News stories, articles, and dramatic presentations on the subject of suicide have come under question in the last few years. The concern has been that such presentations may have stimulated some persons to attempt suicide. There is confusion about how the subject of suicide should be treated to minimize this danger.
It is important to report a suicide in a straightforward manner so that the suicide does not appear exciting. Reports should not make the suicidal person appear admirable, nor should they seem to approve of the suicide.
DO consider whether this particular death is newsworthy.
DO look for links to broader social issues.
DO respect the privacy and grief of family or other ‘survivors’.
DO include reference to their suffering.
DO tell others considering suicide how they can get help.
DON’T shy away from writing about suicide.The more taboo, the more the myth.
DON’T romanticize the act.
DON’T jump to conclusions. The reasons why people kill themselves are usually complex.
DON’T suggest nothing can be done because we usually never know why people kill themselves.
DON’T go into details about the method used.