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pumps100
I watched most of the Leveson Inquiry today. It is presently going through witness statement and oral hearings are being heard. You can follow it live during the day.

http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/hearings/

Many of us will have heard about some of the well known names Hugh Grant, Steve Coogan, Milly Dowlers family, and so on. But today I was humbled by the testimony of Margaret Watson and her husband. I understand Mr & Mrs Watson are from Dennistoun. The story was unknown to me but will probably be familiar to many of you.

Mrs Watson told the Inquiry about the murder of their 16 year old daughter Diane at Whitehill Secondary School in Dennistoun during 1991. The Glasgow Herald published a series of factually inaccurate articles (by Jack McLean) about the murder and subsequent arrest and conviction of the killer. Marie Claire published an article also which hurt the family very badly - to the extent whereby their son Alan committed suicide aged 16 - he died clutching the press articles concerning the murder of his sister.

The main point that Mrs Watson made to the Inquiry was that there is no right of redress if a person has died - the press can say anything they like. Mrs Watson's testimony was very moving and presented most eloquently. She is a former school dinner lady and her husband was a casual worker for Royal Mail.

Mrs Watson's statement is well worth reading to understand the events that took place and what steps they took to try to remedy matters.

You can read more here:-

http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/evidence/...margaret-watson

Regards

Ian
Heather
Yes that's a well known story in Glasgow and a very sad one, especially for the parents.

I have thought for a long time the Media are too intrusive into people's lives and it's time something was done about it.
pumps100
It's amazing what publicity can do.

It seems that 20 years after the Glasgow Herald original articles by Jack McLean they have apologised.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/nov/2...tson?CMP=twt_gu

Regards

Ian
pumps100
If I was Jack McLean I would be booking a one-way ticket to somewhere very remote.

I managed to find a summary of the tripe he wrote for the Herald in 1991. The comments are I believe Mrs Watson's.

Regards

Ian
QUOTE
SUMMARY OF RELEVANT ARTICLES IN THE GLASGOW HERALD

1. "Diane had the Smart White Socks of The Daughter of The Labour Aristocracy, Glover did not. And Looked Down on others with Disdain".

If McLean had taken the time to find out more about Glover's victim, Diane Watson and her family background he would have known that Jim Watson had been unemployed for two years and had only managed to get casual work in the post office which meant one week he could be working the next not. And that I was working part time for very low wages as a school dinning attendant. For three years we had struggled to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. No one in their right mind could possibly perceive us as the Labour Aristocracy by any stretch of the imagination.

2. "In A Culture In Which Getting A Blade to Threaten Another Adolescent is not Uncommon. I Told You Once I carried One Myself".

McLean makes a lot of his personal exploits as a teenager, how he carried a razor. Instead of taking this opportunity to condemn the carrying of knives McLean is in fact trying to justify Glover's actions by continually reminding his readers that he personally carried one. Any right thinking person must condemn his views on the carrying of weapons as unethical especially given the context of McLean's article. One young girl (Diane) was dead because another. (Glover) carried one with the clear intent of doing bodily harm.

3. "That Hardened Young Killer Was So Hardened that She Wet Herself in The Dock Once: Is That Likely To Be The Sort Of Thing Which Some Appalling Young Psychopath Would Do. Is it not More Likely to be What a Frightened Child Would DO".

We were there throughout the trial, as were most of our family and Glover most certainly did not Wet Herself In The Dock. This is just another example of McLean Presenting a completely false picture to his readers in order to gain public sympathy for Glover.

4. "In That Moment Of Madness This Poor And Distressed Child", (Glover)

Glover herself stated in court that she had placed the kitchen knife in her school bag the night before. And was it a moment of madness to run out of her class hide near the tunnel that she knew Diane would be passing under and lay in wait for Diane to come out of her class. Glover was the pursuer not Diane.

This man simply refuses to accept that it was Diane who was being tormented by Glover, it was Diane who had a large kitchen knife thrust into her body, it was Diane herself who pulled the knife out of her body. The thought of our dear daughter Diane pulling out that knife from her body is to much to bear. Dear God! it is like something straight out of a horror movie. This is something we personally will never come to terms with.

5. "That The Law Cannot Protect Children From The Effects Of Such A Tragedy, Both Victims Is Disgraceful".

