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Madeleine Foundation resolves its complaint against 'The Sun' newspaper Mm11

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Post by Tony Bennett on 22.12.09 13:28

The Madeleine Foundation made a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission about its article about us on 15 August 2009, about the 'Rothley leaflet drop'.

A few weeks ago, they offered to resolve our complaint by agreeing to publish a letter from us.

In red below is the original letter we drafted for publication.

There has been a flurry of to-ing and fro-ing regarding the wording of this letter and The Sun has now agreed to publish, in the next few days, the letter in blue below.

Our complaints re 'The Star' and the 'Sunday Express' are still being dealt with by the Press Complaints Commission and are therefore unresolved.

DRAFT LETTER FOR PUBLICATION IN ‘THE SUN’

Dear Editor

On 15 August, ‘The Sun’ published an article about The Madeleine Foundation, referring to our distribution of a leaflet about Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, which was inaccurate in several respects.

One of The Madeleine Foundation’s stated purposes is “to pursue - in conjunction with others - the truth about Madeleine McCann’s disappearance on 3 May 2007”. To that end, we have published booklets and leaflets which question whether or not Madeleine McCann was abducted as has been claimed. We also publish articles on the subject on our website, at www.madeleinefoundation.org.uk. We have no connection with the McCanns. We called ourselves ‘The Madeleine Foundation’ as we feel there are important lessons for child welfare to be learned about the circumstances under which she disappeared.

However, contrary to your article, we have never suggested that either parent killed Madeleine. Neither did our leaflet give reasons why the McCanns should be prosecuted; it simply dealt with some of the unreported facts about the case.

Nor did we distribute our leaflet to ‘every home in Rothley’, as claimed. We leafleted around 150 houses in the village, part of a nationwide distribution of thousands of our leaflets.

Yours sincerely

Tony Bennett
Secretary
The Madeleine Foundation


FINAL WORDING OF LETTER AGREED BY THE SUN

Following your 15 August article about The Madeleine Foundation’s distribution of a leaflet about Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, we do not suggest that either parent killed Madeleine. Our leaflet did not give reasons why anyone should be prosecuted; it simply analysed aspects of the evidence. We did not distribute our leaflet to ‘every home in Rothley’. We leafleted around 150 houses in the village as part of a nationwide distribution.

One of our stated purposes is “to pursue - in conjunction with others - the truth about Madeleine McCann’s disappearance on 3 May 2007”. To this end, we have published booklets and leaflets about the case. We have no connection with the McCanns. We called ourselves The Madeleine Foundation because we feel there are important lessons for child welfare to be learned about the circumstances of her disappearance.

Tony Bennett
Secretary
The Madeleine Foundation
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Post by MaryB on 22.12.09 13:37

Well I must say I preferred the first letter. It is a bit annoying that the Sun won't let you point out their inaccuracies when they wrote the article. It makes you wonder how much we read is inaccurate or downright lies.
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Post by Majic on 22.12.09 13:42

@MaryB wrote:It makes you wonder how much we read is inaccurate or downright lies.

Um...you are kidding right ?

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Post by Guest on 22.12.09 13:45

@MaryB wrote:Well I must say I preferred the first letter. It is a bit annoying that the Sun won't let you point out their inaccuracies when they wrote the article. It makes you wonder how much we read is inaccurate or downright lies.

HAHAHA

oh.

Not a joke then?
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Post by MaryB on 22.12.09 13:57

I'm afraid I don't understand what you are getting at. In fact I'd rather you didn't reply to my posts from now on. Sorry.
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Post by Majic on 22.12.09 14:07

@MaryB wrote:I'm afraid I don't understand what you are getting at. In fact I'd rather you didn't reply to my posts from now on. Sorry.

No need to apologise. You see humour or sarcasm doesn't travel well over the internet, so sometimes what can appear to be a joke is quite the opposite. I can see that you were not joking in your comment.

All the media have an agenda, they stopped being objective about reporting the news a long time ago. That agenda depends on who owns the media group as to how subjective the story is. That is why, and you must know Mary that some papers are referred to being of a political persuasion, in this case they have an agenda to a political party. Fundamentally stories reported can differ wildly as a result, and of course, there are some stories that are just made up as I am sure you are aware of too.

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Post by Guest on 22.12.09 14:10

@MaryB wrote:I'm afraid I don't understand what you are getting at. In fact I'd rather you didn't reply to my posts from now on. Sorry.

Fair enough, I believe there is an ignore function on this forum that you can choose to use but you do have to realise that the tabloids in this country are notorious for printing inaccurate, guessworky, speculative stories and the McCann case is a very clear case of it, this is why Mr McCann was asked to speak at the culture, media and sport select committee as a victim of media inaccuracies. The press printed so much inaccurate information that it actually has created a climate of mistrust around them, this started one week after Madeleine's abduction and continued right up until the McCanns decided that enough was enough, that the press were never gong to put their childs welfare first and so they had to sue some of them.

