Don't say Germanwings Pilot Committed Suicide, NPR advises - iMediaEthics

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Germanwings Airbus A319 Spotting in June, 2008. Stuttgart Airport. (Credit: Andrei Dimofte via Wikimedia)

National Public Radio advised its staff against using the word “suicide” to describe Germanwings pilot Andrea Lubitz, who crashed a plane with 149 people on board last month.

“There are at least two reasons not to use it at this time,” NPR standards editor Mark Memmott blogged.

“His motivation and state of mind aren’t known (and may never be)” and “The investigation into what happened is still in the early stages.”

In addition, Memmott noted that “There’s also a case to be made that the word isn’t adequate. As Lufthansa’s chief said, if the co-pilot’s actions were deliberate, ‘it is more than suicide.'”

iMediaEthics has previously reported on ethical tips in reporting on suicide, which include avoiding phrases like “committed suicide” and “successful suicide.”

Hat Tip: Poynter

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Don’t say Germanwings Pilot Committed Suicide, NPR advises

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