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Court stops 60 Minutes broadcast at 11th hour -

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ELEANOR HALL: Most suicides in Australia go unreported by the media, because of concerns that the
publicity could lead to further deaths.

Last night the Channel Nine program 60 Minutes tried to air a story on the issue but was forced to
back down when it was served with an injunction. The national depression initiative Beyondblue won
the order in the Victorian Supreme Court, as Lexi Metherell reports.

LEXI METHERELL: Over six months, four students at a Geelong high school have committed suicide.
Viewers tuning in to Channel Nine's 60 Minutes last night were expecting to see a story on the

(Excerpt from 60 minutes.)

VOICEOVER: Tonight, on 60 minutes...

REPORTER: Geelong, a town searching for answers.

FATHER: Everyday is just flying...

(End of excerpt.)

LEXI METHERELL: But despite the promo, the story never came and in its place was an extra 10
minutes' of ads - 60 Minutes had been forced to pull the story at the last minute, because an hour
before it went to air Beyondblue had won a Victorian Supreme Court ruling preventing the story
being shown.

In an affidavit to the court, Beyondblue's chairman Jeff Kennett said the story could jeopardise
the welfare of the school's students and teachers.

He said he'd spoken to the head of Channel Nine, David Gyngell, after becoming aware the network
was going to run the program the weekend before last.

Here is part of the affidavit read by an actor.

STATEMENT FROM JEFF KENNETT (voiceover): I believe from my previous experience that 60 Minutes is a
law unto itself and rarely takes direction from management. Mr Gyngell said "I know and respect the
work that you do with Beyondblue and I undertake to have the program withdrawn".

LEXI METHERELL: Mr Kennett says despite that undertaking, he then became aware 60 Minutes was going
to run the story last night.

Channel Nine did not appear in court yesterday but today issued a statement saying it will fight
the injunction at a hearing on Wednesday. It says it has the support of the families involved and
consulted mental-health experts over the story.

But on ABC local radio his morning, a father with a suicidal child praised Beyondblue's actions,
and criticised some of the recent reporting on the deaths at the Geelong school.

STEVE, TALKBACK CALLER: The frenzy is just causing so much immense pain on individual levels. I
ask, is it worth the public interest to report it in the way they're doing it? It's just
astounding, absolutely astounding.

LEXI METHERELL: The executive secretary of the Australian Press Council, Jack Herman, says its
guidelines call for extreme sensitivity when reporting on individual suicides. But discussion of
the broader issue may actually help promote awareness.

JACK HERMAN: And in particular, what the Press Council says is, that when the press reports about
the phenomenon of suicide, about aspects of say an increase in the number of youth suicides or
putting a spotlight on situations where a number of suicides or suicide clusters have occurred.
This can in fact be more helpful than harmful.

LEXI METHERELL: The ABC understands that the Victorian Education Department was also seeking to
join Beyondblue's application.

Beyondblue is not commenting. A spokeswoman says the organisation doesn't want any media debate on
the matter until after Wednesday's hearing.

ELEANOR HALL: Lexi Metherell reporting.

And anyone needing confidential mental health advice or support for depression, can contact the
24-hour helpline: Lifeline on 13 11 14.