This is all well documented stuff so I assumed you were being tongue in cheek regarding your comment "It makes you wonder how much we read is inaccurate or downright lies."
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Post by MaryB on 22.12.09 14:12

I am a bit stressed out. I think I need a break from computers! I absolutely agree that posts don't always come out as you mean. And I thought the two posts were from the same person.
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Post by Guest on 22.12.09 14:15

@MaryB wrote:I am a bit stressed out. I think I need a break from computers! I absolutely agree that posts don't always come out as you mean. And I thought the two posts were from the same person.

Don't worry, it's easy to read things the wrong way or to posts things that sound accidentally rude or dismissive. Without seeing faces and expressions and tone of voice the internet is full of misunderstandings etc. Occupational hazard!
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Post by Guest on 22.12.09 15:51

Well if the leaflet is so innocent, why did you agree to a legal firm's demands that you stop producing them?

Can you answer that Mr Bennett?
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Post by preciousramotswe on 22.12.09 21:31

So the Sun are not actualy apologising then?
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Post by aiyoyo on 22.12.09 22:55

First version is better,though neither serves the purpose.

Neither looks as if the Press are retracting inaccuracies nor an apology, so pretty much pointless imo unless reworded to the effect that the Press were deliberately misleading in their previour reportage.
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Post by Guest on 22.12.09 23:08

To me it looks as if they are not apologising at all.
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Post by Guest on 23.12.09 7:33

It's a right to reply which, in all fairness, should be given to any party in the name of balance and objectivity. The article expressed one point of view, Mr. Bennett has another and he has been given the right to express it. I see nothing wrong with that, but in no way can that be viewed as an apology, IMO, of course.
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Post by aliberte2 on 28.12.09 3:51

They are Just Printing it as A Letter to the Editor, No? Not a Real Right to Reply.
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Post by Tony Bennett on 31.12.09 10:46

@aliberte2 wrote:They are Just Printing it as A Letter to the Editor, No? Not a Real Right to Reply.
Our letter is published in today's 'Sun'.

For clarification, we accepted the 'Sun's offer to publish this letter as a full and final settlement of our complaint against the newspaper to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

The PCC will record this as a complaint 'settled', or in their words, 'resolved', as opposed to being 'upheld'.

As 2009 ends, the words of the Madeleine Foundation will be read by millions of 'Sun' readers.

The separate issue of their reporting alleged fraud within The Madeleine Foundation will be dealt with as soon as practicable after Essex Police has concluded its enquiries into Ms Butler's false allegations.
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Post by preciousramotswe on 31.12.09 12:06

As 2009 ends, the words of the Madeleine Foundation will be read by millions of 'Sun' readers.

I regard it as a good thing that they didn't actually let you say anything of substance.
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Post by Old Nick on 31.12.09 12:13

Who cares? Tony's celeb profile has just gone up a notch - hurrah!
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Post by DCB1 on 31.12.09 18:23

"As 2009 ends, the words of the Madeleine Foundation will be read by millions of 'Sun' readers."

It must be on page 3 then.

"Scum" readers I think Morais calls then.
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Post by aliberte2 on 31.12.09 18:36

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@aliberte2 wrote:They are Just Printing it as A Letter to the Editor, No? Not a Real Right to Reply.
Our letter is published in today's 'Sun'.

For clarification, we accepted the 'Sun's offer to publish this letter as a full and final settlement of our complaint against the newspaper to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

The PCC will record this as a complaint 'settled', or in their words, 'resolved', as opposed to being 'upheld'.

As 2009 ends, the words of the Madeleine Foundation will be read by millions of 'Sun' readers.

The separate issue of their reporting alleged fraud within The Madeleine Foundation will be dealt with as soon as practicable after Essex Police has concluded its enquiries into Ms Butler's false allegations.


Ah, Ok. Am a Non-Brit so was Unsure of How it Would Be Presented.
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Post by Ruby on 31.12.09 19:23

badmanners wrote:As 2009 ends, the words of the Madeleine Foundation will be read by millions of 'Sun' readers.

I regard it as a good thing that they didn't actually let you say anything of substance.

I bet you do.

I hope it encourages more people to look further and deeper, which can't be a bad thing.
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Post by Bea_Reasonable on 31.12.09 19:29

Ruby, what it encourages people to look deeper at isn't the Mccanns.

Remember the stalker headlines?
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Post by Guest on 31.12.09 19:44

@Bea_Reasonable wrote:Ruby, what it encourages people to look deeper at isn't the Mccanns.

Remember the stalker headlines?

I think more will remember the "hard Cow's" face and the big STALKER headline than they will the thing the Sun printed.

Was it a big one or a little one?
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Post by Ruby on 31.12.09 19:49

Maybe but if it guides some people to visit the website to read more then job done.

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Happy New Year
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Post by Bea_Reasonable on 31.12.09 20:09

Happy new year to you Rub.

It won't though, guide new converts, it will reinforce the stalker headlines.
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