Dawn.com’s multi-part series Pakistan’s Silent Suicide Problem is an important example of how news organisations can contribute to society by initiating a conversation on issues that have been ignored or hushed up in society.
At the heart of the series is a survey of over 5,000 individuals about suicidal thoughts and attempted suicides. The survey is non-scientific, as the editors point out, but it also shows that journalists can help crowdsource information on topics where there isn’t enough original or primary data. The survey findings show that 45 percent of the 5,157 respondents had thought about suicide themselves.
While the series refrains from original reportage using some of the survey respondents as sources, it does offer a mother’s account of losing her son to suicide and expert commentary from Murad Moosa Khan, a professor of psychiatry at Aga Khan University.
The series also provides professional feedback through Dr. Khan to the qualitative comments left by respondents in the survey.
Read the series here.