So the Duke rape case that has been ongoing for over a year now, and the charges against the players were dropped recently. I can't help but wonder if this is partially due to media influence and they way that the victim has been portrayed from the beginning. Everyone completely ignored all of the good aspects of this woman's life and highlighted every negative aspect that they could find from her past; criminalizing her for sexual deviance that was in no way related to what happened in that house, with the lacrosse players. We saw much of the same happen with Kobe Bryant and his accuser, whose sexual history was completely exposed and used to discredit her account of what happened.
In cases like these where there is a high amount of media coverage from the beginning, I think that media professionals should be acutely aware of the role that they play - whether it be for or against the accused or the accuser. These cases are often being judged in the court of public opinion and unless the person on trial has enough money to buy their way from underneath that scrutinizing scope (like O.J. Simpson), then whatever spin media pundits decide to put on the situation ends up affecting the outcome.
In our society, where the average American may not have the amount of media literacy that they are assumed to have, I think that pundits need to be held accountable for their editorials and slanted coverage. There are a lot of people who use media coverage as their sole source of education on one topic (or on a lot of topics), which is obviously not ideal, but it's true.
So, whether you believe that media coverage railroaded innocent athletes who were finally exonerated or that another rape victim was silenced because of her position in society, you cannot deny that that the media had an impact on this case. For this reason, I think news outlets need to be careful which bandwagon they are quick to join.