White British; The Madeleine McCann story
27.11.2013 - Jack Peat (The London Economic)
The disappearance of Madeleine McCann
An intriguing question posted on thestudentroom.co.uk is "Would Madeleine McCann get as much attention if she was Black?" The prevailing opinion was, unsurprisingly, no. She is one girl out of hundreds that go missing every year, one student argued, adding that if the rest were given the same amount of exposure, more missing kids would be found.
I often compare the Madeleine McCann story to press coverage of war zones. A British soldier will make the news even if he died killing 1,000 Iraqis, which will go unreported. For the British public, it’s not the scale of the atrocity but whether they can relate to it, whether they can identify an 'enemy' and whether they can comprehend the incomprehensible.
The question posed at the start of this feature is "what fuels media obsession with one middle class white girl and its ignorance of so many other similar cases?" The answer, I believe, is us.