"Media reporting on suicide?"

Since the death of Robin Williams in 2014, people have asked about my opinion on how the media reported his suicide.

When I first heard about Robin Williams' death it was one of the first announcements, and it was made on UK radio. I remember sitting up in bed, in complete shock as they reported that he had been found dead in his home. At the end of the announcement, they said that it was suspected suicide. My heart sank.

Over the next week, the reports changed from "suspected suicide" to "suicide" to "suicide by asphyxiation". As various details came to light, all guidelines for reporting on suicide went out of the window. One UK newspaper in particular listed every detail in bullet point form on the front page. They listed the method, additional details pertaining to self harm, and items found in the room.

We've known for decades that reporting such details inevitably leads to a string of "copycat" suicides, and yet the media seem completely uninterested in the damage they're doing. They want to sell papers, gain website hits, increase viewers and listeners.

The media have no regard for the wellbeing of consumers. That's my opinion on their reporting of suicide. They are reckless and selfish.