How to Report News About Suicide

Every broadcaster needs to see this…

Have we observed that sometimes what we end up broadcasting, ends up having the reverse effect? Do we also know that the continuous hearing of the trend ‘suicide’ could lead to further ‘suicide’? Little wonder we’ve had 5 persons having died of suicide this week alone.

There are certain ways of reporting news about suicide that can encourage “copycat” suicide (i.e., suicide that is motivated by news reports about suicide). To avoid this, we journalists should consider the following:

> Avoid glorifying or dramatizing death by suicide, which can encourage “copycat” suicide.
> Avoid using the word, “suicide” in news headlines.
> Avoid reporting the method of suicide, which can encourage individuals to emulate it.
> Refer to the deceased as “having died of suicide”, rather than “having committed suicide.”
> Provide information about help-seeking resources (e.g. crisis hotlines, WhatsApp groups, etc.).
With these 5 points, our journalism on the suicide trend would indeed be more effective.

#inked by Charjoe Chuka Okeke

#Photocredit- Gazi Photography

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