Ten crime reporters try to crack cold cases

Bec Fary / July 09, 2013 10:45 AM

Channel Ten’s latest crime show calls on the public to help crack unsolved mysteries. 

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Photo credit: Channel Ten

News veteran Sandra Sully and TV crime reporter Matt Doran are teaming up with police and the public for ‘Wanted’, an updated version of ‘Australia’s Most Wanted’.

The first episode went to air last night.

Doran says he hopes the show will go beyond sensationalist reports of violent crime.

"There is a real gap in the market when it comes to crime, which doesn't just sensationalise the actions of the nation's criminals but actually does something to solve them,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

Wanted uses social media to shed new light on unsolved crimes, which Daron says will be “a call to arms for people who are watching”.With the hashtag #WantedTV, viewers are invited to suggest stories and highlight new information.

#WantedTV was trending last night, but had to compete with Monday night’s more popular #QandA interactions.

Despite the disappointing Twitter turnout, Channel Ten reported a 400 percent spike in calls to Crime Stoppers last night.

In a nod to traditional law enforcement, each #WantedTV shout-out came with repeated reminders to call police or Crime Stoppers.

Wanted Tweet

When Sully and Doran make allegiances with the police, it puts them in an interesting position.

Journalists usually uphold the value of impassioned reporting.

But in blurring the line between reporters and law enforcers, the journalists participating in ‘Wanted’ forfeit their accuracy and independence.

 “Sometimes police just need that one last piece of the puzzle and hopefully a show like Wanted can help unearth that,” Doran said.

Sandra Sully says she looks forward to making a difference in cases she usually presents from behind a desk.

"I have a lot of respect for the police force because what they are confronted with every day and I report on every night is pretty gobsmacking," she told the Daily Telegraph.

"To be able to work on some of the most interesting, serious and the most well-known and off-beat crimes is going to be a great opportunity."

Sully and Doran will be interviewing families of victims, and it remains to be seen what impact this format of crime reporting will have on law enforcement.

Veteran police officer Detective Superintendent Terence Dalton and forensic anthropologist and cold case expert Dr Xanthe Mallet will be regular contributors to the show, looking at cases like Australia’s most wanted man, convicted murderer Graham Potter.

‘Australia’s Most Wanted’ was the last “true crime” show to air on Australian TV and ran from 1989-1999 on Seven and, later, Nine.

Ten’s network executive producer Stephanie Tate said ‘Wanted’ would be very different. 

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