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Reporting of suicide and trespass incidents by online media in the United States.
  • Published Date:
    2017-03-01
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-2.16 MB]


Details:
  • Corporate Creators:
    John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (U.S.)
  • Report Number:
    DOT/FRA/ORD-17/02
  • Resource Type:
  • Geographical Coverage:
    United States
  • Edition:
    Technical report
  • Corporate Publisher:
    United States. Federal Railroad Administration. Office of Research and Development
  • NTL Classification:
    AGR-SAFETY AND SECURITY-SAFETY AND SECURITY ; NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-RAIL TRANSPORTATION ; NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-Rail Safety ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Human FactorsNTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Rail Safety ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-SAFETY AND SECURITY ;
  • Format:
    PDF
  • Description:
    The reporting of a suicide death in the media has the potential to increase imitative suicide attempts for vulnerable individuals

    who read the article, a phenomenon known as suicide contagion or the “Werther effect.” Organizations around the world have

    developed recommendations for how to responsibly report on suicide incidents in a way less likely to result in contagion. For this

    research, 1,173 articles on FRA-reported suicide and trespass incidents were collected and analyzed for content. While media

    outlets often followed many of the suicide reporting recommendations, none were consistently followed in every article analyzed

    and a few key recommendations were often never applied. For example, the term “suicide” was often included in the title of

    articles, details about the location where the suicide took place and the actions preceding impact were often provided, while helpseeking

    information was only rarely included. In general, railway suicide incidents tended to be reported in a similar way to

    trespass incidents, rather than as a suicide by another means. The development of railway-specific recommendations could help to

    encourage responsible reporting practices regarding railway trespass and suicide incidents.

  • Funding:
    RR04AA/PA155
  • Supporting Files:
    No Additional Files
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