New media code needed for suicide coverage

Dear Editor, 

Re: Monday’s Apology 

I accept your apology in Monday’s paper. 

However I do not accept the reasoning for your so-called “inspiration” in printing the photo in the first place. The deceased family need at this time is for comfort, support and counseling not only over the next few days but the weeks and every year ahead. 

It can take years to process the grief in losing a loved one in this way. 

The last thing they needed is for a visual photo of their loved one in the way published. It would only accentuate the sadness that has engulfed them. 

I write from experience having lost my daughter in the same manner. I found it difficult even buying the paper having been told of the front page. With sorrowful memories from 8 years ago I have looked at the photos again. I am unable to see any link to Jesus. 

The deceased family not be seeking any inspiration “to make friends with everyone.”

Their “peace” has just been shattered. 

The issue of suicide in Samoa needs to be addressed. 

However, can you please be more sensitive when reporting on suicide? Perhaps you can adopt the ethics required of the press in New Zealand when reporting such deaths. That photo would not be permitted in New Zealand papers now and I suggest in the new code being formulated at this time. 

Neville Gates


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