Kercher family's anguish, Knox is media star: British press

5th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

A grinning Amanda Knox, acquitted of the murder of Meredith Kercher, dominated the front pages in Britain Wednesday, but it was the plight of Kercher's bewildered family that led coverage of the case.

The stories contrasted with the British press coverage in the aftermath of the murder in which newspapers were blamed for painting Knox, 24, as "Foxy Knoxy" and detailing her allegedly racy private life.

The Daily Mirror's front page headline "Meredith Who?", summed up the consensus that the Leeds University student, brutally murdered while studying in Italy in 2007, had been forgotten in the media blaze of Knox's acquittal.

On its front page, under the headline "Give Our Girl Justice Too", the Daily Mail ran a photo of Knox smiling with the caption, "Ecstasy". Alongside it was the image of Stephanie Kercher, the victim's sister, labelled "Agony."

In its coverage, the Mail claimed Knox now had the "status of an international star," while Meredith Kercher was being ignored by the US press.

The Times praised the Kerchers as an "extraordinary family" whose dignity in the face of such unparalleled tragedy "can only inspire awe".

In a scathing editorial, The Times placed blame for the Kerchers' anguish squarely on the "farcically incompetent" Italian justice system "that seems to court publicity at every turn."

The Independent published a comment piece from the Italian president of Avocats Sans Frontieres (Lawyers Without Borders), who also criticised the legal system of his country and the way evidence was handled.

"What happened in this case is not unusual and, in many ways, it's typical," said Antonio J Manca Graziadei.

"Policemen in Italy are very badly paid and they don't necessarily have the motivation to investigate things properly."

The Sun was one of the only papers to focus its coverage on Knox.

On its front page, it featured claims that a senior prison official had repeatedly interviewed Knox about her sexual history.

The story was allegedly based on Knox's prison diary, in which she recorded details of her conversations with the prison guard.

The Daily Telegraph described Knox's new life as "America's millionaire celebrity." It reported that Knox is weighing up offers from TV and film companies, as well as the possibility of selling her memoirs.

© 2011 AFP

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