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Friday, September 29, 2023

Staff Editorial

Amanda Knox case shows media misogyny

Justice has finally come to Perugia, Italy. After spending four years in an Italian prison for a crime she did not commit, Amanda Knox has finally had her murder conviction overturned.

One of the most startling things about Knox’s case is the media coverage it was able to generate throughout the US and abroad. Knox should be thankful, because it allowed her case to remain in the spotlight and partially contributed to her retrial. However, the same media that is now claiming partial responsibility for her release is also the same media that contributed to her conviction.

When the story of Knox’s case was first broken, Knox was commonly portrayed as a witch and a she-devil in the Italian media. The Italian prosecution did its best to make sure this image of Knox was constantly reinforced. Knox was, in a way, convicted because of this image. This says something about the position of women in Italy, and how they are portrayed in the Italian media. Italy is often characterized as being a misogynistic country, and that characterization is not far from the truth.

According to The New York Times, “only 46 percent of Italian women work, in contrast to an average 59 percent in the rest of the Europe Union.”

And, according to an article in The Florentine, a bi-weekly Italian publication, only 7 percent of managerial positions in Italy are occupied by women.

Italy also has an openly misogynistic Prime Minister in Silvio Berlusconi, who allegedly has his hands, not only in the pants of underage Italian women, but also in the Italian media. Berlusconi is a media conglomerate who owns three of the seven Italian national TV channels. Having someone with such an open hatred of women in control of such a large amount of content means that sexism will, inevitably, take root.

If the Knox trial had happened in the US, she would have never received a guilty verdict. The US media is far from equal in its portrayal of women, but when you compare the US media to Italy’s media, women here seem to be portrayed in a more just light.

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