How was the law or anyone else suppose to protect Diane, when absolutely no one knew what was behind Glover's aggression, except Glover and Silvestro. There is only one true innocent victim in all this and that's Diane. Glover attacked Diane with malice of forethought and left her to die an agonising death. Glover had a choice Diane did not.

6. "Nobody In The Court Could Possibly Understand The Peculiar Circumstances Of Playground Confrontations In Inner City Schools. I Told You Once I Carried A Blade Myself".

McLean running out of ideas of blaming the innocent murdered victim Diane for her own murder, then blames the legal system for Glover's plight. McLean's logic is beyond belief, here is a man who was not present at any stage during the trial, who did not hear any of the evidence, decrying the judge, jury and the QCs for not understanding. They heard the evidence he did not.

7. "Right Now As you Read This, There is a Lost And Distressed Child Locked Up and with no Future to Look Forward to".

McLean's ends his attack on the truly innocent, Diane, by asking his readers to consider Glover's plight. What about Diane and her hopes and dreams for the future, what about the added pain and distress McLean's ill informed article had on us as a family. And in particular our son Alan. The fact is given his past exploits as teenager McLean refused to accept that justice had been done in this case and decided he would campaign on Glover's behalf. In order to get public opinion on his side he set out to blacken Diane's character.
TeeHeeHee
QUOTE
A close friend of McLean's said on Tuesday afternoon the columnist had not been warned in advance that he would be named during the Leveson hearings and may seek legal advice. "He's in a bit of a state of shock," the friend said. "He's quite upset.


Not as upset as the parents whose daghter's name he defamed.
He could sympathise with a knife-weilding murderer because he himself carried a razor in his youth?
A reporter with ethics indeed.
Scotsman
Thats a helpful summary of comments of a very inhumane man Jack McLean.... what a shame he now has to face the consequences of his vindictiveness.... NOT! Just what was he thinking when he wrote that crap??

It is such a shame for the parents of that poor girl. I dont know what the inquiry is designed to do but it would be good if the family could get compensation to in some very small way help them cope with life. Perhaps if the inquiry does not force them then surely the Herald newspaper should step in and make a voluntary gesture to this poor couple??
Scotsman
Exaclty TeeHee.... and these are the people who are supposed to tackle the injustices in society??

God help us if we need to rely on that ilk!!
benny
Maclean was an art teacher before he became a journalist and, presumably, he had some idea of what actually went on in schools - although I certainly don't buy his portrayal of violent criminals as victims, no matter what their age.
pumps100
QUOTE (benny @ 23rd Nov 2011, 01:33pm) *
Maclean was an art teacher before he became a journalist and, presumably, he had some idea of what actually went on in schools - although I certainly don't buy his portrayal of violent criminals as victims, no matter what their age.

I'm glad I failed the quali for his old school Allan Glens - would not have thought your AG pupils were your razor carrying types.

For the boards info I have posted a comment on HeraldScotlands Facebook page asking them to publish the so-called apology statement.

I see from BBC morning news that they gave coverage to Mrs Watson's compelling testimony and never mentioned Steve Coogan's. Such was the power of it.

I failed the quali allegedly on my Maths score -but my mother was convinced it was because my dad was not a policeman!

Regards

Ian
bilbo.s
QUOTE (pumps100 @ 23rd Nov 2011, 02:20pm) *
I'm glad I failed the quali for his old school Allan Glens - would not have thought your AG pupils were your razor carrying types.



Ian

Ian,

There was no shortage of juvenile delinquents at Glasgow High in my day. Makes you wonder about all those theories that crime and anti-social behaviour are the result of deprivation.
wee davy
There were a fair few at 'the Mungo' too, in my day, bill!

(and yes, before you ask tongue.gif lol)

PS The Levenson inquiry was rivetting stuff today - especially the lawyer Lewis. I'm sure there's more revellation to come.
(How's about Murdochs resignation from two Directorships today, eh?)
GG
Many sources have taken the Watsons evidence one step further:
QUOTE
Teen Driven To Suicide By 'Sick' Journalism

Mrs Watson went on to tell the inquiry that on the day of Alan's funeral, further articles by Mr McLean appeared in The Herald.

"They took away his respect, they took away his dignity on the very day we were laying our son to rest. If any journalists here say that's good then God forgive you because I won't."

She said the public needed protecting from the media.

"Just because a person's died, their reputation shouldn't die with them.

"It shouldn't be dismissed at the will of some sick journalist - because that's what they are, sick.

"They unjustly attack the memory of the deceased.

"You've got to remember - that memory is all the living have of them. So please don't besmirch the innocent to make a case for offenders. It's not right."

The Herald & Times Group later issued a statement saying it "deeply regrets" anything which added to the Watson family's grief. ...

Full story here:
http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/16114914

I also noted that most news sources made no disticnction between the 'Glasgow Herald' of 20 years ago and the 'Herald' of today. Also, regarding the 'apology' from the Herald, I don't recall the word "apologise" or "sorry" in the statement. Will have to check as I can't find a full version online.

GG.
pumps100
QUOTE (GG @ 24th Nov 2011, 08:31am) *
Many sources have taken the Watsons evidence one step further...

Interesting. I to could not find the Herald statement as reported in the Guardian and holdthefrontpage either.

I posted on the Facebook wall of Herald Scotland asking politely for them to publish their 'apology' there. They have not removed my post, nor has any single person commented on it; this does seem odd to me, but may be The Herald's online readers are not too interested on what happened 20 years ago. You can visit their Facebook page to see:-

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/heraldscotland

They seem more interested on St Andrews Uni and a 'witty' article about seals.

Regards

Ian
TeeHeeHee
Your post might have been removed now Ian. I went as far back as 5th Oct. and couldn't see it.
pumps100
QUOTE (TeeHeeHee @ 24th Nov 2011, 01:20pm) *
Your post might have been removed now Ian. I went as far back as 5th Oct. and couldn't see it.

Thanks but I can see my post. This is on Facebook right under the St Andrews Uni effigies post. But maybe the way it works is that only you can see the post - I'm surprised no one has commented.

http://www.facebook.com/heraldscotland

best regards

Ian
DannyH
Unlike most of the people appearing at this investigation, the Watsons are not celebrities and , presumably, not used to speaking in public. I was both humbled and proud of the manner in which they spoke. It was very touching.

Danny Harris
pumps100
Danny, so was I. I was very humbled as well and despite the tragic circumstances felt proud to be a Glaswegian.

It is a pity that so few others feel the same way. On the Glasgow Herald Facebook page they witter away about Tunnocks caramel wafers, St Andrews Uni and Seals - all getting comments and 'likes' - but my simple request for the apology from the Herald to be published to Mr & Mrs Watson goes largely ignored. I'm somewhat also surprised that members of this board have also stayed silent.

You can see the Facebook page here.

http://www.facebook.com/heraldscotland

Regards

Ian Reynolds
TeeHeeHee
Ian I've just made a scathing comment on heraldscotland facebook page (and repeated it on my home page) but I doubt if you would be able to see that; too, as I still can't find yours.
It's right above the article on the biscuits. Let me know please.
Tomi.
GG
Thanks Ian and others for your posts regarding this issue. I've been busy, so not had time to catch up fully on this story as yet. I have, though, found what I think is the full version of the Herald statement:

QUOTE
"Comments critical of Herald columns published after the 1991 murder of 16-year-old Glasgow schoolgirl Diane Watson were made at today’s Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press.

The Herald and Times Group deeply regrets any action which added to the Watson family’s grief over the tragic loss of their daughter and later their son.

The columns were published some 20 years ago when the group was under different ownership and editorial control, and the freelance columnist involved has not worked for the company for some years.

The Herald and Times Group is committed to the highest quality of journalism and accuracy in its reporting and analysis and adheres to the Press Complaints Commission code of conduct."

This is a general issue that concerns me, as I believe that the demographic profile of the vast majority of journalists in the UK, including Glasgow, is one which makes it at the least, ignorant – at the worst, biased – towards working class people. That's a long story and I don't have time to explain my concerns fully here.

