The newsworthiness of suicide

Jane Pirkis, Philip Burgess, Warwick Blood, Catherine Francis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    64 Citations (Scopus)


    There is a paucity of studies examining which suicides are considered news-worthy. By combining data on media reports of individuals' suicides with routinely collected suicide data, it was found that 1% of Australian suicides were reported over a 1-year period. There was evidence of over-reporting of suicides by older people and females, and those involving dramatic methods. Reported suicides fell into three groups: suicides reported in a broader context; suicides by celebrities; and suicides involving unusual circumstances/methods. The data suggest a need for media professionals and suicide experts to work together to balance newsworthiness against the risk of copycat behavior
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)278-283
    Number of pages6
    JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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