Sunday, June 29, 2008

How much news value is there in suicide?

The question is one of taste: Just how much news value is there in suicide? I clicked into the New York Post's online edition today and there was a front-page story about a 20-year-old supermodel who reportedly killed herself in NYC.

Certainly, I think there are times when "suicide" (as opposed to simply reporting that someone died) has to be news: If a criminal awaiting charges commits suicide, or if someone holding elected office commits suicide the fact that the person took their own life may have some importance in a larger storyline. Of course, that's my interpretation about the issue.

But, in general, as a standard policy, is it 'right' to do this? No, I don't think so. Some things should be 'off limits.' Sadly, they aren't. Click on the headline to go to the article in question.

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