Legal narratives as significant news sources about mental illness and violent crime

Meron Wondemaghen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Media coverage about people affected by mental illness is an area of research that is extensively examined. Many scholars argue that the media depicts people with mental illness as inherently violent and dangerous within sensational narratives. These depictions are criticized for reinforcing the social stigma and disadvantages many of the mentally ill face. The media does, however, require news sources and, in the context of crime and mental illness, the courts are a significant source. Through qualitative content analysis of Australian newspaper articles, this research examines an under-researched and incompletely theorized area. In doing so, it demonstrates that media depictions of some mentally ill offenders reflect and heavily draw upon legal narratives and what is argued in court about these offenders in the context of criminal responsibility and legal insanity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343 - 372
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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