Media and Publications
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Media Guidelines

Media representations of suicide affect audiences by shaping their perception of information regarding suicide.

Imitative or copycat behaviour, and over-identification are possible detrimental consequences due to insensitive representations of suicide in media. Hence, specific guidelines exist for media professionals in this regard.

Guidelines for presenting suicide:

Media Reporting Guidelines

1

Avoid sensationalizing or normalising suicide

2

Avoid prominent placement and undue repetition of suicide stories

3

Avoid explicit details such as the method, individual, and circumstance involved in the suicide

4

Exercise caution in choice of wording and headlines

5

Exercise caution in choice of images and video footage

6

Exercise caution in reporting celebrity suicides

7

Show consideration for those bereaved by suicide

8

Provide information on helping resources and encourage help-seeking

Please note:

These media guidelines provided by SOS are advisory and are in no way exhaustive. It is also not the intention of SOS to limit press freedom in any way. These guidelines aim to help media professionals ensure that their materials are as accurate, responsible and ethical as possible, and avoid common pitfalls when presenting suicide through media.

Drama Portrayal Guidelines

1

Exercise caution in storyline, character, and method portrayals

2

Exercise caution in promoting and publicising the programme

3

Provide information on helping resources and encourage help-seeking

Please Note:

These media guidelines provided by SOS are advisory and are in no way exhaustive. It is also not the intention of SOS to limit press freedom in any way. These guidelines aim to help media professionals ensure that their materials are as accurate, responsible and ethical as possible, and avoid common pitfalls when presenting suicide through media.

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