Newspaper Adherence to Media Reporting Guidelines for the Suicide Deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain | Media and Youth | JAMA Network Open | JAMA Network
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    1 Comment for this article
    Reporting of tragedies
    Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH | University of Washington
    Suicides of celebrities are important because of the increase number of suicides that occur following their deaths. How the media reports these deaths is potentially important in influencing the risk of subsequent suicides. While reporters may disagree with the specific criteria examined in this article, no one can disagree that responsible reporting in the media is critical.
    CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Editor in Chief, JAMA Network Open
    Research Letter
    Public Health
    November 1, 2019

    Newspaper Adherence to Media Reporting Guidelines for the Suicide Deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain

    Author Affiliations
    • 1Department of Pediatrics, The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus
    • 2Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice, The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
    • 3School of Social Work, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
    • 4E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University, Athens
    • 5Center for Biobehavioral Health, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
    • 6Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus
    • 7Department of Behavioral Health, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
    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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