn about trends from
    looking at much older coverage?

12
research objectives
  • To evaluate coverage of mental illness in a range
    of mainstream newspapers over a significant
    timeframe in the US and the UK
  • To ascertain if the way coverage is advertised
    - ie headlines - differs from from the content
    of articles
  • To chart trends in coverage over time within each
    country

13
research objectives
  • To draw comparisons between the two countries
  • To establish if further research is warranted

14
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15
Specific newspapers, such as the New York Times
and Washington Post, have an even greater
influence on the national and international news
agenda because they serve as sources of news that
many other outlets look to in making their own
programming and editorial decisions. So while the
overall audience for newspapers has declined over
recent years, newspapers still play a large and
consequential role in setting the overall news
agenda that cannot be strictly quantified or
justified by circulation data alone. The Pew
Centre Project for Excellence in Journalism News
Coverage Index
16
Methodology
17
the papers
  • The New York Times
  • The Washington Post
  • The Chicago Tribune
  • The LA Times
  • The Guardian
  • The Times
  • The Daily Mail
  • The Sun
  • The London Evening Standard

18
data capture
  • Lexus Nexus software
  • Online archives
  • All text was scanned for key mental health words
    and terms

19
data analysis
  • Headlines - large sample
  • Full text - smaller, de-limited pilot of articles

20
sampling
  • 1985-2009 time frame
  • Three single years selected with no less than 10
    year intervals. Years 1985, 1995 2009
  • Sampling of headlines and articles from the first
    three months of each year

21
coding
  • 3 research assistants coded all material
  • Thorough inter-coder training and testing
  • Coder agreement well above accepted levels of
    reliability for textual analysis

22
housekeeping variables
  • Number of words
  • Date of publication
  • Type of publication
  • Type of coverage

23
critical variables
  • Topics
  • Mental health conditions
  • Tone

24
main topics
  • 18 main topics including suicide, murders or
    violent crimes committed by a person with a
    mental illness, the psychiatric profession,
    wellbeing, stigma, treatment issues, therapies
    causes of mental illness

25
secondary-topics
  • 30 secondary topics including gender, race, age,
    addiction, public policy, celebrity, the justice
    system, first-person stories, funding, wider
    healthcare provision, the pharmaceutical
    industry, disability mental health professionals

26
conditions
  • Severe mental disorders
  • Other common mental disorders
  • Other disorders
  • Generic references
  • Wrongly labelled
  • Unclear

27
Tone
28
tone 4 point scale
positive neutral negative sensationalist
29
Nutter
30
Psycho
31
Schizo
32
Slaughtered
33
Butchered
34
Massacred
35
Berserk
36
Rampage
37
Deranged
38
Crazed
39
messages
  • Risk of violence or association with violence
  • Recovery
  • Prevention
  • Risks causes of mental illness
  • Commonness or rarity
  • Capability/competence
  • Treatment
  • Attitudes
  • Other

40
subsidiary research
  • Small randomised sample from 1900 1950
  • Titles with the most robust archive data
  • Coded as per the main sample

41
The findings
42
Tone
43
Tone articles (US) Overall
44
Tone articles (US) Change over time
45
Tone articles (UK) Overall
46
Tone articles (UK) Change over time
47
But....
48
Tone articles (Broadsheet only)
49
Messages
  • Risk of violence or association with violence
  • Recovery
  • Prevention
  • Risks causes of mental illness
  • Commonness or rarity
  • Capability/competence
  • Treatment
  • Attitudes
  • Other

50
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51
Tone headlines (US)
  • 237 messages from166 headlines

52
Tone messages (US) Overall
53
Tone messages (US) Change over time Change over
time
54
Tone headlines (UK)
  • 192 messages from 151 headlines

55
Tone messages (UK) Overall
56
Tone messages (UK) Change over time
57
But...
58
Tone messages (UK) Overall Broadsheet
59
Change over time (UK) Broadsheet
60
Articles vs headlines
  • UK
  • There is no evidence that headlines are more
    negative than articles but...
  • There are more sensationalist headlines than
    sensationalist articles
  • US
  • Headlines are significantly more negative (58)
    than articles (35)
  • There are marginally more sensationalist articles
    than headlines but the number overall is
    extremely small

61
Tone US vs UK Some conclusions
  • Over time articles headlines in the UK have
    become more negative with the exception of
    broadsheets which have done the opposite. In the
    US headlines have become steadily more negative
    while articles have become more neutral
  • There are very few overtly sensationalist
    headlines or articles in either country in any
    year
  • The UK has higher proportions of positive
    articles and headlines largely attributable to
    broadsheets

