Tampa News Station Handles Suicide Story

May 17, 2011 discussion, lead

From: Al Tompkins, Poynter.org

Longtime b-roll.net contributor, Al Tompkins delves into the coverage from WTVT of a 10-year-old boy’s suicide. When it is normal policy of most stations to not cover suicides, WTVT went the other way. Tompkins goes line by line through the station’s coverage to find what they did well and what could be better.

Recently, journalists at Tampa’s WTVT showed that with skill, thought and a little extra time and effort, suicide can be covered in a meaningful way.

Reporter Deborah Bowden told the story of a 10-year-old Tampa Bay area boy who, she said, had been sent to his room for a “time-out.”  Later the boy was found dead, strangled by a cord in his closet.

Read the full story here…

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