The media has the power to change or reinforce audience beliefs. It is for that reason that sensitive topics are reported ethically and responsibly. Not least when it comes to reporting on personal subjects, like eating disorders.
While many would not intend to, it can be easy for journalists to cause more harm than good. To avoid this, Sian Bradley, staff writer at Journo Resources, offers some helpful guidelines around reporting on eating disorders.
For example, you might think using 'before and after' pictures is harmless. But in reality, showing stark contrasts in body weight can lead to 'thinspiration' and a source of motivation for vulnerable people. Opt for a generic picture instead.
"While the intention is to illustrate a person’s recovery, eating disorders are competitive illnesses which distort your sense of health," she says.
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