Wiltshire Gazette and Herald censured by PCC for giving excessive detail in suicide report


The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald has been censured by the Press Complaints Commission for giving excessive detail in a report of a man's suicide.


The complainant said the detail included was explicit nd technical and it had caused distress to family and friends.

The newspaper said "it had endeavoured to be sensitive to the family's wishes in reporting the death, and at their request had not published a story at the time of the death. The details it published had been placed in the public domain through the inquest, and their omission would have prevented it from fully explaining the coroner's verdict"

Clause 5 (ii) of the Editors' Code was introduced in 2006 to reduce the risk of copycat suicides. 
It states: "When reporting suicide, care should be taken to avoid excessive detail about the method used."
The PCC said: "In this instance, the article contained the name of the gas with which the man had taken his life, how it had been obtained, and the manner in which it had been inhaled. The Commission concluded that, taken together, this level of detail was excessive."

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