PRINTQUAL: A measure for assessing the quality of newspaper reporting of suicide
John, A., Hawton, K., Lloyd, K., Luce, A., Platt, S., Scourfield, J., ... & Dennis, M.S.
Background: Many studies have demonstrated a relationship between newspaper reporting of actual or fictional suicides and subsequent suicidal behaviors. Previous measures of the quality of reporting lack consistency concerning which specific elements should be included and how they should be weighted. Aims: To develop an instrument, PRINTQUAL, comprising two scales of the quality (poor and good) of newspaper reporting of suicide that can be used in future studies of reporting. Method: A first draft of the PRINTQUAL instrument was compiled, comprising items indicative of poor- and good-quality newspaper reporting based on guidelines and key sources of evidence. This was refined by team members and then circulated to a group of international experts in the field for further opinion and weighting of individual items. Results: The final instrument comprised 19 items in the poor-quality scale and four in the good-quality scale. Following training, agreement between raters was acceptably high for most items (κ ≥ .75) except for three items for which agreement was still acceptable (κ ≥ .60). Conclusion: The PRINTQUAL instrument for assessing the quality of newspaper reporting of suicide appears appropriate for use in research and monitoring in future studies.