Suicide news is always heartbreaking to watch. When it comes to celebrity suicides, the people will have so many queries and want to know more details. So, most of the times, the media takes advantage of their curiosity and projects the celebrity suicides in a wrong and insensitive way. On this note, WHO has imposed 7 guidelines for such incidents.
Here are the 7 guidelines for covering celebrity suicides in a sensitive way. These guidelines are advocated by WHO and other international organizations. Media professionals should take note of them.
1. Don’t promote suicide stories by placing them in the front pages of the newspaper or as a lead item for broadcast media.
2. Don’t give details about the method or location of any suicide death or attempt.
3. Suicide notes, text messages, social media posts, and emails of the deceased person and/or their family members should not be published.
4. Don’t speculate. Verify your facts from multiple sources when the reasons for a suicide death or attempt are not immediately clear.
5. Don’t reveal personal details about family members, the deceased person, or any person who has attempted suicide without their informed consent.
6. Don’t write of suicide deaths/attempts as horrific, unfortunate events. Open up your story by focusing on the celebrity’s life and their contribution to society.
7. Suicide is a largely preventable public health problem. There are several counseling services and helplines working across the country for this cause. Include these resources in your story/report.