Coverage of the arrest in relation to the Claudia Lawrence disappearance has been noticeably - and thankfully - cautious.

Christopher Jefferies says that he did not even see the media coverage of his arrest for the murder of Jo Yeates back in 2010.

Which is probably just as well, because while Jefferies was being questioned by police about a crime he did not commit, the press had seemingly made its mind up about him.

Jefferies, a former teacher, was described as a ‘weirdo’, ‘strange’ and a ‘peeping Tom’ in a series of articles that would eventually lead to successful actions against eight newspapers.

Two newspapers were also found to have breached the Contempt of Court Act 1981 with articles that the lord chief justice said had ‘vilified’ Jefferies. The court said the actions of newspapers threatened to harm the conduct of any future trial, regardless of whether the jury had been prejudiced.

It was a character assassination like no other in recent British history, and the judgment – along with the reaction to the allegation that murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler had her phone hacked – marked the moment that a rabid and out-of-control press pack finally learnt some self-control.

The extent to which newspaper editors have learned their lesson has been apparent this week.

Another man has been arrested – and since released on bail for a murder of a young woman, this time the York University worker Claudia Lawrence, who is still missing. There are obvious parallels with the Yeates case.

It’s been an agonising wait for the Lawrence family since she went missing in March 2009 and the news that police had made an arrest made headlines across the country.

By and large, this time the media has shown a level of care far removed from the treatment of Jefferies.

The Mail, Express, and Mirror were all restrained in their coverage.

The cynic in me will say this was a busy news week in which the need for an eye-catching story (as opposed to when Jefferies was arrested, during the Christmas break) was reduced. The press will also be acutely aware that it needs to keep its powder dry while discussions continue about the need to regulate the industry.

But perhaps we’ve seen a significant shift in emphasis – from rambunctious to reserved – that will ensure future trials can go ahead without fear of prejudice, and perhaps, prevent any repeat of the treatment dished out to the unfortunate and innocent Jefferies.

John Hyde is a Gazette reporter