MidDay published the news of an attempted suicide in Mumbai with this title:
2-hour suicide drama atop South Mumbai highrise; woman slits wrist, tries to jump off building’s terrace
and I am left wondering what exactly was the expectation here.
Is a part of us urging a person to commit suicide with the lure of finally believing them, if they go through on their threat? Are we punishing them for failing to commit suicide by denying their suffering as merely a show?
Is this rather not like reporting a traffic accident resulting in a near death like a deliberate road block? “Vehicles were at a standstill for two kilometers as the accident continued to occupy the street”? This is the height of media catering to “people like us” if an incident with the greatest suffering and threat to one person gets reported as the problem that person created for others.
Whatever it is, I believe media has the power to suggest ways of understanding the world to people, and it holds a responsibility to not promote a manipulative view about victims.