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By Shane Croucher | March 27, 2012 2:31 AM PDT

Two Sun journalists attempted suicide, but the big news organisations appear reluctant to name them (Reuters)

There is a continuing silence across the mainstream media over the alleged suicide attempts of two senior Sun journalists engulfed in a police corruption scandal, with not one paper or broadcast outlet naming them.

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None of the big news organisations has released the names of former chief reporter John Kay and defence editor Virginia Wheeler - leaving it to Private Eye and Popbitch to reveal the identities.

Kay is thought to have been talked down from jumping off of Blackfriars Bridge in London, while Wheeler is thought to have slashed her wrists and is recovering in the Priory clinic.

The London Evening Standard had revealed the fact that two senior Sun journalists had attempted suicide on 6 March, though it held back from naming them.

They had been arrested as part of Scotland Yard's Operation Elveden, the probe into allegations of inappropriate payments to police and public officials by journalists.

So far nobody has been charged.

Private Eye questioned why no newspaper had named the pair.

"This discretion was urged on Fleet Street editors by News International executives who claimed it would be 'insensitive' to publish details or names," said the satirical magazine's article.

"Which prompts the question: How would the Sun cover these events if anyone other than its own staff were involved?"

The article then highlights examples of the two Sun journalists' coverage of others' mental health issues and suicide attempts, which appear to show little regard for how the victims and their families may have felt.

Questions remain over why the mainstream media has continued to hide the identities of the two Sun journalists.

"Esprit de corps is a fascinating phenomenon: Often what is not said is as important as what's said," Prof Richard Keeble, acting head of the Lincoln School of Journalism and author of Ethics for Journalists, told IBTimes UK.

"This is an instance where silence over the suicide attempts helps define and cement the group's identity.

"Media coverage of any suicide attempt must seriously distress anyone involved and their friends and family.

"If only the mainstream media would show the same restraint in other cases as they have in this one."

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