MEDIA TRIAL

Under pressure

India Gang Rape Media personnel wait outside the juvenile justice board | AP

Extensive media coverage would certainly affect a fair probe as the probing agencies may feel the immense pressure to some how prove the case as per the speculation.

The trial of O.J. Simpson, who was accused of his wife's murder, has been described as the most publicised criminal trial in the American history. Simpson was acquitted after a trial by the jury. It is said that the members of the jury were barred from exposing themselves to the media. One juror was excluded for watching cartoons with her children and another for waking up to a clock radio. When the book on O.J.'s relationship with his wife hit the book store, the trial judge halted the jury selection process and told the potential jurors to stay out of book stores. Despite this, the jury were said to have been influenced to some degree by the media coverage and the publicity that came with it. The trial judge was also said to have been criticised for allowing the trial to become a media circus.

Therefore, there is every chance of probe getting affected by the extensive coverage by the media. So, the media must restrain itself and desist from speculation and should only provide the developments in a case as pure news.

K.S. Hareesh Kumar
Lucknow

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