Being so that we are in the 21st century, we all know that technology can be a very powerful tool. And social media, in particular, has a very specific responsibility, especially when it comes to reporting tragedy.
Model Anam Naveed Tanoli, a Pakistani model, committed suicide this past weekend and her death was followed by a media frenzy.
Anam’s suicide was not ‘breaking news,’ it was an unfortunate and absolutely devastating outcome of depression. Unfortunately, at the hands of social media accounts across the country, her death was made into a spectacle.
Starting a hashtag titled, “#SuicideShouldn’tBeTheOption,” is problematic not only because it is downplaying the actions of the person at the hands of depression but also, it suggests that the person suffering should not have committed the act.
Following the fundamental media and ethics laid out by journalists all across the world, while reporting a death, news outlets are held responsible for reporting accurately and with regards to the feelings and emotions of the family and friends of the deceased. Journalist and Director of the Press Complaints Commission, UK Stephen Abell spoke on the issues of reporting death through social media and said:
“Newspapers are expected to ask the same ethical questions about material garnered from social media as they are from any source.”
In Anam’s case, social media accounts on Instagram were posting images and speculations about her death, reporting that it was a suicide without the confirmed knowledge that her own family was aware of the situation.
Apart from the issue of reporting a death, social media accounts were also spreading images of Anam’s personal life, some of which were not considered in the public domain. Without the approval and permission from appropriate authorities with regards to visuals not considered in the public domain, newspapers and other news outlets are not at liberty to use private images on a public platform.
It was unfortunate to see that instead of focusing on the message of mental health, awareness and the importance of recognizing depression among family and friends, our social media accounts were set on reporting Anam’s death in any way they could before anyone else could.
According to some reports, “Pakistan is one of those vulnerable countries where stress, anxiety and depression are at the highest level. Its victims are alarmingly more in urban areas than rural districts. These patients don’t belong to any specific age or class.”
Mental health is a topic that is much ignored in Pakistan and in some cases, considered a weakness of our generation, among older generations. It is so incredibly sad that it takes an instance such as Anam’s, for the rest of the country to focus on the problem at hand.
We’re supposedly living in ‘Naya Pakistan,’ now, so we have to show a much more compassionate and caring side of ourselves, especially when it comes to things as important as mental health and death.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression or just want someone to talk to, please reach out to us, your friends, family or anyone to let them know that you are dealing with something in your life.
Talk2me.pk is an example of a place you or your loved ones can call to get the help that you need.
Here’s to celebrating the life of someone who was a daughter,a sister, a friend and much more.Someone who was loved very deeply. How do we measure her life ? In daylights, In sunsets In midnights, In cups of coffee In laughter, In friendships In handwork, In passion In being silly, In being funny Measure, in love! 💕 Rest in peace beautiful #Anumtanoli #Celebratelife#RIP#Talk2me.pk
This Disgusting Meme About Model Anam Tanoli’s Death Shows How Fucked Our Mentality Is About Suicide & Mental Health
Cover photo source: Times Now/Mashable