Former Woman's Day news editor backs Parris Goebel

The journalist who brokered the relationship between Parris Goebel and Woman’s Day, says the magazine needs to curb sensational journalism.

The magazine printed the headline “From Suicidal to Superstar” to promote an interview with Goebel to run in conjunction with the new book Young Queen. In the book, Goebel opens up about her struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts as a teen.

But the famous choreographer posted on social media that she felt exploited.

“Wow, how insensitive and what a painful way to portray a painful part of my life to try and sell your magazine! I came to you guys to celebrate the release of my book but you have done the complete opposite,” wrote Goebel.

Journalist Aroha Awarau says the headline went too far by using the term “suicidal” to promote their story.

“When you talk about mental illness and the sensitive issues around that, that’s not the best word to use,” he told Kawekōrero Reporters.

Awarau, who is also a former news editor for Woman’s Day and wrote the first stories with Goebel, says her anger towards the magazine is justified.

“I’m really disappointed that the magazine, which has done stories with her throughout the years, have burnt that bridge.”

Woman's Day editor Sido Kitchin has said she was very sorry if Goebel had been offended by the coverage and they did not intend to hurt her. 

"Parris is incredibly inspirational and I thought her courage in speaking out would potentially be very helpful – particularly in New Zealand, where youth suicide rates are the worst in the developed world - and I was proud to carry a story that would increase much-needed conversation around this area of mental health."

• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• Samaritans 0800 726 666