What I do want to say just now is, in light of the following part of the Herald statement "the freelance columnist involved has not worked for the company for some years", will the Herald please comment on who wrote the following article, published in the Features section of the Herald on 11th January 2010?

http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/obit...iation-1.997427

GG.
TeeHeeHee
Perhaps some of our members could "Like" the aforementioned posting on
heraldscotland facebook page before it is removed.

http://www.facebook.com/heraldscotland

bilbo.s
http://youtu.be/Sb5MORLi8K0


unsure.gif
ashfield
I wonder if the apparent apathy on facebook concerning this issue is because, both the original story and the subsequent follow up ones in the Herald and Marie Claire, were covered extensively at the time in the press and on TV. Mrs Watson has also, over the years, been a regular contributor to discussions on a personal level and, at some time, through her involvement with the organisation, Mothers Against Murder and Aggression (although I am not sure if she is still involved with that or not).
TeeHeeHee
QUOTE (bilbo.s @ 25th Nov 2011, 09:18am) *

Didn't take long for it to be deleted, Bill. rolleyes.gif
TeeHeeHee
QUOTE (ashfield @ 25th Nov 2011, 09:47am) *
I wonder if the apparent apathy on facebook concerning this issue is because, both the original story and the subsequent follow up ones in the Herald and Marie Claire, were covered extensively at the time in the press and on TV. Mrs Watson has also, over the years, been a regular contributor to discussions on a personal level and, at some time, through her involvement with the organisation, Mothers Against Murder and Aggression (although I am not sure if she is still involved with that or not).

That's possible Ash ... but when I came down from the mount today I found that my message had been removed from Herald Scotland's home page, so what might seem to look like apathy on this issue is really a case of cencorship. cool.gif sad.gif
pumps100
The Herald people on their Facebook page have pulled my posting. I posted their own 'apology' which I think tipped them over the edge.

For information, I knew nothing about the case until they appeared at the Leveson Inquiry - by a quirk of fate my own father died in Glasgow the same day in 1991 as Diane was murdered - I must have been occupied with that at the time and missed the story.

The reason that Mr & Mrs Watson's case is important is that it pre-dates the current furore into ethics and standards in the media by many years. They did a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes as can be ably demonstrated from a publication from a Parliamentary Select Committee meeting. It makes grim reading - worthy of a book. If you've not the time to read it all just go to the Annexes at the end.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/c...458/458w125.htm

Regards

Ian
TeeHeeHee
Ian, I can no longer comment on Herald Scotland's home page !
I wonder if that means that my eMail subscription has also gone oot the windae unsure.gif
wee davy
LOL

What a bizzare way to run a social networking site - where you only get to see your own posts - think I might patent that and make gazzilions hahaha
laugh.gif
ashfield
QUOTE (TeeHeeHee @ 25th Nov 2011, 01:22pm) *
That's possible Ash ... but when I came down from the mount today I found that my message had been removed from Herald Scotland's home page, so what might seem to look like apathy on this issue is really a case of cencorship.

Tomi, it does seem a bit worrying when a newspaper only keeps those posts they consider "positive" and delete the one they see as "negative". Wonder if there is any point in writing to their letter page, the subject matter is irrelevant, if they feel able to pull or edit posts, they should make that clear from the outset. If I bought the paper I would stop.........but I never started rolleyes.gif

Sorry Davy, can't see your post, is there anything interesting in it laugh.gif
wee davy
It was of course the best post ever posted - but now you will never know - will you! ohmy.gif wink.gif
Told you it would catch on!
TeeHeeHee
Ash, I wanted to submit another comment on Herald Scotland's home-page but was unable to ... or should I say disabled or blocked.
Free speech seems a bit one-sided now ... Media Ethics indeed.
I would cancel my subscription but I'll wait to see if my daily eMail appears tomorrow though I'm not holding my breath.
Scotsman
Yep.... its censorship alright when a paper blocks comments just because it does not agree with what the comment says even though it was said in a mannerly way. Makes you wonder what the press are really up to. Would it be worth contacting a competitor newspaper to let them know what has happened at the Herald??

Then again, maybe there all at it so wont want to let the rabbit out of the hat. Quite sad really but as I said.... we cannot trust them anymore!!
pumps100
Anyway, to move on in the discussion about the Leveson Inquiry, I have a bit of a concern. This concerns 'soft' questioning of some of the people giving 'evidence'. I know many of the people participating have been wronged by the press but some of the questioning is not than great.

