Assignment 4 – Teen Depression Case Study

Teen Depression
From RTNDF: Newsroom Ethics (Fourth Edition)

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-to-19-year-olds.  The issue is not often covered.   You decide to cover the issue for your tv station. You found a high school-based program for teens who had either considered or attempted suicide.  Several teens were willing to talk.  Their parents have agreed to let them be interviewed.

How much should you divulge about the teens?  Would putting them on the air set them up for ridicule and isolation or potentially cause them psychological harm?  Is there a way to tell the story without identifying the victims or does their identity help humanize the issue? How do you handle the story?

Below is an example of what the story might look like to give you an idea of the audio and video assets you have to work with. There is no question of invasion of privacy here. The teens and their parents have consented to the interviews with the understanding that this is for a tv news report.

After viewing the video in its entirety, use your decision memo guide to set up the problem, offer a solution, identify the dilemma, weight the alternatives and cite an ethical rationale in justifying your decision.

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