This week, King 5 Seattle has been broadcasting a three-part series on Amanda Knox’s life since returning to Seattle. Knox was interviewed for two hours on the campus of the University of Washington by “investigative” reporter Lynda Byron. Leading into the series, King 5 reported:
The interview is the result of great reporting, years of persistence and the trust Byron earned throughout the process.
How was that trust built up? Judging by the quality of the series thus far, the trust seems to be based on delivering reports skewed to favor Amanda Knox- and paint a picture of an injustice based on nothing more than a jingoistic picture of Italy and Italian legal processes.
The first segment aired on Tuesday, October 22nd. During the lead-in, the news reporters gave an overview of the segment: “she’s opening up about her life here in Seattle, even as prosecutors in Italy try to lock her up again.” But during the report, they stated it differently:
…and even as Italian prosecutors are back in court trying to convict her again.
I emailed King 5 on October 23rd asking for a correction on their wrong information:
Italy is not trying to convict Amanda Knox “again;” after Amanda’s acquittal was overturned her original conviction remained in force. She is currently appealing her murder conviction. As responsible journalists, you should provide a correction to the erroneous information you published yesterday.
I received a response to this email from King 5. The response stated that they were aware of this, however they were going to continue calling the current process a “retrial” anyways.
Yes- a news organization, after receiving information that they had errors in their reporting, said they knew, but they were going to CONTINUE REPORTING THAT WAY ANYWAYS.
The online text version of the Tuesday segment never appropriately calls the current process an “appeal.” The text version uses the word “appeal” on three times- but only in reference to the acquittal. When they get to talking about the current process, they continue to push the image of a system that keeps subjecting Knox to trials until there is a conviction:
But the happy ending to Knox’s ordeal when she returned to Seattle in 2011 got shaken up earlier this year when the Italian Supreme Court overturned the appeal that set her free, ordering her and Sollecito to stand trial again for Kercher’s murder. That trial began in Florence on Sept. 30.
Wednesday’s segment is much worse. After having had confirmation that King 5 Seattle was aware of the status of the conviction and Amanda Knox’s appeal, the lead in jumps head-first into xenophobia-land:
“in Italy it’s perfectly legal to be convicted after being found innocent.”
Their online text version continues to support the image of never-ending attempts to “convict” Amanda Knox: “once again, Knox and her former boyfriend are on trial for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher. ”
Half way through the article, there’s a small glimmer of hope for accurate reporting- until you realize this accuracy is undermined by the way that King 5 Seattle frames the overturn of the acquittal
…an Italian appeals court overturned those verdicts and pronounced them innocent. It wasn’t over.
The Italian appeals court that set aside Knox’s conviction in 2011 was overruled early this year by Italy’s highest criminal court. The result of that ruling is a new appeals trial, currently underway in Florence.
Yes, King 5 and reporter Linda Byron finally does appropriately call the current process an appeal- but only AFTER saying “Look- she was pronounced INNOCENT”. The report doesn’t saying something simple like “Amanda and Raffaele were acquitted, but that acquittal was overturned.” No- King 5 has to continue with the “injustice” story they’ve been pushing and stated that knox was found “innocent”, before going on to the current “retrial.” The careful way that King 5 has introduced the appeals makes one believe that its an “unjust retrial.”
King 5 Seattle has chosen to continue their misleading reporting instead of accurately, honestly reporting:
Amanda Knox’s acquittal was overturned by the Supreme Court of Italy. Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are again appealing their 2009 conviction for murder.
See- that wasn’t so hard, was it?!!?