How the Media Covers Suicides

Deaths of prominent individuals such as Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain and Robin Williams are covered extensively in the media, generating a public conversation around suicide and mental health for a short period of time. But what exactly is the media’s role and responsibility in covering private tragedies of public figures? Where does the public’s right to know end, and the family’s right to privacy begin? The panel will explore the complex factors involved in the media’s coverage of suicides of public figures. We will host a healthy debate on the public’s right to know versus an invasion of privacy. We will also discuss the unintended consequences of bad coverage, including an increase in copycat suicides following media reports as well as the effect it can have on families and loved ones.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

Primary Entry: Music Badge, Platinum Badge, Film Badge, Interactive Badge
Format: Panel
Event Type: Session
Level: Beginner