For example I watched the testimony of Steve Coogan and read his written statement and subsequently the oral hearing transcript. There was a section in it concerning a Sunday Times 'profile' of Coogan which he willingly participated in. When it was printed he was not too happy about it and commenced proceedings against the paper- they issued an apology and printed it in the paper.

Counsel asked Coogan "Did you see the article before it went to print?" Coogan said no he hadn't seen it. Counsel moved onto something else - but knowing Coogan's history - surely the next obvious question would have been "Don't you think you should have reviewed the article before it was printed?". The line of questioning could have been explored to the effect that, Coogan was a willing participant in the profile feature - could he not have insisted on it being a condition of the interview that he had the opportunity to see the final copy - and had to approve it before printing?

As it was he didn't and he was unhappy. In my view the questioning was weak. There would be less tears if people like Coogan (or his publicist) took such an approach - seems like common sense to me.

I've written to The Leveson Inquiry in relation to this comment.

Regards

Ian
ashfield
Ian, I can understand what you are saying but there is a difference between an error related to a misrepresentation of fact and the right of a journalist to express opinion based on their judgement of the person being interviewed. If a critic had to give the right of censorship to every actor, musician, director, chef or whatever, it would swing the pendulum too far the other way. I doubt any newspaper or magazine would offer a proof reading to anyone who submitted themselves for interview, they certainly wouldn't if the article was unsolicited.
pumps100
QUOTE (ashfield @ 25th Nov 2011, 08:00pm) *
Ian, I can understand what you are saying but there is a difference between an error related to a misrepresentation of fact and the right of a journalist to express opinion based on their judgement of the person being interviewed. If a critic had to give the right of censorship to every actor, musician, director, chef or whatever, it would swing the pendulum too far the other way. I doubt any newspaper or magazine would offer a proof reading to anyone who submitted themselves for interview, they certainly wouldn't if the article was unsolicited.

Sorry I might not have made myself clear.

Say I am somebody like Steve Coogan - famous but with something of a history of alleged press misreporting. I've been sh*t on before by the press and I'm wisely suspicious of them. Sunday Times approaches me and says we'd like to do a profile feature on you including interviews and photos. You have the choice there and then - "Yes, I'll do the feature but I'll need to see it before it goes to print". If the Sunday Times says no to this condition then you simply say you don't want to do the feature. Coogan had history - had he not been shovelling mountains of white powder up his nose at the time, he might have looked after his own interests a bit better.

Regards

Ian
ashfield
I'm sure you mean "allegedly" laugh.gif

The problem for these guys is they need the publicity and no newspaper would hand over editorial control to the subject. I guess if it was a precondition they would walk away or just do an article without doing the interview. As it worked out Coogan got a double dunt of publicity, from the original article and his follow up action.

Some of the other tales have been astonishing, the lengths some reporters have gone to, trying to get a story. I'd love to think something positive will come out of this in relation to press regulation but I can't help feeling the genie is out the bottle.
pumps100
QUOTE (ashfield @ 25th Nov 2011, 08:57pm) *
The problem for these guys is they need the publicity and no newspaper would hand over editorial control to the subject. I guess if it was a precondition they would walk away or just do an article without doing the interview. As it worked out Coogan got a double dunt of publicity, from the original article and his follow up action.

I agree these people should have been more savvy. You either do the interview or you don't. Coogan owed himself a duty of care; but he was probably badly advised, or his mind was badly affected with the white powder.

Regards

Ian
GG
QUOTE (GG @ 25th Nov 2011, 08:33am) *
... What I do want to say just now is, in light of the following part of the Herald statement "the freelance columnist involved has not worked for the company for some years", will the Herald please comment on who wrote the following article, published in the Features section of the Herald on 11th January 2010?

http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/obit...iation-1.997427

The article was in fact written by Jack McLean, so this obviously calls into question the credibility of the Herald statement. The suitability is quite another issue entirely.

Anyway, the Herald aside, I think one very good outcome of the inquiry could be a greater understanding on the public's behalf of how newspapers work, and how we need to understand the bias and prejudices of journalists, editors and owners. Hopefully, the old days of people routinely believing what neswpapers pubish as being truthful, accurate and balanced are over. Of course, sometimes stories are all of the above, but by no means always.

