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Schizophrenia in Turkish newspapers

Retrospective scanning study


The attitude of mass media is a strong determinant for stigmatisation since the majority of the society gets exposed to psychiatric disorders via either written or visual media. In this study we explored to demonstrate the meaning attributed to the word schizophrenia in Turkish written printed media. We screened the online sites of 12 national newspapers which allow word scanning between the dates January 1, 2001 and May 1, 2006. The searched terms appeared in a total of 878 texts. In all twelve newspapers, the terms “Schizophrenia”, “Schizophrene”, or “Schizophrenic” appeared once every 2.2 days. While a positive referral appeared once in every 12.2 days, a negative referral or metaphoric use was seen once every 3.1 days. Among the 878 texts scanned, in 491(55.9%) the searched terms appeared with reference to the disease and in 387 (44.1%) the searched terms were used metaphorically. Considering the assumption the negative reporting may have a stronger impact than positive reporting, it is possible to suggest that Turkish newspapers are raising stigmatisation. It is meaningful that the name of a disease is used almost with equal frequency as a metaphoric term. In our study, higher rates of metaphoric use observed can be explained with the fact that in Turkey the word Schizophrenia is attributed with strong negative perception.

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Correspondence to Omer Boke M.D..

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Boke, O., Aker, S., Alptekin Aker, A. et al. Schizophrenia in Turkish newspapers. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol 42, 457–461 (2007).

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Key words

  • schizophrenia
  • stigma
  • newspaper
  • media