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The McCanns and the Media

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The McCanns and the Media

Post  Panda on Sat 5 Jan - 21:08

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Networked Knowledge - Media Reports ( with thanks to Annabel,)
0

[This edited version of the report has been prepared by Dr Robert N Moles]

Madeleine McCann homepage
UK issues homepage
Tort and Compensation issues homepage
Article on Australian miscarriage of justice cases
Article on UK miscarriage of justice cases
Article on USA miscarriage of justice cases


Settlement of defamation action: this is the report of the settlement of the defamation action concerning the McCann family in respect of publications which have cast aspersions upon their inegrity

On 24 September 2007 James Button of the Sydney Morning Herald reported “Couple's trial by new media a vicious affair."

He said it is one of the biggest stories in years, regularly topping the lists of most-read articles on newspaper websites. Put it on page one and sales soar by 30,000, one tabloid editor says. At the top of its website, between the categories UK News and World News, Sky News lists the subject simply as Madeleine. Nearly five months since her disappearance we still do not know the fate of the British girl Madeleine McCann. But we have learnt a few things about the media and their relationship with the public - all of us. I do not mean simply mainstream media, but the online world of websites, bloggers and instant public feedback. The old and new media have not just reported the McCann story. They have changed it.

After Madeleine went missing on May 3, British reporters invaded the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz. They wrote reams of stories about the alleged incompetence of the investigation: the failure to seal off the crime scene, properly interview witnesses and take DNA samples. Fair or not, the coverage incensed the investigators and stung the national pride of the Portuguese press. It began to run allegations, some clearly leaked by police, that were damaging to Kate and Gerry McCann: their accounts had inconsistencies; they and their friends were "swingers" who had drunk 14 bottles of wine on May 3; finally and explosively, that Kate McCann had accidentally overdosed Madeleine with sedatives then tried to hide the body. British tabloids mocked many of these stories yet, hedging their bets, also reported them. The most lurid example was the Daily Express, which ran a headline, "Gerry may not be the father", above a story that began: "The smear campaign in Portugal against the McCanns continued yesterday…"

The resulting spiral - unsourced British reports of unsourced Portuguese reports - created a perfect storm: huge media fascination with almost no facts to feed it. The McCanns are partly to blame. Well-educated doctors, they have hired spin doctors and tried to harness the media to their cause. Their stated reason is understandable: they want to keep the focus on finding their daughter. But the journalist Matthew Parris wrote in The Spectator last week that their savvy media strategy - down to Gerry McCann's daily blog and constant photos of Kate McCann clutching Madeleine's pink cuddle-cat - was starting to hurt them. With both reporters and the public alert and resistant to spin, the McCanns had proved "unwisely media-wise".

Parris is onto something, but I am not sure it is the media that have turned against the McCanns. While some have reported dodgy rumours, the overall British coverage has been sympathetic, and sceptical the McCanns had a role in Madeleine's disappearance. The online public, however, has been far more hostile. When the Daily Mail last week ran an article, "McCanns' DNA dossier to demolish Portuguese police's 'pathetic' evidence", the 60 readers who emailed feedback to this positive story came out two to one against the McCanns. Evi Labi of London wrote: "It's terrible for a child to disappear but would it be possible to get some peace from the McCanns' organised and very well-orchestrated publicity?" A newspaper in the McCanns' county of Leicestershire had to close an online discussion forum because of vicious comments about the couple. More than 17,000 people signed an online petition asking social workers to find the McCanns unfit parents to look after their two-year-old twins. An internet poll found that only 20 per cent of Britons thought they were completely innocent.

What does this tell us? Perhaps what Graham Greene once observed: that everyone everywhere believes what is bad. Some readers found Kate McCann "too composed" and "cold". But Lindy Chamberlain was said to be cold, as was Joanne Lees before she was cleared of involvement in the death of Peter Falconio. Is it everyone, though, or is it the on-line world? Old media are usually constrained to report facts and to show where they differ from rumour. New media, while they may improve and democratise journalism in many respects, allow anyone to trot out the wildest opinion or theory, unconstrained by rules of evidence.

