Contest Entries

Suicide Magnet

Entrants: Randy Dotinga

Affiliation: Voice of San Diego


Year: 2008

Place: Third Place

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

This is a series of stories about the public-health problem of suicides from a local bridge. The stories analyze the extent of the problem (more than 200 suicides over about 40 years) and examine how other cities have dealt with "suicide bridges."

Judges' comments: "Suicide Magnet" is an excellent example of how online journalism can provide local public service with accountability reporting and narrative writing. The bridge in question is an area landmark with a nearly mythic reputation as a suicide magnet. The project digs into the record and surfaces the hard data, and places it in the context of other well-know suicide locations nationwide. Importantly, the reporter puts a human face on the problem by talking with families and survivors. It also discusses how local efforts have largely failed, but could succeed, in prevention.

Read "Suicide Magnet."

See the contest questionnaire about how this story was reported.