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The trial by media of Oscar Pistorius: facts, guesses and spin surround the death of Reeva Steenkamp

Publié par Clifford Armion le 19/02/2013

Daniel Howden

Today, Reeva Steenkamp's family will gather for her funeral in Port Elizabeth. The media is barred; only those who knew her best will attend the private ceremony. It is also a significant moment for Oscar Pistorius, who will appear in court for his bail hearing 600 miles away in Pretoria. The sprinter has no control over the media – and nor does anyone in his team. The reporters will gather outside in huge numbers as they have ever since his arrest. Soon he will be in the dock again to face a murder charge, but in many ways his trial began as soon as news of his lover's death reached the media. The only difference here is that the facts of the case carry a much lower burden of proof.
The slow grind of South Africa's justice system, which barely recognises contempt of court, has been unable to keep pace in the era of social media and rolling TV news. As a consequence, the first disabled global sports superstar has found himself deluged with accusations and insinuations masquerading as facts. "I don't know where people got these stories," complained police spokesperson Katlego Mogale. "We haven't issued a statement [about the case] or spoken to anyone."
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"The trial by media of Oscar Pistorius: facts, guesses and spin surround the death of Reeva Steenkamp ", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), février 2013. Consulté le 17/10/2021. URL: http://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/archives/archives-revue-de-presse/the-trial-by-media-of-oscar-pistorius-facts-guesses-and-spin-surround-the-death-of-reeva-steenkamp-