Critic: Zimmerman Trial Coverage on Cable TV a Good Criminal-Justice Primer


Media critic Jack Shafer of Reuters defends cable TV's extended live coverage of the George Zimmerman murder trial. He notes that critics want the cable news networks to focus their cameras instead on the Cairo uprising, President Obama's climate speech, the slaughter in Syria, voters' rights, the NSA outrages, and other examples of “meaningful” and “important” news. Shafer says today's wide media menu “gives the news audience more opportunities than ever before to find the news that others might describe as meaningful and important.” While others cover Egypt, Shafer says, “If you read HLN's transcripts from Nancy Grace's shows about the Zimmerman case, you'll absorb enough information about how the criminal justice system works to write a [massive open online course] on how to defend or prosecute a murder case. Most of what a layman needs to know about police investigations, police interrogations, witness rights, evidentiary standards, jury selection, and courtroom strategy can be found in Grace's shriekings and those of her commentators.”

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