Missing, believed foreign

If Stones Could Float: The British Press and the Turks and Caicos Boat Disaster
The night after the world’s most visible missing person (Madeleine McCann) vanished, early on 4 May 2007, at least 80 other people disappeared when a boat sank in the Caribbean. This time British authorities were directly involved in the disaster, and there is good reason to suspect that the deaths may have been the result of criminal negligence, if not of deliberate police violence.

Some of the dead were eaten by sharks; many were women and children. A UK government enquiry is currently underway and the publication of its final report is due in August. It doesn’t take much effort to imagine how the media might have reacted if the victims of such a calamity had themselves been British. The disappearance of even a single white yachtsman is always guaranteed a certain amount of press coverage. But what if the dead are poor and black? What if they come from a place like Haiti? How many stones might we expect newspapers like the Guardian or Independent to overturn in their coverage of such a story?
Via Lenin