Madeleine McCann: Majorca mums, Goncalo Amaral’s next blockbuster and ‘the worst thing imaginable’
Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child.
The Sun: “FRESH MADDIE SCANDAL.”
What old or, to use the Sun’s terminology, stale Maddie scandal? The only thing we know is that a child vanished and the news media launched into a voracious feeding frenzy. There are no suspects. In fact, police have yet to prove what crime, if any, befell her.
The Sun continues: “Ex-cop who accused McCann’s of faking Maddie’s abduction plans second book slamming Brit cops.”
The former policeman in Goncalo Amaral. His theories are just theories. His writing a second book is not a scandal; it’s pretty much what best-selling authors so when their first book has been a hit. They write a sequel. The writer will be pleased the Sun is advertising his tome:
Goncalo Amaral has almost finished his second book, but although it is expected to centre around the 2008 disappearance of Maddie in Algarave, Portugal, it is unclear what details the author will release.
Details? Who needs details? We do get a few facts about his past work:
The 56-year-old author previously wrote The Truth Of The Lie in 2008, which accused her parents Kate and Gerry McCann of faking Maddie’s abduction. But the couple have previously been left reeling after having their £395,000 libel victory revoked by Lisbon appeal judges who overturned a ban on his book in April.
To add insult to injury, Amaral also is planning to sue the couple for compensation after winning his appeal.
We learn that writing about a missing child pays handsomely:
Amaral is understood to have earned £316,000 from his book before it was banned.
According to a source, the ex-police chief has been getting help from friends and well-wishers to survive as all of his property is “tied up” legally during the civil action with the McCanns.
All unpleasant stuff.
As for the facts, well that is a single thread. Nothing has changed. Nonetheless the Sun sees fit to hold one end and repeat:
Maddie went missing on May 3 2007 from her bed in a holiday apartment in the Praia da Luz resort…
With no news of Madeleine McCann, the Mail focuses on no news of missing Ben Needham. The paper’s headline runs:
The worst thing imaginable’: Kate McCann says her ‘heart goes out’ to Ben Needham’s mother as Kerry prepares for the worst while police in Kos dig SECOND site
The worst thing imaginable, we learn, is to have police dig for your missing child’s remains. The Press lap up the drama. Note that this is different from the tabloids’ “every parent’s worst nightmare”, which is for your child to vanish.
The Mail reports this as news because “a close friend of the former GP told MailOnline: ‘This brings back dreadful memories for Kate. She went through a similar horrendous experience a few years back when the authorities were digging for Madeleine. Not knowing if they are going to unearth the remains of your child as you wait helplessly is the worst thing imaginable. It is galling.
Kate’s says her heart goes out to Kerry Needham at such a traumatic time. She is very sympathetic and wants to offer her strength and solidarity. They have met up in the past as fellow mums of high profile missing children and share a seemingly never ending pain and anguish.”
Ben Needham and Madeleine McCann are two distinct stories and cases. They are both names tabloid readers are familiar with. Why? Well, there are rare cases. But are high profile missing children always very young, white and blond. Are we that shallow? Andrew Godsen, 14, went missing in 2007. Charlene Downes was 14 when she vanished. Aamina Khan was 6 when she went missing in 2011. She vanished with her mother Humma Dar after her father was given custody.
The Indy notes:
While her disappearance is no doubt a huge tragedy, we have to wonder why it is Madeleine McCann, a pretty white girl, who has captured the sympathy of the public, and not girls with names like Aamina Khan, Elizabeth Ogungbayibi, or Folawiyo Oladejo.
Which ones sell the most papers? Which ones get the tourists flocking?
Leicester Mercury: “Madeleine McCann tour takes customers on sightseeing trip around town where she disappeared”
Is it full of journalists?
Holidaymakers are being offered Madeleine McCann tours of the holiday complex where she disappeared. Tourists taking up the trips – which Madeleine’s parents are said to find distressing – are invited to speculate on what happened to the then-three-year-old in May 1997.
It’s a magical mystery your that recaptures the ghoulish wonder of working in newsroom before all the libel cases kicked in.
The tours take visitors to the Praia da Luz apartment where the Rothley family were staying and the tapas restaurant where her parents Gerry and Kate were dining when she vanished.
Are drinks and snacks included?
The Edinburgh Evening News tells ghouls not to book early. There might be more. Helen Martin writes:
ANOTHER unnamed British tourist in Spain has been given a suspended sentence for leaving her child alone to go out on the razzle. Staff in a Majorca hotel, alerted by other guests, found the seven-year-old boy abandoned and crying in his room. Police searched for the mother in vain and arrested her when she returned – at breakfast time. After all the publicity that surrounded the tragic disappearance of Madeleine McCann in the Algarve when her parents hadn’t even left the complex, how could any mum do such a thing?
The law dealt with her.
Worse, if they can do so in a foreign country, how often does it happen at home? Such women are a national disgrace. Removing their kids might be going too far, but taking away their passports seems like a good idea.
Breaking up families “might be going too far” if you leave a child at home when you pop out? Might? It is.
Madeleine McCann is missing. There are no suspects. But there is lots of ‘news’.