About These Recommendations

Increased media attention to bullying has elevated this issue to the forefront of public opinion. Although little scholarly attention has been devoted to studying media coverage of bullying, qualitative research and expert opinion suggest that the intensity and possible inaccuracies in some of this coverage may be negatively affecting the public. In response, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, created a Media Coverage of Bullying Task Force, which produced the recommendations and resources on this site.

Need for Media Guidance or Education on Bullying

After reviewing the available literature and conducting an analysis of the past year’s media coverage, Task Force members agreed unanimously on:

  • Potential for harm in some current bullying media coverage
  • Benefits of creating recommendations and resources to help journalists and other content creators produce accurate coverage of bullying
  • The need to actively disseminate information on best practices and to help journalists and other content creators employ them in coverage of bullying
  • Importance of honoring the independence of journalists

Check out the recommendations:

Media Coverage of Bullying Task Force

These distinguished panelists helped SAMHSA clarify needs and develop resources to meet them.

Catherine Bradshaw

  • Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Anne Collier

  • Executive Director/Editor, Net Family News;
  • Co-Director, ConnectSafely.org

Ingrid Donato

  • Chief, Mental Health Promotion Branch, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Marie Dyak

  • Executive Vice President, Program Services & Government Relations and Co-executive producer, the PRISM Awards, Entertainment Industries Council, Inc.

Dorothy Espelage

  • Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Madelyn Gould

  • Professor, Epidemiology and Psychiatry, Columbia University School of Public Health and College of Physicians and Surgeons

Kelly McBride

  • Senior Faculty, Ethics, Reporting and Writing, Poynter Institute

Daryl Presgraves

  • Director of Communications, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

Dan Reidenberg

  • Executive Director, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE)

Erin Reiney

  • Public Health Analyst, Health Resources and Services Administration

Dan Romer

  • Director, Adolescent Communication Institute, Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania

Karen Siris

  • Principal at WS Boardman Elementary
  • Professor at Adelphi University, Garden City, NY

Wylie Tene

  • Public Relations Manager, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Nancy Willard

  • Director, Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

Media Representatives

Maria Elena Baca

  • Reporter, Star Tribune

Emily Bazelon

  • Senior Editor, Slate
  • Senior Research Fellow, Yale University

Bob Segall

  • Investigative Reporter, WHTR-TV, Indianapolis