There is a substantial literature which demonstrates that irresponsible reporting of suicide can lead to copycat acts and, as a result, many countries have developed guidelines for media professionals. Some of the recommendations in these guidelines draw directly on the evidence and describe how reporting can be done in a measured fashion that minimises any likely negative influence. Other recommendations relate more to good journalistic practice and are about showing respect for the bereaved in their time of grieving. The study by Chapple et al, in this issue, indicates that there may sometimes be tensions between what media guidelines recommend and what those bereaved by suicide believe is important. We would argue that in such cases common ground can be reached.