Friday, December 2, 2011

"Talking about depression" ... the media and editorial decision based on "legal advice"

Update (4 December 2011) : The Irish Times has issued an apology - and in the process, essentially accused Kate Fitzgerald of lying in her last words:

Some responses from the blogosphere:

Original blog post (2 December 2011):

I submitted the following letter to the Irish Times yesterday, 1 December 2011 (not published in today's paper), in response to various articles and letters relating to the death of Kate Fitzgerald (see coverage here).


Thank you for continuing to publish articles and letters that discuss issues of suicide and depression (e.g. Tony Bates, Opinion, 1st December; Kevin Byrne, Letters, 1st December; Peter Murtagh, Weekend Review, 26th November; Kate Fitzgerald, Opinion, 9th September). These issues are badly understood in our society and stigmatized as a consequence.

However, I must join with others in expressing my disappointment at your decision, on "legal advice", to edit the words originally written anonymously by Kate Fitzgerald. Giving a voice to those who experience depression is crucial in fostering greater understanding of this illness. Her article was deemed fit to publish in your paper on September 9th. If something in that original article has been found to be untrue and/or libelous, you should issue a correction and apology immediately. This could be added as a footnote to the original article in your archives. If not, the original article should be restored in full, and you should have the courage and editorial conviction to stand over what you publish.

Yours etc.,

Tom McDermott,

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