Thursday, 15 February 2007

Trial by media

The recent media frenzy spurred on by one of the Corby camp insinuating in a paid interview that all is not quite as straight forward as the recent book, or the endless television coverage would have us believe, has rapidly descended into an unseemly debacle.
Not particularly because (as one might expect) accusations are made and then the family defends itself, but because Channel 7 aired the original interview and then Channel 9 dutifully responded with the "other side"
But the other side seemed more intent on showing that the original report was sensationalist reporting and shoddy journalism than in getting to the bottom of the matter. That is they were reporting about their rival and not about the case.
If that ain't pots calling kettle black then I don't know what is.
Now I happen to believe that Ms Corby is probably guilty, my sister-in-law read the book and believes she is probably innocent. As we batted this around over the Christmas hols and as we once or twice drove past Kerobokan jail recently, it was apparent to anyone that there is no way of solving this intractable dilemma. Someone must be lying. But lie detectors will not settle this; they are notoriously unreliable. [It's interesting for example that Channel 9 spent a good deal of its report debunking the lie detectors, which had been a a substantial basis of 7's report...and then without batting an eyelid offered to submit Mercedes Corby ...where do they get these names.. to the same lie detector test that their former ally Jodi Power had undertaken]
What ever else is happening here, I don't believe that that the TV stations are doing more than trying to improve their ratings.
They are not interested in truth, they are interested in stirring the pot. And guilty or not the Corby's, or anyone else, should be cautious about thinking that media coverage is likely tohelp the cause.


Adrian said...

It's depressing, isn't it: a private feud, aggravated by two sensationalizing current affairs programmes and a bag of money.

Some of the experts summoned to judge the Corbys and their former friend are astonishingly bald about their lack of methods (like the lady who determined the ex-friend was obviously lying because her eyes flickered and her body movement appeared awkward during the TV interview). The Indonesian courts may perhaps be corrupt; but the Australian commercial TV court of opinion is hardly a shining beacon of reason and fairness.

Like you, I suspect Corby is guilty. But having said that, if anything, the past week has only cemented my gut feeling that she's surrounded by (and possibly grew up with) terrible, corrupting influences all around her.

stephen clark said...

As the Indonesian legal system goes it is better than many in SE Asia. We were in Indonesia shortly after Corby was convicted and it was interesting to read how insulted expats and Indonesians felt about the constant hapring on that the legal system is corrupt.
Racsim really. If they investigated the way our own prisons were run they would soon find (as we read occasionally)that life in gaol in Australia is eased for a prvileged few who can bribe their jailers.(Do you think if you ise the word 'gaol' there is an English word "gaoler"...a PhD in English must mean you know how to spell. How's it going? I am just beginning my Master's reserach project. (I must go I am only delaying going to church on a stinking hot day!!)