Author Archives: Andrew Lowndes

Andrew Lowndes

About Andrew Lowndes

Andrew Lowndes (@AB_Lowndes) is pursuing a master’s degree in health and medical journalism at the University of Georgia. He began writing about health while earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He specialized in neurobiology as an undergraduate and hopes to focus on mental health topics as a science journalist.

Think about the words you use when covering suicide #ahcj14

Reporters need to think carefully about the language they use when reporting on suicide, a panel of experts urged during Health Journalism 2014 in Denver. The stakes are high for readers or viewers who may be at risk for taking their own lives and for families who have lost a member, panelists said.

Reporters don’t do a bad job covering suicide, but their word choices can be subtly misleading, said Marian Betz, M.D., M.P.H., an emergency physician and suicide researcher at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

“Suicide is not inevitable,” she said, nor is it “inexplicable.” She implored journalists to avoid using both words because 90 percent of people who die by suicide have psychiatric disorders that could have been treated. Continue reading