The blogosphere, like talkback radio, is full of people who simply like to sound off. It all shows why the law matters. Trials allow evidence to be tested, rumours to be upheld or scotched. But there may never be a trial in this case: Madeleine's presumed killer may never be found. Although the tide of the investigation seemed to be turning in favour of the McCanns, they may live on with a vague air of doubt hanging over them. If they are innocent, as the known evidence suggests, that would be desperately unfair, though even such an injustice pales before the monstrosity of having their daughter snatched from their lives.

Source: 24 September 2007 James Button Sydney Morning Herald “Couple's trial by new media a vicious affair”.


ttp://netk.net.au/Madeleine/Madeleine28.asp

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Re: The McCanns and the Media

Post  weissnicht on Sun 6 Jan - 8:21

http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/couples-trial-by-new-media-a-vicious-affair/2007/09/23/1190486132036.html

Sounds like he has read only the media reports he writes about, and not the PJ files.

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Re: The McCanns and the Media

Post  Panda on Sun 6 Jan - 8:33

weissnicht wrote:http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/couples-trial-by-new-media-a-vicious-affair/2007/09/23/1190486132036.html

Sounds like he has read only the media reports he writes about, and not the PJ files.

morning weissnicht, it appears Dr. Robert N Moles for Networked Knowledge.

[This edited version of the report has been prepared by Dr Robert N Moles]

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Re: The McCanns and the Media

Post  weissnicht on Sun 6 Jan - 9:41

If if just looks what the media writes, he should keep personal comments like " If they are innocent, as the known evidence suggests" out of it. He clearly knows nothing about the evidence.

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Re: The McCanns and the Media

Post  Not Born Yesterday on Sun 6 Jan - 9:53

The article was of course written in 2007 before most of the Portuguese police files were released. However, most journalists seem to have had a lobotomy and are still writing absolute nonsense even now.

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Re: The McCanns and the Media

Post  Panda on Sun 6 Jan - 10:23

Not Born Yesterday wrote:The article was of course written in 2007 before most of the Portuguese police files were released. However, most journalists seem to have had a lobotomy and are still writing absolute nonsense even now.

Morning NBY......I have always said there are far too many Newspapers for the size of Britain . The situation for such a small Country and limited readers is untenable. Add to this, the local Press and then you get to the reason they print so much sleaze......to sell more papers, nothing to do with Journalism. We also now have online Press, where will it all end??

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Re: The McCanns and the Media

Post  cherry1 on Sun 6 Jan - 11:16

The author Dr Robert N Moles was born and educated in the UK. He graduated in law from Queens University, Belfast, and completed his PhD at Edinburgh University. He previously held positions as Associate Professor of Law at the University of Adelaide, senior lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the Australian National University and lecturer in law and jurisprudence at Queens University Belfast. His previous book was Definition and Rule in Legal Theory (1987). Currently he works full-time on the Networked Knowledge Project, which investigates alleged miscarriages of justice that have occurred in South Australia over the last 30 years.

http://www.arthurboycottgreer.org/index.php/thejournalbykarenjohnston/9-publications

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Re: The McCanns and the Media

Post  tigger on Sun 6 Jan - 13:34

From the first post here:
The resulting spiral - unsourced British reports of unsourced Portuguese reports - created a perfect storm: huge media fascination with almost no facts to feed it. The McCanns are partly to blame. Well-educated doctors, they have hired spin doctors and tried to harness the media to their cause. Their stated reason is understandable: they want to keep the focus on finding their daughter. But the journalist Matthew Parris wrote in The Spectator last week that their savvy media strategy - down to Gerry McCann's daily blog and constant photos of Kate McCann clutching Madeleine's pink cuddle-cat - was starting to hurt them. With both reporters and the public alert and resistant to spin, the McCanns had proved "unwisely media-wise". unquote


I wonder how the writer of this article would feel if he knew that the mcCanns had registered not one, but two websites under the name of
Cuddlecat.co.uk and Cuddlecat.org.uk before the end of May 07. Perhaps the constant advertising of the essential prop that told her Maddie had been abducted might have make him think. Cuddlecat told her that it was an abduction. Rattle once for yes, twice for no I presume.

