About the only thing I can write with certainty about the Amanda Knox trial is that I'm glad I wasn't one of the jurors. When I first read of Knox's conviction last Friday, I immediately considered exploring in writing the media coverage of the trial and the ways in which both Knox and the Italian legal system made such fitting targets for soundbyte-ing and stereotyping. I quickly realized that just about every other journalist and blogger had that angle covered. As I read article after article about the trial, glimpsed image after image of Knox being escorted from the courtroom, and watched testimony from Knox's mother and the family of the victim, Meredith Kercher, I felt less and less as though I had a clear opinion about any element of this two-year-old case.
I hesitate to boil the entire trial down to this, but I want to consider the point (and it's likely an obvious one): the media coverage here bears a striking resemblance to other cases in which young, white, blond, U.S. American women feature in one way or another. A ready example is the Natalie Holloway case - clearly different from the Knox trial in so many ways, but also illustrative of emphasizing one family's plight over the innumerable tragic cases that involve less camera-ready individuals and families. I make this observation not to devalue the tragedy of Holloway's disappearance, but to consider the media coverage in a slightly different way than the Knox op-eds have thus far. Concerns over the sensationalizing of Knox's gender have been explicated in numerous ways, however, this isn't only about Knox's gender, but her national origin, as well as her classed, raced, and sexualized identities, especially as perceived by international media that have offered strikingly similar reports of the case.