To be shocked at Sky News' coverage of the excavations in Praia Da Luiz?

(434 Posts)
ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 12:14:04

I didn't see a lot of the initial coverage, as I was working abroad in 2007. But the Police are potentially excavating a little girl's body, regardless of the circumstances, and they've got live cameras at the scene, waiting. It's macabre, and it seems like regardless of the fact MM was a tiny little defenceless girl, she's fair game for the media.

I just think it's shitty. Do a quick piece on it, but is there any need for the close ups of the excavation site and a blow by blow account of what's happening?

Her poor family sad

Beehatch Mon 02-Jun-14 12:17:58

I agree sad

DenzelWashington Mon 02-Jun-14 12:18:24

It's revolting. The problem is that 24 hour news channels like to have something to show. They love 'developing situations' even if it is just watching a digger dig a hole. As if they watched 'The Day Today' and took it as instruction rather than parody.

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 12:22:29

There's nothing to say! They keep saying '...and the police here are saying NOTHING...' As if the police are being bastards by doing that!

I don't care what happened or the ins and outs and who should have done what. If it's gotten to the point of excavations, that's horrible for the family. If she is dead, her last moments were probably terrifying for her. There seems to be no mention of that, or respect for it. Just 'let's see how much more we can milk out of this' type attitude.

isabellavine Mon 02-Jun-14 12:26:21

I cannot imagine what it's like for the family. And you can't avoid it very easily, either.

AnyFucker Mon 02-Jun-14 12:28:37

Was just having a similar conversation elsewhere re. the two poor girls raped and hanged and the footage thereof

Where is our humanity gone ? sad

Andrewofgg Mon 02-Jun-14 12:30:59

It's Murdoch. Do you blame a skunk because it stinks?

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 12:31:29

Oh anyfucker I was working but tbh I can imagine. Just horrific, all round. And no one at work seems to be bothered. Why are people not disgusted by the lack of respect?!

DenzelWashington Mon 02-Jun-14 12:34:18

What I hate is that on a certain level people think they are reacting appropriately by condemning the violence, but are at the same time perpetuating the objectification of women, girls and the victims of sex crimes generally by consuming graphic images and descriptions. The victims are deprived of dignity even in death.

The availability of images on the Internet seems to have eroded restraint-a large number of people seemingly can't manage to engage with a story without seeing even horrific images of violence. Why do people need it spelled out?

And I don't buy the knowing what happened spurs people to protest argument. They graze on this stuff and then move on.

A different POV could be that nothing can be covered up, or lied about.

If it is MM, that ignored hour, when she was reported missing, was crucial.

ICanSeeTheSun Mon 02-Jun-14 12:47:41

I hope that they don't find her in this place, at the moment the parents have hope of her being found alive. If they do find her in this spot then it will be a devastating time for them.

I couldn't imagine what it would feel like to have this potentially devastating time being watch by thousands of people.

TheFairyCaravan Mon 02-Jun-14 12:52:30

I hate Sky news, they always have to be in the middle of what's going on. I will never forget Kay Burley's awful gaff when April Jones went missing. I will only have it on for the Press Previews at 10:30pm.

MollyGetsHerWandOut Mon 02-Jun-14 12:54:20

I can't imagine what her loved ones are going through and for it to be on sky as well.

soverylucky Mon 02-Jun-14 12:55:37

The chances are there is nothing there but the police need to be seen to be doing something. It should not be reported until something significant happens. It is horrible. Put the news on earlier for the headlines and turned over straight away.

bleedingheart Mon 02-Jun-14 13:03:05

As if they watched 'The Day Today' and took it as instruction rather than parody. Totally agree with this Denzal, in fact I bet if I watched back all the episodes of TDT, I could find examples of real life similarities from the proceeding years of 24 hour news.

It's beyond parody now.

glasgowstevenagain Mon 02-Jun-14 13:04:10

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It's disgraceful because the met have warned the media to back off - saying the Portuguese police have said if there's too much press coverage they'll stop co-operating with the met altogether. So they're actually risking the whole operation.

silveroldie2 Mon 02-Jun-14 13:09:11

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ExcuseTypos Mon 02-Jun-14 13:10:04

Sky News is the DM on TV.

Regarding the two girls brutally murdered in India, I read that members of their family along with villagers, sat with the girls and refused to let anyone remove them, until someone was able to film what had happened. They wanted publicity as they thought it would all be brushed under the carpet, if they didn't have the evidence.

ExcuseTypos Mon 02-Jun-14 13:10:46

Oh please go away you two.

coraltoes Mon 02-Jun-14 13:11:15

Carrying this out at peak holiday time seems strange. I can see whyt the local police want the media away. Carry it out subtly, sensitively and enable those who live and holiday in the area to continue with their summer around this. Helicopters, reporters, media scrums are the last thing anyone needs.

weakandvocal Mon 02-Jun-14 13:14:07

glasgow, where you a witness or something?

squeezycheeseplease Mon 02-Jun-14 13:15:02

glasgowstevenagain and silveroldie2 - what horrible things to say.

squeezycheeseplease Mon 02-Jun-14 13:16:29

A family has been in turmoil for years and 'experts' like you two still crawl out of the woodwork with these ridiculous comments. I can't even imagine what would make someone say that sort of thing.

Cocolepew Mon 02-Jun-14 13:17:44

There was a man (a holiday maker) on my local radio news complained about the digging because it made the village look bad and they were nice, friendly people. He thought it was bad timing hmm.
I nearly crashed into a bin lorry yelling at the radio.
How insensitive.

Joules68 Mon 02-Jun-14 13:17:57

What questions?

AnyFucker Mon 02-Jun-14 13:21:29

McCann Bashing is still alive and well, I see

How fucking ghoulish to turn up here on this thread and do it. Perhaps the Bashers should go to Portugal and gawp at the excavations, whilst carrying banners saying "Kate did it"

Fucking hell

AnyFucker Mon 02-Jun-14 13:23:34

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weakandvocal Mon 02-Jun-14 13:25:12

I'm imagining a Les Dawson lookalike, twitching curtains with a 'mark my words'.


StillFrigginRexManningDay Mon 02-Jun-14 13:25:39

I can see the point of the villagers in India because they were highlighting the disregard of the police towards their lowest caste girls, barely human, a step above the rats. They did the only thing they could do, many illiterate with no means of contacting the media, stayed until the media came to them.

Everyone wants to be the first with the news story, get the exclusive, the money shot. Remember those poor prostituted women who were murdered a few years ago? The news reports at the time focused on another body being found not another woman has been murdered. Body found sounds more sensationalist.

Bowlersarm Mon 02-Jun-14 13:25:45

Nice glasgowstevenagain and silveroldie, really nice.

What a horrible situation. Difficult to say the right thing. Must be torment for them.

marssparklesdownonme Mon 02-Jun-14 13:28:43

Sky news are complete bastards.I've never forgotten the time they gave out a supposed sighting of the Soham girls and spent time on some arsehole publicity seeker who had made it up.

ExcuseTypos Mon 02-Jun-14 13:29:02

I agree still, the villagers had no choice if they wanted justice. A relative of the girls said it was very difficult to leave them. Heartbreaking.

silveroldie2 Mon 02-Jun-14 13:30:41

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AnyFucker Mon 02-Jun-14 13:32:11

I don't agree the pictures of the hanged girls should have been distributed so widely (and so fucking casually) though

Evidence for the police/authorities/pressure to be borne from foreign govts etc

But on Twitter, for the delectation of the chattering masses ? Nope, I cannot agree with that.

Bowlersarm Mon 02-Jun-14 13:33:08

Don't really care if you apologise or not silveroldie. Your comments are really in bad taste on this OPs thread.

AnyFucker Mon 02-Jun-14 13:34:20

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ExcuseTypos Mon 02-Jun-14 13:34:31

Of course you can think what you like. Can't you just keep it in your little head though? Most people don't wish to hear such crap.

Scousadelic Mon 02-Jun-14 13:35:10

Horrible situation all around. It must be beyond awful for the family and it is not nice for those who are in Praia da Luz just to enjoy a nice holiday or for those who rely on the holiday trade there for their living.

indigo18 Mon 02-Jun-14 13:41:07

Surely Kate has answered every possible question, a million times over!

StillFrigginRexManningDay Mon 02-Jun-14 13:41:35

The unfortunate side effect is the sharing of the pics on twitter and facebook for people to out horror each other. Its like those stupid 'Like if you hate child abuse' pictures hmm .

ICanSeeTheSun Mon 02-Jun-14 13:54:27

I'm interested in what question Kate has to answer.

JessMcL Mon 02-Jun-14 13:58:20

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AnyFucker Mon 02-Jun-14 14:01:50

Nobody ever asked that question, huh ? FFS.

indigo18 Mon 02-Jun-14 14:04:10

I am too, Icansee

ICanSeeTheSun Mon 02-Jun-14 14:05:45

Look at Kate face, this a mother who child has been missing since 2007.

That's 7 years of missed Christmas, birthdays, starting school, starting junior school, Christmas plays, sports days, thousands of days of their daughter life.

Is it too much to show a bit of empathy.

7Days Mon 02-Jun-14 14:07:18

and pompous with it. you go, silveroldie.

I agree with whoever upthread said there's a difference between collecting evidence for the authorites and providing fodder for the imaginations of the likes of these two 'truthseekers' here. surely people can differentiate between no coverups and open titillation

gatofeliz Mon 02-Jun-14 14:08:19

Heres the 48 questions she allegedly refused to answer and as a bonus, its from the DM website!

Sky news no longer shock me after what they did with the April Jones case sad

BubbleButt79 Mon 02-Jun-14 14:09:12

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AnyFucker Mon 02-Jun-14 14:11:24

I hope HQ pull this thread. It seems that any aspect of this utterly distressing case cannot be discussed without ignorant haterz coming on to derail the fuck out of it.

ManchesterAunt Mon 02-Jun-14 14:12:46

Oh yes KMs questions that are circling round the internet.... the interview was months after Madeline went missing and after they were officially declared suspects.

You bet if I had a chance of being arrested and imprisoned away feom my remaining children I would follow my legal advice to the letter which would be "no comment".

Have a questioning mind for yourself ffs.

limitedperiodonly Mon 02-Jun-14 14:14:16

For heavens sake. I am a journalist. This is a legitimate news story. I've covered a number of such sites. The police erect barriers, keep the press back and liaise with reporters in order to keep them informed.

Would you rather a situation where the police say: 'move along, there's nothing to see here?'

If you're a journalist, limitedperiod, did you see the Met's letter? I am one too and it convinced me.

7Days Mon 02-Jun-14 14:17:44

that's not what's being said, limited.

there is a difference between reporting on developments and watching a hole being dug hoping to see a tiny skeleton. christ alive

BubbleButt79 Mon 02-Jun-14 14:19:44

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kim147 Mon 02-Jun-14 14:19:50

So - limited

What would happen if they found a body? You wouldn't report it from the site, would you?

What do the journalists there want to happen?
Why are they there?
What do they want to report?

limitedperiodonly Mon 02-Jun-14 14:22:41

I haven't longtalljosie. Would you mind linking and I'll read it and comment? Thanks, if you can.

I'm by no means an apologist for everyone in our trade, but I am weary of the lazy reactions of people who lap things up in order to condemn.

And I also take the points of the people who pointed out that the family of the hanged women might have wanted their pictures taken to prove that it happened.

hellymelly Mon 02-Jun-14 14:23:21

What did Sky news do over the April Jones case? My dd upset about this at the moment due to something she saw on the news.

Waltonswatcher1 Mon 02-Jun-14 14:26:15

Please may they find a body .
I don't watch the news .
I just hope they find a body so the family know her suffering ended .
As for the bile related to the parents - it's been covered and we are all entitled to opinion , but perhaps you can filter your thoughts to others . Not everyone believes they are guilt free , but surely everyone believes they have paid for their acts ?

limitedperiodonly Mon 02-Jun-14 14:29:24

What would happen if they found a body? You wouldn't report it from the site, would you?

Of course I would. That was my job. I didn't make news happen. But it was my responsibility to report it. I took that responsibility very seriously when I was doing it and now I'm not, I still expect it of people do that job. In fact, I admire people who dug a lot deeper than I did.

I find it very frightening that people wouldn't do that for whatever reason - laziness or convenience. There's a debate to be had about news sense/values too, but the essentials remain: if something happens, you tell.

limitedperiodonly Mon 02-Jun-14 14:31:26

I forgot to add to laziness and convenience: a sense of decorum.

I honestly can't tell you which I despise most.

kim147 Mon 02-Jun-14 14:32:13

What about the family? Relatives? Don't they deserve to know before a report from the site? The immediate family would know before the press but it would still need to be identified.

At least they haven't got helicopters overhead with live coverage.

Andrewofgg Mon 02-Jun-14 14:33:00

limited Journos are members of the public. They have no more right to get close up than I do. And how much right that is depends in this case on the law of Portugal.

