Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Shannon and Madeleine

I read an interesting article on the Independent newspaper website. It was about the contrasts in media coverage over the two missing girls, Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews. It tells of the reward being offered by the Sun Newspaper for the safe return of Shannon Matthews (£20,000), as well as the pensioner who lives in the same town who has offered his own reward, £500, his gesture is symbolic of the enormous effort local people have put into finding "Shan".

Despite these efforts, however, they point to the fact that at this time after Madeleine's disappereance, countless celebrities, including the Beckhams, Wayne Rooney, and Richard Branson had pledged a reward summing £2.6m. Madeleine was front page news for countless days and week, whereas the Sun's reward for Shannon was apparently only on page 17.

They point to the different social classes of the two families as a possible cause of this apparent 'discrepancy'.

One leafletter last week said the effort was "just like the McCanns'... though their campaign is rich and to be honest we haven't got a lot here."

Madeleine McCann

Age: Four. Parents: Kate, 40, a GP. Gerry, 39, a cardiologist. Siblings: Twins, now aged two.

Home: Detached house, Leicestershire.

UK press stories after nine days: 465.

Rewards offered: £2.6m: the 'News of the World', Stephen Winyard, Philip Green, Simon Cowell, Coleen McLoughlin, 'The Sun', Sir Richard Branson, J K Rowling.

Public donations: £1.1m:

J K Rowling, Bryan Adams, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, John Terry, Phil Neville, David Moyes, the England cricket team.

Wikipedia profile: 2,182 words after nine days.

Shannon Matthews

Age: Nine. Parents: Karen, 32, and Leon Rose, 29. Stepfather, Craig, 22. Siblings: Six boys and girls, from her mother's partnerships with five different men.

Home: Three-bed council house, Dewsbury Moor.

UK press stories after nine days: 242.

Rewards offered: £25,500. Made up of £20,000 by 'The Sun', £5,000 from Huddersfield firm Joseph International, £500 from Wakefield pensioner Winston Bedford.

Public donations: Thousands at most, including Leona Lewis.

Wikipedia profile: 151 words after nine days.

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