Stigma: the representation of mental health in UK newspaper twitter feeds.
AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractBackground The press’ representation of mental illness often includes images of people as dangerous, and there is evidence that this contributes to stigmatising understandings about mental illness. Little is known about how newspapers portray mental health on their Twitter feeds. Aims To explore the representation of mental health in the UK national press’ Twitter feeds. Method Content analysis was used to code the Tweets produced by UK national press in two time periods, 2014 and 2017. Chi-square analysis was used to identify trends. Results The analysis identified a significant reduction in the proportion of tweets that were characterised as Bad News between 2014 and 2017 (χ2 = 14.476, d.f. = 1, p < .001) and a significant increase in the tweets characterised as Understanding (χ2 = 9.398, d.f. = 1, p = .002). However, in 2017, 24% of the tweets were still characterised as Bad News. Readers did not retweet Bad News stories significantly more frequently than they were produced. Conclusions There is a positive direction of travel in the representations of mental health in the Twitter feeds of the UK press, but the level of Bad News stories remains a concern.
CitationBowen, M. & Lovell, A. (2019). Stigma: the representation of mental health in UK newspaper twitter feeds. Journal of Mental Health.
PublisherTaylor & Francis
JournalJournal of Mental Health
DescriptionThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Mental Health on 10-05-2019, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2019.1608937
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