Saturday, March 01, 2008

Shannon-Is the media interested in the White working classes

With the papers still full of Prince Harry and discussion on the media embargo,tucked away in this morning's Times is an interesting piece by Andrew Norfolk

Entitled,Poor little Shannon Matthews. Too poor for us to care that she is lost?,its author suggests that the reason the media coverage of Shannon Matthews disappearance has fallen off the media radar is that she comes from the wrong side of the tracks.

Comparing the coverage of

Sarah Payne, smiling in her school uniform; Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, in their Manchester United shirts; Madeleine McCann, staring inquisitively with her distinctive bleeding iris . . .
The names and faces of these girls who have disappeared are etched into the public’s collective memory.
Camera crews camped out in their home towns for weeks or months. Donations totalled thousands — even millions — of pounds. Members of the public, many of them strangers, came in their hundreds to offer help and prayers for their safe return

The paper reflects that

The search for a vanished innocent continues but Britain seems to have lost interest. This week the hunt appeared to have been classed as less newsworthy than the most minor developments in the search for Madeleine McCann, who disappeared nine months ago.

And the reasons why?

Dewsbury Moor is no Home Counties idyll, nor is it a Portuguese holiday resort. It is “up North”, it is a bleak mix of pebbledash council blocks and neglected wasteland, and it is populated by some people capable of confirming the worst stereotype and prejudice of the white underclass.

So is the media only interested in the white middle classes?

The Sun and the Mirror continue to cover the case,in its morning's paper the Sun is offering a £20,000 reward for infromation and the Mirror carries an interview with her mother saying that the only present that she wants for Mother's day is her return

It is an interesting argument,one that has come up numerous times before.The media will find a better story within the white middle classes.They themelves have far more resources to devote to publicity.

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