A collaborative project between Bournemouth University and the University of Strathclyde has been shortlisted at this year’s Herald Higher Education Awards.
The Scottish awards, organised by The Herald newspaper and recognising excellence in the HE sector, has shortlisted the Suicide Reporting Toolkit, produced by both universities, in its Research of the Year category.
Created by Dr Ann Luce (Bournemouth University) and Dr Sallyanne Duncan (University of Strathclyde), the Responsible Suicide Reporting model enables journalists – and journalism students – to make ethical decisions about their storytelling whilst under pressure from various news processes. It embeds global media reporting guidelines on suicide — World Health Organisation (WHO), Samaritans, Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ) — within journalism practice and functions within the storytelling process so journalists can question their choices as they produce content.
The toolkit has been supported by IPSO, The Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma, The Ethical Journalism Network and the Public Media Alliance. It has also been endorsed by the American Association of Suicidology and has been used by thousands of journalists worldwide.
Dr Ann Luce, Associate Professor in Journalism and Communication at BU, said, “I am absolutely thrilled and honoured that The Suicide Reporting Toolkit has been shortlisted for the Herald Higher Education Awards in the Research Project of the Year category. Responsible media reporting of suicide can changes lives for the better. It can tackle stigma, point to helplines and support and can give those with lived experience a voice.
“We know from research that reporting suicide responsibly requires sensitivity and compassion. Journalism has the potential to cause harm to vulnerable people if journalists do not report suicide responsibly and ethically. The Suicide Reporting Toolkit offers practical resources for both journalists and journalism educators to help them achieve just that.”
The Herald is owned by Newsquest, with the media group showing strong support for the toolkit. The Awards will take place virtually on 17 June 2021.