LUMS student dies of overdose but the community wants to hide the news
A student was found unconscious in LUMS last night in his hostel room. He was taken to the hospital and upon arrival, doctors confirmed that he had passed away earlier in the day. This tragic incident has enveloped the campus in grief since last night. The student’s friends are shaken, student body is scared and everyone is worried for the family of the deceased.
The news of the LUMS student dying of overdose has made news across the media
“Respectable” news organizations have reported the incident with the image of the deceased while reporting that “unconfirmed sources” attribute the death to an alleged drug overdose. This, even though the initial police report says it was possibly cardiac arrest.
The students on campus are angry over the media “exposing” what happened with their fellow LUMS student dying of overdose
Despite it all being unconfirmed rumors, traditional media exercised irresponsibility in adding to the aggrieved parents’ distress by reporting that the death was possibly linked to something that is considered “scandalous” in Pakistani society. For obvious reasons, it’s angered the student body to quite an extent.
Why did the post the pic and name of the student who died at LUMS? Let people have some privacy ffs.
— ہارون (@dyscosm) December 13, 2016
what's more horrifying is that students are the cardinal group targetted for drug sale.
— Kurd Sahib (@SahimanSays) December 13, 2016
This is what local papers do everywhere. Local deaths get reported on. LUMS ka naam hai hence national media jumping at it
— RL (@RizWanKenobi_) December 13, 2016
However, the students need to realize that anything and everything that makes it to the police, can and will be reported in the media
Yes, it is insensitive on the media’s part that they released personal details of the deceased. However, the media reported a police case, which is their job. The angry students at LUMS who believe that the “sanctity” of what happens within the LUMS campus has been violated by the media reporting this incident need to realize that recreational drug usage is something that happens among young people, whether you’re in Pakistan or outside of it.
By trying to deny that it happens, we risk ignoring important discussions around how to manage such recreational activities and in turn putting more young lives at risk. So, if the incident involves possible drug abuse, it’s not necessarily a bad thing that it’s being brought to light. Because let’s be real, until and unless we are able to recognize that drug abuse exists in our society, we won’t be able to address it in an effective manner.
At the same time, traditional media also needs to be sensitive. Reporting “unconfirmed sources” for a matter involving life or death does nothing to help the bereaved.
As an alumnus of the said institute, I would like to reiterate to my fellow Luminites. Stop trying to “swipe it under the carpet”. It is a police case, it is newsworthy because a seemingly healthy student died in mysterious circumstances. The best thing is to try and tackle the problems that exist within us, be safe in the fun that you have and be responsible.
Let’s just all hope that the family of the deceased is able to grieve in peace despite the possible traditional media circus.
Cover image via: dawn.com