J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2015 May;54(2):216-221. 10.4306/jknpa.2015.54.2.216.

Association between Media Reporting and a Lower Suicide Rate in 2012

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. suhurhong@gmail.com


A recent study conducted by the Korea National Statistical Office (KNSO) reported that the suicide rate in Korea decreased in 2012. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the decrease in suicide rate and media reporting of suicide events.
Data on suicide rates were obtained from the KNSO. Correlation between suicide rate and celebrity suicide events, number of media reports on suicide, and suicide searches was compared. Data were analyzed using Pearson's correlation coefficient.
The number of celebrity suicide events and recognition of celebrity decreased in 2012. Pearson's correlation test showed a significant positive correlation between the monthly number of media reports on suicide and the suicide rate (daily newspaper r=0.619, p<0.001 ; broadcast r=0.393, p<0.001). The number of suicide searches showed association with celebrity suicide events.
The suicide rate may be influenced by the number of media reports on suicide events. Establishing guidelines for media reporting on these events could help to decrease the suicide rates.


Suicide; Celebrity suicide; Media reporting; Media search
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