1st Edition

Media and Suicide International Perspectives on Research, Theory, and Policy

Edited By Thomas Niederkrotenthaler, Steven Stack Copyright 2017

    Somewhere in the world, in the next forty seconds, a person is going to commit suicide. Globally, suicides account for 50 percent of all violent deaths among men and 71 percent for women. Despite suicide prevention programs, therapy, and pharmacological treatments, the suicide rate is either increasing or remaining high around the world.

    Media and Suicide holds traditional and emergent media accountable for influencing an individual’s decision to commit suicide. Global experts present research, historical analysis, theoretical disputes (including discussion on the Werther and Papageno effects), and policy regarding the media’s impact on suicide. They answer questions about the effects of different types of media and storytelling, show how the impact of social media can be diminished, discuss internet bullying, mass-shootings and mass-suicides, show the effects of recovery stories, and much more.

    The editors also present examples of suicide policy in the United States, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Hong Kong on how to best communicate reporting guidelines to decrease the copycat effect, especially in less developed nations where most of the world’s nearly one million suicides occur each year. Although there is much work to be done to prevent media-influenced suicide, this innovative volume will contribute a large piece to this complex puzzle.

    1 Introduction Part I. Research on Media Impacts on Suicide2 Why Men Choose Firearms More than Women: Gender and the Portrayal of Firearm Suicide in Film, 1900–2013 3 Suicide Stories in the US Media: Rare and Focused on the Young 4 Mass Shootings and Murder-Suicide: Review of the Empirical Evidence for Contagion 5 Internet Bullying Distinguishes Suicide Attempters from Ideators 6 The Use of Social Media in the Aftermath of a Suicide: Findings from a Qualitative Study in England 77 Suicide and Newer Media: The Good, the Bad, and the Googly 8 The Heroic and the Criminal, the Beautiful and the Ugly: Suicide Reflected in the Mirror of the Arts 9 Suicide in Kabuki Theater Part II. Theories of Media Impacts 10 Why Media Coverage of Suicide May Increase Suicide Rates: An Epistemological Review 11 Papageno Effect: Its Progress in Media Research and Contextualization with Findings on Harmful Media Effects 12 The Impact of Suicide Portrayals in Films on Audiences: A Qualitative Study 13 Between Werther and Papageno Effects: A Propositional Meta-Analysis of Ambiguous Findings for Helpful and Harmful Media Effects on Suicide Contagion Part III. Policy 14 Suicide and Mass-Media Reporting: The Very Beginning of the Viennese Experience in the 1980s 15 Development of the US Recommendations for Media Reporting on Suicide 16 Raising Media Awareness in French-Speaking Switzerland: Best Practices 17 Promoting Responsible Portrayal of Suicide: Lessons from the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland 18 Implementing International Media Guidelines in a Local Context: Experiences from Hong Kong 19 Conclusion


    Steven Stack, Thomas Niederkrotenthaler