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:: Volume 17, Issue 65 (7-2017) ::
2017, 17(65): 199-234 Back to browse issues page
The Reflection of Mental Illnesses in the Press Investigating the Social Stigma in the Incidents Pages in Five Widely Circulated Newspapers
Hadi Khaniki , Tahere Yalfani , Arsia Taghva
Abstract:   (634 Views)
Introduction: Health plays a vital role in the world and it can be considered as  a main core in sustainable development. Public health is mainly related to the development of society and  growth. Undoubtedly, the media are the main source of hygiene information for the majority of people . The  aim of health education is to increase health literacy,  adopt health behavior and expand the culture of health in the society. On the other hand, the media are the greatest coaches in the world today. There are different definitions of reality due to the media in the present world.. Nowadays, one of the important roles of the media is enculturation, also, they can be considered as a resource of socialization. Many of the beliefs and attitudes shape in individuals’ mind through the media induction over time. For example, people who have mental illnesses or a stigma given to them by the media  which cause negative public attitude. The aim of this study is to investigate the psychological stigmas which are given to the subjects of the incidents in the incident news of newspapers.
Method: In this descriptive study, quantitative content analysis was used. The study population was incidents pages of five widely circulated  Iranians newspapers, including Iran, Jam E Jam, Sharq, Hamshahri and Shahrvand in 1394. Due to low news data, the total numbering method was used. Data were evaluated using a chi-square test. Validity of data was tested  using Scott test. . Data were analyzed by SPSS software and using framing and social stigma theories.
Findings: According to the results, 92/9 percent of the articles were based upon mental patients and the main goal of 33/3 percent of the articles was  to show that mental patients are insane and uncontrollable. 23/6 percent of the other articles say that mental patients are solitary and suffer from acute personality disorders. 20/4 percent of the rest of the articles implied that these people would be mentally sick forever. 14/3  percent of the articles insisted on these people as being antisocial. 62/7 percent of the articles noticed the components of mental disorders in suffering people, while 31/1 percent of the articles pointed out  that violence is one of the components of mental patients. Social deviations and  patient abuse, respectively showed 3/1 percent and 2/7 percent of components in mental illnesses.
Discussion: The results of this research show that mental labels are  tied to mental illnesses conceptually and are  reflected in the headlines and photos of the news  in the newspapers. These labels include mental tags such as “crazy”, “insane”, “psycho” and “mad” which are the most used in the headlines. Representation of mental illness as a visual stereotype has one result: mental patients are not curable and mental illnesses can be the reason of many accidents and crimes. Jam-E-Jam newspaper has the highest share of visual stereotypes in sex offenders and murderers. Shahrvand and Iran newspapers show mental patients as psychos in most of the cases. Besides, Iran newspaper has showed mental patients as “savages”. Iran newspaper has the highest record in mental labels in its headlines and the lowest number of mental labels belongs to Shargh newspaper. The consequences of these labels are  that mental illnesses are  equal to some concepts such as “being insane” and “being uncontrollable” which keep patients away from treatment and cure and endangers their “self-confidence” and “social behavior”. Now the media with misleading images  convey messages related to mental health and play a negative role. But with the change of attitude and behavior this negative impact can be changed to a positive effect. We can try to turn the media tools into active tools in a positive way and for health promotion, and we can benefit from significant media outreach opportunities. The media, especially new media provide two-way interaction. Nevertheless, media practitioners and journalists should strive to create accurate media images for people with mental illness and seek to correct wrong stereotypes about all people with mental illnesses; avoid peoples from public and non-academic explanations; and refer them to psychiatrics and specialists to gain a proper understanding of this area. Journalists should have a proper understanding of these people and make this understanding more of a scientific idea rather than the general framework that exists in the society. If journalists or media practitioners try to convey the right information based on the ethical standards, they should produce and disseminate their news or reports based on scientific views which are about mental illnesses and avoid ideological positions and framed clichés.
Keywords: Cliché, Label, Mental health, Mental illnesses, Stereotype, Stigma
Full-Text [PDF 437 kb]   (260 Downloads)    
Type of Study: orginal |
Received: 2017/12/27 | Accepted: 2017/12/27 | Published: 2017/12/27
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Khaniki H, yalfani T, Taghva A. The Reflection of Mental Illnesses in the Press Investigating the Social Stigma in the Incidents Pages in Five Widely Circulated Newspapers . Social Welfare. 2017; 17 (65) :199-234
URL: http://refahj.uswr.ac.ir/article-1-2985-en.html

Volume 17, Issue 65 (7-2017) Back to browse issues page
فصلنامه رفاه اجتماعی Social Welfare Quarterly
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