The Media vs The World
My face is glued to the television as I await the verdict that I had so anxiously wanted to hear for years. To no surprise, it was not a verdict we had all hoped for, partially due to the media. The Casey Anthony trial, is just one of the many that have fallen into the classification of a “media trial,” a loose term that describes the profound impact media coverage has on a person’s reputation by creating a pre-assumed perception of guilt or innocence, before, or after a case goes to court. This pre-assumed perception gives the general public, potential jury members, an impartial view on a court case, overall, influencing the system of American justice. This ...view middle of the document...
General courtroom evidence takes months to collect, gather, and study; CSI, on the other hand, takes an hour to do it all. Due to the popularity of these shows, there are jury members that bring in their preconceived ideas of what the law should look like due to the media surrounding them.
OK, so CSI is a hit television series, and millions watch it on a weekly basis, so, how do we stop its effect? The entertainment industry needs to require these shows to be more realistic. By doing this, the general public will be much more educated in the ways of the justice system. I am not saying take out all the drama, just refine the drama to fit the reality of the courtroom. It would be much more beneficial to the general public, and the defendant, if these shows gave them a bare look into how legal cases and trials actually unfold. Who knows, maybe by doing this we could see a drop in shocking verdicts?
Being a lover of the law, I flock to watching former prosecutors like Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell, as they give their take on certain high-profile trials; however, the second problem of media influence lies within these two women. Through their interviews with people involved in cases, they almost can give the general public a preconceived notion in regards to a trial and its defendant, violating the right to an impartial jury. Another action they are both famous for, like in the Michael Jackson trial for instance, is interviewing people who could have been potential witnesses in a trial. From these interviews, the general public, 99.9% of the time, can learn a startling fact that can throw the whole case for a loop. All the general public needs is a shocking story to render an even more shocking verdict, Nancy and Jane contribute to this problem. Even though both are two intelligent women and the information they provide helps keep the general public informed, at the same time, it provides even more of a platform for injustice in the courtroom.
How do we stop Nancy? Honestly there is no stopping Nancy Grace, we would be violating free press, but I do believe there is a way to present news in a fair and honest way. By making these court reporters have more scripted shows, we can see that they present the facts, first and foremost, now opinion is always present, but I believe this could aid the problem. Also, I do believe there are other gateways to providing the public with information on high-profile cases. When the Scottsboro Boys were being tried in 1931, they did not have the media influences we have today, but they were still well informed. Back then, newspapers were a gateway for information, and sometimes could plainly present facts. We see that the American justice system has stood strong for all these years, why let it become easily fluctuated by television reporters.
“The media has rendered a verdict?” However the most serious problem of how media effects real justice lies within this idea of media verdicts. We see the...