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Monday, 9 April 2007

The Perfect Murder - from a media standpoint anyway

A young, blonde, blue-eyed pregnant woman called Krystal Hart was murdered. That's horrible. Of course it is, murder is always horrible, but a little cynical voice in my head is whispering snidely that maybe the story wouldn't have gotten as much press coverage if she'd been a 45 year old ugly woman called Meg Brown. (Meg, if you're out there, stop crying. You're gorgeous.)

Is our media influenced by the marketability of the stories? You bet it is. It's influenced by many factors: how important the events are (of course), how pretty the victims / perpetrators are, how amusing the story is, how trendy the subject is, lest we forget. Trendy news stories, are they something you've ever thought about? Because it's not as if paedophilia is sometimes in season, you know. No, one story is picked up on, and it sparks a wave of similar stories that would have gone unnoticed being thrust into the spotlight.

The sociologists have a term for it - moral panics - which describes the snowball effect of certain types of story - murder, mugging, rape - getting disproportionate attention. Or maybe, getting the attention they finally deserve. Because there's no denying that we like to gloss over things sometimes.

But mainly it's jealousy. I'll bet Krystal Hart got all the attention when she was alive, too.


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