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Covering Suicide

Economic hardship, social isolation and the rise of social media may be in part to blame for the increase in suicide being reported nationwide, especially among middle-aged Whites. To help you report on this difficult topic, Poynter has assembled some of its guidance around covering suicide — attempted, completed and otherwise.

NEWS

A witness to suicide, one reporter pieces together the troubled backstory

When Chicago Sun-Times reporter Frank Main showed the first draft to his wife after weeks worth of work, she gave him some advice: "You need to put yourself into the story." He had plenty of his own experience to share. On May 6, Main watched as a young woman jumped to her death from a four-story building. His paper doesn't … Read More
NEWS

5 ways to prepare your newsroom to cover suicide more effectively

Stories about heart disease and cancer, the first and second leading causes of death in the United States, are all over the news. But when it comes to covering suicide, the tenth leading cause of death, news organizations are wary. When they do cover it, they are often spurred by an immediate breaking story. Those stories can … Read More
NEWS

SPJ Approves New Code of Ethics

The Society of Professional Journalists approved a new Code of Ethics at the Excellence in Journalism 2014 convention in Nashville Saturday afternoon. SPJ's code of ethics attempts to speak to all media, and all who consider themselves to be journalists: Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that democracy, a just society and good government require an informed … Read More
NEWS

How to cover the Robin Williams story responsibly

The suspected suicide of comedian Robin Williams is an opportunity for journalists to give more coverage to a topic that deserves it. Suicide rates in the United States rose between 2000 and 2007. But screaming headlines, speculation and images of crying fans could do a lot of harm. Journalists have to cover such high-profile deaths -- the key question … Read More
NEWS

How to Tell a Teen Suicide Story

When a local teen took his life, a TV station decided not to ignore it, but to tell the story with depth and sensitivity. Read More
NEWS

Reporting On Suicide

It's a leading cause of death, but most journalists are afraid to touch it. Here are some tips for covering suicide responsibly. Read More
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