Making Mental Health News

Australian journalists’ views on news values, sources and reporting challenges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study is based on interviews with Australian journalists about their experiences of reporting on mental health issues, including how they see their role and their views about characteristics of newsworthy stories and sources and reporting challenges. The analysis draws out the following themes: exposing problems with psychiatry and mental health care; highlighting gaps between rhetoric and reality; humanising case studies; putting vulnerable people at risk; and negotiating pushy and shy sources. The study draws upon the concept of biocommunicability to consider these themes in the context of biomedical authority, patient-consumer and public sphere orientations to reporting. Journalists tended to convey a public sphere orientation, but they also gave examples of how the concerns of sources and audiences could work against this. The study suggests that factors such as competition for funding within the mental health field and pressures within the media industry play an important role in shaping the models of biocommunicability found in mental health news and in the mediatised practices of actors within the mental health field. The article argues that a preoccupation with the potential harms of reporting could work to constrain journalism that challenges and moves beyond the privileging of biomedical authority and patient-consumer models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1767-1785
Number of pages19
JournalJournalism Studies
Volume19
Issue number12
Early online date2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2018

Fingerprint

news value
journalist
news
mental health
Health
media industry
Health care
journalism
psychiatry
rhetoric
funding
health care
Industry
interview
experience

Cite this

@article{aafb90d16aa141e39700aadc8b5c38d6,
title = "Making Mental Health News: Australian journalists’ views on news values, sources and reporting challenges",
abstract = "This study is based on interviews with Australian journalists about their experiences of reporting on mental health issues, including how they see their role and their views about characteristics of newsworthy stories and sources and reporting challenges. The analysis draws out the following themes: exposing problems with psychiatry and mental health care; highlighting gaps between rhetoric and reality; humanising case studies; putting vulnerable people at risk; and negotiating pushy and shy sources. The study draws upon the concept of biocommunicability to consider these themes in the context of biomedical authority, patient-consumer and public sphere orientations to reporting. Journalists tended to convey a public sphere orientation, but they also gave examples of how the concerns of sources and audiences could work against this. The study suggests that factors such as competition for funding within the mental health field and pressures within the media industry play an important role in shaping the models of biocommunicability found in mental health news and in the mediatised practices of actors within the mental health field. The article argues that a preoccupation with the potential harms of reporting could work to constrain journalism that challenges and moves beyond the privileging of biomedical authority and patient-consumer models.",
keywords = "biomediatisation, health journalism, journalism, journalism studies, media, media criticism, mental health,  biocommunicability, biocommunicability",
author = "Kate Holland",
year = "2018",
month = "9",
day = "10",
doi = "10.1080/1461670X.2017.1304826",
language = "English",
volume = "19",
pages = "1767--1785",
journal = "Journalism Studies",
issn = "1461-670X",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "12",

}

Making Mental Health News : Australian journalists’ views on news values, sources and reporting challenges. / Holland, Kate.

In: Journalism Studies, Vol. 19, No. 12, 10.09.2018, p. 1767-1785.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Making Mental Health News

T2 - Australian journalists’ views on news values, sources and reporting challenges

AU - Holland, Kate

PY - 2018/9/10

Y1 - 2018/9/10

N2 - This study is based on interviews with Australian journalists about their experiences of reporting on mental health issues, including how they see their role and their views about characteristics of newsworthy stories and sources and reporting challenges. The analysis draws out the following themes: exposing problems with psychiatry and mental health care; highlighting gaps between rhetoric and reality; humanising case studies; putting vulnerable people at risk; and negotiating pushy and shy sources. The study draws upon the concept of biocommunicability to consider these themes in the context of biomedical authority, patient-consumer and public sphere orientations to reporting. Journalists tended to convey a public sphere orientation, but they also gave examples of how the concerns of sources and audiences could work against this. The study suggests that factors such as competition for funding within the mental health field and pressures within the media industry play an important role in shaping the models of biocommunicability found in mental health news and in the mediatised practices of actors within the mental health field. The article argues that a preoccupation with the potential harms of reporting could work to constrain journalism that challenges and moves beyond the privileging of biomedical authority and patient-consumer models.

AB - This study is based on interviews with Australian journalists about their experiences of reporting on mental health issues, including how they see their role and their views about characteristics of newsworthy stories and sources and reporting challenges. The analysis draws out the following themes: exposing problems with psychiatry and mental health care; highlighting gaps between rhetoric and reality; humanising case studies; putting vulnerable people at risk; and negotiating pushy and shy sources. The study draws upon the concept of biocommunicability to consider these themes in the context of biomedical authority, patient-consumer and public sphere orientations to reporting. Journalists tended to convey a public sphere orientation, but they also gave examples of how the concerns of sources and audiences could work against this. The study suggests that factors such as competition for funding within the mental health field and pressures within the media industry play an important role in shaping the models of biocommunicability found in mental health news and in the mediatised practices of actors within the mental health field. The article argues that a preoccupation with the potential harms of reporting could work to constrain journalism that challenges and moves beyond the privileging of biomedical authority and patient-consumer models.

KW - biomediatisation

KW - health journalism

KW - journalism

KW - journalism studies

KW - media

KW - media criticism

KW - mental health

KW -  biocommunicability

KW - biocommunicability

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85016089189&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DE140100100

UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/making-mental-health-news

U2 - 10.1080/1461670X.2017.1304826

DO - 10.1080/1461670X.2017.1304826

M3 - Article

VL - 19

SP - 1767

EP - 1785

JO - Journalism Studies

JF - Journalism Studies

SN - 1461-670X

IS - 12

ER -