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Complainant Name:
Choose Life

Clauses Noted: 5

Publication: Daily Star

Complaint:

Dougie Paterson of Choose Life (NHS Health Scotland) complained that photographs which showed a woman’s suicide attempt in Germany contained graphic and unnecessary detail in breach of Clause 5(ii).

Resolution:

The newspaper said the publication of the photographs was unfortunate and circulated the NUJ paper on reporting on suicide to its staff. The newspaper also published the following letter:

I was horrified to read the article “Hero cops end suicide drama” (17 June) which goes into graphic detail and shows highly sensationalised photographs of a young girl in Germany.

There is strong evidence from around the world to show that coverage of this very nature can encourage ‘copy cat’ behaviour amongst vulnerable people.

Journalists have a responsibility for the well-being of their readers and I would urge you to keep this in mind when publishing articles on this subject in the future. The media has a responsibility to help prevent suicide – this article serves only to encourage it.

The complaint was resolved on that basis.

Report: 77



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