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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:00 pm 
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Guardian Blogs: Greenslade

Posted by Roy Greenslade
Friday 5 July 2013 09.13 BST

Madeleine McCann - will editors show restraint in reporting new inquiry?

"Scotland Yard asked for media restraint in the coming weeks and months as it began what is being seen as the last chance to learn what happened to Madeleine" - The Guardian, 5 July, 2013

Media restraint and Madeleine McCann? Given the sad history to this sad story, that is surely going to be a big ask.

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Daily Star: inaccurate

Today's coverage of the announcement that British police are to open a new investigation into the girl's disappearance illustrated yet again the dilemma for her parents, Kate and Gerry.

Naturally enough, they welcomed the news that a two-year review of the case by the Metropolitan police is to become a full-fledged inquiry. It offers them renewed hope.

But they also have to suffer once again the anguish of newspaper headlines and, especially, the re-publication of those poignant pictures of three-year-old Madeleine, who vanished from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.

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Express: measured

Her face featured on the front pages of five national titles this morning - the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Daily Star and Metro. And most of the others gave the story big shows on inside pages.

The headlines ranged from the wholly inaccurate "Maddie is still alive" (Star) through the highly speculative "Maddie: arrests in weeks" (Daily Mail) to the much more accurate, if blindingly obvious, "No proof she's dead" (Mirror).

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Daily Mirror: accurate

Most of the coverage was measured, properly reflecting that police led by Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood were targeting 38 potential suspects (aka "persons of interest") from five countries, including 12 Britons.

But will the restraint last? Have editors learned the lessons from their former behaviour? They will doubtless recall the libel actions that cost several publishers many thousands of pounds in damages and costs.

They also need to take on board that Kate and Gerry McCann, as leading members of the Hacked Off group, have become much more media-savvy in the last six years. They will not tolerate a re-run of the disgraceful reporting of the past.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:24 am 
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