The Philpott trial has hit headlines around the world today – but the family’s local newspaper has ensured it is ahead of the game with an extensive 29 pages of coverage.
The Derby Telegraph pulled together a whopping 29 pages of reports, including a 16-page special pull-out, to mark the guilty verdict of Mick and Mairaid Philpott and their friend Paul Mosley in the killing of the Philpotts’ six young children in the city in May last year.
An extra 9,000 copies of the paper have gone to press, while a special channel pulling together all related content was created online.
Editor Neil White said: “I am so proud of what the Telegraph team has achieved during the Philpott trial and in its aftermath.
“Some journalists have come in on their days off and many have worked a staggering amount of extra hours to create fantastic papers and a huge amount of stories on our website.
“It demonstrates that in the regional press we can still cover a big story as well as ever.”
When the verdicts were announced yesterday, traffic to the Telegraph’s website reached 55,000 – and the team are pulling all the stops out again today for the sentencing of the trio.
As well as some reporters coming in off holiday, other worked double shifts and spent hours interviewing friends, neighbours and others involved in the case to make sure every angle of the tragedy was covered in full.
The paper’s coverage of the case has seen it praised by Asst Ch Cons Steve Cotterill, who led the investigation.
“Throughout the case, the Derby Telegraph has reported the facts sensitively and compassionately and I would like to thank them for the professional way that they have acted,” he said.
As well as coverage of the case, articles included the full account of the fire, transcripts of previously unreleased secret recordings which helped implicate them – which could be played in full online, statements from their families, an interview with ACC Cotterill and picture spreads showing the scene.
The Telegraph’s crime correspondent Martin Naylor also wrote an extensive feature on Mick Philpott’s previous convictions – including images of the paper’s front page in 1978 when he was charged with attempted murder – as well as covering the notorious father-of-18’s attempts to get a bigger council house.
The Telegraph has ploughed all its efforts into the case from the beginning, running a 10,000-copy special late edition following the tragedy, revealing that Mick Philpott was the father. When the couple were first arrested, the paper published another late special edition, this time with a run of 5,000.