December 13, 2012

Blog: Media to blame for suicide

The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — If you keep up with your celebrity gossip and entertainment news, I'm sure you have heard that Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant. The story you may not be familiar with is the story of Jacintha Saldanha.

Saldanha was a nurse at a London hospital and was fooled by an Australian radio station and the emotional stress and embarrassment led her to hang herself in her nurses' quarters last Friday.

Saldanha was 46, and clearly took her job as a nurse very seriously. When the radio station called the hospital where she works, Saldanha thought she was answering questions regarding Middleton's pregnancy to secure sources. The DJs impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and even Prince Charles, and Saldanha believed them. Why wouldn't she? If the DJ's could reach the department where she was working, why would she hesitate?

The two Australian DJs named Mel Greig and Michael Christian have been suspended indefinitely and the show was taken off the air. Although they tearfully apologized and insisted they never meant to hurt anyone. Do you think that's good enough? I don't. Although they can't be legally charged with this woman's death, they should be in trouble for asking about someone's personal health records and recording someone who didn't know they were being recorded. When did public humiliation become okay? I don't care if it's for entertainment purposes. It's wrong.

I think this tragic situation should remind reporters and anyone involved in the media that people will always be affected. You've got to respect people's privacy and take responsibility for your actions.