Following the suicide of Robin Williams, the front pages of The Daily Mirror, The Sun and the Daily Mail each had something in common: Big, sensationalistic headlines (“Robin: his last hours”; “Tortured”; “He was facing bankruptcy”) over a full-size headshot of the actor. Other than revealing unnecessary details, we know that reporting on suicides in this way is potentially harmful. After glorifying and detailed reports on Marilyn Monroe’s suicide, for example, there was a huge increase in suicides in the period that followed. In response to evidence indicating that such reporting can lead to ‘copycat’ deaths, most Western countries have drawn up responsible reporting into a media code (avoiding simplifying, glorifying or romanticizing the suicide).
12/13/2022 09:28:33 am
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In her research on homicide followed by suicide, she studied the copycat effect - but so far has not found support for this effect in family homicides.