There has been a shift in how news organizations report suicide, and I think it’s a good one.
Case in point: driving to work in the pre-dawn hours when I worked in a major newsroom 13 years ago, I came across an accident scene. Immediately, I slowed (good ol’ human nature and journalistic instinct) to suss it out.
A body lay in the middle of the road, covered. Directly above it was a bridge. It was pretty clear that someone had jumped/fallen. Police were in the process of closing the road (a major commuter artery) and turned me around. Since I was the only car on the road at that time, I asked the officer what had happened.
“Looks like a jumper,” he said.
In the newsroom, I asked our City Editor if we’d be chasing the story. His answer was swift: No. It’s a suicide. We don’t cover suicides.
Continue reading Reporting on suicides
Okay, so not all editors are like J. Jonah Jameson, the Spiderman-hating, cigar-touting, shouting boss constantly looking for the latest spidey scoop.
Lately, I’ve noticed that a few news organizations have decided that not all editors should be in the office, like Mr. Jameson at The Daily Bugle. (And that’s as far as I’ll be taking this Peter Parker analogy…)
The Open Newsroom and community involvement is one of the biggest parts of the digital news evolution, and it’s fascinating to think where this may lead.
Of course there’s Canadian startup Openfile, which is a completely community-driven enterprise, with stories suggested by readers. It was heralded when it launched in May of 2010 as a whole new way of thinking about news.
And let’s be honest, we have to change the way we think about news, and we have to involve our community.
We’re no longer just reporting stories, we’re sharing them. And by getting our community involved in the process, they become a part of the organization.
Continue reading The open newsroom: Letting the community be the editor