SMH cleared of breaching privacy rules in reporting of William Tyrrell case Sydney Morning Herald has been found not to have breached the Press Council’s privacy standards over reporting of the police investigation into missing NSW toddler William Tyrrell.

A complaint was brought against the newspaper after print and online articles appeared on January 22, 2015, which covered the police search of William Harrie Spedding’s property.

Today’s adjudication found the “intensified” police interest in Spedding meant the expectation of privacy was lower.

The report added: “The Council considers these articles accurately reflected the shifting focus of a lengthy and involved police operation conducted over several months and of great public interest.

“In the circumstances, the article did not infringe on a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

It noted the article remained fair and balanced as it informed the public of the progress of the investigation and of the level of scrutiny focused on Spedding at that time.

The story also included comments in support of Spedding.

The statement added: “The headline did not imply that Mr Spedding was the only person of interest.”

The Press Council did state that in its view, more prominence could have been given to police comments that Spedding was only a “person of interest”.

Three year old William Tyrrell went missing from his grandmother’s backyard at Kendall on the NSW mid-north coast in September 2014 and there has been an extensive police investigation, and related media coverage since.


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