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Amanda Knox Documentary: Now Everything Makes Sense

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard a thing or two about Amanda Knox. You’ve also formulated an opinion as to whether the Seattle native is guilty or innocent. But did you ever ask yourself why this particular case garnished so much media attention? It’s sad to say, but murders happen every day… but why is it that that this case inspired a Lifetime movie, several books, fanfiction, and a Netflix documentary? More importantly, why is that in 2016 – almost 10 years after the murder of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher, we are still obsessing over this case?

If the Amanda Knox documentary serves any purpose, it is to answer this precise question.

Following the brutal murder of Meredith Kercher, a massive whirlwind of interrogations, forensic investigations, court hearings, and media coverage spiraled out of control. So. Much. Media Coverage!

In the documentary, Daily Mail journalist, Nick Pisa, mentions that Perugia, Italy was not prepared nor capable of handling such an international affair. Then again, which small town ever is? Journalists capitalized on this instability, specifically Pisa, and used Amanda to create a news frenzy and in turn, acquire personal recognition.

“Foxy Knoxy.” “She devil.” “Witch of deception.” “Sex-crazed.” Believe it or not, these are all keywords journalists used to describe Amanda to make their articles go viral. The case was no longer about Meredith. It was no longer about justice. It turned into a scandalous affair, and Amanda Knox was now a modern-day Hester Prynne.

No matter how you feel about Amanda, and whether or not you believe in her innocence, there is no denying that the public humiliation she went through was uncalled for. Her prison diary landed in the wrong hands and within days everyone around the world was reading it. Secrets about Amanda’s sex-life, her fear of having transmitted an STI, and her struggles to remain sane in an Italian prison became front-page articles of newspapers and online sites. Then it was the tabloid’s turn: as if people weren’t eating it up enough as it was, the journal was spiced-up then redistributed so that fact and fiction merged into one disgraceful haze.  

Just think: Amanda’s mother had to read these articles. Her step-father had to read them. Siblings, neighbors, friends, distant relatives, enemies, strangers—everyone knew Amanda’s deepest and darkest secrets. And there was nothing she could do about it.

Pisa admits that his objective was to be the first journalist to report these stories. Their truth was not the concern. According to him, there was no time to fact-check or to verify sources. How could there be with everyone thirsty for more gossip?

Whether or not this media coverage affected the rulings is ultimately, speculation. But what is sure is that these so-called journalists turned Amanda Knox into a main-stream commodity. And if we read between the documentary’s lines, we might realize a mind-boggling truth…

Had the media not been as hard as it was on Amanda, the case might not have spiraled so out of control.

The Amanda Knox documentary might be the final chapter to lay this horror story to rest once and for all. For the past nine years, we’ve heard the story told by journalists, writers, and other less-reputable sources. Now Amanda (and Raffaele) finally get to speak. Isolating these two individuals from their charges, we can clearly see a man and a woman hurting from all that has been said about them. For years, they’ve been forced to deal with the repercussions of indirect media bullying. The pain is there, in their eyes. Before the case, before all the legal mumbo-jumbo, their first goal through the documentary is to prove to the world that they are not “Foxy Knoxy” and her Italian lover. They are people with feelings. They are people who were wrongfully convicted and gave up years of their lives as a result. But most importantly, they are people who truly wish to be forgotten.

The Amanda Knox documentary is a must-watch not just for followers of this case, but for all followers of mainstream media. Yes, it goes into international law basics, and yes it does spend some time on the technicalities of preserving a crime scene, but believe it or not, that doesn’t seem to be the aim of the project. The take-away message through it all is this: don’t believe everything you read. Don’t let the media form your decisions for you. And more importantly, don’t be so quick to click on an article shamming people. More clicks equals more sales. And more sales turn into incentive to continue on that same shaming path.

Rama Majzoub

New School

Rama is Editor in Chief and Campus Correspondent at The New School. She is on track to graduate with a master's in psychology in spring of 2018.
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