News Broadcasting Standards Authority: Introduce Guidelines To Sensitize Suicide Reporting

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Circulating images of the dead body.

Addressing loss of life as "hit-wicket" 

Intruding the house of the bereaved & forcing the loved ones to answer questions. 

Speculating, Speculating, & more Speculating. 

These just top the list of how the Indian media stooped to a new low while covering the suicide of prominent actor & television personality, Sushant Singh.

Less than 48 hrs after the news broke, a young boy hailing from Bareilly, chose to tread the same path as his role-model and ended his life. Could his life have been spared if the news coverage had been less sensationalized?  

With all that's happening in the world right now, a lot of us find ourselves in a disturbed and easily-triggered state-of-mind. Watching excessively sensationalized reports of suicide can influence impressionable minds into taking extreme steps themselves. This is especially the case when the suicide reports pertain to a celebrity or role-model.    

It's not just the people who are watching that are affected. The anguish of the loved ones amplifies when the media intrudes and throws biting & insensitive questions at them - sometimes catalyzing suicidal thoughts & tendencies in their own minds.

In an effort to prevent this suicide contagion - numerous countries in the developed world like USA, UK, Canada, Austria and Australia have either adopted WHO's recommendations or have outlined their own guidelines for media to report suicide responsibly. 

The Indian media, unfortunately, remains far far behind. SIGN MY PETITION

There is an urgent need to catch up. There need to be boundaries for coverage of suicide and a clear line must be defined. For this very reason, I appeal to News Broadcasting Standards Authority of India to issue guidelines on 'Sensitized Suicide Reporting', include them in their code of ethics & address violations with stringency.

We need suicides to be covered with sensitivity, eloquence & respect. Not sensationalism, intrusiveness & barbarism.

Please sign my petition and together, we can ensure that Indian media takes that necessary stride forward to becoming all the more responsible, respectable & dignified in its approach to sensitive matters like suicide.   

It's time that news channels learn to #SparetheSansani