If it was in England: yes I would rather those who did not need to be there were kept away.

Amandaclarke Mon 02-Jun-14 14:38:45

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noddyholder Mon 02-Jun-14 14:39:29

So are SY now saying it was a panicked burglar rather than a pre planned abduction? As stated on crimewatch

curiousgeorgie Mon 02-Jun-14 14:41:31

What happened with April Jones? What did Kay Burley do??

noddyholder Mon 02-Jun-14 14:41:37

I don't think they will find her though as a burglar wouldn't be able to carry a child out a window with a shovel and then bury on ground like that which requires excavation equipment in a town where within an hour it was swarming with police and media. More likely they are looking for evidence maybe?

Bowlersarm Mon 02-Jun-14 14:43:02

I'd like to know about April Jones and Kay Burley too. What happened?

This is a thread about media coverage, not speculation re MM disappearance. please keep it to that.

If some of you wish to have yet another thread speculating upon the case itself, do start your own thread. so it can be deleted

OhTheRelief Mon 02-Jun-14 14:45:36
limitedperiodonly Mon 02-Jun-14 14:46:44

Andrewofgg Yes we are are members of the public. Where did I not say that? At sites such as this it is the police's job to manage the situation. In Britain they can easily do it using public order laws that apply to everyone. In Portugal, which I believe used to be a dictatorship, that might be a bit easier. That includes news helicopters - it is only slightly more of an inconvenience for the police to get an injunction.

I don't expect you to love journalists, but would you really want to live in a world were everyone was kept away?

I reserve my biggest contempt for people who turn their faces away, not out of intimidation, but out of a misplaced feeling of decorum. 'Oh no, look away darling. That's just so, so tawdry.'

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 02-Jun-14 14:46:44

Madeleine deserves justice, as do her younger siblings whose lives will be blighted by this tragedy forever.

Bowlersarm Mon 02-Jun-14 14:46:48

Thanks ohtherelief

Bowlersarm Mon 02-Jun-14 14:47:43

Yes candy ditto her parents.

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 14:47:52

I'd be very interested in what you think you achieve, limited, with this sort of.coverage? Specifically, the live coverage of this excavation? Why not be reported later? What do we as the public stand to.gain from witnessing this live?

Given the amount of suspicion/countersuspicion, accusation/counteraccusation, conspiracy theories and the like that have surrounded this case, I am surprised that people are not happy that there will be no doubt at all as to the outcome of this action, given that it is being scrutinised as it it happens.

kim147 Mon 02-Jun-14 14:51:31

What does live coverage achieve?
Why is it needed?
Who benefits?

montysma1 Mon 02-Jun-14 14:51:35

There are some truly repellent people on this thread. I actually feel soiled having read their bile.

I mean, the horse has bolted on measured, respectful coverage and discussion on this one, hasn't it?

Full and open disclosure is the only way forward.

Bowlersarm Mon 02-Jun-14 14:53:22

OutsSelf we are in a society of news being delivered 24/7 now. Madeleine McCann is a newsworthy story, whether people find it distasteful or not, surely? It has been in the news for a number of years with no conclusion. If there is a conclusion now, journalists will want to be there to report it.

I can't watch this particular story because it breaks my heart, but there must be an awful lot of people who want to follow it, I would imagine.

kim147 Mon 02-Jun-14 14:55:30

But what are they following?

If the police found a body, they would not say. At least not for a while.

Andrewofgg Mon 02-Jun-14 14:55:34

limited Journos in practice often expect privileged access. I have been in high-profile cases in court where the reporters were angry that there was one area for public and press and if non-press people were at the head of the queue they could have all the seats.

Your sneer about Portugal having been a dictatorship is unworthy. That was forty years ago.

ComposHat Mon 02-Jun-14 14:56:11

It doesn't surprise me, saddens me slightly though.

I suppose that this is the pay off for the McCann's (understandably) using the media as a tool to help keep the search for her going.

Yet the unfortunate flipside is that every twist and turn in the case will be subject to blanket coverage. It is all part of the media circus that keeps her case in the public eye.

Tinkerball Mon 02-Jun-14 14:57:17

I guess it's because rightly or wrongly there still remains a huge public interest in this story with so any different opinions as to what happened.

Sometimes there is necessarily a blurred line between the need to report and the need for 'respect'.

'Respect' can be used to hide wrongdoing. Openness and live coverage can seem ghoulish.

Its interesting how very few people I imagine complained about news coverage of the tsunami's of recent years where bodies where plainly seen in virtually all news coverage. Few talked of the dignity of the dead in those circumstances.

Maybe when the bodies are of victims of mans brutality and can be named it elicits a different emotional response, but is it not in essence the same kind of coverage?

AgaPanthers Mon 02-Jun-14 14:58:03

I am honestly perplexed that they are still investigating this. Are there really no other unsolved missing children cases?

Normally don't the police investigate, pursue their leads and then close the case unless more info comes to light.

It's very strange.

wannaBe Mon 02-Jun-14 15:00:42

I think it's fair to say that the media are expecting something from this excavation which is presumably why they're there. It's worth remembering that the media are often informed about potential developments long before the general public in order that reporting can be managed iyswim.

I don't imagine for one second that journalists are hoping to capture the moment live if something is found, but this case has been in the public eye for such a long time that it's naïve to think the press wouldn't be present during what could be a potentially significant breakthrough.

It's not uncommon for the media to be present at the sight of where something is expected to be found 0 I remember for instance when Cromwell street was being dug up to find Fred and Rosemary West's victims.... and that was about twenty years ago...

lotsohummus Mon 02-Jun-14 15:02:58

The fact she didn't answer those questions really doesn't mean anything. If the police were throwing loaded questions at my client, with little evidence, trying to trip them up and were basically on a fishing expedition, I would also advise giving a no-comment interview. It's pretty standard legal advice.

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 15:03:38

Lots of things are newsworthy that aren't covered. Full and open this case is about satisfying the interests of people fundamentally disinterested in the actual outcome. However we feel about this and whatever the outcome, the general public will not be affected by this. Conspiracy theorists, so what? Their mawkish and pathological paranoia should.dictate policy?

Whatever happens, the general public are not granted any kind of agency or insight by this. Our lives will continue. We'll all be a bit more revolted, disgusted and mutilated. Why is this to the public good?

As far as I can tell, Sky benefits from this.

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 15:05:03

I think it's gone beyond 'ooohh, what REALLY happened?' It's irrelevant now, because she's gone. Dead or alive, she's separated from her mummy and daddy. Whoever is responsible, at this stage I expect closure of some kind is more relevant to her family right now, and they deserve the dignity of not having those vultures hanging around.

What is to be gained? If MM is buried there (God help her), then what is the actual goal? Honestly? How far would they push it? And more importantly, how much would the public have to see before there was any kind of 'fuck off now' reaction from the public? Hypothetically, if she was found; do they want the McCann's screaming, live, as their DD is discovered? How about a close up of the body at different angles, with an 'expert guest pathologist' in the studio with the anchor? Honestly, if she is found; how far are they going to push it, and how much further are they going to speculate?

This is feeding on the grief of a family, who's lives have been picked apart for all to see for 7 years.

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 15:05:11

*titilated not mutilated. My kindle is obvs having some sort of Freudian moment

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 15:06:50


A crime has been committed. they police obviously feel they have enough information to request this action. This should of course happen.

As someone said upthread, we have all seen coverage of backgardens being dug up. Why is this different? Why should this not be covered by the media?

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 15:09:12

lotso quite right. If that was my child, I could barely string a sentence together sad

It's irrelevant right now anyway, and absolutely NOT the point of this thread though, but if you want to write libellous things, then can you start another thread to yourselves? This isn't what I wanted to discuss. Thanks.

limitedperiodonly Mon 02-Jun-14 15:10:37

It's an interesting debate OutsSelf and one which has always been had going back hundreds of years.

Some reporters behave really badly. I'm not disputing that. But most people's behaviour is manageable with negotiation or criminal law.

Would you really prefer a situation that says: 'Move along. Nothing to see here'?

I'm not just talking about crime scenes but political and business scandals too.

Because that angers and scares me and the idea that ordinary people go along with that absolutely terrifies me.

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 15:11:55

madame, maybe that should stop as well. A shot of the area is fine, but some things aren't ok. I mean, yes they have white tents up and all, but the fact is, they have to create a media/public cordon around these areas, which suggests to me that if they COULD get a shot of a dead victim; they would.

wannaBe Mon 02-Jun-14 15:12:12

Well, as distasteful as it is to be present at an excavation sight, where do people think a line should be drawn? If, for instance, the police were following up a possible sighting of MM and were at a location awaiting an outcome and the possibility of finding her alive, would people still be saying the media shouldn't be there? when April Jones/the little boy in Scotland went missing the press were there during the searches, and yet the outcomes were inevitably the same - both were murdered, and in one instance the body was found albeit by the police at the house of a relative... Or is it ok for the media to be present if people think there is the faintest possibility that the child will be found alive, even though invariably when child goes missing like that it is highly unlikely to be the case....

squoosh Mon 02-Jun-14 15:12:16

'I am honestly perplexed that they are still investigating this. Are there really no other unsolved missing children cases?'

No I don't think there are that many cases where a young child has just vanished. Most missing children cases concern children who have runaway or been snatched by a parent etc.

kim147 Mon 02-Jun-14 15:12:19

I think there's a massive difference between political scandals and reporting compared to live reporting of the search for a potential body.

A massive difference.

well, precisely, limited. It's less the public's right to be inches away from an exhumation, it's the public's right to know that there is transparency and due process, and we are free to question all aspects of governance and probity in public life.

Horrible things happen to people. Crimes are committed. These do need to be reported. And outcomes, and the manner of reaching conclusions need to be reported.

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 15:15:40

Why not? What does it do to our million watching psyches? I object to all of this kind of reporting. What does it do to you, to repeatedly experience the production of spectacle.and entertainment out of tragedy? Every time you witness something like this you are being invited not to share in but alienate yourself from tragedy, from the plight of little this, and that of her parents. How could you survive, psychologically, otherwise? It's brutalising. It makes brutes of us. Why participate?

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 15:17:34

Cases such as MM; going missing on holiday/snatched etc are (thankfully) pretty rare. But it seems to me, that there's this ghoulish predilection by the media to hype it all up and prey on parent's fears; to hold MM's parents (and those like them) up as pariahs for the public, hate figures. There's almost a smug 'what did you think was going to happen?' Feel coming from Sky's reporters.

Kim, this is a story which has caused massive public interest, and has caused all sorts of terrible actions to cascade into the public domain as a result.

The vilifying of the parents, the vilifying of the police...endless speculation.

Of course this is going to be the result. People do feel invested. And it is perfectly normal for people to want to know the outcome.

It is unfortunate perhaps that the media coverage is as a result of all this up close and personal, but it is not the worst thing in the world.

As I have said, we have all seen coverage of gardens and land being searched and dug up for possible bodies. Why is this different?

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 15:18:33

They do need to be reported. But there's a way it should be done, and a way it shouldn't be done.

kim147 Mon 02-Jun-14 15:19:01

MM is either alive somewhere or dead. Live reporting from the site will not achieve anything for her family - just more of the same ghoulish reporting of this story where every possible sighting or theory becomes front page news for certain papers like The Express but leads nowhere.

If her body is found, it will be reported. We don't need live coverage.

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 15:20:06

Why the need to zoom in on the police undertaking their awful task though?! We all know what's happening! There's nothing to be gained from
Reporting it like that.

wannaBe Mon 02-Jun-14 15:20:10

And the reason why the public want to know is because for seven years the public have been told what to think, what to feel, what happened, without any information to support that and to be vijilant in the search for a missing child who her parents have told the media they still believe to be alive. The public have been told that no other opinion is valid other than the one that she was abducted, and many gave their time and in many instances their money to the search.

You can’t put a disappearance under such intense public scrutiny for such a long time and then expect the public not to be interested in a potential development or even a conclusion.

And the outcome is inevitably going to change public thinking. If MM is found at that sight then questions are going to need to be asked – of the family, the friends, those closest to her, and potentially of others in the area to try to establish what happened to her. And if the outcome is any different from that she was taken (and I am not speculating, but in truth nobody actually knows) then it will IMO influence how the public react to missing children in future.

Well I have just been on sky, and there was no coverage there. So I assume they are just set up near the sight with some view of tents and various officials coming and going.

Is this correct?

If it is, I see no difference from other coverage in similar searches. IIRC the media even use helicopters in the UK to give a birds eye view of proceedings here.

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 15:21:51

None of what you say, Madame necessitates live coverage for the watching world. Live coverage is no more exempt from manipulation, lies or falsification. It just makes a stronger truth claim without clearly being an actual truth.

And limited, that's a straw man argument, it really is.

squeezycheeseplease Mon 02-Jun-14 15:21:54

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ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 15:22:56

There was a full report earlier today madame I watched 5 mins ago and it was more of a snippet.

