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At the late meeting of the Social Science Association at Saratoga, Dr. F. W. Russell, of Winchendon, Mass., read a paper pointing out the evils of sensational descriptions of crime and accidents in the daily press. He asserted that minute descriptions of crime were an educational power to weak minds to commit similar acts in the same way. This was proven by the similarity of particular crimes, that had been minutely detailed in the daily press. In one instance a suicide had devised an ingenuous apparatus for hanging. This was given in sensational detail by a daily paper, and within a few months four similar cases were noted in which the same apparatus were used, showing that they had been copied from the first description.
Many similar instances will be apparent to any one who studies the histories of crime as given in the daily press, especially if it has
THE INFLUENCE OF NEWSPAPERS ON THE HEALTH OF THE COMMUNITY.. JAMA. 1890;XV(12):436-437. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410380024004