Horrible news out of Los Angeles earlier this week: a teacher committed suicide, devastating friends, students and family members.
There was some discussion in journalism circles afterward: was the rating a factor in why the teacher killed himself? Does the paper thus bear any responsibility? If the rating was related to the suicide, should the paper not publish such things in the future? Or does the paper have a responsibility to publish relevant information–news–and it’s just a sad coda, what happened?
And another question that I’ve been wondering about….If you think that the newspaper is at fault, even just partially, do you also hold accountable the media outlets who dissected in detail the lives of celebrities who killed themselves (a la Heath Ledger)? Can something be done? Should something be done, or does that come scarily close to censorship?
I don’t have the answers, or purport to have the answers, just so you know. I’m just asking questions. And I’m very sad about Mr. Ruelas and all the people who cared about him.