Year: 2014 Source: London, ON: Canadian Journalism Forum on Trauma and Violence.(2014).13 p. SIEC No: 20140182

This paper explores Canadian reporting on suicide and the ways in which this has changed over the past 150 years. The archival research on the reporting practices of two long-standing daily newspapers presented here shows that suicide was not always taboo in the media. In fact, the silencing and tip-toeing around reporting on suicide only began to occur in the mid-20th century. Once suicide became an untouchable subject in newsrooms the stigma became entrenched, making it hard to address in any meaningful way for decades. However, in recent years the taboo around suicide has begun to break down and once again there is an evolution in how it is covered in the media. These research findings are followed by a review of existing newsroom practices on covering suicide and the development of media guidelines by mental health professionals, along with interviews from some of the leading experts on ethics in Canadian media.