MPs attack press watchdog for failing to rein in Madeleine McCann reports
image courtesy of The McCann Gallery
By Vicky Shaw
A GROUP of MPs made a raft of recommendations yesterday to increase the powers of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).
The culture, media and sport committee's wide-ranging report into press standards criticised the PCC for failing to do more to act over "false and damaging" newspaper coverage relating to Madeleine McCann's disappearance.
It said the press watchdog should be renamed the Press Complaints and Standards Commission, with powers to fine members and suspend printing in the cases of the worst rule-breakers.
The report described the McCann case as "an important test of the industry's ability to regulate itself, and it failed in that test".
It said the newspaper industry's assertion that the McCann case was a one-off event showed that it is "in denial about the scale and gravity of what went wrong".
It continued: "In any other industry suffering such a collective breakdown – as for example in the banking sector now – any regulator worth its salt would have instigated an inquiry."
Committee chairman John Whittingdale said there was also a "serious concern" over the "increasing evidence that in recent years investigative journalism was being deterred by the threat and cost of libel actions".
in New Scotsman
read as well extended coverage at the Guardian and Independent, alternatively download the report at HoC's Culture Media and Sports Committee and remember to sign the Libel Reform Campaign petition
On this matter, a few articles filled with blatant xenophobia [Lusophobia] and defamation are listed bellow as an obvious example of how the PCC and the UK media, particularly Murdoch's media, failed to give an unbiased reporting about the Madeleine McCann Case.
«Some reports in the British press branded the Portuguese police as lazy, inept, secretive and drunk and, in the hysteria, an impression was created that the place was a haven for paedophiles.» in the Times
«While most journalists in Britain and in Portugal at first seemed united in sympathy toward the McCanns, the coverage and commentary around the case has taken on increasingly xenophobic tones. In the British press, the Portuguese police have been widely portrayed as lazy bunglers. Portuguese commentators have found the McCanns insufficiently emotional and have questioned their parenting skills.» in The New York Times
«There’s a killer on the road (*), and his name is "Amaral Lector". This is what most readers of British Media should think, after what was published by tabloids like Daily Express and Daily Mail, about Portuguese CID Chief-Inspector Gonçalo Amaral, the man in charge of the investigation of Madeleine disappearance.» in Gazeta Digital
Telegraph Simon Heffer: Boycott Portugal [title has changed] self-explanatory
Daily Mirror Tony Parsons: Parsons wrote a column, titled "Oh, up yours, senor", regarding the Portuguese police investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. One of the complainants was the Portuguese ambassador to Britain, whom Parsons told to "keep your stupid, sardine-munching mouth shut". [article was deleted, but others where he calls the Portuguese of 'pigs' and similar remain]
Daily Mail Vanessa Allen: Why Portugal is a haven for paedophiles an article that tried to join the Casa Pia Case with Madeleine McCann
The Sun Lucy Hagan: Portuguese cops' booze botch self-explanatory
Daily Mirror Nick Owens : 262 Days missing and... Maddy's blunder cop back on case self-explanatory
read as well Adjectives used by the British Press to describe Goncalo Amaral
«53 articles: "boozy" or "boozer"
418 articles: "disgraced, disgraceful, disgrace"
440 articles: "outrage, outrageous" etc.
37 articles: "bungling"
23 articles: "Keystone cops" (or Kops) (or Keystone cretins) etc, etc»