It would be nearly impossible for someone in Maryland not to have heard of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. The amount of media coverage since Martin’s death in late February has been astronomical and each media source seems to be presenting different facts and different spins as to what happened.
It is extremely serious to be charged with murder in Maryland, making it all the more important that various media outlets only present the facts. As more interpretations and opinions start to spin around a murder case, the harder it will be for a suspect to receive a fair trial, as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.
It has been over a month since Martin was shot and killed and the various media reports have done little to shed light on whether Zimmerman shot Martin in self-defense. Since it is this fact and this fact alone that will clear Zimmerman’s name, the speculation on all sorts of other pieces of evidence do little but demonize Zimmerman. A Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism study has found that liberal media tends to portray Zimmerman as a racist and a vigilante. More conservative media sources question whether there really is evidence of racism in the shooting.
Much like some of the other high-profile deaths to have hit the media recently, the Martin shooting has sparked considerable opinions and debate. Ultimately, however, all this attention has just made it difficult to find 12 people who are unfamiliar with the case and can be impartial if Zimmerman is charged with murder.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Media gives ample coverage, little clarity to Trayvon Martin case,” James Rainey, March 31, 2012