If it is the nature of the coverage by the Sky reporters, then I think that is a very different matter.

I think they should be there.

But if they are being as ghoulish in their coverage and speculations as many MNetters have shown themselves to be over the last few years, then I agree with Ziggie, they need to know how distasteful people regard that kind of coverage.

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 15:24:00

Wannabe, all of that can be achieved without broadcasting live from the scene. And besides which is arguably just media supported, even media driven, rubber necking.

kim147 Mon 02-Jun-14 15:26:11

I think 24 / 7 live coverage of events is sometimes pointless and a waste of valuable media time.

The media being there - or at any other event like this - will not make the process more effective. If anything, they probably get in the way. If something happens, the media can be told.

But going live to a reporter - who has nothing to say - but speculation. It's all speculation and that must be so hard for families involved. The public's interest in the story should not be the first concern. It's ghoulish and just like people who rubber neck at car accidents.

unrealhousewife Mon 02-Jun-14 15:26:15

Unbelievable comments on here, it's their fault their daughter was abducted because she were left in her room? So an unattended child is fair game for an abducter? I hope you're going to walk your children to school until they are 16 in that case cos a single child going to school is just an offering to the evil. And sleep in their room, to protect from the ones that climb through windows.

That poor woman.

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 15:26:18

"The villifying of parents, the villifying of police... The endless speculation"

All achieved through and not cured by press coverage

And I agree by broadcasting prurient speculation on the part of reporters is awful, not only because it debases both the media and ourselves in the process, but in a world where freedom of speech and freedom of the press is under increasing pressure, that kind of journalism undermines at every turn.

But it is perfectly possible to produce respectful coverage which adheres to good journalistic principles.

Not covering it simply for questions of taste is a non-starter.

The be honest out, the majority of vilification of the parents seems to be open forum driven. MN being one such.

kim147 Mon 02-Jun-14 15:27:39

Covering it:

Police are investigating scrubland in a search for MM.

Job done. Covered.

YouAreCompletelyRight Mon 02-Jun-14 15:28:27

Are they excavating the whole area of each site or does equipment exist that can help them target specific areas?

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 15:28:59

"It's perfectly normal, to want to know the outcome"

Which doesn't make it our right, to the public good, or of any inherent value. People want to know- so fucking what?

The cannot have freedom of the press without there being abuses of it. And outright abuses should be sanctioned.

But it is a fine line between sanctioning outright abuses and closing down legitimate debate because it does not suit your agenda.

We have to negotiate this line again and again in a democracy. And thank god we have the luxury of this difficult task. Many don't.

Out, where would you draw the line then? Banning coverage at the site? Waiting for debriefs from the police? No information given out at all?

All crime is in the public domain and the resolution of crimes is also in the public domain.

kim147 Mon 02-Jun-14 15:33:01

I think live coverage is ridiculous. I can see having reporters there. But I do not see the need for live updates, speculation etc. If something happens, the police will give a media conference.

But going over live to a search? Why?

When you say live coverage, do you mean 24 hour coverage of a camera trained on the site?

Or do you refer to the media being present there?

I agree with the comments about speculation. But updates there should be .

Are people objecting to the nature of the coverage or the media being there at all?

kim147 Mon 02-Jun-14 15:36:49

I mean - going over live during a show to get any updates. When there probably won't be any.

If something happens, the media there will be told. We don't need to know if nothing has happened.

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 15:37:31

Well, I'm here debating this because we aren't getting it right here and I don't buy the freedom of the at stake here. This is about commercial transactions and to invoke the end of democracy as a counter argument is about precisely refusing to negotiate the line in this case because of another hypothetical one elsewhere which I'd bet my life does not depend on a million people watching in the hope of glimpsing the buried remains of a little girl who died violently.

meditrina Mon 02-Jun-14 15:37:42

THe BBC coverage is not that dissimilar to SKY on this one. Shots of the approximate area, a reporter on the ground and interviews with locals about what they think of the search being conducted just as the holiday season is gearing up.

I very much doubt people want to see any remains.

They want to know what happened.

I would be interested still to know out if you object to the nature of the coverage by this media organisation, or just coverage of the action itself?

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 15:41:23

I mean 24hr coverage of a media van (or multiple media vans) on site. Reporting, free reporting is A Good Thing. But they could have covered it with a photo of MM, an aerial map of the place they were digging (not live obv, just a Google Map still), and someone in the studio in an even tone, announcing that excavations have begun in a new phase of the operation. Done.

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 15:41:53

I'm focussing in on Sky as that's the coverage I have seen today.

Thanks ziggie for clarifying.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Mon 02-Jun-14 15:44:10

This kind of live coverage isn't news though, is it? It's entertainment. Sky news is appealing to people who want to be entertained, not informed.

limitedperiodonly Mon 02-Jun-14 15:44:17

andrew I'm not sneering at Portugal, I'm just saying that it was a political dictatorship in living memory and may still have laws and culture that easily circumvent reporting. Britain does too, but it's subtler.

I happen to think that's a bad thing and that's nothing to do with my job and more to do with me being an ordinary citizen.

I like having people like Jeremy Paxman asking: 'why is this lying bastard lying to me?'

I say again, would you prefer the police to be able to say: 'Move along please.'

Because I don't.

unrealhousewife Mon 02-Jun-14 15:51:51

Of all the horrendous things going on around the world they focus on the bones of a tiny child, for the whole day. That's not news or reporting, that is just curtain twitching nosiness.

They are focussing of the resolution of a possible crime. If that involves a body then so be it.

It is in all our interests that crimes are investigated and solved. because that is why we have a social contract that states that some actions are crimes and punishable. Justice must be seen to be done.

Andrewofgg Mon 02-Jun-14 15:56:57

limited Understood; not a sneer.

As to Move along please it depends. If it will enable the police to do their job better then yes. It does not depend on whether the person to whom it is said is or is not media.

JonesRipley Mon 02-Jun-14 15:59:01

It's Sky. What do you expect?

gatofeliz Mon 02-Jun-14 15:59:45

I've clicked over to Sky and they are not doing the wall to wall coverage, its just a 2 minute update along with all of the other headlines.

They obviously have a reporter in Portugal but i would think all of the other news outlets have aswell confused

The difficulty lies in the particular nature of this crime.

Of course it is dreadfully upsetting, and awful to contemplate the reality of what might be buried there.

And I think this is a right and respectful emotional response to the situation.

But I think we have to careful not to conflate that natural and humane response with moving straight to curbing coverage of these things.

If we only covered news that was benign and feel good, then we would have no coverage, no coverage of those poor girls in India, no coverage of the poor women sentenced to death for their choice of religion, or for being raped.

These are knotty and testing issues, but we must know about them.

The possible murder of a child is newsworthy, as is the possible resolution to the mystery.

I agree the nature of the coverage should be respectful and measured. But I utterly believe it should be covered.

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 16:05:51

Straw man again, limited.

I am objecting to the nature of this coverage, to be clear. Though I am suspicious of our overall news culture, I am not advocating shutting it down. I am very suspicious of its truth claims, my family were miners striking in the 80s. I think it does us harm, endlessly to be saturated in horrid over which we have no agency and from which we can gather nothing apart from how appallingly cruel the world is.

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 16:07:35

Obvs, I don't have an answer but I agree that democracy can only function in the context of equality of information. But this information in this way?

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 16:10:45

Yes but all those things you've just named, Madame, have been going on for a long time. It's just that now, there is an appetite for those particular kinds of savagery. Which really tells us all we need to know about the realities of the transparency agenda.

TheBogQueen Mon 02-Jun-14 16:10:53

I see the tin foil klaxon has gone off again

MerryMarigold Mon 02-Jun-14 16:12:25

I think the point is that this is currently NO information, so restricting it would not be restricting any information.

what does it tell us out?

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 16:16:44

I mean, is it just me or have we suddenly noticed how very mean countries associated with Islam are to their women when there's an ideological war against Islam? We seemed remarkably unconcerned by the plights of such women when their governments cooperated with Western governments. And isn't there a degree to which that narrative of the women "really" oppressed in Other countries is used to minimise the sexism of our own culture?

Joules68 Mon 02-Jun-14 16:17:20

Its on again now... Are we talking about the search?

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Mon 02-Jun-14 16:17:42

To be honest, the thing I was most shocked by on the bit of coverage I saw (ITN I think) was a local lady complaining about "all this fuss for one little girl" shock.

She went on to say that a little German boy & three others little boys were also missing, but that their families had "just put posters up on the beach as it should be" sad.

With regards to this thread, I am also saddened that people are still dragging up every little thing that the McCanns did or did not do on that evening. Often as if they have something new to say that will change everyone's mind - although we have all heard it numerous times before. I could sort of understand people asking those questions at the time - but, now, seven years on? How will it help Madeleine?

Personally, I have never for a moment thought that the McCanns had anything to do with their daughter's disappearance - but if I am wrong & they have been playing a huge game of cover up for seven years (would that even be possible? confused) then you can bet your last euro that the police have a pretty good idea about it & justice will be done at some point.

I am split on the news coverage - I think that updates should be given as and when there is something to say - but I don't see the merit of someone being sent to the search area with a microphone, no.

limitedperiodonly Mon 02-Jun-14 16:19:19

It's Sky. What do you expect?

JonesRipley That says a lot more about you than it does about Sky News.

They have some very good correspondents - I think much better in terms of foreign news than the BBC.

Tim Marshall is an excellent political commentator, particularly in terms of the Middle East.

I'd rate him as the best - better than Frank Marshall - who I really like - and Jeremy Bowen and that ridiculous Widow Twanky act John Simpson.

Alex Marshall is great. I really like Mark Stone in Asia.

There are other domestic news Sky News reporters I rate but sticking with the foreign ones - they're reporting in forrin-land, and very well - what else do you want them to do?

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 16:20:51

Yes; at the moment it's a 2/3 minute update. The coverage I was referring to earlier was much longer. Possibly it's only showing at peak times?

Maybe I am just older Out, and have seen a couple more decades of this kind of coverage, so I dispute the conclusion you draw.

Which is not to say that I don't see that the choice of news coverage tells us a good deal about a) the society the 'news' originates from and b) the importance it commands in our own culture.

but I think your conclusion is simplistic and unhelpful.

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 16:23:19

Okay, sorry, I think I'm in danger of derailing.

Actually, I agree with you Madame about the principles.of the press and.It's relationship to democracy. I just don't think that it's true that it is for those reasons that this thing is being reported in this way.

You said up thread that we must endlessly negotiate this line between press.intrusion and transparency. So here we are, doing just that. I think we have got it wrong, in this case, that coverage is on the side of commerce and not on the side of the public good.

Joules68 Mon 02-Jun-14 16:25:31

I have 2 observations to make about the excavations

1/ they are digging. In May 2007 how would any individual be able to dig that dry scrubland themselves to conceal a body? Unobserved

2/ if a body IS recovered, I'm guessing the Mcanns ( due to close proximity) be the first suspects and it will all start up again.

Awful for the whole family. That picture if Kate upthread is haunting

Fair point Out!

PleaseJustShootMeNow Mon 02-Jun-14 16:27:41

Normally don't the police investigate, pursue their leads and then close the case unless more info comes to light.

Which is exactly what they are doing here, pursuing their leads. Or do you think they're just randomly searching areas on the off chance that they'll find something?

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 16:31:15

joules I believe the weather had not been brilliant, so it may not have been all that dry; I recall the recent Crimewatch special saying something about it, although I may stand corrected.

Also, finding a body in no way makes the McCanns suspects.

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 16:34:24

And if they're persuing leads; they obviously think there's a good chance they will find something.

Joules68 Mon 02-Jun-14 16:39:42

I think the mcann haters will see it as a possibility the parents were involved is what I meant. Not my personal view but it's close enough for speculation in that vein

Amandaclarke Mon 02-Jun-14 16:44:08

Ziggie - what makes you think the McCanns would in no way become suspects should a body be found? Surely you along with the rest of the world have no idea what the body would reveal if it was found....

The police are obviously looking for evidence to help them, if and once any evidence is found I am sure the police will determine who is an appropriate suspect.

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 16:50:13

Well it doesn't; the discovery of a body doesn't automatically point to the parents, does it? That's just speculative.

weakandvocal Mon 02-Jun-14 16:54:42

I liken mccann hater to be like the 'burn her, burn her' types, that would have insisted the local woman was a witch in medieval times. Wrong, but convinced.

Amandaclarke Mon 02-Jun-14 16:56:53

No it doesn't automatically point to the parents and I wouldn't speculate. But you said the parents would no way become suspects, they might if evidence reveals something that indicates their involvement so I wondered how you could be so sure.

ChelsyHandy Mon 02-Jun-14 17:01:14

weakandvocal I liken mccann hater to be like the 'burn her, burn her' types, that would have insisted the local woman was a witch in medieval times. Wrong, but convinced

So do I. And quadruple that suspicion of any woman who has a reasonably decent career. Kate McCann is a doctor. People who occupy themselves by sitting behind computer keyboards hate clever women.

