By Steven | December 2, 2010
Next time you hear the media bleating about our restrictive suicide-reporting rules, consider this. The law allows the media to seek permission from the coroner to report the details of an apparent (or confirmed) suicide. Last night, I asked Chief Coroner Neil MacLean how often the media sought such permission. He said it was extremely rare. How often had they asked him for reporting permission, during his 30-year career as a coroner, I wondered.
He said: never.
I’m prepared to get outraged at unjustified refusals by coroners to grant permission to report details of suicides when the public interest seems to demand it. But I’m equally outraged by the media’s failure to even seek permission, given how often they stress the importance of talking openly about suicide and how harshly they criticise the current reporting rules.
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