SOME say Lucy Meadows died as a result of what Richard Littlejohn said in his Daily Mail column. Littlejohn ‘monstered’ the teacher who had left the Lancashire school the male Nathan Upton and returned as the female Lucy Meadows.
Your view of the story may well rest on your view of the Mail and Littlejohn. But here’s what the Daily Mail said when Australian radio DJs pranked Jacintha Saldanha, a nurse in the hospital where pregnancy Duchess Kate was being treated for morning sickness. Saldanha, a parent (like Meadows) soon after putting through a bogus call to Kate’s rooms was found hanged.
Daily Mail: “Royal nurse who answered hoax call about Duchess of Cambridge had attempted to kill herself twice before
Jacintha Saldanha made two attempts to kill herself last winter”
The nurse took an overdose during visit to India
She survived but tried to jump from a building nine days later
Those facts soon become:
Nurse Jacintha Saldanha… is believed to have tried to commit suicide twice previously.
KATE Middleton Pregnancy Watch: the Duchess of Cambridge in the news – day 17:
The BBC Sports Personality of the Year
US Weekly: “Pregnant Kate Middleton Feeling “Very Well” After Second Bout of Acute Morning Sickness”
“A decision wasn’t made until the very last minute due to Catherine’s health,” a source told Us Weekly of Middleton’s attendance. “She doesn’t feel well enough to carry out a lengthy engagement but was determined to pay tribute to [Team GB sportsmen and women].”
KATE Middleton Pregnancy Watch – Day 14 of the Duchess of Cambridge womb news round-up:
Parade: “Kate’s Pregnancy: Why Are We So Obsessed?”
Because it sells magazines?
What of Jacintha Saldanha?
The front pages:
Daily Mirror: “HOAX NURSE ANGER AT HOSPITAL IN SUICIDE NOTE”
The Guardian: “Hoax call victim left suicide note criticising hospital staff”
The 3 suicide notes
A source close to Jacintha’s family said: “One of the letters, which is the longest, deals with the hospital and is critical in its tone. Needless to say, Ben wants a full inquiry into what happened, and he wants to make sure the truth comes out. Within the letter Jacintha calls into question some of the treatment she received at the hospital.”
She “died days after falling victim to the hoax that targeted the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated”.
THE story of Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who worked at the hospital where pregnant Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, is being treated. Jacintha Saldanha was pranked by Australian DJs Mel Grieg and Michael Christian. Did their joke lead to her death? Did the British media’s amplification of that phone call make the nurse suicidal? We will never know for certain. What we do know is that after the call and the suicide a media feeding frenzy followed. Full story.
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE. Undated family handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Jacintha Saldanha as police in London have contacted their Australian counterparts about speaking with the two radio presenters who made a prank phone call that led to the death of the nurse.
Austereo CEO Rhys Holleran has admitted the station attempted to contact the hospital after recording a prank phone call involving a nurse who later took her life.
In an interview with Melbourne radio station 3AW this morning, Mr Holleran said his team had tried to liaise with London’s King Edward VII Hospital before airing the controversial call.
“We rang them up to discuss what we had recorded. Absolutely (before it went to air). We attempted to contact them on five occasions… because we wanted to speak to them about it,” he said.
“It is absolutely true to say that we did attempt to contact those people.”
THE death of Jacintha Saldanha is now a reality TV show. You join us on Australian TV’s A Current Affair, where DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian are being interviewed by a syrup miner. Can they become victims? Can they cry?
Vote 0800KILLTHEOZZIESCUM for Michael to be beaten with sticks.
Call 0800GETTHE BLONDEBITCH to turn Mel into Autralia’s Esther Rantzen:
KATE Middleton Pregnancy Watch: Day 7 of the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy – Jacintha Saldanha and 2Day FM presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian continue to occupy minds:
The front pages:
The Sun: “First Pic of Hoaxed Suicide Nurse”
“Husband tells of his grief – MY ANGEL”
FOR all the talk of how Kate Middleton might feel about the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha at King Edward VII Hospital and calls for Mel Greig and Michael Christian to be killed, the dead woman’s family have been overlooked. Mrs Salanha’s widow Ben Barboza issues a short statement:
I am devastated with the tragic loss of my beloved wife Jacintha in tragic circumstances, She will be laid to rest in Shirva, India
KATE Middleton Pregnancy Watch: Day 6.The Duchess of Cambridge news is dominated by Jacintha Saldanha, the 46-year-old a mother of two who appears to have committed suicided at the nurses’ rooms at King Edward VII Hospital. Jacintha Saldanha’s life and death are duly explained in Kate terms:
The front pages:
Daily Mail: “Our Sadness at ‘Suicide’ of Prank Call Nurse”
The Royal We.
REACTIONS to the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse at Kate Middleton’s hospital pranked by Australian DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian. Both have deleted their twitter accounts. No word yet from Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand.