But 'resistant to spin'? I live in hope, so far it's worked quite well on the general public.

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Re: The McCanns and the Media

Post  jd16 on Sun 6 Jan - 14:49

tigger wrote:
I wonder how the writer of this article would feel if he knew that the mcCanns had registered not one, but two websites under the name of
Cuddlecat.co.uk and Cuddlecat.org.uk before the end of May 07. Perhaps the constant advertising of the essential prop that told her Maddie had been abducted might have make him think. Cuddlecat told her that it was an abduction. Rattle once for yes, twice for no I presume.

But 'resistant to spin'? I live in hope, so far it's worked quite well on the general public.


A lovely gem from little lori campbell in her article from 12th August 2007..

Missing Madeleine McCann's favourite pink Cuddle Cat toy was taken from her arms as she slept and placed beyond her reach by her kidnapper. That is why police are certain Madeleine was snatched while she was asleep - and was NOT killed or injured in the holiday apartment.

When her mum Kate, 38, tucked Madeleine into bed, the four-year-old was cuddling the toy - but it was later found placed on a ledge that Madeleine could not have reached.

There is also further "concrete evidence" that Madeleine was still ALIVE when she left the holiday apartment. Her kidnapper had a window of just five minutes to strike - from when dad Gerry last checked on the children until family friend Jane Tanner saw a man carrying away a child she is sure was Madeleine wrapped in a blanket.

Now, the Sunday Mirror can give a true picture of what happened when Kate found her daughter missing. We can reveal:

Police have specific evidence from the apartment that she was still alive

Madeleine was kidnapped as the toy she had fallen asleep with was left on a ledge placed too high for a child to reach

There was a window of less than five minutes for a kidnapper to pounce - not enough time to kill her and clean up

Police do not believe blood found in the apartment was Madeleine's as it was not consistent with signs of a struggle (The blood was found behind the sofa lori..Maddie was in bed!!!)

The patio doors were unlocked but the intruder used the window to escape with Madeleine as the shutters were forced up. (why not just use the chord instead!!!)


http://themaddiecasefiles.com/topic7728.html


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Re: The McCanns and the Media

Post  comperedna on Sun 6 Jan - 17:42

I opened my Observer to see a pic of KM and GM. It was being used to illustrate a short article on the likely after effects of Leveson. It spoke of celebs like JK Rowling and 'ordinary people' like the McCanns at the start of the piece, after referring to those who were the movers and shakers of Hacked Off. I'd have put the McCanns in the celeb category too by now (unlike the Dowlers). They have gone down into history, mythology, or whatever, by now on their own terms. Their viewpoint is the one almost universally accepted. I don't think anything the Met review could come up with (not that I expect the 'review to be in any way productive) could change this now. It is carved in stone. It is holy writ.

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Re: The McCanns and the Media

Post  tigger on Mon 7 Jan - 7:03

comperedna wrote:I opened my Observer to see a pic of KM and GM. It was being used to illustrate a short article on the likely after effects of Leveson. It spoke of celebs like JK Rowling and 'ordinary people' like the McCanns at the start of the piece, after referring to those who were the movers and shakers of Hacked Off. I'd have put the McCanns in the celeb category too by now (unlike the Dowlers). They have gone down into history, mythology, or whatever, by now on their own terms. Their viewpoint is the one almost universally accepted. I don't think anything the Met review could come up with (not that I expect the 'review to be in any way productive) could change this now. It is carved in stone. It is holy writ.

Ah well! but remember what happened to the first lot of holy writ carved in stone, they were smashed to pieces.

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