Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Why Robin Williams leads the news not Iraq or Ukraine

In the UK we have woken up this morning to the sad news that Robin Williams, the popular comedian and actor, has died after an apparent suicide

Despite the ongoing dire situation in Ukraine, the humanitarian crisis in northern Iraq and the continuing fight against an outbreak of ebola in west Africa the death of Williams led the BBC and Sky news bulletins and is likely to throughout the day. 

His death is also dominating my Facebook feed and seven of the UK trends on Twitter are currently related to Robin Williams and his career. 

Robin Williams was a wonderfully talented actor who won an Oscar for his role in Good Will Hunting and made people laugh and cry (often with laughter) for decades. As Jonathan Ross said in an interview with BBC 5 Live, Williams had a "warmth and humanity which is why it feels like a personal loss". 

You can listen to the interview here: bbc.in/1uJrYya

Robin Williams had an impact on many people; making them laugh or entertaining them. The editors of BBC Breakfast or Sky News know their jobs is to produce programmes that people want to watch. More often than not this is achieved through content which viewers can relate to.

Whether seen in Good Morning Vietnam, Mork and Mindy, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting or doing stand-up comedy Williams had a positive impact on people if only for a couple of hours at the cinema.

I'm not saying this is right or wrong just explaining how the news works but, in short, his life and sad death is relevant to lots of people in a way that the suffering of people in Iraq, Africa or Ukraine isn't. That then is why Robin Williams is leading the news today.

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