The Role of the Media:

The media was initially instructed not to publish details of Shannon Murrin's beating, or the description of the first vehicle suspected in the abduction of Mindy Tran.

see vehicle search

The following explanation - Compliments of jury member, Kathy MacDonald:

On January 6th, 1995, the day after Shannon's near fatal beating, Tidsbury asked the media not to report the details of the beating. He said that it would compromise the RCMP's investigation. It wasn't until February 1, 1995 when RCMP put out a media release confirming that RCMP had a suspect in the murder of Mindy Tran that the BC media finally reported. But what they reported was exactly what the RCMP told them. This long media release stated that Shannon Murrin became a suspect within the first 24 hours, that his alibi was initially corroborated but had since fallen apart, that after being questioned by the three acquaintances he had pointed a loaded firearm at them and had subsequently been taken to Mission Creek Park and beaten by the three of them.

When the BC media finally reported the beating they exonerated themselves and parroted the RCMP explanation. The Kelowna Courier headline read: RCMP REQUESTED MEDIA GAG, WHY WE LISTENED IN THE TRAN CASE, PROSECUTORS HAVE ONE SHOT AT CONVICTION, CONVICTED CRIMINAL WAS LIVING WITH THE FAMILY OF MINDY'S BEST FRIEND, AND SUSPECT'S ALIBI FELL APART. The Province headline read COPS SLAMMED: KELOWNA RCMP BUNGLED PROBE OF MINDY TRAN'S MURDER, NEIGHBORS SAY but parroted the RCMP's version of the events January 5, 1995.

When the press was finally allowed to report again, they focused public attention exclusively on this beating. Little was ever mentioned about a key witness who was found shot in the head at this same time.
A widely reported court case began against the beaters, with Murrin now a witness for the crown. A B.C judge ensured that the public was well aware of this aspect of the case. 
Quote from Picton's application for media ban. The judge refers to the ruling made in Murrin's case. see- court document
  Mr. Justice Oppal says further:

We live in an era that is often marked by high degrees of pretrial publicity which often features revelations of prejudicial pretrial evidence. In fact, it can be safely said that sometimes media coverage can be described as frenzied. However, I do not think that the justice system is so fragile that appropriate corrective measures cannot be taken in certain cases so as to ensure that an accused's right to a fair trial is not jeopardized.

I agree with Mr. Burnett, counsel for the CBC, CTV and CKNW, that the issue in this application must be viewed globally and the question which must be asked is as follows: At the end of the day can 12 impartial jurors be found in order to try the case of Murrin? I believe that for the reasons already stated, 12 such jurors can be found.

[31]        He then went on to dismiss the application. I also recall that Mr. Murrin was eventually acquitted on the charge, so one would assume he suffered no prejudice as a result of the ruling by Mr. Justice Oppal. The comments of Mr. Justice Oppal apply, in my view, to the application made at this stage to ban the public and media from the courtroom for the duration of the preliminary inquiry.

Murrin's case was not prejudiced by this ruling, but the Crown's case against him was! Without knowing that Murrin was as an informant and that Sgt.Tidsbury was his handler, neither the public nor the jury could view this beating as anything other than an overzealous cop trying to obtain a confession. The selective use of media bans along with a controlled media ensured the rest. The press were only able to publish one side of this story, the story the police wanted you to hear. A secret collusion was later found to exist within the Kelowna newspapers. "Co-incidentally", It was a story containing a photo of Shannon Murrin that exposed this relationship. 
Kelowna newspapers in collusion

Kelowna's CHBC television station had initially tried to report on all details of the investigation, even going so far as to question whether the prime suspect's status as an RCMP informant had anything to do with why he had not been arrested yet. That too changed at the time of the beating and was no longer mentioned. A news director from CHBC was found dead at the same time. The Police claim that this was also a suicide. No reporter has tackled the subject of Murrin's informant status since. Murrin is now being made out as being  wrongfully prosecuted, a result of "tunnel vision". The press do not mention that a pending lawsuit is about to have RCMP agent Murrin paid off by the RCMP, for the mistakes made by the RCMP which ensured his acquittal.