WRT102-Final Research Essay.docx - Garett Lake Lake 1 Prof Greene WRT 102 9 May 2019 The Casey Anthony Trial Convicted by the Media The Casey Anthony

WRT102-Final Research Essay.docx - Garett Lake Lake 1 Prof...

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Garett LakeLake 1Prof. GreeneWRT 1029 May 2019The Casey Anthony Trial: Convicted by the MediaThe Casey Anthony murder trial was one of the first nationally televised capital murder trials during the social-media age. Although news of the case stayed relatively local to the Orlando area, when the remains of Caylee Anthony were found in December 2008, the Casey Anthony murder trial went from “local live-at-5 sideshow to tabloid sensation to national preoccupation” (Cloud). As national news organizations quickly began covering the case, Casey Anthony and the murder of her daughter were at the forefront of major news headlines. The intense media coverage of the Casey Anthony murder trial ultimately led to public outcry after her exoneration by building up the audience’s bias against Anthony, by giving the public the impression that they were the jury, and by making the audience question the competency of the United States legal systems.Before analyzing how media outlets went about their coverage of the trial, one must understand the impact that these sources impose upon their audiences. “The Media’s Impact on the Right to a Fair Trial: A Content Analysis of Pretrial Publicity in Capital Cases” was publishedby the American Psychological Association and highlights how “people generally attach a great deal of credibility to news about crime” although “much empirical research has demonstrated that media coverage of crime is often skewed and one-sided” (Bahkshay and Haney). These are two important aspects in regards to the Casey Anthony murder trial. As more and more news on the trial became public, media outlets began to use this news to form their own ideas of what happened. The audiences of the media sources focused on the trial began to form their own conclusions, and when Anthony was exonerated many were left angry and confused with the conviction. The following pages will focus on different aspects of how the case was perceived by
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Lake 2the audiences and how this led to their frustration once she was exonerated and post-trial. There are various methods that media outlets took during the Casey Anthony trial that built up a bias against her in the eyes of the audience. To begin, the brutality of the crime was thedriving force behind the mass publicity of this case. “The fact that death penalty cases generally involve the most severe kinds of violent crimes also means they tend to receive the most publicity” (Bahkshay and Haney). This statement gives context into why exactly the audiences across America were so concerned with the trial. The first way the media built bias in its audiences was by creating sympathy for the deceased daughter Caylee. The sympathy being manifested toward Caylee can be derived from the “various Facebook pages honoring Caylee [that] have amassed tens of thousands of friends,
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