A balanced and well written article by Supriya Sharma of The Caravan on the motivations and the dangerous implications that follow when the media assumes the role of the court of law.
She notes, “Even when well intentioned, recent coverage of sexual violence has tended to degenerate rapidly into a series of trials by media, with the media arrogating to itself and the public the powers of both judge and jury. As a consequence, the media has chipped away at the already precarious agency of assault victims, and also undermined the possibility of justice being delivered.”
She echoes our dissatisfaction with hyped and slanted media reports when she writes, “A news report that relays only the essential details of an alleged assault might make for less riveting copy, but it is also less likely to impinge on the privacy of a victim or unfairly denounce an alleged assailant.”
She ends the article on an important note, “In the recent high-profile cases, we might have done better to stick to the more neutral “complainant”. That would have amounted not to unfairly doubting the testimony of the women who came forward, but to rightly doubting the media’s ability to be a court of law.”
Read the full article here.