I’ve followed the Casey Anthony case from the beginning and have always had a pit in my stomach regarding the tragic and suspicious death of such a bright-eyed little girl. But I had no idea it would have such an impact on me—as it has for so many Americans—and that I would consistently be looking for the next reported development. Sadly, there are many child murder cases, but how many end up captivating an entire nation?
In this case, we are reminded of the incredible power the media has in communicating a story. Journalists have held the cards in choosing which elements of the story to focus on, which parts of the courtroom footage to air and which “experts” to feature for commentary. Of course, some of the media took pointed sides throughout the trial, e.g., Nancy Grace, which often further fueled viewers’/readers’ emotions.
Regardless of whether you believe the jury reached the correct verdict, the media’s influence in covering the case has been immense. It is a reminder that widespread media biases are a reality – whether covering a major murder trial or other types of news – and that people, for better or worse, often form their opinions on a story or issue based on how journalists choose to slant their news coverage.