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Anorak | Do tabloid rewards do more harm than good?

Do tabloid rewards do more harm than good?

by | 7th, March 2012

DO newspaper rewards aide the hunt for missing persons and criminals? Or are they just splashy adverts that show how much the organ cares, or pretends to? The News of The World’ s £1,5m reward for Madeleine McCann remains unclaimed (did it die with the paper?). So too does the Daily Express’ £1million reward for information on what happened to Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

As it did with Our Maddie and Jo Yeates, the tabloids likes to slap their logos on the faces of the missing. As the Sun said:

We also produced posters featuring this picture of the girls, in the Manchester United shirts they were wearing when last seen. The Sun pledged £100,000 of the reward and the News of the World £50,000.

The matter cropped up at the Leveson Inquiry into media standards. Jacqui Hames is the former copper and Crimewatch presenter was the subject of the Express’s story:

Former Crimewatch presenter Jacqui Hames sobbed yesterday as she claimed corrupt police caused her marriage breakdown, accusing officers at Scotland Yard of leaking her personal details to Mr Mulcaire in an attempt to intimidate her husband, Detective Chief Superintendent Dave Cook. Ms Hames, 51, a former detective, alleged that the News of the World tried to prevent her husband from exposing ­corruption involving the Met and the paper.

What the Express did not report was Hames’ Witness Statement:

The bottom line in many of these cases is that the press would love to be instrumental in solving the crime before the police do and, unless handled robustly, will try to ’run the show’. It is widely recognised that that is what happened during the first couple of weeks into the investigation that followed the disappearances of Holly Wells

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Posted: 7th, March 2012 | In: Key Posts, News Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink