Big Rob wrote:
One of things that concerns me about these sort of stories is how does the mail get its hands on them and, more importantly, how do they get the family to co-operate?
They nicked this one from the local paper
. Sadly, people — especially desperate people — are still under the illusion that contacting your local paper is a way to get something done. Mrs/Miss Heaton (the Mail can't decide) probably got fed up living in a damp, unhealthy house and thought she could draw attention to the problem via the media. The local rag then appears to have sold the story to an agency (Cavendish Press, source of the photos), which in turn must have pitched it to the Mail. I see it's been covered by the Sun and the Express, too.
Anecdote time. A friend once shared a flat with a woman who worked as a model. As a corrective to mainstream media coverage of modelling, my friend decided to write a story for the local paper about the reality of the work. I think she was paid about £70. When the story appeared, it had been completely rewritten. One throwaway quote — the model had said something like "One of my colleagues briefly had a stalker, but she called the police and got a restraining order" — resulted in a front-page headline along the lines of "Teen model's stalking terror: why I live in fear". It was accompanied by a near-lifesize picture of the woman (the flatmate, not the one who'd been stalked) nicked from her portfolio. My friend's insights into the industry had been cut completely, and no attempt had been made to contact her or the model. The local paper's version of the story was then sold to an agency and made the national press in Scotland, without my friend being asked, acknowledged or paid. The model received her first creepy correspondence as a result
of the story being published.