JAWS reminds media its core responsibility on suicide reporting


President of the Journalists Association of Western Samoa or JAWS, Lagi Keresoma has issued a reminder to media outlets of its Code of Practice and its core responsibility on suicide reporting.

She pointed out that during the police press conference yesterday highlighted detailed methods used in the two attempted suicides.

“Whilst we can verify with appropriate authorities such as police or health such information, please be mindful that suicide is a sensitive issue and the way our reports are presented could have either a negative or positive impact.

“Inappropriate reporting could lead to a copycat suicide.

“We have had several training and workshops in the past on reporting suicide, however, some of our media colleagues are new to the industry and may not be aware of the boundaries presented in the Code of Practise.” 

She said some of the key factors in the Code of Practise are, do not report details of the event including the means by which the death occurred and do not publish any explicit images of the events; using language with consideration for the family and friends of the deceased person and do not glorify the act of suicide or the method used.

According to the JAWS president, it has come to her attention that some of the recent media reports on suicide have gone way overboard, however, they must report sensitively and accurately on the said issue.