The media has a tendency to sensationalize almost anything, including missing persons reports. They do this because it drives ratings, and adds drama to what could otherwise be dull programming. This type of behavior is nearly ubiquitous because media outlets tend to imitate one another to ensure that competitors don't have an advantage.
Yes, missing persons reports are sensationalized by the media. Most things that are reported on the news today are sensationalized by the media and missing persons reports are not any different. The media sensationalized news to get viewers and ratings similar to other television shows. Thus, all news is sensationalized.
Clearly, missing persons report are sensationalized by the media. And the viewer has no one to blame but themselves. People watch the news for fantastic details, headlines and other Breaking events. The media is founded in ratings, and sensationalism means ratings. If people ignored the stories they would go away.
I think when a person goes missing, if by choice or because of foul play, the new advances in media can help to spread the message and hopefully bring them home! There are a lot of negatives that come with an increased access to social media, however, I feel that using media to find a missing person is not one of them.