But those perceptions only grow when newspapers don't report properly on themselves. A friend forwarded me this short but tragic story about a former theater critic for a suburban Phoenix newspaper who apparently committed suicide. If you read the story to the very last sentence, you'll find out that he killed himself three weeks after being laid off. Talk about burying the lede.
I think the newspaper would have been within its rights to decide not to write this story at all—some papers have a policy of not reporting any suicides of non-public figures, since studies indicate those kinds of stories can actually increase the number of suicides. But if you're gonna write on it, the important facts go up top... we all know that part, right? This halfhearted attempt to minimize the connection between management's layoff decision and their ex-employee's death is awkward and in very poor taste.
Clearly, the East Valley Tribune is not to blame for Chris Page's apparent suicide. But it's not a small newspaper, and its editors should know better than to publish such a backwards story about it.