Just wanted to draw your attention to this brilliant post by Graham Linehan (@Glinner on Twitter) about the horrendous Sunday Express article which ran last weekend, in which a soulless journalist by the name of Paula Murray “shamed” the teenaged survivors of the 1996 Dunblane massacre for, well, for having a few drinks and talking about it on Facebook.
Paula is the journalist who thought it was well past time that the survivors of the Dunblane massacre were given a tabloid punching. To that end, she befriended a group of them on Facebook and collated their photographs and comments. Clearly aware of the legal guidelines in place to protect those under eighteen against invasion of privacy (and the specific instructions that the Press Complaints Commission issued regarding the Dunblane children), she waited until they hit eighteen. Then she wrote this.
The story continued inside under the headline “SICK MESSAGES SHAME MEMORY OF CLASSMATES”, referring to the normal, teenagery stuff they were saying to each other on their profiles. (I should say thank you to those on Twitter who helped me black out the names and photographs of the kids). As others have pointed out, the gist of the story is that these kids are showing disrespect to their dead classmates by… being alive.
Here’s an example of Paula’s scoop: “For instance, (name deleted), who was hit by a single bullet and watched in horror as his classmates died, makes rude gestures in pictures he posted on his Bebo site, and boasts of drunken nights out.”
Rude gestures. Boasting. Drunkenness.
He makes some excellent suggestions about what we can do about the article, including the joining of this facebook group. That in itself might not change the world, but at least it can send a message. Spread the word, my bloggy friends.