“I understand that among our charges as members of this Sanggunian is the preservation and acknowledgment of our media’s right to freedom of the press. But, in our haste to protect such right, we risk the lives of the Cebuano youth that’s why I am appealing to the media of Cebu city not to publish any suicide cases in any form of media for the very reason that it is influencing children to consider suicide as a solution to their problems,” she said.
File
Councilor to media: Don’t report suicides
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - September 19, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu City Council is asking the organizer of the Cebu Press Freedom Week to consider as a topic for discussion the effects of social media or mainstream media in reporting suicide cases.

During last Tuesday’s regular session, City Councilor Prisca Niña Mabatid delivered a privilege speech appealing to the media to keep suicide news away from the children and the young adult.

“I understand that among our charges as members of this Sanggunian is the preservation and acknowledgment of our media’s right to freedom of the press. But, in our haste to protect such right, we risk the lives of the Cebuano youth that’s why I am appealing to the media of Cebu city not to publish any suicide cases in any form of media for the very reason that it is influencing children to consider suicide as a solution to their problems,” she said.

Mabatid cited the World Health Organization study in 2015 wherein 8,761 students in the country have considered committing or attempting suicide.

City Councilor Anthony Cuenco, for his part, said he understands the concern of Mabatid on the prevalent cases of suicide here.

However, Cuenco, who is a lawyer by profession, said the resolution of Mabatid may clash with the freedom of expression or the Constitutional rights of the press.

“My worry is that it might clash with the freedom of expression embodied in our Constitution - freedom of the press. Don’t you think that this resolution would not collide with the freedom of the press?” Cuenco said.

Mabatid said she recognizes the freedom of the press but she just wants to appeal to the media not to publish stories involving suicide cases, citing the Social Learning Theory wherein it proposes that new behaviors can be acquired by observing and imitating others.

With this, Cuenco said the City Council could just suggest or request the media not to name the names of the victims of suicide as what is being practiced by them in the rape cases.

The City Council also approved the request of Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia who said the press freedom week organizers might consider reporting on suicide cases as a topic for discussion how it affects the behavioral health or mental health of young kids or young adults.

Vice Mayor Michael Rama also expressed his concern that the request will just limit the mainstream media but the City Council cannot do something on the social media.

“That’s what we are thinking in the print but the social media, it’s an unabated medium. Precisely, we might be pinpointing the print, TV and the broadcast but the cellphones, there is no such thing as having to curb or having to restrict because once it’s open, it’s open to the whole world,” he said.

Councilor Alvin Dizon said Mabatid’s speech highlights the importance of responsible media reporting on suicide cases.

Dizon added that the city could just suggest to the local media that it’s about time to revisit their own guidelines on reporting suicide cases.

The City Council also asked the schools to hire psychologists who will conduct behavioral activities regularly to detect abnormality and imbalance of a student and to conduct discreet interview with students as to who are the introverts and depressed. — GAN (FREEMAN)

SOCIAL MEDIA SUICIDE CASES
Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with