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Content analysis of newspaper reports on alcohol-related deaths
SMYTH, BOBBY
AIM: International research indicates that the role which alcohol plays in accidents tends to be understated in media reports. Evidence suggests that public support for alcohol harm reduction policies would increase if people were better informed about the role of alcohol in serious injuries. We hypothesized that the role of alcohol in Irish accidental deaths is under-reported in the Irish print media. METHOD: We identified all traumatic and poisoning deaths (excluding suicides) in Ireland during the years 2008 and 2009 where alcohol was mentioned on the death certificate. We conducted an Internet-based search for newspaper reports of these deaths. The content of each report was examined and rated for mention of alcohol's possible role in the individual death. RESULTS: This study demonstrates the under-reporting in Irish newspapers of the role of alcohol in traumatic and poisoning deaths. Where deaths were reported, the role played by alcohol was generally ignored. CONCLUSION: This represents a missed opportunity to inform the public about the role of alcohol in these deaths. More accurate information would permit the public to make more informed decisions regarding their own behaviour and regarding their support for alcohol harm-reducing strategies.
Keyword(s): Alcohol
Publication Date:
2014
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Citation(s): Fagan,John B. J.B., Lyons,Suzi M. S.M., Smyth,B. P. B.P., Content analysis of newspaper reports on alcohol-related deaths, Alcohol and Alcoholism, 49, 4, 2014, 479-483
First Indexed: 2016-06-23 06:30:44 Last Updated: 2016-06-23 06:30:44