Thursday, March 13, 2008

Today criticized for Matthews interview

This morning's Independent carries an article criticizing Today presenter Sarah Montague.Yesterday the programme featured an interview with Karen Matthews and her partner Craig Meehan in which

Some 90 seconds into the interview, the presenter, Sarah Montague, sought to clarify why it was possible Shannon could have been unhappy and run away from the family home on the Dewsbury Moor council estate – a ramshackle but robustly proud community that even the local vicar describes as "an area of acute social deprivation".
Ms Montague said: "Perhaps we should explain. It's a slightly complicated family picture you have, isn't it? You've got seven children, by six fathers

As the paper continues

A rising intonation on the last two words of the question betrayed a degree of uncertainty on the part of the interviewer

More claims of media bias against the family and one can ask what relevence the question was to the family in the hunt for missing Shannon.

According to the report

Campaigners yesterday said that the tone – and dwindling quantity – of the coverage devoted to the hunt for Shannon betrays an ugly double standard and class prejudice in the media and society about how Britons respond to the grief and public distress of a family going through the grim limbo of a missing child
and quotes

Lyn Costello, co-founder of Mothers Against Murder and Aggression who said

"That interview was making a judgement on her as a mother and the way she lives her life. The media is vital at a time when a child goes missing but its values are skewed. If you lose a child and fit the profile of a nice middle-class family then the response is overwhelming.
"The case of Shannon shows it is somehow socially unacceptable to live in a council house and it is permitted to openly ask whether your partner did it. Whatever happened to being innocent until proven guilty? As a society, we are too quick to leap to judgements on people at a time of incredible distress

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