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 Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

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: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

First-time reconstruction of infectious bat influenza viruses

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Novel method to benchmark and improve the performance of protein measumeasurement techniques

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Amazon rain helps make more rain

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>