I agree the 24 hour news footage is extremely distasteful.

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 17:05:53

Okay, sorry amanda for offending you smile

Bowlersarm Mon 02-Jun-14 17:08:31

What do you mean you wouldn't speculate Amandaclarke.

Half of page 3 is about you speculating.

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 17:12:59

here is a written form of the coverage for anyone who hasn't seen the Sky report on the TV, although it is quite condensed and doesn't show the close ups of the Garda van and stuff.

Amandaclarke Mon 02-Jun-14 17:13:01

Ziggie - no offence taken smile

It's just with a case like this I prefer to go on facts and evidence rather than speculation. I have followed the case with interest and had read an awful lot of the available documented police evidence. I would keep my opinions open on any new evidence until it is in the public domain. At present no-one knows whether there will be any evidence found or, if there is something, who it will lead police to.

Amandaclarke Mon 02-Jun-14 17:14:50

Bowlers - that's not speculation, I listed facts and evidence that is available for all to see confused.

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 17:19:13

I also don't like speculation that if a body is found; that immediately implicates the McCann's, because it just doesn't. I feel like the media have made thinly veiled attacks towards them this whole time. Honestly, if for whatever reason, they did become suspects and go on trial now; Jesus only knows how they would select a jury. How on earth would they (or anyone, actually) have a fair trial after all that?

And that leads me back onto my point; by all means, report it. But by lacking sensitivity, it leads people to conclusions.

GottaGetThisOut Mon 02-Jun-14 17:20:14

Sorry if this has already been answered but - are they digging there because they have reason to believe they'll find something?

Amanda, you cherry picked info to support your speculation.

But hey, this is a thread about media coverage. Try respecting that.

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 17:22:40

"They are expected to be in the area for days and to use ground penetrating radar equipment to look for anomalies in the terrain which may merit further investigation by digging."

limitedperiodonly Mon 02-Jun-14 17:24:37

outself can you explain what you mean by 'straw man'? Truly. I don't understand and would appreciate a definition because then I can accept it or refute it, or somewhere in-between, which would promote further debate between us.

But you seem to have used it as an alternative to saying 'end of', which most people on MN regard as unacceptable.

It might be 'straw man' or 'end of', and if it is, I'll accept it, but would you mind expanding please?

Nokidsnoproblem Mon 02-Jun-14 17:29:55

Can anyone tell me why they have chosen this particular area? Has new information come to light?

Amandaclarke Mon 02-Jun-14 17:30:42

Madame, sorry I am trying to respect the thread. Those who are accusing people of being "haters" should also have some respect.

Accusing people of being haters, jealous, thick and witch burners is not particularly respectful is it?

No-one knows what happened on that fateful day and no one will know until the case is solved, if it does indeed ever get solved. With this in mind isn't better to just look at the facts available to date and wait and see what transpires with any new evidence.

PleaseJustShootMeNow Mon 02-Jun-14 17:31:19

And if they're persuing leads; they obviously think there's a good chance they will find something.
Not necessarily. It may be to rule out particular line of enquiry.

I do agree amanda. But you do need to be careful not to talk about suspicious behaviour when referencing the parents.

It is a judgmental and perjorative term.

intheenddotcom Mon 02-Jun-14 17:34:58

I hope they do find her, if only so the matter is settled once and for all.

There is a huge public interest in the case, which was partly caused by the parents, so the media need to report it.

What I hate is the fact that things would have been so different had she not been pretty and white, with white, well connected, middle class parents.

Andrewofgg Mon 02-Jun-14 17:37:14

limited It's also true that The Times remains remarkably un-Murdoch.

But in stories which attract the tabloid readers - those with sex, crime, celebrity, children, or any combination - Murdoch's media will not generally leave the track (dirt-track?) which he has beaten for them.

noddyholder Mon 02-Jun-14 17:41:26

They must have chosen that area based on evidence as it is holiday season in Portugal so this will be hugely disruptive so must be serious. These areas were searched at the time though so I would have though any disturbed areas would have been obvious so maybe just seeking clues?

Hulababy Mon 02-Jun-14 17:42:54

Someone asked about numbers of other missing children in the UK:

This shows children reported missing with some details. A quick glance shows that many of the younger children who are missing are likely to be with family, etc rather than simply vanished without a trace.

Amandaclarke Mon 02-Jun-14 17:46:23

noddy - agreed, they must be pretty convinced there is evidence to be found to be undertaking this now.

Apparently two tents have been erected in the area in the last few minutes.

limitedperiodonly Mon 02-Jun-14 17:53:28

It's silly season. Newspapers have nothing to do, the local police have nothing better to do or maybe an officer has a book to sell or there is a documentary to promote.

Jinsei Mon 02-Jun-14 17:57:03

I can't believe the shit that people are spouting on this thread. How can people who weren't even involved in the investigation be so sure that the McCanns were responsible for Madeleine's disappearance, when there clearly wasn't enough evidence to charge them with anything? What on earth happened to the concept of people being innocent toll proven guilty?

They have lost a child ffs! The nasty comments say so much more about the people who make them than they do about the case itself. Cold, shitty people without an ounce of empathy in their bodies.

We live quite near the McCanns. I sometimes see Kate and the twins, out and about. She looks haunted. I really feel for them right now, and am so sorry that the media are using the story I'm this sensationalist way.

Rhine Mon 02-Jun-14 18:07:56

I don't think they were responsible for her disappearance, but I do think they were very negligent in leaving the children alone in the appartment, the excuse that "everyone does it" is a lame one. Not where I come from they don't.

ComposHat Mon 02-Jun-14 18:10:54

Jinsei it is the bonkers worldview of the conspiracy theorists who rather than seeing a complete lack of evidence for something (in this case that the McCanns killed and buried their daughter) as evidence of a cover up and a conspiracy of silence amongst the people who were there that night. Anyone who points the fact out there is no credible evidence to support the McCanns killed their daughter or point out how vile it is to make baseless allegations of this type is dismissed as a dupe.

Often when there is no evidence for something, it is just that a lack of evidence, not a massive conspiracy.

I can't link to the letter itself limited, it was an advisory. It is written up in part in this article - but while it quotes from the letter, it does not reproduce it in full and downplays a bit how emphatic it was

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 18:11:00

Rhine I honestly think that aspect of the story has been done to death, I really do.

Mrscaindingle Mon 02-Jun-14 18:11:40

I totally agree jinsei all of those who purport to have sympathy with the McCanns loss but in the same sentence suggest they may have had something to do with their daughters disappearance are just .. Well words fail me really. How anyone can look at Kate McCann and not feel empathy for how worn and tortured she looks?
I have also been feeling despair at the girls raped and hung from a tree in India as well as the woman sentenced to death by hanging in Sudan for being a Christian. Maybe I am feeling particularly sensitive at the moment but it is horrific that women have so little value in many parts of the world still. [ sad]

TheBogQueen Mon 02-Jun-14 18:21:49

What I don't get is why you sit and watch some ghoulish news coverage which, let's face it, is filling airtime, allowing the media to monitor what's happening, and keeping the knuckle draggers off the streets, slack jawed waiting for 'something to happen'

And then go online to complain about it.

Rhine Mon 02-Jun-14 18:23:58

Ziggie has it been done to death? That whole thing has been brushed under the carpet by the media, I can't help but wonder if they'd have gotten the same treatment if they were say, factory workers instead of doctors?....

It might sound harsh, but I've never been able to get my head around how they could leave three toddlers alone in an unlocked room like that?

Bowlersarm Mon 02-Jun-14 18:25:20

FFS Rhine, here we go again. Gleeful accusations.

Totally agree with you Junsei.

Hulababy Mon 02-Jun-14 18:25:59

Rhine def been done to death at the time, and afterwards, ime. In the press, on discussion type programmes, and certainly on social media including MN.

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 18:27:53

Straw man, limited, means you've set up a false argument to knock down. In this case, your suggestion that either this coverage happens or we live in a world in which the police are hushing it up ( which you suggest in saying the choice is this or the police "saying, move along please, there's nothing to see here"). No one has suggested a blanket ban or police cover ups, just that the coverage of this incident doesn't need to happen in this way. I think invoking the freedom of the press here is a fig leaf for commercial interests. And it isn't a harmless decision, I think we're all injured by the relationship to tragedy that this invites.

kim147 Mon 02-Jun-14 18:27:56

"Apparently two tents have been erected in the area in the last few minutes."

This is the issue - any development is reported and leads nowhere. Just causes more speculation.

Did Sky cut over live to the site to report this announcement?

annielouise Mon 02-Jun-14 18:28:34

Rhine, it has been done to death. What possible outcome would you want from that discussion? What more could be said? They've said themselves they shouldn't have done it. The only reason to keep harping on about it is to hammer parents that must be living in hell. A little girl is missing. Apart from blaming the person that actually did it there's no point hammering the parents. Anyone that thinks the parents had something to do with it are complete and utter idiots.

Rhine Mon 02-Jun-14 18:32:35

How is it gleeful to point out what happened? There's no getting around the fact that it was negligent thing to do. I can honestly say hand on heart my parents never, ever left us on our own at night. I can remember going on holidays as a child, my parents taking us out with them at night and us sleeping on the chairs with a coat over us. It was the same for other families I knew as well.

annielouise Mon 02-Jun-14 18:38:25

Rhine, what answer do you want? Yes, it was negligent? They know that, we know that, what's the point of going over and over that? What do you want from them? Do you want them on their knees prostrate begging forgiveness from the world? What do you want? Are they not suffering enough?

What is the point of your posts about what a negligent thing it was? All of us to pile in a rip them to shreds? It's been done before although thankfully on MN most are in sympathy with them.

limitedperiodonly Mon 02-Jun-14 18:45:50

OutsSelf Thank you for the explanation. I don't agree.

limitedperiodonly Mon 02-Jun-14 18:51:11

If Sky or anyone else is reporting tents and digging then watch it or don't.

What's your problem?

TheBogQueen Mon 02-Jun-14 18:54:03

It's not news coverage. It's voyeurism.

It's saying look, look, look...

Can you imagine what it must be like excavating for the remains of a little girl knowing this is also entertainment?

It allows people to idly discuss the horrible death of a child online, it allows them to position themselves as somehow 'better' than the bereaved parents and others to rush in with a 'development' thus feeling important.

It's vacuous nonsense.

kim147 Mon 02-Jun-14 18:54:40

I'm not watching it. But it gets spread on social media sites and raises expectations that something might have happened or been found. False worries- or false rumours which then escalate and soon fade away as nothing is found.

I think that's an issue. Any minor development gets picked over in this 24 / 7 live coverage and gets blow up, speculated on and then turns out to be wrong and not important.

What effect could that have on the family?

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 19:10:45

The problem is that it invites us to view this horror as entertainment. Every time a person interacts with an event like this as a piece of entertainment, they are learning to look at tragedy and alienate themselves from it. How else.could you survive the onslaught of horror, except by closing yourself down to it? We're learning to witness tragedy and be passive, or to treat it salaciously. It's hardly what you'd choose to cultivate at a societal level, surely - passivity and voyeurism? We shut ourselves down to empathy, or we wouldn't be able to tolerate the sheer unrelenting horror of it all. I don't think that's something we should be indifferent to or unconcerned by, after all, it could be anyone of us who is next to be photographed instead of helped at the scene of our own tragedy.

kim147 Mon 02-Jun-14 19:15:24

The whole MM case has been just like a soap opera. Speculation in the press, headlines in the Express that turn out to be false, sightings, searches and now live news coverage.

Is it news or entertainment like a Soap opera? Catch up with the latest installment now. That's what it seems to me - and it sells papers or else the papers - and by papers, I mean the Daily Express who are obsessed with this case - would not do it.

APlaceInTheWinter Mon 02-Jun-14 19:16:35

I think we should be questioning a commitment to providing news 24/7 as it constantly raises questions about quality control.

As to whether any developments in the MM case are news - of course, they are. It has been a major news story since it happened for a number of valid reasons: the awfulness of the incident; the PR campaign by the family; the unprecedented involvement by government and the major spend of public funds. For all those reasons, current developments are legitimate news. That's not to say we need updates 24/7 to say nothing has happened.

tbh if I was MM's family, the news coverage would be irrelevant to my torment. I'd have taken steps to ensure I only received official updates from the official channels and wouldn't care about how often Sky said 'there's nothing to report'.

limitedperiodonly Mon 02-Jun-14 19:17:49

It's vacuous nonsense

I agree, but as someone who has been on vacuous death watch duty I despise people like you bogqueen slightly ahead of my viewers/readers and just shaving it ahead of the people who are paying my wages.

Sleep tight.

Fleta Mon 02-Jun-14 19:23:42

I've always been of the thought that a great number of the negative comments against the McCanns comes from a sense of misguided self-preservation. That a parent's worst nightmare couldn't possible happen to them because they're better parents etc.

