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JAMA 100 Years Ago |

THE NEWSPAPER AS A PATHOLOGICAL FACTOR.

JAMA. 2001;286(3):278. doi:10.1001/jama.286.3.278.
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A newspaper in an Eastern city changed hands about July 1, and the new proprietor, who has a large practical experience in legitimate journalism, at once formulated a set of rules for the conduct of the paper under its changed management. Among the rules were the following suggestive prohibitions : "No medical advertisements" ; no advertisements that a self-respecting man would not read to his family ; no advertisements of immoral books, of fortune tellers, of secret diseases, of guaranteed cures, of clairvoyants, of palmists, of massage ; no advertisements of offers of large salaries, of guaranteed dividends, of offers of something for nothing ; no pessimism ; no prize-fighting details ; no personal journalism ; no private scandal. Here is a program that involves the removal of most of the objectionable features in so-called modern journalism. If its details could be conscientiously carried out for newspapers, medical men would find less objection than at present to the promiscuous reading of the daily press, which is working such great harm. Two prohibitions should be added to the list : no details of suicides ; no details of homicides, especially such as are committed under circumstances that point to the mental disequilibration of the active agent in the tragedy.

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