Vision of reporters delivering live crosses from James Hird's home in Melbourne on Friday has prompted a wave of reaction on social media.

The morning after news broke of the legendary AFL figure's drug overdose, several news outlets stationed reporters outside Hird's home in Toorak.

Hird remains a controversial figure for his role in the Essendon supplements scandal but many agreed this was an invasion of privacy unwarranted in the wake of his hospitalisation.

Politician Tom Koutsantonis and former Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency chief Richard Ings were among the notable figures calling for a stop to the practice.


Beyondblue chairman Jeff Kennett described Hird's overdose as a "cry for help" and implored the media to give him, and his family, the space to recover.

"Assuming these stories have a basis of fact, this is a cry for help by an individual and I hope that he will get that help," Kennett told SEN.

"Quite clearly we don't know the circumstances, but when a young person - male or female - attempts to take their life, particularly with drugs, it is a cry for help.

"Without knowing the circumstances, this individual is a young man, (with a) family, obviously he has got circumstances he wishes to deal with, but you've heard me say so many times before, the greatest gift we have is the gift of life. Regardless of the circumstances with which we are facing ... life is by far the better option.

"I understand how the media latch on to these things but having reported it is important I think the media step back. I think it's important the media don't harass his family, because there are other people involved here, not just the individual.

"Part of the recovery process is we allow people to get the attention and professional (help) they need to get back on track."

The Age journalist Rohan Connolly said network chiefs needed to act. "TV networks will hear me say this and say 'we're a visual medium' and I get that," Connolly told SEN. "But really you're talking about pressure that's almost forced someone to the brink of taking their life. I think there has to be a line drawn and giving them some sort of sanctuary in their own private residence has to be a bottom line.

"I understand it's happened again today and I think that's sad. I hope at some stage, someone, somewhere can lead the charge and do the right thing and back off."
Social media users were even more emphatic.