The story of a celebrity death, especially one involving the daughter of Bob Geldof that seemingly mirrors the tragic end of her own mother, is always going to make the headlines. When news broke of the death of Peaches Geldof, the coverage ranged from heartfelt platitudes taken from Twitter to her father's statement: "We are beyond pain."
There are numerous reasons why the coverage of Peaches' death has been so extensive – and, arguably, too much. The Daily Mail, the Sun, the Daily Mirror and the Metro all featured Peaches on their front pages, with some featuring a picture of the socialite with her late mother Paula Yates, a photograph which Peaches had posted on Twitter just hours before her death.
With the exception of the Financial Times and the Independent, most papers featured a front-page splash about Peaches, and the widely perceived links with her mother's sudden death (albeit Yates died of an accidental heroin overdose, while the cause of Peaches' death is still unknown).
Adding to the coverage seems hypocritical, yet the overwhelming focus of Peaches highlights a crucial flaw in today's media. Post-mortem fascination has always been a backbone of the media – and the death of anyone in the limelight has always been a catalyst for headlines.
Yet twinned with today's media culture, which places a premium of internet traffic, coverage of celebrity deaths has quickly become a circus. The ins-and-outs of a person's life are explored, exposed and analysed. Not one stone is left unturned. Were they on drugs? Was it alcohol? Post-natal depression? Anorexia?
In the case of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who died of an accidental drug overdose in February, everything was scrutinised – even his lack of dress sense in the weeks prior to his death. Some papers took the coverage further than others. Some falsified information and others made up interviews with supposed friends of Hoffman. The Daily Mail, in particular, published a video which was obtained by following his grieving girlfriend Mimi O'Donnell around Manhattan as she made funeral arrangements.
The death of Peaches, however, seems particularly hypocritical. She is described as a journalist, a fashion guru, a DJ and a model – a young socialite with a lot to say, and who wasn't afraid to say it. She is famed for standing up to Katie Hopkins, the nationally-hated rent-a-gob known for her vituperative forays into the media spotlight, in a daytime interview.
But most papers seem to have forgotten that in the last decade, most of us criticised Peaches for allegedly feeding off her father's fame. She was, regardless of her various career paths, known primarily for being the daughter of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates. We criticised her when she took to writing and modelling, and we criticised her when she gave it up. We berated her for her very public existence – yet relished the newspapers' chronicling of it. And as soon as it was announced she had died, we took it upon ourselves to offer empty condolences and explanations.
It is possible that the coverage is guilt-led, as a result of our previous criticisms. It is also possible that we are simply rounding off the chapter of Peaches, who lived life in the spotlight. It is partly because we love a celebrity death, and partly because she was a mother and a party girl, who from an outsider's point of view, had turned her life around and was on track for a happy ending.