I can't help feeling finding a body would enable the McCanns to grieve properly and get some closure, I cannot imagine living in 7 years of such painful limbo

ICanSeeTheSun Mon 02-Jun-14 19:26:18

If a body is found, the McCannes will still not be allowed to grieve in privacy.

The news crew will be at the funeral, recording live with a few spread sheet in the paper.

The media isn't there to keep people informed, they are a business and it's sole purpose is to make money.

TheBogQueen Mon 02-Jun-14 19:27:05

Limited - I worked as a journalist fir many years and did plenty of 'death knocks' and have sat with news teams watching live coverage.

I now work for the emergency services. Why on earth would you despise me?

Vevvie Mon 02-Jun-14 19:28:23

Agree Fleta.

How many of us have done something which we could have later lamented over? There was a thread, not long ago, asking such.

EllenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 02-Jun-14 19:53:09

Hi all.
Thanks to those who've reported posts upthread that they feel break our talk guidelines.

Clearly the OP wanted to start a discussion about the media coverage of this case, so please do feel free to contribute to that topic.

However, we are in the process of deleting any posts that imply that Madeleine's parents were involved in her disappearance, so please don't speculate on that subject or we will have to delete the whole thread. We're here to support parents, all parents.

Thanks for your understanding.

NMFP Mon 02-Jun-14 19:57:32

I don't understand what point people who go on (and on) about the Mccanns leaving the children alone are trying to make. Its a fact. It's not in dispute.

Does it mean that we should just shrug our shoulders and possibly leave a dangerous person on the loose, on the lookout for other children to take?

How would that help anyone?

limitedperiodonly Mon 02-Jun-14 20:16:55

Then if you'e done fatals - we didn't call them death knocks - bogqueen then presumably understand the score. It's not something we enjoyed. It was something to be done.

Mostly the people I knocked on weren't hostile. They were numb. If they didn't want to talk, they didn't want to talk. There have been people who didn't want to talk to me.

But some of them were welcoming. After all, when your son has died in a road accident celebrating being the first person in the family getting into university, what would you do except invite the polite girl from the local paper in, ask her to take her shoes off and show him into his bedroom plastered with his hopes and dreams that aren't ever going to come true?

Do you get what I felt? And do you get the privilege I got from those people?

If you don't understand that, that's what I despise.

londonrach Mon 02-Jun-14 20:17:22

Not watching the whole mm story doesn't feel right for me. Something doesn't add up. I really hope they find mm but sadly I suspect this beautiful little girl died that night. Such an awful story and hope if anyone has been Nasty to this baby they get a punishment. I feel so awful for her younger brother and sister and hope against hope she's found alive and well. I don't comment on another mm post. X

Vevvie Mon 02-Jun-14 20:19:14

So the locals are not at all worried by all these children going missing? I don't think I would settle for just putting posters up at the beach!

TheBogQueen Mon 02-Jun-14 20:26:24

And actually that's a rather unkind post Limited

It is vacuous to devote hours of airtime to a process which is deeply unpleasant and adds nothing to the story. It's voyeuristic. It's indefensible. Sure the story needs to be covered but to suggest the media is buzzing about in helicopters in order to make sure the job is done properly is.. Well.. It's not really true is it.

From your post I understand you are personally in Praia de luz watching the work. It's a pretty grim assignment although much more grim fur the people directly involved.

On the day if the Paddington rail crash I visited eight houses of the deceased and afterwards I really questioned what I was doing as a journalist. To me it felt morally indefensible.

Anyway am tired as have spent a nightshift talking to people who are unwell and one sexual deviant at 2am.

TheBogQueen Mon 02-Jun-14 20:29:40

And I don't see any correlation between Sky's news coverage and a tribute piece in the paper. The two are not the same at all.

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 20:40:50

thebogqueen I was sat in the break room at work and it came on. I started this thread in response to how I felt it was reported, which is what an online forum is all about.

PleaseJustShootMeNow Mon 02-Jun-14 20:41:03

The news coverage is good, it's what the parents want. This case would have faded away and their daughter been forgotten by everyone apart from her family if it weren't for the media lapping it up. Her parents have worked tirelessly to court the media, to keep the public interested there by pressurising the authorities to get the investigation going again. I just hope for their sake they get the answers they so desperately need.

AnyFucker Mon 02-Jun-14 20:41:33

Thanks MNHQ

limitedperiodonly Mon 02-Jun-14 20:48:22

And actually that's a rather unkind post Limited

And I think you should step away bogqueen and refrain from being unpleasant about me.

BTW at the Clapham rail crash I didn't report, I gave blood. Do you want to play top trumps? Nighty night.

TheBogQueen Mon 02-Jun-14 20:50:50

Sure. I'm sorry I didn't mean you personally op. It just angers me that this sort of coverage passes fir news journalism.

It's like... There's a story there which should be told but it need context, it needs critical thinking. It doesn't need endless hours of speculation which is then usually wrong adds nothing.

sunshinecity17 Mon 02-Jun-14 20:51:28

I don't know whether MM was abducted or she died in an accident and I wish people wouldn't talk about her abduction as fact.It is a theory.

I don't know what the point of digging on the scrubland is.They used all this geo phys equipment there before and didn't find anything.And there one lead is seeing a man running towards the port carrying a child .

TheBogQueen Mon 02-Jun-14 20:59:32

Limited - this isn't about you.

You started with a post telling me you 'despised' me. I 've told you that was 'unkind'

I've a right to say what I think about this. I'm sorry you are offended by that.

limitedperiodonly Mon 02-Jun-14 21:00:51


TheBogQueen Mon 02-Jun-14 21:05:39

I'm not playing top trumps. I'm not just posting to you. And you keep attacking me and then saying night, night. Bizarre.

You seem determined to be offended. I'm trying to explain why I gave the perspective that I do...I've experience of this, I see it from a different perspective - I think I'm allowed to post about this confused

ziggiestardust Mon 02-Jun-14 21:11:47

sunshine you're right of course; abduction is a theory. I had forgotten that.

I hope they can find what they're looking for, after all this time.

windchime Mon 02-Jun-14 21:18:57

The fact is, the McCanns have always courted the media, so I cannot see how anyone can complain about the latest developments of the case being reported.

OutsSelf Mon 02-Jun-14 21:21:09

I don't think anyone is complaining about the latest developments in the case being reported. People.are.concerned about the way that reporting is being conducted.

Scousadelic Mon 02-Jun-14 21:35:30

Santas and vevvie Rightly or wrongly the Portuguese in that area feel very hard done by as their livelihood and property has been badly impacted by all this publicity and there is great resentment of the McCanns so they are not likely to be hugely supportive of this happening just as the holiday season starts. That is a more likely reason for the local woman and her comments rather than her thinking that child abduction is acceptable

silveroldie2 Mon 02-Jun-14 21:48:39

Thanks for deleting my posts MNHQ - I get it now, what I said was not acceptable to you but it's perfectly ok for other posters to call me, and I quote "a vicious rancid old hag, pompous, repellant, nasty, deluded, misguided, ghoulish, witch burning, fucking people, shit spouting". It gives me a good guideline about what is acceptable for describing other posters, should I so wish.

Vevvie Mon 02-Jun-14 21:57:25

But all those children going missing, presumably in the same area. Doesn't sound like a safe place to take your kids on holiday. Surely something official must be being done to find the missing children, I do think it would affect tourism if the place is a well known abduction site. I don't think I would want a family holiday there after that woman's statement.

LaVolcan Mon 02-Jun-14 21:59:47

I have just reported that post silveroldie2 - it clearly breaks the talk guidelines.

AnyFucker Mon 02-Jun-14 22:08:10

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

LaVolcan Mon 02-Jun-14 22:09:04

How would people like this to be reported? Surely the most famous missing child case the UK has seen is newsworthy? Or would you all like it to be hushed up?

It's also been in the news that the case on Genette Tate is being looked at again? Should that be in the news - not that her disappearance ever had anything like the same publicity.

kim147 Mon 02-Jun-14 22:11:27

It's newsworthy.
But is rolling coverage - if that is what's happening the right way to tackle it?

Have Sky been returning to the site for updates? Or are reporters just there waiting but not updating with no further news to update?

kim147 Mon 02-Jun-14 22:12:07

"How would people like this to be reported? Surely the most famous missing child case the UK has seen is newsworthy? Or would you all like it to be hushed up?"

It's not an either / or.

Tinkerball Mon 02-Jun-14 22:16:51

I don't think PDL is a hotbed of child abduction.

7Days Mon 02-Jun-14 22:20:02

'It's not either/or'

Exactly Kim, but some people can't get their heads around that

BeyondBurma Mon 02-Jun-14 22:26:44

Genette Tate disappeared when the world was a very different place in terms of media coverage.

How the hell have her family lived with that for 36 years, coped and not coped her father said this morning on R4.

MrRedAndBlue Mon 02-Jun-14 22:57:40

24/7 news coverage is here to stay. And as for shots of the police work going on at the moment, it's not that different to a reporter standing outside Buckinhgam Palace while talking about the Royal Family, or standing outside the House of Commons while taking about politics - it's just meant to add credibility.

Madeleine McCann's disappearance has been big news since day one and will continue to be until some kind of resolution is reached. Personally, I do think the police will find - or are looking for - a body. What they are more likely to looking for - and more likely to find is evidence such as a piece of clothing, or a bag, or a discarded sim card or some such.

It will be interesting to read how the British mainstream media will report the latest development in the libel case - if they report it at all - but that is probably another thread for another day...

ExcuseTypos Mon 02-Jun-14 23:03:28

Tinkerbell, PDL may not be a "hotbed of child abduction" but there have been many reports of men breaking into apartments and sexually assaulting young girls, around PDL.

Scousadelic Tue 03-Jun-14 00:41:18

I thought I had heard that those reports had been discredited Excuse? Could be wrong though.

We have holidayed on the Algarve for years, including at Praia da Luz (one of those at the Ocean Club) and I have never heard of anything like this. Portugal is a very family oriented society so I am very surprised if that is true

ICanSeeTheSun Tue 03-Jun-14 05:59:50

The trouble with google is that you can find anything to back your cliam up.

ExcuseTypos Tue 03-Jun-14 07:58:51

No those reports haven't been discredited. The independent report I've linked is from Apriil 2014, so very recent.

For some unfathomable reason the Portuguese police didn't seem to realise there was a serial sex attacker around PDL, despite the 17 incidents reported to them at the time they happened. I wonder if it could be something to do with them not wanting to put off tourists? hmm

ExcuseTypos Tue 03-Jun-14 08:00:36

icansee I agree with your comment. It's especially true for those who are determined to feel the patents are c

ExcuseTypos Tue 03-Jun-14 08:01:57


.. parents are covering up something. There's some ridiculous stuff out there.

BubbleButt79 Tue 03-Jun-14 08:38:28

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Bowlersarm Tue 03-Jun-14 08:40:46

Bile, bubble, and reported. I hope your post is deleted soon.

londonrach Tue 03-Jun-14 08:46:46

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

noddyholder Tue 03-Jun-14 08:51:04

Always ends like this as such an emotive subject that no one will budge on what they believe. I know I won't.

numptieseverywhere Tue 03-Jun-14 08:59:08

they're responsible? Yeah, in the same way a woman is responsible for getting raped if she travels alone after dark and isn't wearing a full burkha. FFS.

NMFP Tue 03-Jun-14 09:02:30

Bubble, what bearing does any of this have on the current stage of the investigation?

AnyFucker Tue 03-Jun-14 09:03:23

The only person(s) responsible for any harm coming to this little girl is the person(s) who actually perpetrated it.

londonrach Tue 03-Jun-14 09:07:36

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

londonrach Tue 03-Jun-14 09:08:20

Agree any x

Bowlersarm Tue 03-Jun-14 09:10:22

FFS,londonrach. How ironic that you are signing off your posts with a 'x'.

AllAboveBroad Tue 03-Jun-14 09:22:03

Perhaps some peoples' view is that the McCanns have courted media coverage for years so why can they now decide too much coverage is unwelcome? It's not my opinion personally but I see the point.

ExcuseTypos Tue 03-Jun-14 09:25:48

Christ london what kind of patients are you working with? And what has their age got to do with anything?

And I wish people should stop lying about the mcCanns refusing to answer questions. They answered hours of questions until their LAWYERS ADVICED them not to answer anymore. Please get you're FACTS straight.

(Sorry for shouting but some people don't seem to listen)

ExcuseTypos Tue 03-Jun-14 09:27:55

AllAbove- the McCanns haven't commented on the media coverage this week so how can you say they have decided its all too much? Do you know them or are you just making things up?

noddyholder Tue 03-Jun-14 09:32:22

Excuse kate mccann gave an interview saying she had refused to answer questions she said she answered one but no more I think that is true if you read her book which I have.

This thread is about media coverage.

Those of you who want to chew over the ins and outs and your own pet theories about the case, start your own thread.

<<sleeping powders? really? checks century>>

Maybe Londonrach works in a nursing home for retired detectives.

