Media's Martyr? A Comparative Analysis of print, online and broadcast coverage of the Tejada Suicide Case

Caliwan, M.R.S.M. & Malte, L.H.N. (2014). Media’s Martyr? A Comparative Analysis of print, online and TV broadcast coverage of the Tejada Suicide Case. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

This study is a comparative content analysis of how Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer,,, TV Patrol and 24 Oras reported the suicide case of Kristel Tejada. Reports from March 15 to September 15, 2013 were content analyzed and reviewed if they violated editorial policies and other codes followed by journalists in pursuit of their profession. The primary goal of this study is to find out how the six news outlets had set the agenda and framed the suicide case of Tejada as a public education issue. Next is to determine whether these news outlets sensationalized the issue and violated their own codes and editorial policies The study showed that it was not entirely media who framed her suicide as an education issue. The issue was already viral on social networking sites before the media started reporting it. However, media played a key role in reinforcing the assumption that Tejada ended her own life due to her inability to pay tuition. The study also revealed that the news outlets violated some of the codes that journalists are expected to observe and some violated even their own editorial policies. These findings support the researchers’ recommendation that media professionals and health professionals collaborate on creating locally contextualized guidelines on reporting suicide not just to prevent cases of copycat suicide but to also increase awareness on the issue.