The Age has had a Press Council complaint against it dismissed, after the body queried the appropriateness of its report on a murder-suicide in Austria. The unusual story, published from a wire agency in January this year, detailed how a man in Austria had drowned himself using the head of his murdered wife.

The council wondered whether there was any public interest in the report, and in the level of detail given in the article about the method of suicide. The publication responded that the unusual manner of the suicide was what made the story newsworthy. As to the level of detail, “the elements of murder and suicide, together with the European location meant the issues of method and location were not directly relevant to an Australian audience, and so did not breach the Coverage of Suicide standards”, it argued, according to the adjudication. The council agreed there was no breach of its standards on the reporting of suicide, which were released in 2011.

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