As investigations began ultimately the long standing News of the World in the UK closed its publishing doors for good. There were some arrests and interviews but the commission investigating was schedulded to continue in October. Now in late November the inquiry is hearing evidence from some of the phone hacking victims.
Obviously Gerry and Kate McCann where distressed about Madeline's disappearance. This left them vulnerable. The fact that Maddie is still missing has left them desperate. Many people, including the couple's legal representative, thought that the media treat the McCanns in a disgracefull manner when Maddie vanished. A virtual trial by the media ensued. Every look, movement, appearance detail and more was scrutinised. The insinuation that in some way the McCanns were involved in what happend to young Madeline was always there.
Plenty of people who have an axe to grind in this media investigation have decided not to give evidence. Those that have done so fear media reprisals but decided it was worth the risk. Gerry McCann said, "We feel that a system has to be put in place to protect ordinary people from the damage that the media can cause by behaviour which falls far below what I would call acceptable". This he said is why the McCanns have decided to give evidence.
Gerry admitted that especially when Madeline first went missing some of the press coverage was useful. The couple tried to use the press to publicise the family's plight. However in no time gossip and unsubstaniated reports became the norm.
Earlier today the former wife of UK footballer Paul Gascoigne gave evidence. Yesterday it was actor Hugh Grant and Comedian Steve Coogan who told of their media experiences.
Once the News of the World police investigation into phone hacking is completed the inquiry will move into a second phase. For now it is gathering information in order to assess the extent of the problem.