There is evidence that media reporting on suicide has the potential to contribute either to suicide contagion or to suicide prevention efforts. It is important that there are guidelines for media to follow when reporting on suicide, in order to minimise the chances of contagion, and increase the chances of contributing to suicide prevention efforts.
The current media guidelines for reporting on suicide were developed in 2011 by a roundtable of key stakeholders, convened by Hon Peter Dunne, as the Minister responsible for suicide prevention.
In 2021 those guidelines were reviewed at a roundtable attended by representatives from a range of media organisations (including Radio New Zealand, Newshub, The Spinoff, Mediaworks, Māori Television, NZME, Stuff and TVNZ), the Media Council, the Media Freedom Committee and the Broadcasting Standards Authority), and the officials from the Suicide Prevention Office.
The guidelines are now presented as a succinct two page document over which the 2021 media roundtable took final editorial authority. Supporting documentation prepared by the Suicide Prevention Office is published in support.