Home > Content analysis of newspaper reports on alcohol-related deaths.

Fagan, John and Lyons, Suzi and Smyth, Bobby P (2014) Content analysis of newspaper reports on alcohol-related deaths. Alcohol and Alcoholism , 49 , (4) , pp. 479-483.

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.


Item Type:Article
Date:April 2014
Page Range:pp. 479-483
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Volume:49
Number:4
EndNote:View
Related URLs:
Subjects:B Substances > Alcohol
G Health and disease > Substance use disorder > Alcohol use
N Communication, information and education > Message (portrayal of substance use) > Portrayal of substance use in the media
P Demography, epidemiology, and history > Population dynamics > Substance related mortality / death
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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