The real force for good, IMO, lies in empowering people to make better informed decisions about what they read, hear and watch in the media. Unfortunately this empowerment process is called education ... and, as always, Glasgow is bottom of the heap on that metric!

GG.
tamhickey
I think the Dead Wood Tree media has had it's day. Just look at circulation numbers nowadays compared to when MacLean wrote his inaccurate and astoundingly sickening articles. There are many other avenues for people to look at the facts and gauge opinions from the internet; something news editors hate as it affects sales and educates people much more than when editorial control has free rein in a newspaper.
I noticed that the Herald didn't exactly apologise either, the merely offered regret, not the same thing at all and deflected the blame on to previous owners and editors.
I used to really enjoy the Herald at that time as there were some great columnists like Jimmy Reid, Michael Fry, John McLeod, Pat Kane, Graeme Speirs, Jack Webster etc where there were many and various views presented though Mr. McLean's pieces were often related to his drinking patterns with his boozy buddies in a variety of southside boozers and in the Scotia Bar where he joined more of his mates playing the mouth organ at the weekend. He tried to engender a working class association but as a working class man, it always seemed to be as much of an affectation as his fedora hat.
Apperently, he is now deeply upset at the media's portrayal of him; nowhere near as upset as the parents of that poor child.
Guest
QUOTE
The article was in fact written by Jack McLean, so this obviously calls into question the credibility of the Herald statement. The suitability is quite another issue entirely.

You are making the assumption that Maclean was paid for the article.

Is this not the kind of baseless smear that the press are being accused of?
GG
No, Guest, I don't think it is. If you re-read my words, you will see that I took some care in what I actually wrote ... just as the Herald did in their original statement.

Going back to what Mr McLean wrote in his 'Urban Voltaire' column on June 26th, 1992, his comments about the tragic death of a young girl in Dennistoun came at the end of an article which was actually about the tragic death of a young boy in Newton Mearns*. Those words resulted, on the floor of the Commons in December 1992, in Mr McLean being described as "a fool of a journalist ... [who wrote] absolute rubbish" by the then Springburn MP, Michael Martin.

Also referring to Mr McLean's articles on the subject, the then Scottish Office Minister Lord James Douglas-Hamilton said during the same debate:

QUOTE
"Mr McLean is entitled to the free expression of his opinions. However, he might reflect on the impact his remarks have had on the victim's family. Sadly, his articles have caused distress.

Journalists have a responsibility to the wider public, including victims and their families. Those families are caught up in events beyond their control and unwillingly become the target of considerable publicity.

It is the role of the responsible journalist to ensure that such publicity is not unnecessarily distressing to innocent parties."

--
* The father of the young victim in Newton Mearns subsequently wrote a moving letter to the Herald also condemning Mr McLean's article.

GG.
GG
In the interests of fairness, you can read about Jack McLean here:

Urban Voltaire Jack McLean
http://jackiekemp.com/the-press/246-herald...ist-jack-mclean

GG.
TeeHeeHee
A well meaning article ... given time we can get used to drunks who stagger into our homes and puke all over our carpets. rolleyes.gif
Perhaps Mclean should have set his sights on being an Urban da Vinci.
pumps100
Good points made by everyone participating in this thread.

A couple of points.

Having now read up on Mr & Mrs Watson's efforts to seek some redress I now personally feel guilty for what I have previously said about Michael Martin MP - I slagged him off quite badly (Lord Greedy, and so on). He worked tirelessly for Mr & Mrs Watson at the House of Commons and I'm sure many MP's would not have done anything like what he did.

TamHickey makes some good points about the decline in both quality and circulation of the Herald and others. The Herald is a shadow of its former self (this subject has been covered elsewhere on these boards in discussions about the Herald & Evening Times). Last week I was disappointed to read a report somewhere about collapsing sales of The Scotsman. I used to get the occasional copy here and I have previously commented on how good I thought it was; good investigative journalism and well put together as a paper. Bizarrely, you could learn more in The Scotsman about what's going on at Glasgow City Council than you could in the Herald. But despite how good it was the Scotsman are now making staff redundant. One of the owners commented that print media is now considered in american parlance as a 'sunset' industry (in terminal decline) which concurs with Tams comment.