62
Messages
  • Risk of violence or association with violence
  • Recovery
  • Prevention
  • Risks causes of mental illness
  • Commonness or rarity
  • Capability/competence
  • Treatment
  • Attitudes
  • Other

63
Most common message
  • UK
  • Risk of violence
  • 15 of all messages
  • 93 of these were either negative or
    sensationalist
  • US
  • Risk of violence
  • 18 of all messages
  • 86 of these were negative or sensationalist

64
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65
Types of coverage
Type of coverage UK
66
Types of coverage by headline tone
UK
US
67
Types of coverage some conclusions
  • US News accounts for 54 of overall coverage
    but 60 of negative coverage
  • UK News accounts for 47 of overall coverage
    but 57 of negative coverage
  • News is more negative than features in both
    countries

68
Language
69
Whats in a word...
  • Crazed
  • Maniac
  • Madman
  • Nuts
  • Monster

70
Language
  • Pejorative language was evident in all years
    studied in both countries
  • UK newspapers - including broadsheets - were far
    more likely to use pejorative language than their
    US counterparts

71
Conditions
72
Conditions
  • Specific conditions were much less likely to be
    mentioned in headlines than general references
    to, for example, mental illness
  • This pattern was the same in both countries and
    over all years

73
Conditions
  • Depression - including bi-polar disorder/manic
    depression - is the most commonly mentioned
    condition in newspapers in both countries
  • There is no evidence that coverage of depression
    is more prevalent now than it was 25 years ago
  • Schizophrenia is the second most mentioned
    condition but it is rarely referred to by
    headlines
  • Coverage of some conditions such as PTSD is a
    recent phenomenon

74
Topics
75
Main Topics
  • UK (headlines)
  • 1. Suicide
  • 2. Mental health services
  • 3. Lifestyle wellbeing
  • 4. Murder by a person with a mental illness
  • US (headlines)
  • 1. Suicide
  • 2. Mental health services
  • 3. Lifestyle wellbeing
  • 7. Murder by a person with a mental illness

76
Main Topics
  • UK (articles)
  • 1. Mental health services
  • 2. Suicide
  • 3. Lifestyle wellbeing
  • 8. Murder by a person with a mental illness
  • US (articles)
  • 1. Mental health services
  • 2. Suicide
  • 3. Prevalence/causes
  • 4. Murder by a person with a mental illness

77
Main topics other findings
  • Psychiatry, the psychiatric profession and
    therapist/therapies featured much more in the US
    than in UK coverage
  • Stories about overcoming adversity featured more
    in the US coverage
  • Mentions of stigma or discrimination rarely
    appeared in headlines or articles in either
    country

78
Secondary topics
  • UK (headlines)
  • 1. Gender
  • 2. First-person
  • 3. Criminal justice
  • 4. Inquest
  • 5. Children/teens
  • US (headlines)
  • 1. Inquest
  • 2. Children/teens
  • 3. MH profession
  • 4. Gender
  • 5. Armed forces

79
Secondary topics
  • UK (articles)
  • 1. Gender
  • 2. Public policy or legislation/wider healthcare
    system/inquests/symptoms/celebrity or public
    figure
  • US (articles)
  • 1. Gender
  • 2. Children or teens/inquest
  • 3. MH profession
  • 4. Public policy or legislation

80
Secondary topics other findings
  • Race/ethnicity was mentioned very rarely in
    either US or UK coverage

81
Secondary topics other findings
  • UK articles and headlines were much more likely
    to mention celebrities and public figures and the
    number of mentions jumped significantly in 2009
  • The pharmaceutical industry barely registers in
    either country in headlines or articles

82
Suicide a special case?
83
Suicide an overview
  • Volume of coverage extremely high
  • Levels of coverage almost identical in both
    countries
  • Broadsheets and tabloids equally interested

84
Cross-references
85
Cross-references
  • Only 7 out of 166 articles in US publications
    included an explicit helpline or other mechanism
    for seeking help
  • Only 8 out of 151 articles in UK publications
    provided a cross-ref and all of these were in 2009

86
older sample
87
A different world?
1900 Articles
1950 Articles
88
A different world?
1900 Headlines
1950 Headlines
89
What the papers said
90
What the papers said
91
What the papers said
92
What the papers said
93
Conclusions
94
In conclusion
  • More research on trends in coverage is warranted
  • Further investigation of editorial
    decision-making processes and the cultural
    influences informing them would be valuable

95
Thank You.
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