Covering Suicide

Covering Suicide

Editor’s note: Drop us a note or a tweet @journtoolbox if you know of resources to add here.

Online Course: Responsible Reporting on Suicide for Journalists
A free online course offered by Johns Hopkins University to teach reporters how to safely cover the topic of suicide. Over 100 studies have found that certain types of news stories on suicide can contribute to more suicide deaths, while others can encourage people to seek help. This course, which can be started and completed at any time, explains this research and gives journalist concrete tools to cover suicide, including simulated interviews with a parent who lost a child to suicide and assignments to pick B-roll for video stories on the subject.
A downloadable guide with dozens of tipsheets, suggestions and what to do. Very helpful lists for readers.

Dart Center: Resources for Covering Suicide

AFSP: Reporting on Suicide Prevention
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Association of Health Care Journalists: Covering Suicide

RTDNA: Guidelines for Reporting on Suicide

American Association of Suicidology

Dart Center: Resources for J-Profs Teaching Students to Cover Suicide

End Family Fire
A movement to promote responsible gun ownership. A partnership between Brady and the Ad Council, its mission is to encourage safe gun storage in the home.

Journalist’s Resource: Newspaper Coverage of Celebrity Suicides Falls Short of Expert Guidelines

Tool for Evaluating Media Portrayals of Suicide (TEMPOS)
TEMPOS allows media professionals, public health officials, researchers, and suicide prevention experts to assess adherence to the recommended guidelines for reporting suicide with a user- friendly, standardized rating scale. The scale can be used to monitor changes in reporting over time and how reporting varies across articles, authors, and publications.

The Journalist’s Resource: Suicide Prevention Hotlines – A Research Roundup

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Media Guide-o-Matic
A WordPress free plugin has been launched to help reduce stigma surrounding mental illness. Canadian journalist Karissa Gall teamed up with the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma to launch the free “Media Guide-o-Matic” plugin on the widely-used WordPress platform. Similar to how spell-checking tools automatically check for spelling mistakes, Media Guide-o-Matic automatically checks draft WordPress posts for words and phrases that have been identified as contributors to stigma in the third edition of Mindset: Reporting on Mental Health. The plugin saves time for journalists who publish their work on the widely-used WordPress platform, and helps them improve their reporting.

Nieman Reports: Why Some Journalists Are Centering Trauma-Informed Reporting – Nieman Reports

Journalist’s Resource: Journalists Perpetuate Myth About Suicide During Winter Holidays

Carrying Trauma: Care for Journalists and Sources
Great tips from Trollbusters and the Dart Center.

The Society of Professional Obituary Writers

Media Coverage as a Risk Factor in Suicide
A total of 293 findings from 42 studies on the impact of publicized suicide stories in the media on the incidence of suicide in the real world were analyzed by logistic regression analysis.


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