Warning: This contribution discusses suicide

Until the advent of radio and television, there was no real concept of "breaking news." The immediacy of broadcast media allowed news providers to inform the public quickly of something they needed or wanted to know. And as broadcasting became the preferred conduit for news, a problem presented itself to journalists: How much of what they were reporting on the fly was true and relevant? This was not as much of a problem for print journalism, which by necessity required more time and deliberation, but now that reporters are practically able to report the news "as it’s happening," to use the cliche, ethical obstacles have emerged.

These obstacles were in plain sight during the initial reporting of the death of Haruma Miura on July 18. The popular 30-year-old actor was found unresponsive in his home in Tokyo and brought to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. News reports said police believed Miura had killed himself.