I don’t habitually read the obituaries. Too reminiscent of past visits to my ex-mother in law in Liverpool, when the current score of Liverpudlians who had pegged it since our last visit would be ritually read out in football results fashion.
Still, it does form part of what we term ‘news’, so it does seem to be a valid part of the rolling news service – there will be those who need to know that Robin Williams has ‘left the stage’.
I’m supposed to say ‘so tragic to hear that Robin has died’ at this point, or even ‘devastated to hear’ – but how could I be? I never met the man, I don’t know any of his family, I may have watched one of his films at some point, but that is my sole connection to him.
J J Murphy died too – aged 86; still filming for a major television series – The Game of Thrones – yet his death was merely quietly reported, totally unlike the wall to wall coverage of Robin Williams death.
I thought there were supposed to be guidelines on the reporting of suicide? Particularly during that period when it was only ‘believed to be suicide’. It would seem that they are being ignored, if they exist.
Last night’s coverage of the ‘Robin Williams story’ – for that is what is has become – was particularly extreme. Live coverage of the press conference given by the LA coroner? Really? Does anybody outside of his family need to know the exact details of how he died? Perhaps those who wish to emulate the manner in which a celebrity took his life?
Followed by – a wall sized interactive graphic of the world, plotting the ‘clusters’ of ‘social media users’ retweeting ‘RIP Robin Williams’. That really is ridiculous – anybody who is interested in what social media has to say, is already on social media, and knows exactly what they have to say. The fact that ‘Jean-Claude in Paris’ was the first person in France to say ‘RIP Robin Williams’ or ‘Mustapha Ouank’ in Dubai was ‘devastated to hear’ isn’t news.
It is a gross wallowing in key words.
As for Alistair Campbell being commissioned by the Huffington Post to tell us how desperately sad it was that a man should be driven to suicide – words fail me. Except for two. Dr Kelly. A more inappropriate commentator would have been hard to find.
Is it really more newsworthy that a known celebrity ‘substance abuser’, to quote Sky, should have decided to take his own life, than that a great Irish actor who has quietly worked right up to the age of 86, facing life’s challenges without the support of drugs or drink or therapists, has also died – and it’s not worth mentioning?
What curious values drive the Sky news team.
*Ms Raccoon is off to the hospital in Bordeaux this morning with her friend – so there will be no one here to release your comments from moderation if you put more than one link in them.