Variations in newspaper reporting of suicidal behavior in the WHO–South-East Asian region
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 17:34 authored by S. M. Yasir Arafat, Vikas Menon, Sharmi Bascarane, Sujita K. Kar, Russell Kabir
Background: South-East Asia is a densely populated region, comprising of 11 low- and middle-income countries and contributing to 39% of global suicides. There are serious challenges to suicide prevention in the region such as lack of high-quality suicide data, underreporting and poor quality of media reporting. The current report aimed to assess the variations in newspaper reporting of suicidal behavior in the World Health Organization–South-East Asian countries. Methods: We analyzed the contents of nine research articles on media reporting of suicide, published from four South-East Asian countries (four from Bangladesh, three from India, one each from Indonesia and Bhutan) that used similar methods and presented results in a nearly similar fashion. Results: Personal identifying information of the deceased was very frequently mentioned in the newspaper reports across the countries. Suicide notes were reported more commonly in India (9.5–18%) than Bangladesh (4.2–7.5%) and Indonesia (9.5%). No educative material was found in any of the newspaper reports of Bangladesh and Indonesia while it was rarely reported in Bhutan and India. Conclusion: Our findings from the four South-East Asian countries suggest that there are variations between the countries while presenting the news reports of suicidal behavior. These findings would help to formulate and regulate the media guidelines for the specific country.
Publication titleJournal of Public Health
PublisherOxford University Press
- Accepted version