Yellow Advertiser chosen for ‘Power of News’ exhibition after reports sparked historic child sex probe by Essex Police

By Charles Thomson, chief reporter

March 15th, 2017

A YELLOW Advertiser investigation has been included in an online exhibition on the ’Power of News’.

The News Media Association is exhibiting the YA’s investigation – which prompted Essex Police to reopen a 25-year-old child sex abuse case – alongside campaigns by national newspapers including the Guardian, the Daily Mail and the Sunday Times.

The exhibition is designed as ’a showcase of agenda-setting investigations, campaigns and scoops’ which ’demonstrate the power of original news content’.

The YA investigation began in late 2014 when chief reporter Charles Thomson discovered Essex Council had authorised 10 compensation payments that year for historic ’alleged abuse’.

When County Hall refused to answer basic questions about the payments, the YA launched a campaign for transparency, which was backed by the National Association for People Abused in Childhood and the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

The campaign prompted a whistleblower to come forward with concerns over the way child abuse allegations had been investigated in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Further YA stories, based on the whistleblower’s experiences, inspired two more people to come forward with similar concerns.

The YA introduced the trio to then Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston, who in turn introduced them to the Chief Constable and a senior sex crimes detective.

A decision was taken shortly afterwards to reopen a historic child sex case and investigate the whistleblowers’ concerns.

The YA later tracked down a fourth whistleblower, who is cooperating with the ongoing police probe.

In December, the YA investigation won Charles a ’Highly Commended’ award in the ’Local Hero’ category at the national British Press Awards.

To view the News Media Association exhibition, visit:

Charles Thomson

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