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Friday, January 07, 2011 

What does £50,000 get you these days?

A quick one: £50,000 (and just check those terms and conditions; you can't claim the reward if you're related to the person eventually convicted, even if you turn him or her in) goes into £40,000,000, the Sun and News of the World's operating profit in 2008-09, eight thousand times. Even in the incredibly unlikely event that the paper has to payout the reward, it won't have even began to consider making such an offer without being certain that it either could recoup or has already recouped that amount from extra sales as a result of its coverage of the Joanna Yeates case.

This isn't to say that there isn't a pure motive lurking somewhere in the Sun's offer of such a substantial reward, and if it does indeed help to catch her killer, no one is going to quibble. It does however encourage the paper to keep up the sensationalist, tasteless and potentially contemptuous coverage which has characterised the entire tabloid media's pursuit of the story so far, even if the trail goes entirely cold, as it did so fatefully three years ago in Portugal. So even if it is somewhat an attempt to make up for the disgraceful coverage of the arrest of Chris Jefferies, it will almost certainly lead to further such prejudicial content. Everyone's a winner. Apart from Jo Yeates, her friends and her family, and anyone else subsequently arrested as a suspect and later released without charge. Can't help and please everyone though, can you?

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