AnyFucker Tue 03-Jun-14 09:36:38

As far as I am aware, the McCanns are not objecting to the media coverage, I am. Along with lots of other right-minded individuals.

LaVolcan Tue 03-Jun-14 09:40:45

But isn't this how the Press treats all 'important' news? I.e. complete overkill.

Remember how the Press camped outside the Lindo wing last year for a couple of weeks, awaiting the royal birth, with commentators spouting on and on when there was absolutely nothing to report?

ExcuseTypos Tue 03-Jun-14 09:41:01

Noddy - maybe start another thread, but I will just ask was kate only interviewed once by the police? Iirc she was interviewed several times, answering all the questions put to her. It was only the last interview she refused to answer becasue her lawyers told her not to.

Noddyholder - she said she refused to answer further questions at the point she became an arguido - on the advice of her lawyers.

The sleeping medicine myth comes from her trying to explain to the police what Calpol was, which she did have in the flat. The police then briefed Portuguese journalists it was a sedative.

AllAboveBroad Tue 03-Jun-14 09:46:09

Excuse - why the venom? If you read my post carefully you will see that I said this is not my personal opinion. Perhaps try reading to the end of a post before firing off a knee jerk response.

ExcuseTypos Tue 03-Jun-14 09:52:55

There is no venom. Just tired of the misinformation on these threads.

You "see their point of view" about something which isn't true? confused

AllAboveBroad Tue 03-Jun-14 09:56:13

I wasn't purporting information as fact. It was supposition. Which is already rife on this thread and the media cover from the start.

BubbleButt79 Tue 03-Jun-14 10:05:57

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Bubble. This is not the thread for your opinions on the case.

This is a thread about MEDIA COVERAGE.

AllAboveBroad Tue 03-Jun-14 10:11:37

Exactly Bile - it's a thread for discussion i.e. differing opinion. Some posters are clearly heavily emotionally invested.
Just as everyone parents in a different way, everyone would probably have handled that evening differently. I don't think anyone has said the McCanns deserve what happened.

allabove, you too should remember this is a thread about media coverage NOT opinions on the case.

I am not keen on thread police, but in this instance I think people do need to try for a bit of rigour and stick to the issue at hand.

AllAboveBroad Tue 03-Jun-14 10:26:34

Noted. Apologies. My first post was about media coverage and I then got drawn in.

BubbleButt79 Tue 03-Jun-14 10:27:38

Media Coverage of the event is fine - I can understand the local uproar regarding tourism etc, but the actual media coverage is fine.

As you can see, on this thread - the divided opinions still mean that this is very much in the public interests (morbid or not), and the huge amount of doubt surrounding who/why etc means that it needs to be bang in the forefront of TV coverage.

BubbleButt79 Tue 03-Jun-14 10:30:23

* Me too - apologies also - personal opinion, high profile case wine

mummytime Tue 03-Jun-14 10:52:48

In the US they reckon there are 115 "stereotypical kidnap" cases a year. If you go onto the Missing Persons website you will see that rare as it is, there are a lot of missing cases that haven't been as widely publicised as this one.

noddyholder Tue 03-Jun-14 12:17:31

I wasn't arguing just relaying from book

OutsSelf Tue 03-Jun-14 12:23:14

I'm not sure that people feeling interested equates to the public interest. The public interest is in where the public stand to benefit from hearing something or stand to be disadvantaged by not hearing it. So I'm not sure how this case really meets those criteria although Madame has said something compelling about social contract, the police and the need for investigation. However, that is by the by.

The objection I and others who have objected to this coverage is not to the fact of it's being covered but the manner in which that coverage has been conducted. To me, the central question is do we need to witness at first hand in real time the excavations? Do we need to know before actually interested persons (family and friends who are not there) are informed of any outcome? My view is that the reason that this is being done at this time and in this way is driven by commercial interests rather than the demands of democratic accountability and transparency. I have not seen anyone offer a counter argument to that. Does anyone really believe it's being done with the public good and not commercial interests at heart?

noddyholder Tue 03-Jun-14 12:31:28

I suppose it may satisfy those who think there have been cover ups anything hidden etc as this is all very much 'out there' for all to see.

BeyondBurma Tue 03-Jun-14 12:34:10

I don't think we really need to see the same footage of windswept scrubland being looked over bulletin after bulletin.

I was quite surprised yesterday when at 6.30am John Humphries on R4 announced a newsflash re MM and it was merely to say scrubland was being searched. I held my breath for the first 2 seconds thinking hell what has happened. Fgs even on a respected news programme like Today?

Just tell us when there is some actual news.

noddyholder Tue 03-Jun-14 12:39:23

Sky news always reports like this

soverylucky Tue 03-Jun-14 12:46:59

Some posters on this thread....well words fail me. Most of us are mothers aren't we? Can we not just remember that? What is the point of bringing up stuff that has been done many times before? Who made some of you judge and jury?

I hope there are some deletions pretty soon.

donnie Tue 03-Jun-14 12:49:52

I haven't read the thread but yes OP you are being unreasonable. This is News Intl we are talking about, the same organisation which hacked Milile Dowler's phone. Why is anyone surprised ?

OutsSelf Tue 03-Jun-14 13:14:44

"it may satisfy those who think there have been cover ups..."

I'm not convinced that it will. If you see cover up everywhere then you see it everywhere. Also, Baudrillard No mediatised event is transparent, though this one has particularly compelling truth claims in that it really seems to be 'real' or 'truthful' but that is due to the style of the presentation rather than the actual veracity of what is presented.

Also, why is satisfying those people in the public interest?

annielouise Tue 03-Jun-14 13:58:38

Have to agree with OutsSelf, it's ghoulish. We don't need to see it.

TheBogQueen Tue 03-Jun-14 14:49:23

The difficulty is that the media will use 'public interest' defence in ways which are absolutely justifiable ie: Edward Snowdon.

And get you get this 24 hour rolling news coverage which is clearly more in the commercial interests of the broadcaster.

But I wouldn't want it regulated because every 'public interest' case is different.

So you gave to rely on the ethics if the broadcaster. And to some it's somewhere east of London

OutsSelf Tue 03-Jun-14 15:48:47

I agree that there are public interest arguments for press activity. But I don't think we should just accept that the blanket principle of public interest mitigates any possibility that we question or critique the media role in individual cases. It's so cynical, and such an abuse of journalistic freedoms. And it will continue unless we do critique it.

I would love to see some sort of disclosure wrt how much financially this coverage has been worth to Sky and other broadcasters. I'm sure the figures are nebulous and difficult in a precise way to evidence, but if we are going to use arguments about transparency and accountability, then all of the relevant interests including commercial interests, should be part of the debate, be in the public domain.

TheBogQueen Tue 03-Jun-14 16:30:53

I agree. If journalism is going to see itself as a profession rather than a trade then it needs some accountability.

But it just seems unworkable without gagging legitimate reporting which is unpopular with the establishment but of legitimate public interest concern.

I don't think this particular coverage should be banned or curtailed. But it's only defence is that to stop it would set a precedent which might curb other stories which have greater legitimacy.

kim147 Tue 03-Jun-14 16:33:00

Press self regulation and knowing where the boundaries are.

Trouble is - does the Press know where the boundaries are? I don't think a lot of the press does. Or they claim public interest and sod the consequences on real people.

TheBogQueen Tue 03-Jun-14 16:37:41

Well I suppose as a commercial enterprise Sky would not commit so many resources to this excavation if audience figures weren't good enough . Which shows there is an appetite for it.

I sometimes wonder if 'public interest' has come to mean 'the public is interested in it'

limitedperiodonly Tue 03-Jun-14 16:45:51

I'm really not seeing the outrage over this. Who is it hurting? The most I can see is damage to the local tourism board who must wish this would go away and people here who are bleating about public interest/interest to the public and dark things about Sky and evil journalists.

If there is any criticism to be made, I'd aim most of it at the local Portuguese force and Met Police who have orchestrated this. If they wanted to make this search private, they could do it. They could set up a wide exclusion zone and use powers of arrest to enforce it.

They haven't. The reporters seem to be very close and are being briefed, not with any real details, because I don't think there are any to be had, but just enough to keep them interested. So what do you expect them to do?

That said, I don't blame the police that much either.

My guess is that they want to make it look like they are doing something and it is silly season and I believe the anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance, so it's win-win for everyone involved. It's a news creation and management situation.

We've seen it countless times before, last week in my local area the police invited camera crews to follow them on a 5am drug raid to show that they were doing something.

I find this search less distressing than Greater Manchester Police inviting reporters to follow them on various wild goose chases on Saddleworth Moor while searching for Keith Bennett's body. Those were publicity stunts that I found far crueller to Keith's mother, than this one is to the McCanns.

Before anyone accuses me of indulging in a league table of grief, I'm not. I think the McCanns want to keep the search alive and Winnie Johnson did too, although she accepted her child was dead and wanted his body back.

I feel desperately sorry for them both, but a part of me felt sorrier for Winnie, which is irrational and does not mean that I blame the McCanns. I don't. They don't need me to tell them they made a mistake.

But I would not presume to condemn those Saddleworth Moor antics. Winnie Johnson desperately wanted her son's body back and so wanted those things to happen, no matter how futile we could see it. Seen in that light, I find this squeamishness over decorum revolting.

noddyholder Tue 03-Jun-14 16:54:14

Agree with limited completely Good post

TheBogQueen Tue 03-Jun-14 17:23:25

I think the police point of view is usually that it's better to have the press in the tent pissing out.
I don't think anyone has questioned whether this should be covered - but 24 - hour news coverage? Hours of speculation and misinformation? 'Experts' dug up to give their view when they are as clueless as anyone else?
I don't think of that as journalism.

OutsSelf Tue 03-Jun-14 17:23:53

Well, limited, I have said over the course of several posts above why I think it is harmful to process this kind of event by means of infotainment. Perhaps as a journo you have seen a great deal of horror and tragedy and you are hardened to it. But I think that hardening to the face of human suffering is a form of damage, and I think the mediatisation of news events of this sort in this way promotes a widespread hardening, a widespread damage for our capacity to feel empathy.

That you are so aggressively annoyed by objections being raised here suggests a certain lack of empathy on your part. Which is rather making my point for me.

OutsSelf Tue 03-Jun-14 17:26:15

"It's a win-win for everyone involved."

It is statements like this that make you sound utterly lacking in empathy.

OutsSelf Tue 03-Jun-14 17:34:09

"Who is hurting?"

Aside from the obvious?

Show me a parent who is watching this and I'll show you someone who is hurting about this. There is no way you can watch this and not either:

have your capacity to assess actual risk (and concordant anxiety) threatened;
shut yourself down to empathising with that little girl (lots of people have openly hoped she is dead, because the alternative seems unbearable);
shut yourself down to empathising with the parent as a sort of psychological self protection (witness the bile upthread for her f&f)

This coverage proliferates grief, suspicion, anxiety; it invites us to save ourselves from it by processing it as an entertainment event. Why do you think that harmless? Why do you have so little empathy for the shock and revulsion others have for this?

OutsSelf Tue 03-Jun-14 17:37:26

What I expect reporters to do is exercise some sort of moral judgement, some sort of critical self reflection. Especially when they use arguments about the public good, or the role of a free press in democracy. If you want to be a defender of righteousness and good, start behaving righteously.

Andrewofgg Tue 03-Jun-14 17:40:27


What I expect reporters to do is exercise some sort of moral judgement, some sort of critical self reflection

That's the triumph of hope over experience, isn't it?

OutsSelf Tue 03-Jun-14 17:44:13

"It's a news creation and management situation"

Actually, it's the search for missing and probably dead child, that you consistently breeze over this, that that fact alone doesn't make you think, perhaps we should treat this carefully makes you sound lacking in empathy.

limitedperiodonly Tue 03-Jun-14 17:48:43

as a journo you have seen a great deal of horror and tragedy and you are hardened to it

On the contrary. I don't think I'm hard. There are things I need to do in order to carry out my job, but I also think that through meeting people I have been softened and made respectful of the things that people do that I haven't had to.

The requirements of my job; butting up against the reality of the experiences of people I have met, have definitely made me a lot humbler, admiring and downright afraid of what could happen to me in an instant.

It also makes me joyful and feel privileged. There are inspiring people I've met through my job that most people would never meet. My job is to spread their word.

So if you don't mind, I'll continue to regard that as a privilege and believe my empathy limitometor is okay.

The first thing I learned as a journalist, and the last thing I'd do is never presume to put myself in someone else's shoes.

I believe that's what you, and some other people on this thread are doing. I find that despicable/patronising - call it what you want.

kim147 Tue 03-Jun-14 17:50:23

Has Sky news been updating "updates" from the search today?

Going over live to the search scene?

Has anything newsworthy happened today which would justify live updates?

