(I)Analyse a news story in its print/broadcast context.
Newspapers are used to tell information to the public. They take part of setting the agenda and defining what is news. When reporting murders they take on the responsibility of informing people of the crime but also to entertain to sell more copies. Beautiful, white, young women accused of murder are unusual and are not as common as male offenders which makes it much more appealing to the media.
A woman who commits a crime is perceived as having perpetrated an act that is diametrically in opposition to the traditional characterisation of her sex as gentle, nurturing and angelical. She is far closer to the ‘whore’, the ‘bad’ woman end of the scale, since her behaviour is deviating from the ‘natural’ feminine traits. Easteal,bartels,Nelson and Holland(2015)
The woman accused was Amanda Knox.
On the first of November 2001, Meredith Kercher a 21 year old British student who was on an exchange from the University of Leeds to Perugia Italy was brutally murdered. She was found dead on the floor of her bedroom in a flat she shared with her American roommate Amanda Knox. Kercher had been sexually assaulted and suffered from multiple stabs wounds including being stabbed in the throat. Kerchers American flatmate and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were charged as prime suspects for their suspicious behaviour surrounding the murder. Knox and Sollecito were found kissing outside the scene of the murder which was caught on camera, police labelled the behaviour as ‘inappropriate’ and ‘odd’ which ultimately led to their conviction. It was alleged that Kercher was murdered by Knox for refusing to engage in a sexual game. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison. In 2015 Knox was acquitted by the Italian supreme court for the murders as it was found to have what they called ‘stunning flaws’ within the investigation. It was later found out that bloodstained finger prints at the scene of the crime were found to belong to Rudy Guede who fled Italy after the murder and had previous convictions of breaking and entering. He was arrested in Germany. Guede was found to be guilty of sexual assault and murder.
Throughout this essay I will be discussing how the media demonises female sexuality.
Amanda Knox was a victim of trial by media. Knox’s conviction was due to misogyny as Italy was primarily a Roman Catholic country and the attitude and beliefs the police had toward female sexuality. Misogynist prosecutor Giuliano Mignini dictated the case from his own personal beliefs of what he perceived as moral and immoral behaviour and created a contrast between the two women painting Kercher as an innocent woman of morals who didn’t condone Knox’s lifestyle, he stated that Amanda was ‘uninhibited’ ‘bringing boys home’ but that Meredith was ‘different’ and stated that she got into an argument with Amanda for her ‘lack of morals’ which allegedly led to Meredith’s murder. Knox was deemed as a sexual deviant. ...