Sumary of Rolling media coverage of missing persons cases can add to the trauma for all families left behind:
- Reports suggested the yet-to-be-analysed fabric may be linked to the case of missing boy William Tyrrell.
- William’s case – along with the location of Cleo Smith in Western Australia and recent developments in the case of missing campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay in Victoria – have been prominent news stories.
- Media interest can invite the public into the investigative process.
- But rolling media coverage can have an immediate and long-lasting effect on the families left behind.
- That’s not only the families of that particular case, but the families of other missing people, whose case isn’t in the news.
- Non-stop coverage can invade their privacy, raise and dash their hopes, and prolong their trauma.
- More people go missing than ever make ‘news’ In 2020, Australia’s National Missing Persons Coordination Centre had more than 51,000 reports about the safety and well-being of a missing person.
- Yet more than 2,600 cases are long term – when a person is missing for longer than three months.