Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Psychiatry in the news

The issue of mental illness was more visible in the news media in the early 2000s than in the 1980s. This is one of the conclusions reached in a new doctoral thesis from the Department of Journalism, Media and Mass Communication (JMG), University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Over the years, media has had many reasons to address the issue of care and support to people with mental illnesses. The Swedish mental hospitals have been done away with and the counties have had to face new responsibilities. Several violent crimes linked to mental illness have attracted media attention, not least in 2003 in connection with the assassination of the Swedish Prime Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The study was conducted in a broad and long-term perspective and considered the changes witnessed in the psychiatric field. The thesis explores and analyses the content of the Swedish news programme Rapport, broadcasted nationally by state-owned SVT, from 1980 to 2006. It also sheds light on aspects that may influence news coverage, and on the attitudes among journalists and the public with respect to the psychiatric field. Based on the results, Magnusson discusses the relevance of news reporting at the individual and community levels.

The study shows that the psychiatric field received more coverage in terms of frequency, space and headline attention at the end than at the beginning of the studied period. All in all, over the 27-year period, four out of ten news items linked to the psychiatric field concerned health care and legislation, and three out of ten were related to violent crimes or subsequent court proceedings. Regarding changes over time, Magnusson found that news related to health care and legislation gained more coverage and that in the headlines, news involving violence became more common.

The increased news media coverage is probably linked to interacting factors in the psychiatric field and journalism. It may for example indicate that the psychiatric field has become more of a public issue. It may also mean that the psychiatric field has adapted to media's way of working.

Interviews with journalists reveal that there is a dilemma between, on one hand, allowing mentally ill individuals to be featured in the media just like other people and, on the other hand, protecting an often inexperienced and very vulnerable group of people. Although the psychiatric field has become an important public issue, it still seems to be an area that is perceived as very sensitive. This motivates using the psychiatric field as a basis for discussions on the purpose of journalism and the work performed by journalists.

Title of the doctoral thesis (in Swedish): Bilden av psykiatriområdet. Nyhetsrapporteringen i Rapport 1980-2006. (The image of the psychiatric field. News items in Rapport 1980-2006)

Author: Ann-Sofie Magnusson, tel. +46 (0)739 08 97 42 (mobile), +46 (0)31 786 12 12 (work).


Faculty opponent: Karin Ljuslinder, Umeå University.
The thesis was successfully defended on: Friday 12 March 2010, Gothenburg.

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>