Suicide Reporting

Rebecca Todd in The Press reports:

Families of suicide victims are angry their voices were not included in a ministerial review of media reporting on suicide, a spokeswoman says. …

Maria Bradshaw, co-founder of family support group CASPER, said the committee’s review was missing the voices of the victims of suicide and families were “tired of Government inaction on the issue”. Families were restricted by the Coroners Act as they could not say publicly how their loved one died, for instance in funeral notices, until the coroner had made a ruling.

Bradshaw had a court order imposed to stop her discussing her son’s suicide publicly before the coroner had ruled on his death.

“That’s no way to treat a victim group. It just increases the isolation and stigma,” she said.

And is ineffective.

Newspaper Publishers’ Association chief executive Tim Pankhurst said the explosion in social networking made the Coroners Act largely irrelevant.

“If a teenager is killed, then hundreds of people are going to be Facebooking or tweeting about that within a couple of hours. Those kids aren’t reading newspapers or looking at news websites,” he said.

Exactly. Often it is the deceased’s own Facebook page where the news is broken, and people console.

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