Author: Shadowy Media Collective | Date: August 21, 2002 | No Comments »

What the Sun headline writers are trying to say (in their stumbling, and very nearly English, way) is that Ian Huntley, the man charged with the murders of schoolgirls Holly and Jessica, won’t be able to convince the doctors at Rampton that he is mentally ill and thereby escape trial. As always, the Sun doesn’t let inconvenient facts get in the way of a good story. In this case they ignore the fact that either Huntley is mentally ill, in which case no conning will be required, or he isn’t, in which case he has already managed to con some doctors in order to be sent to Rampton in the first place. Logic was never the Sun‘s strong point.

It turned out that Huntley wasn’t considered mentally ill. He was convicted of the murder of the two girls and is currently ten years into a life sentence. He will not be released until he has served at least forty years.

Author: Shadowy Media Collective | Date: August 20, 2002 | No Comments »

The whole tabloid world has gone mad over the disappearance of the two young girls Holly and Jessica. For two weeks now the story has dominated the headlines. It’s obviously an important story, but do we really need to be quite so Liverpudlian about it? Today there’s no new news, but it still has to be on the front pages so the tabloid reporters have digging around in the past of the two people who are being questioned. They’ve discovered that the chap’s ex-wife got married to his brother. Obviously that’s really important news as it shows us exactly what kind of family he comes from. The kind that can oh-so-easily produce paedophiles and child-killers. Or maybe it’s not news at all and is just another example of unwarranted intrusion into people’s private lives.

This still happens and still really annoys rational people. I can’t remember who the subjects of this story are, but I’m pretty sure they aren’t Ian Huntley and Maxine Carr – so that’s two people who are having their past exposed to the Sun’s readership for no good reason.

Author: Shadowy Media Collective | Date: August 8, 2002 | No Comments »

Two tabloids have attempted to cash in on the story of the two missing schoolgirls by offering rewards for information this morning. The Soaraway Sun offers £150,000 (and they’re giving away a free poster so you know they’ve got to be serious!) The Express have trumped them however, by offering the ridiculous sum of £1,000,000. Of course the Express offer is all funded out of pornography, so you might feel a little uncomfortable accepting the money.

This is the Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman story. At this point the girls were just missing. It wasn’t until 17th August that their bodies were found. Ian Huntley and Maxine Carr were arrested soon afterwards.  I can’t see any evidence that the Sun or Express reader paid out any money on these offers. Or that the Sun’s poster achieved anything useful at all. Terrible things like this still happen – as I write this Stuart Hazell has just been charged with the murder of Tia Sharp – and tabloids still overreact like this. I don’t remember any more appeals for information that have been backed with tabloid’s own money though.

Author: Shadowy Media Collective | Date: April 24, 2002 | No Comments »

Now I’m not saying for a second that this isn’t news, but I really don’t like the way the tabloids are reporting it. They all have headlines like “Millie – Body Found”. Only by reading the details do you discover that a body has been found that just might be Millie’s. And a couple of hours later the police announce that it definitely isn’t Millie and the papers all end up looking very stupid. Bet we don’t see a follow-up on tomorrow’s front pages tho’.

And now we get to the serious stuff. This is all about the tabloid’s desperate need to sell as many papers as possible and the fact that they don’t really care whether or not what they print is true. This story had been shown to be false by the middle of the morning. But the following day there was no sign of a correction or an apology. Sometimes it seems that the tabloids really believe that their readers don’t remember

what the paper wrote the previous day.