News of the World

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News of the World

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Review of "News of the World"

published 31/01/2001 | Xamis
Member since : 09/11/2000
Reviews : 16
Members who trust : 4
About me :
Not for me
Pro "The sports coverage is great", Silly stories
Cons Evil, money grabbing, manipulative, using scum :)
very helpful
Quality of journalism
Quality of features
Value for money

"Megan's Whore"

It was the Summer of 2000, in the middle of the school holidays.
Children across the country were relaxing, playing, sun bathing, doing
anything but think about school. School was over, they were free. As
it turned out, freedom was exactly what was so hotly contested. In
Kent, a little girl went missing, 9 year-old Sarah Payne. The Police
treated the missing child like any other - getting the parents to do
press conferences appealing for their child to return, conducting
door-to-door interviews to find out where she was last seen, generally
focusing people's attentions on the missing girl. With very little other
news in this quiet summer period, Sarah's fate was closely watched by
the entire nation. I think everybody was upset to some degree when
her dead body was found. Until then, I had every sympathy for the
family of Sarah and shared the concern of those following the story.

But then the News of the World (the Sunday version of the Sun, and
owned by News International) did something unforgivable. With very
little evidence and no concern for the ramifications of their actions,
they announced that it was, without a doubt, a paedophile assault
and killing. They declared war on paedophiles, "Naming and Shaming"
those they could find across the country by posting their pictures,
names and full addresses on their website as well as in the pages of
their paper. Editor Rebekah Wade would not (I would say could not)
defend her actions, and although the Police and Government claimed it
was "ill-advised", they would do nothing to stop it. They claimed the
list was not an endorsement of vigilante violence, that it was just to
let people know where the paedophiles were, becuase they had a
right to know if they were in their area.

Of course, that didn't stop the idiots who buy the paper going out and
beating paedophiles and those they suspected. In Portsmouth, in the
most famous case of mistaken identity, the family of a supposed
paedophile were shocked to find that a mob from their estate had
destroyed their home. They had also terrorised the house-sitter, a 17
year old girl who had done nothing to anyone. The mob, led by a
supposedly concerned mother, protested against the prescence of
paedophiles on their estate, and attacked and defaced their homes. In
a telling report, the BBC found the son of the leader of this mob, not
even school aged, wandering the streets alone after 7pm, completely
neglected. The men in the group went along for a laugh, they would
get drunk first and then go out and get rowdy. The mothers used their
children for publicity, indoctrinating them, telling them what to say to
reporters who interviewed them, and then parading them around with
banners in front of the waiting cameras the media. Locally, people in
Manchester and Chorley were sent death threats and had their homes
vandelised. These people were not paedophiles, were not on the list
the NotW published, but looked like those who were, shared a name
with those who were, or lived on the same street. This was
inexcusable, and it was organised and led by the unrepentent NotW.

Here in Blackburn, a man was acting under Police advice to take
pictures of youths trespassing in Church grounds because their had
been verbal and physical assualts and vandalism by some of the said
youths. When he took a picture, the yob went and got his father, who
intimidated and threatened the man, suggesting he could be a
paedophile selling the pictures on the Internet. This idiot told other
members of the local community and even called the Police, an irony
that could have been funny if the man's job was not threatened by
these unfounded and completely false allegations. Luckily, the Police
knew this man was nothing more than a trouble-maker, and he even
got verbally warned. But the Church-man should not have had to
suffer threats against his person or insinuatinos that were completely
repugnant to him. Where is the justice there?

Paedophiles are not a nice bunch of people. Their actions are lead by,
we are told, psychological problems. When caught by the Police,
these people are punished for their crimes and then watched for the
rest of their lives. They have to undergo extensive "rehabilitation",
and will never be the same again. Neither will their victims. But the
fact remains that we live under rule of law, and the law does not see
fit to kill these people, or to incarcerate them for life except under
extreme conditions. We live in a democracy where we agree to abide
by the rule of law. Sometimes this is broken (sometimes even by me)
but their is a difference between crimes against the person and crimes
against other people. Crimes against other people, such as paedophilic
material ownership and production and assault (of ANYONE!) are not
right. If we are expected to respect the rule of law, then newspapers
should be expected to too. But the News of the World ignored the
system in place, and abused the system to an extent that caused
crimes to be comitted against certain people. This is inexcusable, yet
they have been excused.

The News of the World disgusted me on two counts. They lead this
campaign that ruined the normal lives some paedophiles had been
working towards, forced people who had paid their debt to society in
prison and been released to go underground and flee their homes to
avoid the possibility of violent attacks. But perhaps, on an abstract
level, worse than this was the fact that they did it in the name of
Sarah Payne. Sarah's parents went along with it, and her image was
used to head and justify the campaign. There was no justifiable
reason for the actions the paper took, but they used a dead girl as a
way to validify something that was nothing more than an attempt to
boost sales. We are now living in a world where personal safety,
tragedy and the memory of lost souls are nothing more than devices
for the tabloid media to use in the persuit of money. What is even
more shocking is that only the Guardian would come right out and
condemn the actions of the paper and those papers that supported
the action. It took time for them to do it, and even more for other
Media companies to join them. The Government, the body we elect to
represent us and our interests still haven't, and indeed never will
condemn the actions of the paper.

I will never buy a tabloid paper. Ever. When I wanted to see what
they were doing, I got a discarded copy a friend had bought. They
live and die off money. I will not give my money to a company so
perverse, so inhuman that they will feed off the death of a child, fuel
themselves with fear and anger, use people's worst instincts just to
make a quick pound. Some people found the reports silly, laughed at
the rediculousness of what they were doing. I saw how it affected
people. I will not laugh. Ever. If you are even half as disgusted as I
was at this inhuman action, I urge you not to give them your money
and therefore approval either.

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Comments on this review

  • aprose published 25/02/2001
    I agree completely. Rebekah Wade is a very scary person. No wonder she is maried to Grant Mitchell! Cheers.
  • crustypaul published 31/01/2001
    These assholes will stop at nothing to sell more papers but it is just as much the fault of the cretins who buy it. If you're gonna believe anything you find written in the News of the World then you might as well go and shoot yourself right now.
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Product Information : News of the World

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Listed on Ciao since: 23/07/2000