News Editors’ Views about Suicide and Suicide Stories in Ghana
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 16:32 authored by Charity S. Akotia, Joseph Osafo, Winifred Asare-Doku, Kofi E. Boakye
Media reporting of suicide has attracted attention globally because it has the potential to trigger copycat suicides. The absence of a national policy on suicide prevention in Ghana has left the media landscape with uncensored publication of suicide stories. The aim of this study was to examine the views of media editors on suicide and the considerations that guide them in publishing suicide stories in the country. Fourteen media reporters and editors (10 males, 4 females) from three major media houses in Accra, the capital, between the ages of 26–48 participated in semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis of the results showed that considerations for publishing suicide stories included deterrence, didacticism, celebritism, and ethics. These considerations generally reflect the doubled-edged role of the media in suicide prevention: on the one hand, the media is a partner in public health education; but on the other hand, the media’s activities can be deleterious to all preventive efforts in public health education on suicide. Implications for gatekeeper training for media personnel in suicide prevention in Ghana are addressed.
Publication titlePsychological Studies
- Accepted version