This course discusses suicide and contains headlines and images from news reports on suicide that can be disturbing. If you or someone you know is suicidal please, know help is available. Contact your physician, your local hospital emergency room or a suicide prevention hotline or text line as shown on the screen. These helplines can provide free and confidential support 24/7. [MUSIC] >> Hi everyone and welcome to module three, applying suicide reporting guidelines in the field. My name is an Aneri Pattani, I'm a Bloomberg fellow in the Masters of Public health program at Johns Hopkins. I'm also a national correspondent with the non-profit news organization Kaiser Health News and a former Rosalynn Carter fellow for Mental health journalism. I often report and write stories on mental health, substance use and suicide. I've covered similar topics in the past for newspapers, television, and radio stations. In this module, I'll help you take the knowledge you've gained so far about suicide as a public health issue and the way media reporting can affect suicide trends, and apply that directly to journalism. From generating story ideas and framing stories, to interviewing, writing, broadcast production and more. In this video, we'll discuss where it all begins, story ideas and how we frame them. When people think of responsible reporting guidelines for suicide, they often think about reporting on a suicide death. But there are actually many different types of stories you might work on related to suicide and you should be thinking about how the guidelines apply to each of them. So let's walk through some types of stories. Newsrooms typically cover suicide deaths if they take place in a public area or if they involve a well-known person. These stories are treated similarly to fires, car accidents or other breaking news. Meaning, reporters from any beat can be assigned the story and are expected to file quickly, often relying on police press releases for information. Another type of story, revolves around a legal case. We've seen some of these in recent years, where teenagers have been prosecuted for encouraging their friends to kill themselves. These stories are often handled by court reporters. A third story category covers memorials or anniversaries meant to honor someone who died by suicide. This could be a candlelight vigil in the days after a death, or a remembrance held on the one year anniversary. There are also other events stories that focus on suicide awareness broadly, rather than honoring one individual. These include fundraisers, runs or walks, motivational speeches given by people who have survived suicide attempts. They might also include school or workplace initiatives that try to teach people about the warning signs of suicide. Finally, there are science or data-based stories. These stories generally include new research on suicide risk factors or potential treatments. They can also focus on new suicide statistics released by the CDC or other public health agencies. And they might be covered by health or science reporters. Stories in all of these categories and of course, ones that we haven't mentioned count as suicide stories. So when we think of these types of story ideas and how to frame them, the reporting guidelines should be applied. And as a reminder, a summary of these guidelines can be found at www.reportingonsuicide.org. I want to emphasize that responsibly framing a story is about more than following a checklist. Sometimes reporters, myself included, tend to think that if we just avoid the phrase commit suicide and include the phone number to the suicide prevention hotline, then we're all set, we've been responsible. But a story with those elements can still have a negative public health effect. And that has to do with how we frame the story as a whole. Stories about suicide can easily focus on the tragedy of this topic, that kind of framing can come naturally to journalists because we want to expose the ills of the world. But, it can lead people to view suicide as hopeless or inevitable and they might start thinking of it as a way to deal with hardship. We as journalists can change that narrative by framing stories with more nuance. We can include people who have thought about suicide but never attempted, people who have attempted but didn't die and got help, people who deal with chronic suicidal thoughts but are resilient in learning to cope with them. This is not only a more hopeful framing, but a more realistic one. There are many more people in these situations than people who die by suicide. Here's an example of a story that's framed in dire terms, plagued and spike are sensational verbs. And though the article is based on expert opinions, it speculates about a potential future where things get worse, even though we don't truly know. Conversely, the headline on this story tells us that we know students mental health is bad right now, it's not speculation. And it says here's how you can help, so the story highlights an issue but also suggests steps forward. You might ask, how do you change the framing of the story? Well, it's a lot of different things coming together. It might mean changing who you include as sources, how you phrase a headline, what your lead or nut graf is. It might mean not just pointing out that suicide is the second leading cause of death for teenagers, but also adding that this age group is particularly resilient. As an example, this story discusses the scope of suicide deaths in the US and how it's a growing issue. But it also contextualize is that by saving the number of suicide attempts that do not end in death. And it goes on to quote those people who survived attempting suicide. When framing stories on suicide, it's also important to note that suicide can impact communities in different ways. So when you're brainstorming a story or thinking about how to frame it, be aware that the way suicide is perceived or discussed among native american communities, for example, might be very different from the way it's perceived or discussed among Asian american communities. Also be cognisant of breaking down data on suicide to see how it impacts different communities. For instance, this Washington Post story talks about a 2018 study that found black children under the age of 13 had a suicide rate twice as high as white children that age. When the rate was combined and seen as one overall suicide rate. The disparity was missed, but breaking it down, brought to light a really important story. Learning to frame suicide stories responsibly is difficult. It's a conceptual issue, more than a checklist of dos and don't and it's something I'm still working on. I hope this discussion serves as a starting point for you and that you'll practice the skill over time. [MUSIC] >> This course discusses suicide and contains headlines and images from news reports on suicide that can be disturbing. If you or someone you know is suicidal, please know help is available. Contact your physician, your local hospital emergency room or a suicide prevention hotline or text line as shown on the screen. These helplines can provide free and confidential support 24/7.