Madeleine McCann: speculation, claims and the Algarve crime scene
Maddie Watch: a look at reporting on Madeleine McCann, the child who vanished in 2007.
Daily Express (front page): “MADDY – Why I think our daughter is still alive and in Portugal”
Maddy – why is this front-page news?
On Page 7 we hear from “MUM KATE”. The headline assures us: “Maddy’s mum: We’ll never give up. I want and end, answer.”
We all do. The story has become all. The single fact – child vanishes – remains unaltered since 2007. The voracious media feeding frenzy has created victims of libel but shed no light on that fact.
Nonetheless, David Pilditch manages to fill an entire page with no news. His story begins: “The mother of Madeleine McCann told yesterday how she believes her missing daughter is still alive and may be close to the scene of her disappearance.”
Believes. May. Are there any facts? Some: “Former GP Kate, 47, is convinced her daughter is not a ‘million smiles’ from the Algarve holiday resort she vanished from”.
Kate McCann’s age and former job are the only facts. One paragraph 8, we hear from the missing child’s mother. Told of her belief that abducted children are “not usually taken far from the scene of the crime”, Mrs McCann says: “It’s all only speculation, but we’ve learned that’s usually the case. I’ve always said Praia da Luz is the place where I feel closest to her. That’s where she last was and I don’t think she’s been taken a million miles from there.”
Kate McCann says the idea that her daughter is on the Algarve is speculation.
Daily Star: no word on the child in the newspaper. But online, reader are told: “Maddie is still in the Algarve, claims mum Kate.”
Is that what she said. Not quite, no. It isn’t. Jack Fenwick & Margi Murphy then combine to report:
Madeleine was just three when she disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007. And in those nine years there have been countless so-called “sightings” of the tot around the world. But Kate, 47, firmly believes Maddy could still be in Portugal.
Two journalists were needed to write that. How can Kate McCann “firmly believe” that something “could” be true? Anything less than total belief is hope.
Madeleine McCann is missing. There are no suspects. Hold the front page.