12.3.14

THE PISTORIUS CIRCUS

The news that Paralympian Oscar Pistorius had shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines Day 2013 came as a devastating shock, especially to his many fans in South Africa where he was idolised for his sporting success.

Fast forward a year and now, the media is capitalising on this tragedy by broadcasting the trial live on television, with twenty four hour channels being set up for the event. Whilst we are all eager to hear the out come of the trail, whether it seriously was a case of mistaken identity and what fate awaits Oscar, is this all really necessary?


Let us not forget, that in the middle of this media circus, a beautiful woman is dead. A daughter, a sister, a friend, it seems like she has been forgotten in this whole embarrassing charade.

Reports of Pistorius being sick and crying in court when the coroners report of  Steenkamp was read out just seems extremely uncalled for. I am not commenting on whether he is guilty or not, I don't know if I even have an opinion on it, but what happened to innocent until proven guilty? And what if it is found to be a case of mistaken identity, everything in Oscars' life and history has been dragged out into the public, he has had his dignity stripped - how will he ever be able to rebuild a reputation if he is cleared by the courts?

In PR, it is important that we liaise with the media, and concentrate on what the audience want to see and know about, but I think this is a step too far. With the death of a young woman being turned into consumerist, reality television. So, although I will follow the case via the newspaper and online news reports, awaiting  the outcome of the trial, I will not be tuning in to watch this circus unfold live.

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