This is not Schapelle Corby persecution, this is about the power of the media and this coverage is a good example of how much power mainstream media has.
A couple of weeks ago, once again, like with so many other “ big news stories” the TV, radio and print media spent huge chunks of time and money inundating us with this story. If Corby had been convicted in Australia, not a foreign country, we probably wouldn’t have heard too much about it and it may well have been consigned to an indiscriminate little spot on page 7 or something.
However, and ONLY because it would increase sales and in turn advertising, the story was made into a big deal, not least during the trial…and the carry-on with the sentencing… and so on.
Remember the Lindy Chamberlain trial by media in the early 1980s, until she was finally acquitted many years later? Countless magazines jumped on the sensationalism of the case, as did several TV shows, film and mainstream news.
Anyone who thinks ‘the public needs to know’ dictates the nature/veracity of popular media content is quite frankly naïve in the extreme. Time after time this goes on.
At election time media portrays politicians as they want to or need to (as the case may be)…and sometimes it’s more important to depict how they say things and not so much what they actually say. Who cares what dress or pantsuit Julia Gillard wore, but the bloody media made her appearance seem important for some reason or other.
Back to the Corby case. Over the past nine years, regular media leaking of her depression and other personal matters has occurred, to keep the case simmering in the back of our minds; fanning the flame would keep it alive for the parole which would undoubtedly happen.
In Australia Schapelle would not have been considered newsworthy. The elements of the case (Indonesia, alleged corrupt authorities, an aussie in strife overseas and other contributing factors) enhanced with the power of the media and its need of financial success, made a criminal (convicted by an international court) some sort of hero or cult figure.
Whether she did or did not commit the crime is almost incidental. Our perceptions can be manipulated by media, and rather than just reporting the actual facts they think they need to embellish…and probably make a mini series, TV special, cover magazine articles etc. It’s reprehensible and readers/viewers are treated to superficial/incorrect content rather than information, valid opinion and real news.
Personally I’d love to ask a media CEO ‘if the Corby case had happened here, would you have given a toss?’
What do you think? Rod McGiveron