Friday, 24 June 2022

Journalists do know better

 and while they make mistakes like the rest of us they also make calculated "mistakes" in order to stir up controversy or discussion or to influence an outcome.

I  suspect the last is what is behind the remarks made by a journalist about an upcoming court case. Downunder readers will almost certainly know who I am talking about. 

It is a case of alleged rape. The young female in question has had a lot of very favourable media coverage. She has "bravely spoken out" about her alleged experience. (I use the word "alleged" here in the legal sense - not yet shown to be the case in a court of law.) She has made "admissions" about her own behaviour, including the reasons she delayed reporting the incident. 

Whatever actually happened (and she may be telling the truth - or the truth as she sees it) this all seems to have been very carefully stage managed. It's a very serious allegation. If found guilty the young man in question will find himself behind bars for a lengthy period. His career has already been ruined. 

But apparently this is not enough for the journalist in question. She made some statements at an awards ceremony where she knew full well that they would be more widely reported. She knew full well that those statements would stir up further controversy. I have no doubt that the extensive legal resources behind her were consulted and that they decided to take the risk she could be charged when her words caused yet another delay to the proceedings. 

"So, why would she do it?" someone asked me yesterday. I have wondered this too. There is more than one possible answer to this. I don't find any of them satisfactory. 

It could be the journalist in question believes she is simply supporting the complainant. It could be she believes the public needs to be reminded of the upcoming case. There is the possibility she wants to stir up more discussion about an issue all right minded people find abhorrent. It is possible she wants the defendant to sweat a little more prior to the proceedings. It is possible she simply wants people to be informed.  All those things are likely. 

There is also the possibility that the complainant is becoming anxious the defendant might be found "not guilty" - and that her own behaviour might be found wanting.  She might not want to withdraw the case but if the law decided the young man could not get a fair trial. If it went no further his character stained for life and she would still be seen as the victim. 

I know nothing other than what little I have seen and heard in the media. And yes, that is only a little because the paper work would already run to hundreds, if not thousands, of pages. The journalist in question was doing no favours to anyone. Her profession is the poorer for her actions. 

No comments: