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Why I published Madeleine stories

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Why I published Madeleine stories

Post  Annabel on Thu 12 Jan - 19:37

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/uk-world-news/2012/01/12/why-i-published-madeleine-stories-100252-30111757/

The Daily Express ran stories suggesting Madeleine McCann's parents could be responsible for her death because at the time "there was reason to believe" they might be true, the paper's former editor has said.

Peter Hill told the Leveson Inquiry that the disappearance of the little girl in Portugal in May 2007 was an "unprecedented story" that provoked "strong opinions" among the British public.

He said the Daily Express published many articles about the case, some of them "deeply sympathetic" to Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry and others not.

But he denied a suggestion made to the inquiry in December by former Daily Express reporter Nick Fagge that the story became an "obsession" for him.

The McCanns took legal action over Express Newspapers' reporting and in March 2008 received £550,000 in damages paid to their fund to find their daughter and front-page apologies in the Star and Express titles.

Explaining why his paper published negative stories about the couple, Mr Hill told the inquiry: "I did not accuse them of killing their child. The stories that we ran were from those who did accuse them, and they were the Portuguese police."

He added: "I felt that the stories should be published because there was reason to believe that they might possibly be true."

Mr Hill, who edited the Daily Express from December 2003 until last February, confirmed that the paper's circulation went up when it published articles about Madeleine's disappearance and that this was a factor in persisting with the story.

He said: "The entire country had an opinion about that story. Wherever you went, whether you went to a social gathering or as somebody said to the supermarket, people were talking about it and they all had an opinion about it. And these were strong opinions."

When asked by counsel to he inquiry Robert Jay QC what he had done to check the validity of the stories he ran, Mr Hill replied: "We did the best that we could do, which was not very much."



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Papers 'scapegoated' over Madeleine

Post  Annabel on Thu 12 Jan - 19:39

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-24027129-papers-scapegoated-over-madeleine.do

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