Sheree Bekker | On sharks and media advocacy | BMJ Injury Prevention blog

This week saw some of the most dramatic footage yet of a near-miss ‘shark attack’ on a surfer. Interestingly, this incident will be picked up on – not only by marine biologists and conservationists – but by sports injury prevention researchers too. It can easily be re-framed as a near-miss, potentially catastrophic injury in a sporting contest.

As with all such dramatic events, this incident generated sensationalist media headlines. Whilst this can shine a much-needed spotlight on injury issues that should be spoken about more openly, such as domestic violence, it can also be a significant barrier to public education about prevention. Sensationalism does not usually tally with rational scientific evidence.

Read more: On sharks and media advocacy