Regards

Ian
GG
To be fair to the Herald, the newspaper published the following article by Derek Douglas on January 14, 1993. Mr Douglas, used his skills as a journalist (Chief Reporter) to examine both sides of very sensitive topic. It should be remembered that Jack McLean was a columnist for the newspaper, not a professional journalist.

Comments by Mrs Watson include:
QUOTE
''I cannot begin to describe the despair and suffering that we endured from the day that Diane was killed. Our friends and relatives, the school staff and the wider community in Dennistoun have sought to give every help and comfort to us but some members of the media have been so cruel and insensitive that they have caused us nothing but additional hurt and sorrow.''

QUOTE
''Jack McLean may want to reflect on the fact that when Alan took his life he had in his hands articles which Mr McLean had written. His articles, and that in Marie Claire, contributed to the terrible depression which Alan was suffering from after his sister's death.

I would hope that in future he and the Marie Claire journalist, Meg Henderson, would think more carefully about their actions and that they would realise that when they write they do so about real people who have real feelings."

QUOTE
''I look upon these articles as an attempt to blacken my daughter's name. Additionally, in August, Jack Mclean wrote an article which implied that our daughter had looked upon her murderer with snobbish disdain and that Diane regarded herself as being better than her.

What he actually wrote was 'Diane came from a background which was rather upper working-class. For years this class element determined that young Barbara was something of an object of the kind of snobbish disdain that occurs within the working-classes. Diane had the smart white socks of the daughter of the labour aristocracy.''

QUOTE
''Mr McLean, in his articles, often tries to make a great deal of his working-class origins and the article he wrote about Diane is no exception.

Those who know my husband and I also know of our working-class origins but we feel that our social background is irrelevant in the case of our daughter's death. No parents, regardless of social background, should have to suffer the loss of a child but it might be helpful to know that I was brought up in the Gorbals and my husband was brought up in Easterhouse.

We both left school at 15. On the week Diane died my husband's take-home pay was #75 and I was earning a small living as a school meals' attendant. I wonder how Mr McLean can call people such as ourselves 'the labour aristocracy?''

... Diane was never snobbish. It was an important part of her upbringing that she treated everyone with respect. Given that her father had been unemployed for two-and-a-half years she would have been the last person in a position to look down on anyone.''

QUOTE
''Diane was a hard-working student and at weekends she worked in a shop from which her earnings helped supplement the family income. She was also involved with pre-vocational training at a local hospital and I have references to the effect that she carried out her course with distinction.''

QUOTE
''I am totally bewildered by Mr McLean's assertions that he based his articles on discussions he had with professional people involved with my family, including doctors and teachers when, in fact, my GP and all the teachers at Whitehill Secondary School have given written testimony that they did not enter into discussions with Mr McLean. None of my neighbours has spoken to the press.''

QUOTE
''I feel that Mr McLean's insensitivity knows no bounds. On the day of Alan's funeral he wrote a further article attacking Michael Martin and Lord James Douglas-Hamilton. He accused both MPs of hiding behind parliamentary privilege. Contrary to Mr McLean's assertion that these MPs would deny people, expecially journalists, free speech, Mr Martin gave me a voice in Parliament.

Our lives have been further ruined by insensitive treatment such as this. We have never sought to get our names in the paper. We have always been a hard-working and respectable family and I just hope that no other family has to endure the suffering that we have gone through.''


Mother defends daughter Diane
http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/ab...-diane-1.776852

GG.
Guest
QUOTE
Yep.... its censorship alright when a paper blocks comments just because it does not agree with what the comment says even though it was said in a mannerly way. Makes you wonder what the press are really up to. Would it be worth contacting a competitor newspaper to let them know what has happened at the Herald??

Would it be worth contacting the Herald to let them know of the attacks on it from this board?
pumps100
QUOTE (Guest @ 26th Nov 2011, 03:39pm) *
Would it be worth contacting the Herald to let them know of the attacks on it from this board?

I tried to contact them via their Facebook site but they were not talking - maybe you've got better connections.

Regards

Ian
pumps100
I was busy clearing up leaves in the garden most of the morning so never saw much of the morning hearing. I saw the 'broadcast journalist' Ann Diamond in the afternoon session. My comments on her are at the bottom of this post for anybody that is interested.

