Anorak News | Madeleine McCann: On Lawyers, Media And Local Newspapers

Madeleine McCann: On Lawyers, Media And Local Newspapers

by | 25th, March 2008

madeleine-graffiti.jpg MADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

LIVERPOOL DAILY POST: “Local experts forecast liklihood [sic] of Madleine McCanns’ damages case”

DEFAMATION specialists in the region have commented on the outcome of a case brought by the parents of Madeleine McCann which resulted in four national newspapers issuing front-page apologies for their coverage of the toddler’s disappearance.

Liverpool has taken the McCanns to its big heart. Not for nothing is Liverpool the European city of Culture. Kate McCann was born in Liverpool and her mother Susan Healy lives in the area.

The local Liverpool paper has invited a panel of local lawyers to share their thoughts with locals about the local story of a young girl from Leicestershire who went missing in Portugal.

We are no longer watching the parents in the media. We are watching the media in the media. Anorak is watching the media watching the media. Thank you for watching.

THE GUARDIAN: “This reckless reporting cannot continue”

Usually, mothers are the most harshly judged. Kate McCann is a professional in a stable marriage, but that still left room for questioning. MacKeown and Matthews were more straightforward targets, having had nine and seven children respectively by several different men each. The press, having trashed Meehan, suggested that, if harm had come to Shannon, her mother was to blame for her choice of partner. When the child was found, the Mail headlined “A very dysfunctional family … Some homecoming for Shannon”, over a cleverly composed picture of Meehan, Matthews and Leon Rose, Shannon’s natural father, all unsmiling, all looking like the last people you’d want to go home to.

Anorak Bingo. Tick. Tick. Tick.

But this is bang on:

Newspapers, losing readers and advertisers to the web, are desperate. When the latest tittle-tattle can be online in minutes, they dare not hesitate. When bloggers scream at the tops of their voices, they dare not adopt a more considered tone. When everyone else on the planet is discussing the latest scandal, they dare not ignore it. Yet if the press loses authority and reliability – and even downmarket papers once treated news with a degree of rigour – it is doomed. If readers can’t be sure that distinguished papers are separating facts from gossip, there isn’t much point buying them or going to their websites. There are other sources with better gossip, and you don’t have to feel guilty about paying for it.

Newspapers Are About The Writer And The Web Is About The Editor

Roy Greenslade writes:

The Independent’s press commentator, Stephen Glover, also touches on the “unique” Daily Express coverage of the McCanns. It “has been obsessed to the point of insanity”, he writes.

“Other newspapers do not repeatedly insist that house prices are going up when they are going down, or that Diana, Princess of Wales was murdered. The once great Daily Express has created a crazy alternative universe all of its own that has nothing to do with the rest of Fleet Street.”

It is a relief to know that I am not a lone voice on this matter. I just wish they had joined me in calling for a boycott, as reported in the Liverpool Daily Post. It’s the only way of bringing a rogue proprietor (Richard Desmond) and his rogue papers to heel.

Madeleine McCann: The media event

Posted: 25th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann Comments (470) | TrackBack | Permalink