OutsSelf Tue 03-Jun-14 17:55:09

Right, well, feel free to be patronised, but

It's a win-win situation

lacks empathy

Who's hurting?

lacks empathy

It's a news management situation

lacks empathy

If you can't perceive this, you have an empathy problem

limitedperiodonly Tue 03-Jun-14 17:55:47

What do you think about Winnie Johnson and the circus over the search for her son's body outself?

kim147 Tue 03-Jun-14 17:59:39

Were there live updates?
Returning for updates?

No problem with the media being there. But 24 / 7 reporting of nothing new happening is not journalism.

AgaPanthers Tue 03-Jun-14 18:01:13

The Daily Mail is leading with "McCanns braced for 'significant news' "

Despite the fact there is actually no news at all.

kim147 Tue 03-Jun-14 18:06:56

Someone upthread was very excited at the breaking news that tents had been erected. Did this mean a breakthrough?


"Three police tents have been set up, but they are thought to be where the teams are storing equipment and taking breaks rather than covering significant parts of the scrubland."

That's the issue. Snippets of information get jumped on, speculated about, experts come in and give their opinion - but the snippets turn to be false leads or irrelevant.

But TV journalists have to fill air time.

limitedperiodonly Tue 03-Jun-14 18:07:31

So don't watch it kim147?

Apart from this thread, and a glance at a snippet of police doing a finger-tip search which looked very stage-managed, I've managed to avoid it.

What is your outrage?

There are major issues about news coverage. This is not one of them.

kim147 Tue 03-Jun-14 18:10:28

I'm not watching it.

That's why I asked if there is live coverage of the search.

If you are a journalist, you should be able to read a post and understand that when someone asks if there is live coverage, then they probably aren't watching it.

YouAreCompletelyRight Tue 03-Jun-14 18:11:24

They'll pay less attention to MM when the OP trial resumes.

kim147 Tue 03-Jun-14 18:11:33

And what - as a journalist - do you think of live coverage and updates? When snippets of information are jumped on - such as the tent - which prove to be irrelevant?

ICanSeeTheSun Tue 03-Jun-14 18:12:01

We are dismayed with the way the media has behaved over the last couple of days in relation to our daughter’s case. There is an on-going, already challenging, police investigation taking place and media interference in this way not only makes the work of the police more difficult, it can potentially damage and destroy the investigation altogether – and hence the chances of us finding Madeleine and discovering what has happened to her. As Madeleine’s parents, this just compounds our distress. We urge the media to let the police get on with their work and please show some respect and consideration to Madeleine and all our family.

ICanSeeTheSun Tue 03-Jun-14 18:13:14
LaVolcan Tue 03-Jun-14 18:16:50

That post is almost a month old ICanSeeTheSun, but I do wonder why the constant Media coverage is being allowed now. I am sure a few arrests by the local police and a night or two in the local nick would get rid of a good few journalists.

limitedperiodonly Tue 03-Jun-14 18:19:46

There have been some long-running threads on In The News concerning the phone-hacking trial which is coming to an end soon.

Also threads about Andrew Mitchell and Plebgate.

I regard this as very important as a journalist and as a citizen yet I haven't noticed a single one of you people who claim to be bothered about press standards on them.

Why not?

OutsSelf Tue 03-Jun-14 18:20:10

And, limited, whether you believe yourself to be hardened or not in no way answers or usefully attests to whether there is general harm done to the watching public by the way the press handles this case.

WRT the Winne Johnston case, start a thread. Because this is about the MM case. And awful behaviour elsewhere shouldn't be treated as a benchmarking exercise. And I think that you're now in the position of bringing up other tragedies to make a point, lacks empathy.

ICanSeeTheSun Tue 03-Jun-14 18:22:45

LaVolcan, I know that but the parents are asking the media to leave the police alone to do thier work.

limitedperiodonly Tue 03-Jun-14 18:24:12

WRT the Winne Johnston case, start a thread. Because this is about the MM case. And awful behaviour elsewhere shouldn't be treated as a benchmarking exercise. And I think that you're now in the position of bringing up other tragedies to make a point, lacks empathy.

I asked you about the definition of a 'straw man'.

I believe you just given it.

OutsSelf Tue 03-Jun-14 18:24:33

Whatsoever the standing of other cases, this case and its handling is the issue. Whether or not as a journalist and citizen you think people should also be thinking about other press events. The handling of this case is what we are having a discussion about, the handling of this case is the problem we are raising. Other stuff is just derailment.

OutsSelf Tue 03-Jun-14 18:25:10

Well, you need to go back to journo school as you clearly haven't understood what a straw man argument is.

TheBogQueen Tue 03-Jun-14 18:27:33

I believe that's what you, and some other people on this thread are doing. I find that despicable

You think that because we are critical of Sky news 24-hour rolling 'news' coverage we are presuming to know the people who are conducting the search feel? Or MM parents? confused and that is "despicable" ?

So by your logic we are not qualified to offer any judgement on the way Sky chooses to cover thus story , and questioning the ethics of it is 'patronising and despicable?'

limitedperiodonly Tue 03-Jun-14 18:28:07

We're not talking about the handling of the case.

We're talking about news management.

TheBogQueen Tue 03-Jun-14 18:29:45

Oh I've been on the leveson threads

But people namechange

TheBogQueen Tue 03-Jun-14 18:30:58

Anyway this is just mudslinging now and Ihave a nice bottle of Rioja waiting

pamish Tue 03-Jun-14 18:32:28

Sky's hours on end coverage of the Pistorias trial too, stripping it across a whole day, 'live'. VAW as entertainment, no other reason to do this and not extracts.

limitedperiodonly Tue 03-Jun-14 18:33:14

Ethics is not the same as saying: 'I don't like it.' bogqueen

noddyholder Tue 03-Jun-14 18:36:32

This is highly emotive as it is a young family and a small child and this is a parenting site but the coverage is no more or less disrespectful/invasive than any other case tbh it just feels that way if you identify with having small children and holidaying with them etc in the same way I found the OP coverage quite harrowing as I have a son of 20 and could identify with it.

kim147 Tue 03-Jun-14 18:37:42


What do you think of 24 / 7 news coverage, continuous updates and trivial things being blown up out of proportion or proved to be irrelevant?

Is it news or entertainment?

wannaBe Tue 03-Jun-14 18:42:57

it was the mccanns' lawyer who made the statement that they were bracing themselves for significant news, according to the bbc.

I have no idea whether there are live updates, and tbh anyone who has objection to them doesn't need to watch them - it's not hard to avoid - it really isn't.

But excavations along with a statement from the McCanns's own lawyer saying they were bracing themselves for significant news were never going to happen quietly given the previous media attention given to this case. Media attention which let's face it has been encouraged, demanded even, by the Mccanns.

kim147 Tue 03-Jun-14 18:44:40

"I have no idea whether there are live updates, and tbh anyone who has objection to them doesn't need to watch them - it's not hard to avoid - it really isn't."

That's not the point. Should there be live updates where nothing has happened and there's no news to report? But things like "we've just seen tents being erected" gets jumped on as a possible development but turns out to be irrelevant.

wannaBe Tue 03-Jun-14 18:50:58

well that depends doesn't it. Reporting every detail as if it is fact has always been sky's thing, but reality is that this kind of news only thrives if there is a market for it, so it could be argued that sky wouldn't be reporting every detail of this situation if there weren't people watching it.

So the question should be who is really to blame for the fact we live in a society which micro reports every detail as it happens, the news companies? or the watching public....

I read an article not long after MMC went missing which stated that newspaper sales increased by 30% if MM was on the front page, so who is to blame for the fact the newspapers put MM on the front page...?

limitedperiodonly Tue 03-Jun-14 18:53:13

Is it news or entertainment?

It's both kim147 . In this respect, f you don't like it, don't watch it.

I am a journalist. I am very critical and careful of of news coverage, which you can see if you care to search my posts.

I don't think you should do that, but I put it out there for your consideration.

Because of that, I utterly resent the views of some of the people on this thread.

kim147 Tue 03-Jun-14 18:54:24

"So the question should be who is really to blame for the fact we live in a society which micro reports every detail as it happens, the news companies? or the watching public..."

We get the journalism we ask for?
Not the journalism we should have?

Put certain people's face on the front page and sales go up. People watch it and want to know.

kim147 Tue 03-Jun-14 18:56:36


The media can be very damaging to people's lives and very intrusive - all in the name of press freedom and so called public interest.

When they go too far, real people pay a heavy price. The media "apologises" and then carries on as normal.

Joules68 Tue 03-Jun-14 18:58:13

Well we know all that kim147 hmm

kim147 Tue 03-Jun-14 19:01:06


How do you think this story should be covered?

How should Sky and other broadcasters cover it?

limitedperiodonly Tue 03-Jun-14 19:04:42

I know kim147 and I know the case you're talking about.

But in this case, people are being very bad indeed.

The traducing of poor Lucy Meadows is disgusting. But the legitimate reporting of a news story is not.

noddyholder Tue 03-Jun-14 19:06:10

I think the coverage is fine Anything like this is voyeuristic it depends how sensitive you are to the feelings etc of people you don't know as to how it affects you. The family have always wanted it high profile the child's mother even wrote a fairly detailed book with some very intense personal comment and I am sure with all their connections they could have limited this coverage in some way? It is probably best not to watch it if it upsets you at least until the information is factual rather than speculation

kim147 Tue 03-Jun-14 19:06:33


I have no issue with the legitimate reporting of this story. I am interested in how you would report it if you were Sky?

No one has said this story should not be reported, have they?

kim147 Tue 03-Jun-14 19:13:08

Remember the search for the woman who was murdered in Bristol. Joanna Yates. Her landlord was arrested.

Did Sky give updates on the landlord, interview people who knew him, go to his old school, interview pupils - and then realise that it was the wrong person?

I don't know if they did or not. But that's the danger with an audience who demands information - even when there is none to give.

APlaceInTheWinter Tue 03-Jun-14 23:09:10

Kim you do realise that the quote you included about the tents does not provide information but speculation? 'It is thought . . .'
I understand why you find speculation about storage tents less distasteful but you are falling into the very trap that you're criticising. The only fact known is that there are tents.

OutsSelf Wed 04-Jun-14 00:00:17

Yes but Kim was including those quote directly to comment on the difference between speculation and Not to participate in speculation or even news analysis per.Dr.

limitedperiodonly Wed 04-Jun-14 01:41:58

I told you Kim147 but perhaps you missed it: if I was working for Sky or anyone else, I would report this story just as everyone else is doing.

In other words, I would get to the site every day, file my reports, and hang about with all the other reporters, chatting to them, local people, and the Met Police press officer who will be facilitating this news event - because it is a news event, which is completely stage-managed.

How do you imagine news like this is reported? Do you think you sit around in an office waiting for the police to call you and everyone else if they find something? That would be civilised, but unfortunately that's not happens. What happens is that you hang about, watching and waiting and talking to people, and if something happens you report on it. When it doesn't, you don't. The police have got something better to to do than second-guess what might make a story and make umpteen phone calls to reporters, don't you think?

Yes, I do remember the murder of Joanna Yeates and the treatment of her landlord Christopher Jefferies. He won libel damages against The Sun, the Mirror, The Daily Mail and the Express group, but not against Sky News.

I'm not sticking up for Sky News, I don't work for them, it's just that the point that you and others are missing is that those newspapers fucked up - either wilfully or not - and Sky News and other outlets did not.

It is completely legitimate to do background interviews when investigating a story. It is not legitimate to use that material to libel someone, and that's what they did.

I completely support his right to take them to the cleaners. Why wouldn't I? I do my job properly and I care about the way news is reported.

You don't understand how news is gathered, and that's understandable, because it's not your job. But you talk about information and there being 'none to give'. How do you think information gets out there? Do you think reporters sit around in offices waiting for the police to call us and tell us stuff? Again, do you not think the police have more important things to do than our jobs for us?

And do you want to live in a world where journalists sit around being spoon-fed the information the police and other authorities want you to know, or do you think they should find out things whether that's convenient to some people or not?

That is one of the major points of the Leveson inquiry and the phone hacking trial: the Met Police and News International have had far too cosy a relationship and that way corruption lies. By wanting reporters to act with decorum, you and others are inadvertently advocating that.

YouAreCompletelyRight Wed 04-Jun-14 07:35:31

I remember a friend (maybe colleague) of Christopher Jeffries being interviewed after his arrest on sky saying there was no way he'd done it.

CJ was crucified by the media for looking odd.

kim147 Wed 04-Jun-14 07:52:50


Thanks for being patronising. I do have an idea of how reporters work and get information.

"And do you want to live in a world where journalists sit around being spoon-fed the information the police and other authorities want you to know, or do you think they should find out things whether that's convenient to some people or not?"

Do you see what you are doing? That's completely irrelevant to this story - no one is saying reporters should not gather information. I don't think you actually understand what the issue some people have with this is.

