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IASP Special Interest Group - Suicide and the Media

IASP Special Interest Group on Suicide and the Media

Background

In recent years, most countries which have developed national suicide prevention strategies have included the development of guidelines that have attempted to promote accurate, responsible and ethical reporting of suicide in the media. These guidelines have arisen from a substantial body of evidence that suggests that incautious media reporting and portrayal of suicide has the potential to encourage imitative behaviour among vulnerable individuals. They are designed to promote responsible reporting of suicide, but have sometimes been misinterpreted by media professionals as promoting censorship. Such misunderstandings about these media guidelines have led to reluctance among many journalists to adopt them. There is a need for improved collaboration with media professionals to reach a consensus on this issue. The IASP Suicide and the Media Task Force is taking up this challenge.

Goals

The Task Force has the following goals:

Activity report for the period September 2011 to September 2013

Planned activities

An additional TF was established and members recruited to also begin work in January (2016) to develop guidelines and recommendations for online bloggers and citizen journalists. A third initiative was undertaken to create a new website for the internationally used Recommendations for Media Reporting on Suicide (can be found at www.reportingonsuicide.org). A template was created to be used for other countries to adapt the Recommendations into their native language and currently the site hosts English, French, German and Spanish versions. Anyone interested in translating the Recommendations into another language and having it placed on this site can contact me directly for the template. Dr. Niederkrotenthaler and I plan to work with the IASP office and WHO representatives for linking the WHO Recommendations and the updated website for journalists around the world.


Co-Chairs and Contact Details

The Task Force is co-chaired by Thomas Niederkrotenthaler from Austria, and Dan Reidenberg from the USA. Interested parties can contact Thomas or Dan directly:

Thomas Niederkrotenthaler

Associate Professor Thomas Niederkrotenthaler
Center for Public Health, Department of General Practice and Family Medicine
Medical University of Vienna
Kinderspitalgasse 15, 1090
Vienna
AUSTRIA

Ph: +43 1 40160 34611
Fax:+43 1 40160 9656
Email


Dan Reidenberg

Dr. Dan Reidenberg, MD
SAVE – Suicide Awareness Voices of Education
IASP – US Representative
8120 Penn Ave South, Suite 470
Bloomington, Minnesota
USA

Ph: +01-952-946-7998
Email