There's an interesting and timely bit from The Observer's readers' editor about how the media cover the anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death:
Samaritans remind us that suicide accounts for more deaths than road traffic accidents, particularly in people under the age of 35. They have done much to make the media aware of the effect of insensitive reporting, producing very clear guidelines that state: "There may be a higher risk of unintentionally glamorising suicide in the case of celebrities or high-profile individuals... Various characteristics of the reporting of suicide are thought to increase the risk of imitative or 'copycat' behaviour. These include: information about the method of suicide, prominent or repetitive reporting, or where the person involved is a celebrity. Young people are particularly vulnerable to 'copycat' suicides. Research shows they are the group most likely to be influenced by the media."
Media references to Cobain's suicide certainly come under the heading of repetitive: a database search of all national newspapers reveals that 237 pieces have been published in the past year, which, coupled with similar articles in magazines and online, reinforce the myths that surround young death and help create such questionable phenomena as the 27 Club – an online litany of musicians who have died, either by their own hand, accidentally or as murder victims, at the age of 27. They include Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison and, most recently, Amy Winehouse.