Newspaper coverage of injuries affecting the Spanish surname population in two counties in Colorado

Psychol Rep. 2006 Oct;99(2):651-8. doi: 10.2466/pr0.99.2.651-658.

Abstract

The present study assessed newspaper reports of injuries affecting individuals with Spanish surnames and compared newspaper reports to hospital injury discharge data in two counties in Colorado. Newspaper reports came from 12 daily and weekly newspapers. Hospital discharge data were obtained from the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment. Motor vehicle crashes, assault and legal intervention, and suicide and suicidal acts were counted. A higher proportion of people with Spanish surnames were reported in newspapers than expected based on the hospital discharge data. Motor vehicle injuries were far more frequent based on hospital discharge data than in newspaper reports. Assault and legal intervention injuries were similarly represented by Hispanic ethnicity and absolute numbers in both reporting sources. Suicide and suicidal acts were not often reported in newspapers relative to hospital discharge data; however, the proportion of Hispanics was not significantly different. These findings suggest that the use of newspapers for surveillance of injuries may be helpful, but should not be used in the absence of other data sources.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Bias
  • Colorado
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Hispanic Americans / ethnology*
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Newspapers as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data
  • Population Surveillance
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Social Environment*
  • Suicide / ethnology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Violence / ethnology
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / ethnology*