The 2011 Casey Anthony trial became the most sensational news story of the year. Time magazine called it the social media trial of the century. The 22-year-old single mom was charged with three felonies including first degree murder, aggravated child abuse and manslaughter. When pictures surfaced on the internet showing her at a nightclub shortly after her two-year-old daughter, Caylee, went missing, the media and public went ballistic. Thirty-one days passed after Caylee disappeared before police were notified and then it was not mother Casey, but her family that called police and they were pointing fingers at her.
The trial resembled in many ways the Roman Colosseum, where crowds thirsted to see lions devour the captured prisoner. Internet blogs exploded, just as the Roman crowds must have, with demands for execution. The trial's streaming videos and interactive blogs left the public demanding to see an embodiment of Caesar give his final “thumbs down” against their prize. The trial jury was another matter. Jurors cried as the evidence against her was so thin they had no choice but to find her "not guilty."
Almost unnoticed, a few leading journalists protested the media carnival that became the Casey Anthony trial. They objected to the one-sided narrative informing the court of public opinion forgetting there is a difference between someone appearing guilty and the requirement that prosecutors need to prove in court.
The media‘s coverage is something we should discuss beginning with: Did police arrest the wrong person? Was the jury right deciding Casey Anthony was "not guilty"? Was Casey's mother involved in a coverup of a crime aganst Caylee? Who was Cindy protecting, Casey or her husband, George? THE MEDIA'S COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION-CASEY ANTHONY-Keith Long