SAMHSA Guidelines Help Media Produce Insightful Stories About Bullying

The Media Guidelines for Bullying Prevention, developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in partnership with a wide range of behavioral health and media experts, provides recommendations for media coverage of bullying. The guidelines are designed to provide journalists, members of the entertainment industry, bloggers, and others with the up-to-date, accurate information needed to cover and depict bullying issues in a factual and sensitive way.

“The media can play an enormously helpful role in enlightening the public about the harmful consequences of bullying to individuals, schools and communities,” said SAMHSA Administrator, Pamela S. Hyde. “Equally as important, accurate media reporting and depictions can also shed light on what can be done to help prevent bullying, and help everyone overcome it.”
The Media Guidelines for Bullying Prevention provide information including:

  • Key facts about bullying
  • Best practices in reporting about bullying
  • Tips for creating online content about bullying
  • Suggestions for providing accurate depictions of bullying in entertainment
  • Tips to find expert help and information about bullying

Media coverage of social issues has a profound impact on how communities understand and address problems. Research and expert opinion suggest that certain trends in media coverage of bullying have the potential to do harm. By using the tools and resources provided in the guidelines, the media can produce insightful stories about bullying that have a positive impact on people’s lives.

Population of focus: Journalists, members of the entertainment industry, bloggers, other communication specialists

Link to resource: Media Guidelines for Bullying Prevention

Date: 2013

Organization: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration