The Age from Melbourne, Victoria, Victoria, Australia on September 2, 1997 · Page 4
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The Age from Melbourne, Victoria, Victoria, Australia · Page 4

Melbourne, Victoria, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date:
Tuesday, September 2, 1997
Page 4
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THE WORLD MOURNS THE TABLOIDS Angry Britoms declare war oil the media By SARAH LYALL, London, Monday "I always believed that the press would kill her in the end, the Princess of Wales' brother, Earl Spencer, said bitterly to the reporters clustered outside the front gates of his home in Cape Town, South Africa, early yesterday. "Not even I could imagine that they would take such a direct hand in her death, as seems to be the case." In their search for a way to deal with Diana's sudden, violent death, many Britons along with people all over the world found themselves agreeing yesterday with the earl. They focused their bewildered rage on the country's ever-popular tabloids, whose UNDER SCRUTINY Australian leaders condemn intrusion into private life By KAREN MIDDLETON, Canberra The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Tim Fischer, has lashed out at the level of media intrusion into the private life of the Princess of Wales in her 16 years of public life. During a sombre condolence motion in Federal Parliament yesterday, Mr Fischer acknowledged Princess Diana had, at times, made use of the media to further causes with which she was associated. "But that did not in any way justify the unfettered and very much on the edge of the law, if not beyond the law, intrusion which came from elements of the paparazzi as they hounded Princess Diana through much of her life," Mr Fischer said. "I guess it's a question to ask also: was her role as a spouse and her role as a free-standing charity worker a circus for the sake of a circus and attention? The answer to that question must clearly be no. Hounding upsetting, says Kidman's father By LOUISE MARTIN, Sydney Dr Anthony Kidman gains a rare insight into what it is like to be hounded by the paparazzi every time his actor daughter Nicole comes home for a visit. Despite his training as a clinical psychologist, Dr Kidman finds himself becoming angry and aggressive each time he sees the long-range lenses of the photographers staking out his Sydney house, or hears them tupping on the windows to provoke a response. ''You can understand why people lose it with them, i don't condone that, of course, but they (photographers) are trying to provoke incidents," Dr Kidman said yesterday. His training and experience . as the father of one of Australia's few internationally recognised celebrities gives him a special understanding of the high-speed car chase through the Paris tunnel on Sunday that ended in disaster. Dr Kidman said Princess THE OTHER VICTIM Harrods heir laid to rest after London ceremony London, Monday Mr Dodi al-Fayed was buried last night at a cemetery near Guildford, Surrey, police said. The Harrods heir was laid to rest at Brookwood Cemetery after a Muslim ceremony at the London Central Mosque in Regents Park. His body had been brought from Paris where he was killed. Mr Raafat Maglad, the muezzin (official who calls the faithful to prayer) at the mosque, said Mr Mohamad al-Fayed was In tears as his son's coffin stood before him. "Mr al-Fayed was In tears, who wouldn t be with their son in front of them? This Is what he will remember of him." The Egyptian ambassador to Britain also attended, he said. v- 1 Earlier todays Mr Michael Cole, spokesman for Mr Fayed enthusiasm for publishing stories about Diana has always been matched by the public's eagerness to read about her. Yesterday the partnership between the newspapers and their vast readership fell apart, and the fact that Diana seemed often to use the news media as . readily as the news media used her was all but forgotten in the country's collective fury. A crowd at Kensington Palace, where Diana lived, jeered at the reporters sent there to describe the public reaction to her death. "Happy now?" yelled a bus driver passing by, unleashing expletives as the crowd cheered. While all of Britain's newspapers bore the brunt of the "Given the choice and the level of commitment to the task, it is clearly obvious that she carried a very genuine and determined will to assist those who were worse off." The Health Minister, Dr Michael Wooldridge, yesterday said he did not believe Australia's media was as ferocious as Britain's. He said he hoped there would never be a need to shackle media law in order to police unscrupulous behavior. "The Australian media are not nearly as bad as the British media," Dr Wooldridge said. "I hope it never gets that way. I hope the Australian media continues to respect the private lives of public figures as they have almost always done, although recently there was one notable exception. I hope we don't ever have to consider any changes to law because I think a free media is important" Dr Wooldridge is believed to be referring to the publication of a photograph of the former New South Wales senator, Dr Bob Woods, and his wife, lane, in the garden of their Sydney home after details were made public of Dr Woods' affair with Ms Roxanne Cameron. The publication of the photograph in News Ltd newspapers earlier this year was described as an unfortunate turning point in Australian newspaper Journalism. Diana and Mr Dodi al-Fayed would have been experiencing high levels of anger and anxiety because of the unrelenting media harassment, making them determined to take risks to escape the photographers. It was now impossible to escape the long-range lenses of the paparazzi, Dr Kidman said. "The technology now allows the cameras to be as intrusive as imaginable, making people prisoners of their own homes or hotels surrounded by security guards." He said his daughter now found that Sydney was one of the hardest places in the world to return to because the attention from the press was so intense. "In Los Angeles, they (Nicole and her husband Tom Cruise) are left alone to some extent', because they are surrounded by other actors." A new set of ethical standards was needed at an international level, or legislation to prevent individuals being harassed by the media, he said. and public affairs director for Harrods, said Mr Fayed wanted his son buried in Britain. "He is very patriotic about this country," Mr Cole said. "Even though neither, of them was British, they both regarded this country as their second home and gave their efforts for it. "Mr Fayed is going to take a long time to recover from this. His thoughts are with the princess's sons and the rest of her family. She Is Irreplaceable. But he himself has lost his eldest son." It was leamt yesterday that the Fayeds had instructed a French lawyer some weeks ago to begin taking civil legal action against the paparazzi over intrusions in the south of France. . . u. .... The Fayeds were paficulariy public's outrage yesterday, it was a particular practice of the tabloids buying unauthorised photographs from the paparazzi, the freelance photographers who are willing to do almost anything to secure a picture that came under the most intense scrutiny. "It would appear that every proprietor arid editor of every publication that has paid for intrusive and exploitative photographs of her, encouraging greedy and ruthless individuals to risk everything in pursuit of Diana's image, has blood on his hands today," the Earl said. For some time, public officials and editors of Britain's "quality" broadsheets have been calling for a privacy law . I The pursuit over, a people's I Vl I KKIIM I NJf5 1 I princess comes home liiyBM. t$ ' i Prince comes home with F ' . Early editions: Front pages of the national British papers were dominated by news of the death Tabloid refuses to buy Paris, Monday Two US tourists said today they saw a pack of photographers taking close-up pictures of the body of Princess Diana in the car in which she was killed. Jack and Robin Firestone, of New York, said they were in a taxi going the other way through the Alma tunnel just after the accident. Five photographers were taking pictures despite efforts by policemen to remove them, said Mrs Firestone, who said she, her husband and son were shocked by the behavior. She said they did not realise it was Diana until last night, having spent yesterday sightseeing in Paris. They saw the body of a blonde woman partly hanging out of a shattered window, with her head twisted to one side. Seven photographers, six French and one Macedonian, were still in custody today, after being arrested at the scene. Police have launched a criminal investigation into their role in causing the crash. worried about low-flying aircraft and other methods used by photographers. Yesterday, Mr Fayed flew to Paris in his jet to collect his son's body. "He is quite sure this tragedy would never have happened if it was not for photographers. It is terrible that they were simply having a quiet dinner and were hounded in this way when they left the restaurant. "Mr Fayed's thoughts are also with the chauffeur's family. He was a steady man who worked for the company for 10 years." As a mark of respect, the 11,000 electric bulbs that usually light up the facade of Harrods were switched off last night. But the union flags at half mast on the roof were illuminated and floral tributes lay at the doors, ra, AP, TMeoratih that would forbid the news media from intruding too aggressively into people's private lives. Yet France, where the crash took place, has one of the strictest privacy laws in Europe. Even if Britain were to enact such a law, it would not prevent the sort of chase that led to Diana's death, said Alan Rus-bridger, editor of The Guardian, i "I'm not sure that any privacy law would have operated here because it was in a public place and she was a public figure," Mr Rusbridger said in an interview. "But you would hope that simple editorial judgment would be used about whether or not this was a private event and a woman going out with a boyfriend for dinner is not by British papers London, Monday "Goodnight our sweet Princess", 'The saddest homecoming" and "She was so special" were some of the national newspaper headlines the British woke to today. The Sun devoted 22 pages to coverage and tributes, plus a 24-page supplement celebrating her life. Its front page featured a photograph of the coffin being The US tabloid publication National Enquirer said today color pictures of Diana trapped alive inside the car were being offered for sale to reap as much as SUS1 million (SA1.36 million). "We were offered those pictures," said Mr Stephen Coz, editor of the National Enquirer. Mr Coz said he had turned down the pictures and called on publications worldwide to do likewise to avoid pandering Fl if II ft I r. A hearse carrying the body of Mr Qodi al-Fayed arrives at the London Central Mosque In Regents Park for the Muslim funeral servlci. i Picture: AP any conceivable stretch of the imagination a public occasion." But, as Andrew Marr, the editor of The Independent, pointed out, photographers who snapped an exclusive photograph of a celebrity in a private moment could expect a lucrative reward in an insatiable global marketplace. ' Such photographers dogged Diana throughout her adult life, waiting by her car, following her down the street, taking wide-angle shots from secluded spots and selling them to the highest bidder. "What happened in France happened not purely because the British tabloid newspapers spend a lot of money on their pictures," Mr Marr said."So do farewell "our sweet Princess" carried home surrounded by a black border. The Timet' front-page photo showed the Prince of Wales with the Princess's sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady lane Fellowes, in Paris. It gave 27 pages to the story. In a full-page editorial, The Sun stated: "Like a candle in the wind, the flame that burned so bright will burn no more. Diana was the Peoples Princess. And today the people to baser instincts. Mr Coz said exclusive US rights to the shots had been offered to the Enquirer for $US250,000 ($A340,225) by people he did not identify. "The people in possession of those photos are trying to make a million dollars around' the world," he told the ABC program This Week. In London, the Press Association reported that Britain's biggest-selling tabloid, the News of 14"" international magazines and newspapers around the world." Yesterday, several tabloid editors in Britain and the US said they had been offered pictures of the car just after the crash, with the mangled victims inside, but had refused to buy them. in Britain, the situation is compounded by the fierce circulation war among the tabloids, whose editors, cowed by the newspapers' owners, go to extremes to produce exclusive stories and photographs. "The tabloid editors are under intense and constant pressure to deliver, and they all knew that Diana would sell papers," Mr Marr said. In the outpouring of anti- of the Princess of Wales. crash pictures ache to their bones with grief. "It is impossible to believe we will never again see the vibrant and beautiful woman who brought such joy to our lives." The newspaper made a plea for the press not to be blamed for Dianafe death. "Even the harshest privacy laws in the UK would not have stopped the terrible, terrible events of yesterday morning," it said. i -PA the World, had said a French photographer tried to sell pictures of Diana trapped' in the car for 200,000 ($A44 1,200). The paper said it had refused the offer. ; The executive editor of the National Enquirer, Mr David Perel, said in a telephone interview that he had seen the pictures being marketed to, tabloids around the world. ' "They show Princess pi in the auto wreck with blood on JU,' Hi media anger yesterday, it was easy to forget that the media's relationship with Diana was at times symbiotic rather than parasitic, She thrived on news coverage and sometimes courted reporters. And the public is more than willing to buy the tabloids. The Sim's daily circulation is about 3.8 million; the Mirror's is about 2.3 million. Sir Teddy Taylor, a Conservative MP, said yesterday: "The only way in which this horrific, nasty and intrusive practice would cease would be if the public at large made it clear that they do not like newspapers which engage in this kind of business." New York Times her, and Dodi Fayed dead in the back seat," he said. Pressed on who was selling the pictures, Mr Perel would not say. He said the Enquirer would probably publish an article identifying those marketing the death-scene shots. He said the article would appear in an edition available in most of the United States from Friday. Asked to explain how the pictures could have left the scene after photographers were detained, Mr Perel said: "Good question. Something we're still working on. I don't know, but I have seen them." Earlier, Mr Coz said on the NBC television program Meet the Press that rights to recent shots of Diana and Dodi on vacation on the French Riviera had sold in the United States for about' $US200, 000 ($A272,180). He said the high price fetched by such pictures had led to the chase of Diana by paparazzi. "This was a tragedy waiting to happen," he said. AFP, Renter Publisher defends women's magazines By FERGUS SHIEL The publisher of Australia's biggest selling women's magazine said she had received threats yesterday as criticism grew of the role of the media In Princess Diana's death. Ms Nene King, group publisher of Woman's Day, The Australian Women's Weekly and New Weekly, said the threats came despite 900,000 copies of Woman's Day being pulped since Princess Dlanafc death. She said the pulped Issue's cover story about Princess Diana's love life with Mr Dodi al-Fayed was considered tasteless following their deaths. Ms King said the princess death was tragic but she was tired of newspapers and television stations hypocritically accusing women magazine of using paparazzi photographs they used themselves. "I have had people ringing me up and thveitenlng me ana JUST BRIEFLY Doctor went to Diana's aid Paris, Monday THE doctor who was the first to treat Princess Diana at the,, crash site said she was unconscious, "moaning and gesturing in every direction!':, Dr Frederic Maillez told France-2 television today hi' had freed her upper respiratory tracts and helped her breathe with an ' oxygen mask. Reuter Survivor was 'Dodi's shadow' THE only survivor of the crash, the security man Trevor Rees-Jones, is a former soldier and Gulf War' veteran known as "Dodi's shadow", The Times reported. Mr Rees-lones, 29, is in hospital with moderate head and lung injuries. He is' a former member of the close protection team oi the. Royal Military Police, who protect VIPs, it said. PA Driver not a professional THE driver of the Mercedc was not a professional chauffeur, a former Ritz Hotel employee said today. The driver was the deputy" ' head of security at the luxury hotel owned by Mohamed .' al-Fayed, the source said. "A professional chauffeur couldn't have had this kind ' of accident," the former employee said. AFP I love her, says Hewitt JAMES HEWITT, the cavalry , officer who had an affair with Princess Diana, said today: "I love her and will miss her terribly." Mr Hewitt, with tears in his eyes, read a statement saying: "Yesterday : was a day the world will ; never forget . . . The world has lost a very special person. who touthed the hearts of, , millions." Reuter Gym boss silent out of respect Till'! man who hid a cainer in tlit iodI of his London gymnasium lo photograph Princess Diana lour years ago refused lo talk atioul her death mil of respect. The New Zealandcr liryce Taylor-, said through a friend in Auckland: "I'm very saddened it was such a tragedy." Mr Taylor apologised as pari of a settlement last year. NZKA-, Court ban bid on paparazzo A MXiAl. team for Princess Diana was lo appear in London's High Court today, to try lo keep an amateur paparu..o away from her. The Princess's affidavit said: "I le always drives his molurO cycle as close as he possibly can lo my motor car, even il liis means travelling fast through red lights at intersections." The brief hearing was to he part of lii'i" hid to make a temporary han permanent. PA Shocked Jacko cancels concert I I IE pop slur Michael lackson cancelled a conceit yesterday for (i(l,(H)() people in Ostend, Itelgiiim, because of shock nl die death, a record company spokeswoman said. Reuter Libya says it was murder 1.IIIYAN slate television yesterday accused Britain of killing Princess Diana and Dodi al-l'ayed. The National Committee lor Human Rights in Libya accused British and other intelligence services of the deaths "due to her friendship with an ' Egyptian Arab". AFP our building has hud bomb' threats. We have hud u very dlf llciill day," Ms King said. Princess Diana's brother, Furl Charles Spencer, has" accused every media propria ctor and editor who puld fop Intrusive and exploitative phn tographs of her of having1 "blood on his hands". Ms King said now was -noli the lime for recriminations but for grief. The tragedy had caused her to reflect on "why- V wnnl lo do this Job uny more' hut she defended her piihllrn lions' use of papuray.i shots', saying, "we know how far. tit' go". r . roicssor ihiviu rmii, uiu going chairman of the Ausira!) Man Press Council, said yestert day that u backlash Jil Austrullu ugulnsl doniestro media outlets over I'riiiue DluniiVt deulh would be mis taken. "The Australian media liov preserved a decent distance from puMlc figures," he mid.

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