JOURNALISTS AS DETECTIVES
Robert Murat, the Englishman currently under investigation over Madeleine McCann's abduction was dobbed in by a Sunday Mirror journalist, on grounds that seem vague, at best.
"He was very vague about his background. When I asked him he wouldn't give his surname or tell me where he lived. He wouldn't give me a phone number and he was vague about what he did for a living."
Time will tell whether or not the Mirror's suspicions were correct but I'm uncomfortable with journalists intervening in stories that they are working on. On the one hand, like any of us, they want to help the police and bring the investigation to a happy conclusion. On the other, they have an interest in moving the story on and creating headlines. Did this play a part in the Mirror's decision to report Murat to the police?
UPDATE: It was, of course, the Sunday Mirror that effectively fingered Tom Stephens in the Ipswich prostitute murders case. He turned out to be innocent but was given a few nasty days as prime suspect. I think reporters should stick to reporting and let the police do the sleuthing.