Year: 2022 Source: Crisis. (2021). 43(2):142-148. SIEC No: 20220302

Background: Sensitive media reporting has an important role in suicide prevention. However, there is no research on the quality of media reporting of suicide in newspapers of Uttar Pradesh (UP), India. Aim: The present study aimed to assess the quality of newspaper reports of suicide against the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting guidelines. Method: Suicide news content of four purposively selected newspapers published between March 1, 2019 and February 29, 2020, were scrutinized. A total of 501 news reports from UP were included. Results: The most commonly reported attribute was the gender of the deceased and the method of suicide. Almost half of the newspapers reported the occupation of the deceased in the title. Mental illness was attributed as a cause of suicide among 23.75% of the news reports. Less than 2% of the news reports referred to expert opinion, research evidence, national or global statistics on suicide, suicide prevention measures, or information about suicide helpline. There was a significant difference in the quality of reporting between the vernacular newspapers and English dailies. Limitations: Only four online newspapers were analyzed retrospectively. Conclusion: The quality of media reporting of suicide in UP is found to be poor despite its negative effect on suicide.