There’s a lot of debate among journalists regarding whether we should publish stories about suicide. On the one hand, not publishing them is viewed as following an outdated taboo and depriving families of public attention to a loved one’s memory. On the other, there’s worry that seeing a story about suicide may give dark inspiration to someone whose emotional state is already on the brink.
So I confess, I have some hesitancy in talking about a bulletin published Thursday evening by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They did it, not only to document a public health trend, but to highlight a real danger to first responders. That seems to me a legitimate concern — and since first responders have been a big part of stories I have covered over years, I’m going to publish it too.