Monday, July 20, 2009
Media Representations of the Weatherston Trial
On Jim Mora's Radio New Zealand programme, Chris Trotter expressed his distaste for media coverage of the Weatherston trial - which involved the killing and disfiguring of a woman who was stabbed in the genitals, breasts, and face by her former male partner. At the time of writing this post, the jury are considering Weatherston's guilt or innocence. Today, on the same programme, Linda Clark, ex-presenter of Radio New Zealand's 'Nine to Noon'programme called for media restraint in the reporting of such trials. Rather than challenge legal analyses of a major red flag for dangerousness/lethality, these media commentators advocate a return to the silence that formerly shrouded the determined pursuit of separating women by domestically violent men. The Weatherston trial exposes, in graphic detail, how the social reality of separation violence is subordinated to legal tales of romantic love and male passion. For that, all women should be grateful.