But first a summary of today's highlights (copied in the main from the Guardian)
QUOTE
• Charlotte Church claims she was offered 100,000 or 'favourable coverage' in News International titles if she sang at Rupert Murdoch's wedding to Wendi Deng.

• Chris Jefferies tells how he was portrayed as a "creepy oddball", a "pervert' and a "peeping Tom". He says he will "never fully recover" from the libellous coverage and some will still think he is a "weird" character who is "best avoided".

• Anne Diamond says she felt "emotionally blackmailed" after the Sun rang to say they had a photo of the funeral of her son who died in a cot death.

• Former army intelligence officer Ian Hurst alleges corruption at the highest level at the Met police. Says his computer was hacked and the police took years to notify him that his security had been compromised even though he was working in a very sensitive area, acting as a "handler" to IRA spies.

• Paul Staines who runs the Guido Fawkes blog has been summoned to appear before Leveson on Thursday (for allegedly publishing a leaked copy of Alistair Campbell's Witness Statement).

Ann Diamond – 'Sup with the Devil?

I watched her testimony. She felt she has been badly treated over the years but she does still write for the Sun and others. One of the worst things was the intrusion of the Sun taking a photograph at the funeral of her baby son Sebastian in 1999. She had wrote to all editors of the papers 'begging' them to be left alone but the Sun took and published a photograph of her and her husband carrying the coffin. A shocking invasion of privacy all right minded people would agree.

Diamond says “I felt emotionally blackmailed by the people who had just trampled all over our dignity and our child's grave”; she then immediately joined forces with the Sun to raise money and awareness of cot death research. Counsel questioned her on this (begging them to keep away from the funeral/feeling aggrieved at the intrusion, then working with them) - she said this was "a brilliant example" of the power of popular journalism. She says she believes in freedom of the press and “...journalism is not rotten, just a handful of journalists”.

The Judge then intervened and questioned Diamond on an article she herself had recently written for the Daily Mail on the actress Dawn French's recent weight loss; the inferred question being, was this not an invasion of Dawn French's privacy? She says she went ahead with it because French was a 'national treasure' and she herself had had a weight problem and women all over the county are interested in such issues. She said she did not say anything in the article which was not already in the public domain. I personally would have pushed this point in that she did not speak with French prior to the article being printed. For information, I did read the Diamond article on Dawn French - apart from it being sickly in the most patronising sense, there is not much in it.

I thought she came across as insincere but this just could be me being cynical.

Regards

Ian
GG
Thanks Ian, very interesting.

I think, personally, that while Ann Diamond's article about Dawn French's weight loss was probably ill-advised and potentially an intrusion into the comedienne's private life, it was of a completely different magnitude to the intrusion suffered by Ms Diamond, especially when the comedienne has been known to make fun of her weight in some of her jokes. I've not watched the former newsreader's statement, but hopefully the judge did preface his questioning with remarks to that effect, ie that the two 'intrusions' were on a different scale of emotional hurt?

On an earlier subject, for anyone interested in the full statement made by Mrs Watson to the inquiry on Tuesday 22 November, please follow the link below:

http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-conten...aret-Watson.pdf

GG.
pumps100
Richard Peppiatt a former freelance 'journalist' at the Daily Star gave evidence at Leveson this morning. It was quite entertaining; he was very apologetic and contrite over some of the rubbish he wrote.

Couple of points which I found interesting which Peppiatt said:-

(1)he was instructed by his superiors to simply just make up stories and/or to create news.
(2)the proprietor (Richard Desmond) wished to use the papers to push his own interests; 40 stories about Big Brother (on Channel 5 which he owns) during August, and the Health Lottery which is his as well.

Quite bizarre moment. Lord Justice Leveson is reviewing some old Daily Star features and asks Peppiatt : "These are real headlines?" to which Peppiatt says "yes". He then goes on to give examples of Daily Star headlines that he openly admits were simply 'made up'

QUOTE
Chile mine to open as theme park

Angelina Jolie to play Susan Boyle in film

Bubbles to give evidence at Jacko trial

Jade is back in Big Brother (she was dead at the time)

"We've obviously had the Maddy in the freezer story which you have heard of already."

Muslim-only public loos

More later.

Regards

Ian
TeeHeeHee
Judge to reporter, "You couldn't make this up!"
Reporter to judge, "I just did!"
rolleyes.gif
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