Suicide reporting in Swiss print media

Frey, Conrad; Michel, Konrad; Valach, Ladislav (1997). Suicide reporting in Swiss print media. European journal of public health, 7(1), pp. 15-19. Oxford University Press 10.1093/eurpub/7.1.15

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All articles in Swiss newspapers with suicide or attempted suicide as the main topic were collected over a time span of 8 months. The aim was the investigation of a potential imitation effect and the extent of preventive messages given. A rating scheme for an assumed imitation effect based on different items for heading, text and picture was developed. The results show that approximately two-fifttis of all 151 articles were inappropriate in some aspects and were considered as bearing a high potential for imitation effect. The rating was significantly more unfavourable for the main Swiss tabloid paper than the other newspapers. A reason for suicide was specified in 41.7% of all articles, half of them in a very simple and monocausal way. Relevant preventive information was only given In 10% of cases. We conclude that media guidelines for suicide reporting are needed. A preventive strategy to influence the policy of suicide reporting in newspapers must primarily concentrate on a few papers with a high circulation (popular press).

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Michel, Konrad




Oxford University Press




Anette van Dorland

Date Deposited:

14 Sep 2020 17:01

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:13

Publisher DOI:





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