Amanda Knox Case Reopened: How the Media Covered It
The Amanda Knox case was top of the Tuesday morning news agenda in the U.S., Italy and the U.K. after Italy’s Supreme Court ordered a new trial.
The Seattle college student and her boyfriend, Raffale Sollecito, were accused of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007. A conviction was overturned in 2011, and Knox and Sollecito both returned home. Now the case has been reopened.
The news was quickly a hot topic on social media, with both #Meredith and #AmandaKnox trending on Twitter.
The court decision also immediately became headline news in the U.S. and Italy, where big daily newspaper La Repubblica used a headline saying that Knox and Sollecito were “No longer absolved” of the crime. The Corriere della Sera said: “It’s back to the beginning for Knox and Sollecito.” Italian television networks broke into regular programming to report the news.
In the early U.S. morning, the news was the lead or one of the top stories on most networks and news sites. NBC's Today show dispatched correspondent Michelle Kosinski to Rome; Kosinski repeated a statement from Knox that read, "It was painful to receive the news ... when the prosecution's theory of my involvement in Meredith's murder has been repeatedly revealed to be completely unfounded and unfair.... ."
ABC's Good Morning America also covered the news the news with correspondence from ABC News London correspondent Lama Hasan. GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos interviewed attorney Theodore Simon, a member of Knox's legal team, who said: "Let's be very clear here. There was never any evidence in this case. And whatever evidence was reviewed was considered absent, non-existent, unreliable or simply inaccurate."
Over at CBS This Morning, Gayle King and Charlie Rose led with Knox, featuring correspondence from CBS' Mark Phillips in London. Anderson Cooper included the new trial as a hot topic on his daytime talk show.
"Knox Shock. Murder Case is Not Closed," the New York Post's headline on its lead story on its website said.
The Wall Street Journal, which like the Post is part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., also featured a Knox story in one of the lead spots on its home page, along with a picture showing Knox with her hands folded -- like in prayer. But the most-read story on the Journal site as of 7:15 a.m. ET was one about the EU countries bailing out Cyprus.
Meanwhile, the New York Times went with the headline "Rome Court Overturns Acquittal of Amanda Knox" and explained: "The decision raised the prospect that the American exchange student could be retried for murder in absentia and ultimately face extradition."
The Times gave other stories top billing, though. The Knox story ran underneath stories about a Supreme Court challenge against California’s ban on same-sex marriage and Christine C. Quinn, the New York City mayoral candidate and City Council speaker.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, one of two major newspapers in Knox's hometown, reported that she would "stay in Seattle" rather than return to Italy for the trial. The court news on Tuesday broke just before 3 a.m. Seattle time.
Given that the case has various players and has been going on for years, ABC News online offered a feature to remind readers of the people involved under the headline "Amanda Knox Case: Who's Who in the Italian Murder Trial."
Newspapers in the U.K. also gave the Knox news big play, with most featuring it in the lead spot on their homepages, because Kercher, the victim, was British. Sky News, BBC and ITV news updates also highlighted the story.
News Corp.'s The Times reported "'It's painful': Knox faces murder retrial," and the Guardian featured the news online with the headline, "Court orders fresh trial over brutal death of British student."
Britain's Telegraph ran a sidebar with a provocative headline next to its main news story. The sidebar's title: "Amanda Knox profile: 'she-devil' or 'innocent abroad'?"
News Corp.'s Sun tabloid was fairly low-key with its headline "Retrial for Knox."
Various U.K. sites used timelines to illustrate what the Telegraph called the "six-year saga."
In the U.K. and other European countries, the Knox coverage pushed down reports on cold weather, the coming Easter weekend and the financial crisis in Cyprus.
In Germany, the Knox case hasn't been a big story in the story except for tabloids like Bild. Its headline on Tuesday referenced a nickname the media had given Knox in the past. "The Angel With the Icy Eyes," the headline said. "New Murder Trial against Amanda Knox."