An open letter to the Daily Express

Update: faced with a firestorm of criticism, the Express has pulled the article, but you can still find it in Google's cache.

Update 2: better yet, an enterprising blogger has found Paula Murray's Facebook page and written an insulting and misleading article about her based on it. Turnabout is fair play! I do hope her journalistic reputation is forever stained.

To whom it may concern -

Regarding your recent article on the children of Dunblane 13 years later:

This is a disgraceful, embarrassing and shameful story -- for the Express. Faced with having to find something to write about a story dead for 13 years, Paula Murray has lazily decided to trawl Facebook for details, rather than attempting to speak to any of the children themselves, none of whom are quoted for the story or given a chance to defend their semi-private profiles. Instead we are given a piss-poor collection of thoroughly ordinary quotes that could have come from the profile page of any teenager, carefully selected to try and portray these kids as toughs and louts.

Never mind that children who went through such trauma at a young age should be expected to act out in later life. Never mind that boasts of drunkenness and sexual prowess are the staple of conversation of all 18-year-olds everywhere. Instead of any real reporting, any real insight into what it's like to be a survivor of tragedy at a young ago, we get a quote from the sweet old grandmother of one of the dead children, thus given immunity from the teenager her own grandchild might have turned into -- doubtless because the parents and grandparents of the children still alive are so deeply grateful simply that the children are still around to misbehave that they refused to give Ms. Murray any usefully damning quotes.

This is a disgusting, offensive article for which your paper should apologize, both to the children of Dunblane and to the public.

Yours sincerely,
Laurie Voss.

Hat-tip to Adrian for pointing me to this article.