Is Paying for a Kidnapping cheque book journalism or advocacy journalism?

We have all read stories where a journalist has put themselves in danger to bring to the public’s attention something terrible. An example would be journalists who go into countries that are at war or countries where people are starving to death.  Sometimes a journalist will go undercover to bring to light terrible things that are being hidden.

When Cameron was in Israel he and the other invited journalists and bloggers were literally under rocket fire in some areas. He wanted to know what life was really like in Israel and to do so he had to experience it first hand. Below is a video taken of Cameron and the group he was with under rocket fire. If you ever wonder why Cameron is such a strong advocate for Israel, it may be because for a short period of time he had to walk a mile in their shoes.

The 60 Minutes crew like Cameron were in the middle of it all. They weren’t just there to record the kidnapping though,they had actually bankrolled it.  They had paid to create the story.  Were they advocating for the mother or was this cheque-book journalism?

A missing Romanian, a mysterious Dutch woman in a grainy passport photograph, and a motor cruiser moored near a Beirut hotel – there are still plenty of unanswered questions about the botched child-snatch attempt that led to the arrest of Australian mother Sally Faulkner and a 60 Minutes crew.

More than a week after Faulkner and the 60 Minutes crew were thrown into a Lebanese jail, loose ends surround what has become an international debacle.

Central to the remaining mysteries are British-Australian man Adam Whittington and his accomplice British-Cypriot Craig Michael believed to be from the child recovery agency spearheading the operation to snatch Faulkner’s two children Noah, 4, and Lahela, 6, in Beirut on Thursday, April 7.

…Lebanese media reports have claimed that the boat, moored near the Movenpick hotel, was to be used to take the children from Lebanon through Cyprus and then on to Australia if the plot had succeeded.

…Faulkner, reporter Tara Brown and her Channel Nine crew – cameraman Benjamin Williamson, sound recordist David Ballment and producer Stephen Rice – are facing kidnapping, assault, and criminal conspiracy charges which carry maximum sentences from three to 20 years.

Lebanese authorities have since claimed the operation was bankrolled by Channel Nine to the tune of $115,000.

– Sydney Morning Herald



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  • Sailor Sam

    And according to the latest here in OZ, the children’s father is sticking to his guns.
    The journalist and camera crew are seemingly in serious trouble.
    Channel 9 itself claims that the crew was just there covering the story, which obviously means they knew beforehand what was going to happen.
    It also reports that the children’s mother, left her 3 month old baby with her current partner behind in OZ.
    There is a lot more to come out yet and with the state of the Middle East and Australia’s military involvement in that, it could be along drawn out affair.
    There is not much visible support and with the OZ government in crisis and facing an early election, the rest of the media is moving on.
    It is rapidly becoming yesterday’s news.

  • Isherman

    If I was the Lebanese judge I would also issue an arrest warrant and file an extradition request for the Channel Nine execs who signed this stunt off,(once identified) it’s really very close to simply being a case of a media outlet directly employing mercenaries to commit a crime in a foreign jurisdiction, and those at the top who let it all happen should go and join their friends in a 5m x 3 cell for a bit.
    Lebanon and Australia do have an extradition treaty too, so it’s not beyond possibility.