Rameez Ali Mahesar, Zareen Qadeer, Mubina Pathan
Despite the rate of suicide issue going high day by day in Pakistan, research on how Pakistani Press depicts the suicide cases has been missing. Thus, this study is aimed at assessing the quality of Pakistani English Press on reporting suicide issues in adherence to the media guidelines set by WHO against suicide reporting. The content analysis study of news related to suicide reported by Daily Dawn newspaper of Pakistan was undertaken. The content of suicide news reported in the newspaper was explored on its web filter and a total of 30 news related to suicide were generated from the newspaper over 12 months and then were systematically examined to meet the objective of the study. Almost exactly, all the news reported were related to completed suicide. Around 90% of the news reported the names of the people who committed suicide. 77% of the news reported the ages of victims and 97% of the news reported the gender of those who committed suicide. The vast majority of the news did not mention the occupation of the victims. Moreover, 40% of the news reported hanging as the most common method of suicide. And 23% of the news declared poverty as the most general suicide cause. At many points, the newspaper does not comply with the WHO media guidelines. There is a sheer need to develop the media guidelines and mechanism in Pakistan to ensure the answerable reporting that has a significant effect in the suicide prevention.
Keywords: Suicide, newspaper, media