News Editors’ Views about Suicide and Suicide Stories in Ghana

Akotia, Charity S., Osafo, Joseph, Asare-Doku, Winifred and Boakye, Kofi E. (2020) News Editors’ Views about Suicide and Suicide Stories in Ghana. Psychological Studies, 65. pp. 1-8. ISSN 0974-9861

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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.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: suicide, media, news editors, Ghana
Faculty: Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2019 12:22
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:53

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