Posts Tagged With: Tampa Bay Times

A Journalist’s Responsibility?

Monday morning I picked up my daily issue of the tbt and was struck by the headline: “Trapped in Sexual Agony”. I didn’t read the story immediately… I read it last night. It was about a woman in my town who suffered from a disorder that caused persistent sexual arousal. A condition that had become debilitating, but one that is, as far as I know, absolutely unheard of.

Today, just two days later (less than one day after I actually read that first story), I picked up my daily tbt and read that she had committed suicide.

The first article talked of how embarrassed she was by the situation, and how she had attempted suicide in the past, so initially I thought that maybe she regretted talking with a reporter and decided she’d had enough when she saw her life in print…  When I initially read the story I wondered about the responsibility of the reporter…  this woman obviously was struggling, she was obviously emotionally disturbed, she obviously needed help…  she didn’t need her story and her name and her picture in the local news.

So is this an issue of journalistic irresponsibility??


But the second story indicates that she committed suicide on Saturday, before the first article even appeared in the paper.  Now I’m left thinking maybe this was just her way of getting her story out, raising awareness, making a point, before she ended it for good.

Either way, it’s so sad. When I read that first story I was struck by how close to home she was, and I couldn’t help but wonder if there was anything that could be done to help this woman.  And now she’s gone…


just like that.

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