Anorak News | Charlie Gard has died and journalists are ‘digging for dirt’

Charlie Gard has died and journalists are ‘digging for dirt’

by | 28th, July 2017

Charlie Gard, the 11-month-old boy whose life pitted reason against emotion, has died. Charlie’s mother, Connie Yates, tells the Mail, which seem to have bought the parents’ story from Alison Smith-Squire’s Featureworld: “Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie.”


daily mail charlie gard covers


Over at Featureworld, another story is brewing. Smith-Squire writes an “open letter”:

While myself and the Charlie Gard family contemplate the death of a little boy, Alexi Mostrous ‘Investigations Editor’ at the Sunday Times is ringing me to dig up dirt on all of us for a nasty little story …

Smith-Squire addresses Mostrous:

Dear Alexi Mostrous

Do you have children? Are you a father? If you do you then you should be ashamed. Because in my opinion if you have any heart whatsoever you, Alexi Mostrous, never would never have rung me as you did today as Charlie is about to die and asked me how much money are myself and the Charlie Gard family making out of their story.

Many parents have been and are nasty sods. To be a breeder doesn’t make you any more or less compassionate than a man who has not fathered children. Are we impressed by people who have had children? Mostrous has merely asked a question. The top of the Featureworld site does include a section “HOW MUCH MONEY”.



The Mail framed Charlie Gard’s story as a “fight” not only for the child’s life but against medical advice and the ethics that underpins it. Surely a story can be told more than one way”? Isn’t Mostrous trying to do just that? As the late AA Gill noted, “Journalism isn’t an individual sport like books and plays; it’s a team effort. The power of the press is cumulative. It has a conscious human momentum. You can – and probably do – pick up bits of it and sneer or sigh or fling them with great force at the dog. But together they make up the most precious thing we own.”

You can read Smith-Squire’s letter in full here. In it she writes:

Let me tell you how it is. Let me show you, Alexi Mostrous, how compassion for interviewees and a desire to help them rather than ‘getting the story and making money’ is what my sort of journalism is about.

Let me guide you away from the nasty little world in my view you clearly exist in – where everyone is in it for money and you, a salaried staffer at the Oh so squeaky clean Sunday Times and The Times are apparently not…

Without someone like me ensuring vulnerable members of the public are guided through the media hell, some media individuals circle like vultures to take, take, take.

I am a mother myself of three children. So I can glimpse at the hell that Connie Yates and Chris Gard have gone through and the dark days to come.

Yes I am also a journalist . Of course I have to make a living. Like you, Alexi Mostrous I write stories for a living, I report on stories for a living, I supply photos to the media for a living.

This is why interviewees never pay me a penny. It is why I can represent them for free and indeed in some cases also broker deals so that newspapers and magazines are paying them.

The story of Charlie Gard’s plight captured hearts and minds. But ultimately it had something to do with money – if the child’s parents had more of it they could have funded treatment privately.

Posted: 28th, July 2017 | In: News, Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink