Filed: Health

‘Bonkers Bruno Locked Up’

So read the headline in the first edition of the Sun newspaper (sic) following the news that the former boxer Frank Bruno has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act which gives you some idea of the reporting standards of some sections of the media here.

I suppose to be fair, someone spotted the tastelessness of it very quickly and the headline became ‘Sad Bruno in Mental Home’ but even that hardly shows any great understanding or sensitivity. In fact ‘mental home’ only reinforces the prejudice that exists when it comes to mental illness. Read more ›››

Trevor MacDonald Can be Bad for Your Health

There is nothing the media loves better than a good health scare story — MMR, SARS, vCJD, the list goes on and on. The first real biggie in my memory was AIDS. There were acres of newsprint and countless hours of tv predicting the demise of mankind (sorry personkind ), and has it happened? No.

But the coverage can have a major impact on people’s behaviour. During the above AIDS coverage (it wasn’t HIV then) I happened to be spending a week at the Department of Health’s press office. A minister had been cornered into saying (by the Sun, I think) that he would have no qualms in drinking from a cup that someone with AIDS had drunk from. Read more ›››