Usually the month of August is referred to as the silly season. The political exploitation of 14-year-old schoolgirl Hannah Smith's suicide by both tabloid and broadsheet newspapers suggests we might have to rechristen it the sinister season. Even for a press like ours, with its many well-known moral lapses, the shroud-waving over Hannah's death marks a new low.
The tabloid press can struggle with journalistic ethics surrounding intrusion into grief at the best of times. With the death of Houston they faced two further tests; writing respectfully about women and responsibly reporting drug addiction. On both counts I think they've failed. Much like the case of Amy Winehouse, the reason for her death was considered a given before any official statement was made. "Once an addict, always an addict". It's a lazy and inaccurate portrayal of addiction but one all too often taken up by the popular press.
The existence of the internet means that people will publish what they want when they want to. If we enforce restrictions on what we can publish in this country, people will write online blogs and write for foreign publications. If our most reliable UK sources are choked off, people will be forced to rely on publications that are less reputable, and perhaps even illegal.