Madeleine McCann: a manhunt, a lifeline and a missing man
Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child.
Daily Mirror (front page): ”Maddie Cops Hunt Worker At Resort.’ The now ‘ex-employee has ‘vanished’. Like the missing child, he just disappeared?
In the very first paragraph we get not facts but news that ‘cops believe’ the missing worker has ‘clues about her disappearance’. The Portuguese man worked at the Ocean Club resort at the time Madeleine McCann ‘was snatched in 2007’.
The next headline adds: ‘Madeleine McCann cops hunt worker at resort as they fear he “kept secrets” from local police.’ So the missing man spoke with police, then. ‘He gave a statement at the time but detectives fear he may have kept secrets.’ The man spoke with police two days after the child vanished.
Believe. Fear. May. It’s the Maddie Mantra.
As ever with this story of the missing child, facts give way to feeling. Unable to add anything of substance, the Mirror repeats itself: ‘British officers trying to find the youngster fear he may have kept secrets from local detectives that could have led to a breakthrough in the case.’ Why do British police believe the wanted man may not have told local police everything? A Portuguese police ‘source’ tells readers: “British officers are convinced he knows more than he was previously saying and are very keen to question him.”
They don’t believe it. They know it. they are convinced. Is that why the ‘Maddie cops’ are ‘hunting’ him? They are not looking for him to help with their enquiries. They are hunting him, as you might hunt for a man who doesn’t want to be caught. The word is more loaded than Gorge bush at a frat house party. But hold on. The unnamed source tells us that the hunted man might not have anything to do with the missing child. “They are not suggesting he stole Maddie,” says the ‘source, “but he may know people who could have been involved after a burglary went wrong. The investigation in Britain seems to be grinding to a halt and they want to rule him out of the case if not rule him in. Then detectives know they have done everything in their power to try to solve the case.”
So much for the manhunt.
As for the facts, the Mirror soon revisits the old news: “Her doctor parents Kate and Gerry McCann , of Rothley, Leics, have always believed their daughter is still alive.” As ever, the paper mentions the parents’ jobs.
Daily Express (front page): ‘Parents’ joy at lifeline in hunt for Madeleine’
Another hunt, but this time it’s the search for the missing child. The Express hones in on Madeleine McCann’s parents. The child peers out from the paper’s cover, as she has done scores of times over the past decade.
And we learn nothing new. All we know is the child went missing. The rest is speculation.
Such are the facts.