7. The Guardian: “His genius was defined by irrationality – a divine madness that seemed like it would never expire” (by Russell Brand)
8. Not one but two broadcasters apologised yesterday for their coverage of the death.
Channel 4 News said sorry for using an excerpt of Williams’ classic film Good Morning, Vietnam in which he says “get a rope and hang me”.
Channel 4 said: “We’d like to apologise for including what was an inappropriate line from Good Morning, Vietnam in our play-out from tonight’s programme.”
Radio station Talksport apologised after breakfast presenter Alan Brazil said “I don’t have a lot of sympathy, I’m sorry,” when discussing Williams’ suicide, and said he would be more upset if Robbie Williams had died.
That station said: “Talksport would like to apologise for any offence caused. Alan’s comments do not reflect the views of the station.”
9. In case there’s any doubt, these are the guidelines the Samaritans urge journalists to follow when reporting on someone’s suicide.
10. Catherine Johnstone, CEO of the Samaritans, said last night:
We were very sad to hear the news about Robin Williams. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time.
There is no simple explanation for why someone chooses to die by suicide and it is rarely due to one particular factor. Mental health problems are often a risk factor, as well as feelings of desperation and helplessness.
We know that that when a person is in crisis and struggling to cope, they feel trapped in their situation with no way out, and that the future holds nothing good for them. They may not be able to see beyond their situation and truly believe that suicide is the only option for them.
The service we offer at Samaritans offers a safe space for people to be themselves and talk about their problems without fear of being judged. We’d like to remind anyone who has been affected by this news that Samaritans is here. Contact us by phone on 08457 909090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.