Who or what to blame? Well, most of never knew Jacintha Saldanha, so it’s impossible to know why she would have committed suicide. But some people know:
THE nurse who put talked to two Australian radio tricksters was called Jacintha Saldanha. She was the hospital receptionist who put 2day FM’s Mel Greig and Michael Christian through to the Duchess of Cambridge’s rooms at King Edward VII Hospital.
Now Jacintha Saldanha, 46, is dead. She most likely killed herself. She was found unconscious at an address near the private Central London hospital at around 9.30am this morning.
Ms Saldanha had two children.
KATE Middleton Pregnancy Watch – Day 10 of the Duchess of Cambridge’s womb news: Can we honour Jacintha Salanha by naming the Royal baby after her? Will DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian make a pilgrimage to see Lord Leveson on holiday in Australia? Who will win the PR fight for the nurse’s soul?
The front pages:
Who’s the most upset?
The Sun: “Hoax two in tears at nurse’s suicide”
Daily Mail: “Anguish of the Suicide Nurse’s family”
The Scotsman: “Family miss ‘Royal hoax nurse’ every moment of every day”
The Mirror: “Daughter’s tears for victim of Kate prank”
The Guardian: “A mother mourned”
i: “Australian DJs ‘gutted’ over hoax nurse death”
Daily Star: “DJ Mel Sobs for Royal Nurse”
The Star’s front page has Mel looking teary eyed up to image of Jacintha’s family.
KATE Middleton pregnancy watch: Day 8 of the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy – Royal baby named after Jacintha Saldanha; Mel Greig and Michael Christian weep on the telly:
The front pages
The Sun: “Pregnant Kate has sickness relapse”
Daily Telegraph: “Setback for Duchess as he condition takes turn for the worse”
Daily Mirror: “Royal Hoax Suicide – FURY OF NURSE’S HUSBAND – He’s angry at hospital over Jacintha’s death”
i: “Kate hoax nurse daughter pay tribute to mother”
Daily Star: “Prank DJs’ witch hunt”
Daily Express: “British Police may quiz prank DJs after nurse’s ‘suicide’”
The Guardian: “DJs may face Met over nurse death. London police make contact with Australia over hoax call investigation”
Daily Mail: “Hoaxed Nurse Died of Shame”
JACINTHA Saldanha blamed the DJS who tricked her for her suicide in December 2012. The 46-year-old mother of two took a hoax call while working at King Edward VII’s Hospital, London, where Kate Middleton had been undergoing treatment for acute morning sickness. In her suicide note, she blamed Michael Christian and Mel Greig for her state of mind.
Allegedly, the deceased was a depressive who had tried to end her life before.
So. What happened next? Well, her family were forced to get over a terrible loss.
In June, one of the pranksters, DJ Christian, was given the “top jock” award at the Southern Cross Austereo network, which still employs him. He was thrilled, stating:
“From the start I felt like I had something to prove to myself. That regardless of all that’s happened in the past few months I’m still at the top of my game. So it felt good to see my name at the top of the final leader board.”
THE Sandy Hook massacre features on the cover of the UK press.
In March 2012, 16 Afghan civilians were killed by U.S. Army Soldier Robert Bales, allegedly.
Can you name them? Did President Obama weep on the TV? Was it front-page news in the UK?
The Sun leads with news of the massacre in Sandy Hook. But how can it justify such intense coverage? The US is accessible. We share the same language. America invented rolling news and burnished news anchors and reporters into personalities, dispatched to deliver not the facts but news the audience will enjoy. Last week the news was obsessed with the death of Jacintha Saldanha, the “Royal nurse” who had committed suicide. This week we’re invited to gawp at terrible events in small town in Connecticut.
The front pages
Only the Daily Star leads with news of Kate’s pregnancy, and only then it’s about Jacintha Saldanha.
“ROYAL Radio Hoaxers Face Jail – Prank victim nurse left suicide note”
JACINTHA Saldanha has died. Pranked on air by two Australian DJs, the nurse who worked at the hospital where Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, was being treated, seems to have committed suicide. You might have thought their hoax call funny. Wendy Harmer “Co-Founder of the Aussie women’s online mag, The Hoopla. Journo. author, stand-up, bigmouth, mum” thought it was great.
“Those two kiddos are legends!”
Admitting that you were wrong can be unpleasant. Admitting that you have done something bad can be terrifying. Remember staring at scuffed sandals rather than at the teacher who ‘could wait all day’ for some hapless culprit to put up their hand?
Newspapers don’t like admitting it when they get something wrong. Most have a corrections and clarifications slot, but this is for misspellings of names or inaccurate historical dates. When they get something seriously wrong it generally goes upstairs to the lawyers, who will wriggle a bit and haggle a lot until money changes hands and suddenly it all goes away.