Research (Vol. 51): The Most Difficult Story

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Covering Suicide on College Campuses

Jena Heath
St. Edward’s University

Brooke Blanton
St. Edward’s University


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Abstract: Student journalists and their faculty advisers face particular challenges when confronted with covering suicide on their campuses. We examine these challenges by analyzing coverage and interviewing student journalists and their advisers about their editorial decisions. The interviews are designed to assess how often college media outlets comply with recommended professional guidelines for covering suicide and to shed light on the decision-making process. The results point to the need to better educate student journalists and advisers about the interpretation and use of these guidelines and to help them navigate pressures to minimize even coverage that conforms with them.

 

 

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