Read Brain Cathcart’s article in Political Quarterly here
The Daily Mail‘s coverage of the 1993 race murder of Stephen Lawrence has been held up as an example of newspaper journalism at its best. It is a cause of pride to the paper, which has asserted that its 1997 front page accusing five men of the murder, and the comment and reporting that followed, brought about significant social and policy changes and helped achieve justice. The coverage has also been cited by the paper to rebut critics who accuse it of intolerance. Examined in detail here and set in their context, the paper’s claims about its role in the case prove to be either exaggerated or not supported by evidence. The Mail‘s engagement in the Lawrence case involved a famous instance of editorial brilliance, but insofar as its campaign brought about or contributed to changes, they were not usually changes sought by the paper and they were sometimes contrary to its aims.
See also Brian Cathcart’s piece in Open Democracy: https://opendemocracy.net/uk/brian-cathcart/murderers-of-myths-macpherson-and-daily-mail