← back to all news JPI Media teams up with Samaritans Posted on Thursday 28th February 2019   |   0 comments

Journalists across JPIMedia have been taking part in a training initiative aimed at producing more sympathetic reporting of suicide.

The company’s learning and development team and the Samaritans teamed up to produce an online course which has been rolled out to more than 700 journalists.

The initial approach from the Samaritans came after they raised an issue over one title’s reporting of an inquest. In the discussions that followed it was clear that some of the language routinely used by journalists in reporting inquests and suicides was dated and insensitive and deserved to be challenged, while it was also clear that more thought needed to be given to the amount of detail given in suicide cases.

Lorna Fraser, of the Samaritans, agreed to do a day’s filming with JPIMedia’s L&D team and the result was an e-learning module which covered a wide range of issues around suicide reporting.

John Wilson, editorial learning and development manager said: “Lorna did far more than give us a list of dos and don’ts.

“She reminded us of how easily some vulnerable people can be influenced by media reports and also encouraged us to engage with people who have survived suicide attempts and gone on to find that life is, after all, worth living.

“She provided a lot of valuable facts and statistics to illustrate her arguments and the result was a piece of e-learning which clearly struck a chord in many offices.”

Feedback from JPIMedia staff has been hugely positive and one daily editor received a thank you message from a bereaved family for the sensitive handling of their case — the reporter concerned had completed the module shortly before attending the hearing.

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