1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

Madeleine McCann :Did xenophobia distort the ethics of British broadcast journalism?

Ruth Sharpe Vila Do Bispo, Algarve, Portugal
ruth@portugalresident.com

I have recently completed a dissertation focusing on the British broadcast media coverage of the Madeleine McCann investigation. Below is the abstract outlining what the research focuses on. For more information please contact me at ruthsharpe05@yahoo.co.uk

THE 24-HOUR NEWS COVERAGE OF THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MADELEINE MCCANN

Did xenophobia distort the ethics of British broadcast journalism?

Abstract

The coverage of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann took over the news agenda in May, 2007. The media circus that followed left a question mark over the current state of British journalism. Since 24-hour news channels emerged, the media has changed significantly, yet few people realise what a major impact it has on everyday life.

The dissertation offers a detailed examination of what happened when the news teams descended on Praia da Luz in Portugal, a country previously outside the grasp of ‘rolling’ news. It investigates how 24-hour news channels covered the Madeleine McCann story from the night of the 3-year-old’s disappearance until July 2008, when the case was shelved by the Portuguese authorities. Through interviewing English and Portuguese journalists who worked in the Algarve and experts in the broadcast industry, the investigation attempts to uncover the reality of how news was reported from Portugal.

The disappearance of a little girl has exposed very worrying trends in television news: a willingness to distort events to create a real life drama, an ability to mislead the public en masse and the failure to deliver accurate news, despite having extensive resources in place.

Madeleine McCann research
October 14, 2008 at 11:35 am

Well less than a day after posting that brief overview of my dissertation I’ve had quite a response which has surprised me considering that I am still in the very early stages of developing this blog!

Unfortunately as the project is still being moderated I can’t release any further information just yet. I’m also looking into developing the project into a book so while I’m in the process of approaching publishers I won’t be sending out the dissertation to anyone. I’d like to thank everyone for their e mails and comments - I’m always really interested to hear the viewpoints of other people on this matter so please continue to get in touch. I will be updating this regularly from now on and posting links to any further relevant (and reliable) information about Madeleine that I come across.

Links to Madeleine McCann articles

I have lived in the Western Algarve, very close to Praia da Luz since 1997. When the Madeleine McCann story hit the headlines I was working on the editorial team for local newspaper, The Resident. As Praia da Luz was one of my assigned regions I spent a lot of time covering the ‘developments’, working with news teams from all over the world that descended on the Algarve.

Here are some links to a selection of articles I had published in The Resident during the first month of the Madeleine McCann investigation.

Interview with former Scotland Yard commander John O Connor
http://www.portugalresident.com/portugalresident/showstory.asp?ID=19047

Praia da Luz is safe
http://www.portugalresident.com/portugalresident/showstory.asp?ID=19243

Innocent until proven guilty
http://www.portugalresident.com/portugalresident/showstory.asp?ID=19233

Interview with Reverend Haynes Hubbard
http://www.portugalresident.com/portugalresident/showstory.asp?ID=19012

A new lead in Morocco
http://www.portugalresident.com/portugalresident/showstory.asp?ID=19389

Source: Ruth Sharpe Blog

5 comments:

  1. Ruth-
    Your dissertation topic is fantastic!
    Absolutely unprecedented, the world was astounded how the UK press was immediately conforming to what Clarence Mitchell (an absurd idea in itself!) wanted us to believe.
    As a side note, I still chuckle over some reporter asking Clarence Mitchell, "What is the point of you?"
    Please continue to report on your ongoing work.
    kathleen

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ruth,

    You'll hopefully commence with authentic copy of Mr Amaral's evidenced based testimony - as opposed to edited extracts appearing in forums.

    A colleague has access to authentic independent journlists' findings and reports, if you are interested. I'll check, but I think they can only be supplied for non-reproduction due to copyright laws.

    It's widely acknowledged that the 'out of favour' government is struggling to distance itself from it's intervention/influences in Madeleine's tragedy; according to police, a cover up.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Whilst PJ couldn't understand the need for the McCanns' spokesperson, they certainly do now ! It was widely acknowledged in Portugal that Brown is a 'spin master' and they've since learned that his media manager/advisor, Mitchell, was seconded to run the 'soap opera' which cost Portuguese (& British taxpayers) a King's ransom.

    Government policies and lack of regulation have since wreaked financial havoc and it seems anxious to extricate it's well documented involvement in Madeleine's case. As usual, by media spin, lies and manipulation.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ms Sharpe, I suppose that you have by now realised - or been informed... - that unless you toe the official, sanitised McCann line, that paper of yours will never see the light of day in the UK.

    If you're interested in publishing it in a country where free speech is still more than an abstract, outdated notion, I'm sure that you will find many friends that are prepared to help you.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  5. B U T W H A T I S T H A T ?
    ******************

    "Ms Sharpe, I suppose that you have by now realised - or been informed... - that unless you toe the official, sanitised McCann line, that paper of yours will never see the light of day in the UK.

    If you're interested in publishing it in a country where free speech is still more than an abstract, outdated notion, I'm sure that you will find many friends that are prepared to help you."

    *********************

    An advice? A good one? A bad one?
    Censorship? Friendship?


    It is no good,I think,because who have write this do not give the face.....

    Someone can explain to me?

    I thank You!

    ReplyDelete

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