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Sheftall AH, Tissue JL, Schlagbaum P, et al. Newspaper Adherence to Media Reporting Guidelines for the Suicide Deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(11):e1914517. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.14517
News media coverage of suicide is associated with an increased risk of subsequent suicides, with the strongest associations following newspaper reporting of celebrity suicides.1 To reduce these adverse effects, media guidelines were established for reporting on suicide in 20012; however, adherence varies, and research shows many media outlets are unaware that such guidelines exist.3
On June 5, 2018, Kate Spade died by suicide, and on June 8, 2018, Anthony Bourdain died by suicide. These events provided an opportunity to examine newspaper adherence to reporting guidelines. Because much criticism followed the reporting on Spade’s death,4 we hypothesized that the reporting on Bourdain’s death would be more guideline adherent.
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