You seem to be focussing on the media being banned from reporting - when that is not the issue. It's the 24 /7 reporting, speculation etc. I think you have a bee in your bonnet about how the media is treated rather than the actual concerns of how such a story is being treated.

kim147 Wed 04-Jun-14 07:53:12

I think that's your strawman argument.

kim147 Wed 04-Jun-14 07:57:19

And again - you have completely failed to answer any questions around the damage that speculation can cause. That interviews with a random person who happens to have seen something happen and then everyone jumps on that - but it proves to be irrelevant or damaging can cause.

By all means find information out - that's your job. But be careful how you use it. Because just because you've found it out and are desperate to have it reported does not mean it's helpful, relevant or it's just speculation that could damage a case, raise hopes etc.

That's what 24/7 reporting, going over "live to our reporter" can do.

But thanks for being so fucking patronising for telling me that I haven't got a clue what a reporter does at a scene.

kim147 Wed 04-Jun-14 08:14:49


This story is not about Levison.
It is not about press freedom.
It is not about limiting what the press can report and investigate.

It is about how the press - especially broadcasters - should report the search of scrubland for MM - a search which could take days, weeks and possibly reveal nothing - in the world of 24/7 news where the public are hungry for news - and "the police won't provide a running commentary".

That's what it is about.

Limited - the police won't be briefing. They've made that very clear. It is certainly the case that they generally do - and definitely the case that the police and journalists have a much closer relationship than the public generally realise (I'm not talking about tipoffs here - more police saying things to journalists like "we're not saying the handle of the missing knife was red to narrow down calls from the public, can you please make sure that's not in any coverage")

But this case is different. The situation in Portugal is completely different. From where I've been standing it seems to be that officially the Portuguese police don't brief the journalists and suspects aren't allowed to speak to them either, but in practice what this has meant for the McCanns - in the early days at least - is they were unable to defend themselves and were comprehensively smeared by the police to the Portuguese press - smears which were repeated without appraisal or application of critical faculties by the British press who were out in Portugal at the time, desperate for a headline. Reading of the Leveson report paints the unedifing picture of the Great British Press Corps sitting in a bar reading the Portuguese papers and working out what they'd be using for their own copy the next day. A failure which has lead to a lot of the misinformation - or to use the technical term - shite - which regularly gets spewed out on these sorts of threads.

LaVolcan Wed 04-Jun-14 10:34:31

Longtail: I do think the Media went over the top then and continue to do so but I can't really go along with all you say.

The McCanns weren't officially made suspects (arguidos) until just before they came home in the September, so what was to stop them putting their side of the story across until then? They did want publicity - they wanted Madeleine's name to be kept in the public's attention. No doubt, like a number of celebrities have found to their cost, publicity can be a double edged sword.

limitedperiodonly Wed 04-Jun-14 13:18:57

I don't think you actually understand what the issue some people have with this is

I do understand the issue some people here have with it, I just don't agree with it.

From your posts it is clear you don't understand how news is gathered

The idea that anyone would wait for a phone call inviting them to a press conference so the police can announce they've found a child at the centre of one of the biggest news stories in recent years, rather than being on the spot and just saying it, makes that plain.

That's fine. I wouldn't understand the ins and outs of your job, either.

You and others are trying to dictate the way reporters gather information for what appears to be your personal taste. I find that as distasteful as the worst media excesses.

I said last night that you should gather news but you should be mindful of what you release - as much to prevent damage to yourself, as to others. Or did you not notice the bit where I supported Christopher Jefferies in going after the papers that had libelled him?

This is as much a publicity stunt by the police - both Met and Portuguese - as a serious exercise in gathering evidence. As such, it appears the press are very welcome. I imagine the McCanns probably welcome the renewed focus on the search for their daughter as well.

You mentioned the tents. That seems a relevant and harmless point to make. The police were searching in the open, they erected tents which might suggest they have found something they want to examine in privacy, or they might want to make it look like they've found something to justify the expense and attention that other cases of missing children aren't getting.

I'm not exercised about that last point, but it's a possibility and one that wasn't reported.

What I would ask you is how you think this reporting from the scene hurts anyone apart from people involved in local tourism? If Gerry and Kate McCann were being doorstepped, you'd have a point. But as far as I know, they're not.

You talk about me having a bee in my bonnet about the way the media are treated. I don't really, we can stand up for ourselves. But I could say the same about you and the way you perceive the media are behaving in this instance.

You said I hadn't answered your questions. I thought I had, and I wasn't trying to be patronising. I was trying to explain how it works to a person I wouldn't expect to know.

But simply put; I take on board your POV, but I do not agree with it.

The media have done many things - which is why I persist in saying that Leveson, the phone-hacking trial and the feeble interrogations of the Culture, Media and Sport sub-committee are very relevant to this thread.

This is not one of those occasions.

If you don't approve, turn off the TV, do not read tabloids. BTW, the broadsheets will also have people there because if Madeleine is found, they won't want to miss it either. They just don't report it every day because they have a different news agenda.

longtalljosie It is simply unbelievable that the police from both countries are not giving detailed off-the-record briefs to selected reporters.

In this case I find that routine and helpful - 'please don't reveal this; as a reward we'll give you that; you're barking up the wrong tree' - it's a good working relationship.

That's despite what I said about Leveson, hacking and the CMS committee, which revealed to the general public the unhealthy relations between police, the press and politicians and convicted and alleged criminals.

That's the general public who want to listen rather than people who want to dismiss it as all so tawdry.

noddyholder Wed 04-Jun-14 13:29:47

I think this also depends on how much you take on this sort of news story yourself or whether you are able to distance yourself from people that you don't know and have no connection with. I think the idea of losing a child in this way is heartbreaking and I don't really have any concept of it personally but much as I sympathise I don't find the coverage distressing as it is unrelated to me and my family. Some people would find this harder and I think this is what this is about it is this specific case not its reporting. Like when Diana died the mass grief was something I didn't feel part of at all

kim147 Wed 04-Jun-14 14:25:55


What new developments can there be in this story? The police are searching scrubland. Is there more to add? Wait - they are using dogs.
That's it. What else to report?

limitedperiodonly Wed 04-Jun-14 15:13:57

But Kim147 what is your objection? We both seem to agree that on this occasion reporters are hanging about wasting their time or their employers' time and money.

So why are you so worked up about it? Switch off the telly.

OutsSelf Wed 04-Jun-14 15:29:02

Limited, you need to read the thread and pay attention to the detail of the objections Kim, I and others are raising. It's about the way that this is being framed. If you can't discern the difference between a live televised feed to a potential grave digging and a report of one, you have forgotten what it is like not to be a reporter and instead be told things like this as a form of entertainment

I disagree out. Limited has said nothing other than the truth, The fact that you personally, and it seems Kim, find the ongoing coverage to hard to bear because of the subject matter is conflating your personal feelings with a notional idea of the correct ethical stand for news organisations.

I am afraid I find it mawkish in the extreme.

kim147 Wed 04-Jun-14 15:58:29

What is the story? Scrubland is being dug up. That's the story. Does that justify live updates?
There can only be two results. Either something is found or it isn't.
Is Sky returning to the scene regularly?
That is my issue. Telling me to turn it off is irrelevant. What i really hate about such reporting when nothing important has happened is the reporting of irrelevant stuff as if that's so important.

The police will either find something or not. If they find something, the media will be told.

And by that logic outs, there should have been no live coverage of the unearthing of mass graves in Bosnia...

having news organisations present all the time does not mean continual means they are on site if and when there are any developments.

That is the nature of news coverage. If you choose to interpret that as more redolent of entertainment than normal news coverage that is entirely up to you.

As a consumer of the news, in all its forms, when do I consider my interest that of wishing to be entertained? pretty well never. Do I consider the media organisations are purveying information for entertainment? Well yes, sometimes, but not, I think,in this instance.

kim, to reduce the story to a patch of wasteland being searched is ridiculous.

I have seen nothing of the coverage so far to suggest an intrusive or distasteful tone to it.

limitedperiodonly Wed 04-Jun-14 16:02:42

OutsSelf What are you watching? I'm not watching a 'live televised feed to a potential grave digging'.

If I was, I'd turn it off.

Not just because it would be distasteful but more importantly because it would be boring.

OutsSelf Wed 04-Jun-14 16:04:02

I'm not disagreeing with the truth of what limited says, I'm objecting to the way it's being handled. I think that the way it is being handled changes how we perceive it, so we treat it as entertainment and not as something awful. I'm saying that change diminishes our collective capacity for empathy, instead we get a taste for vicarious thrills. I'm also saying that that process is driven by commercial interests and not the public interest, and commercial interests, not a democratic need for accountability.

I do have that set of questions about The News in general but concede that the answer is not the curtailing of press freedoms. But I would like the press to consider and take responsibility for that damage that I name. It's not "just" MM at all, but this case is the subject of this thread. I don't understand how that is mawkish, genuinely, I'm not being combative here.

It's not that I find this case.especially distressing, it's that I find the transformation of it so it has the aesthetics of entertainment problematic. And that stands whether or not I personally watch the coverage.

OutsSelf Wed 04-Jun-14 16:07:05

Agreed, news organisations present is important not so much for this case but in principle.

My problem is the live updates of the situation that have no actual news because nothing has actually happened.

kim147 Wed 04-Jun-14 16:09:35

For anyone who is following the reports, why do you want live updates and regular reports on the search for MM in this scrubland? Why do you need regular updates when the news will either be they find a body or they don't?
Do you need every little bit of information no matter how irrelevant?

OutsSelf Wed 04-Jun-14 16:11:59

Limited, when you say that boredom would be worse than the "distaste" of live grave digging, you sound lacking in empathy. What kind of twisted priority is that?

But surely that has always been the essential antagonism at the heart of news coverage? From the very first newspapers, delivering the news, or an agenda has always been allied to making money. If we allow that news outlets need to make money to exist and bring us the news, we allow that they will often have their own agendas, and it is up to us to be aware of those agendas.

Infotainment is a particular breed of output, and I really don't see it here, above and beyond normal news output.

I think limited is using the word boredom to make her point. We do not actually have minute by minute coverage.

OutsSelf Wed 04-Jun-14 16:25:26

Agreed, it's been a constant antagonism, and that actually what we need to do is constantly monitor and debate it. So here I am.

Early Radio 4 news bulletins would sometimes "end" early with the broadcaster saying, "there's no more news tonight". They might then start reading interesting bits from the paper or whatever.

Obviously there are all sorts of potential problems there, too. But at the same time, there's no needless injection of adrenaline and fear to the fact that "NOTHING'S HAPPENED!!!"

The aesthetics of this are not without consequence - that's not a radical (or mawkish?) statement, surely?

Indeed out, you are right.

But I don't think it helps the debate to suggest that someone has no empathy because they disagree with you.

OutsSelf Wed 04-Jun-14 16:29:37

Although I said it up thread, I'm going to repeat for clarity so you can see I'm not just asking for curtailing freedoms - I'd really like to.see some way of making commercial implications and interests of editorial decisions made transparent as part of the coverage. I think this would be the only actual way to a square the democratic accountability argument because atm that argument is used as a fig leaf for bad behaviour.

kim147 Wed 04-Jun-14 16:32:43

Wow. Talk about exaggeration. No one has mentioned live feeds. Is Sky returning to the site every hour? I don't know. I personally don't think it needs to report anything if there is nothing of value to say.
And as for Bosnia. FFS. People knew there were bodies there. The press had something to report.
If there is nothing to report, the broadcaster does not need to go over to a reporter live at the scene to tell us that.
Or the reporter could mention something they heard which gets taken as truth or as significant. Then it proves to be false or raises false hopes. I suppose family have been told to ignore press speculation because its just that.

OutsSelf Wed 04-Jun-14 16:35:21

Well, I do think many of those statements that I name that limited has made do sound lacking in empathy. I'm not trying to discredit her on the basis of that, sorry if it appears that way, which inevitably it does, sorry limited. At the same time I stand by the fact that those assertions of limited's which I have specifically named sound lacking in empathy. And I've named them because the speak in some way to my problem with the effect of entertainment as an aesthetic on "real" news events.

wannaBe Wed 04-Jun-14 16:38:00

but there isn't actually live coverage, is there?

If there was a live feed to the digging then of course it would be distasteful, and yes, as limited said, boring, given that there generally isn't much to see. But given there is an expectation that something may be found (they wouldn't be digging otherwise) of course the media are going to be there, and of course it will be reported because otherwise that just opens up the floodgates to speculation...

And fwiw it's not necessarily a body they're looking for but evidence of the earth having been disturbed where the body may have been put there and subsequently moved....

There are also reports on the bbc this morning that ground penetrating radar is being used and that a sewage system will be examined....
When every detail of this case has previously been disclosed, it would seem much more suspicious and cause more speculation if there was no reporting until there was something to report....

OutsSelf Wed 04-Jun-14 16:39:46

Okay, I've just read back a bit and can I clarify that I don't think individual reporters at the site are guilty of bad behaviour by being there to report it. I'm questioning the editorial decision to constantly live update from the site, with occasional snapshots of the McGs in their tortured distress, really problematic.