Mediating suicide: print journalism and the categorization of queer youth suicide discourses

Rob Cover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


This article undertakes textual analysis to examine some of the ways in which knowledge around sexuality-related youth suicide and its causes are produced and made available through news media discourses and news-making processes. Four categories of sexuality-related suicide discourses were identified in news stories and features over the past 20 years: statistical research that makes non-heterosexuality implicit as a cause of suicide; stories about deviancy, guilt, and shame; suicide survivor stories; and bullying/harassment of non-heterosexual persons by individuals in schools and other institutions as suicide cause. Through processes of news production and meaning-making, use of expert opinions of primary definers, experiential accounts, reliance on citations of quantitative data, private accounts given as entertainment, and the newsworthiness of suicide as drama, public knowledge on queer youth suicide is guided by contemporary journalism. In all cases, the underlying relationship between heteronormativity, mental health, depression, and despair were frequently excluded in news journalism on queer youth suicide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1173-1183
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior: an interdisciplinary research journal
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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