Essay about The Media Coverage Of Debra Lafave 's Case

Essay about The Media Coverage Of Debra Lafave 's Case

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The mass media loves a scandal; it focuses on the most outrageous cases in order to make profit and often blows things out of proportion in order to make a better story. The media coverage of Debra Lafave’s case is a perfect example. The mass media not only hindered the court in leading a fair trial, exposing the teenager at the center of the case by publishing his photo and name in European newspapers, it also allowed the offender to receive a lighter sentence. The crime that Debra Lafave committed, having sexual intercourse with a minor, who was also one of her students, is deviant not only criminally but socially in the United States. Yet the media coverage partially helped her receive a lighter sentence because of the focus on her looks, enabling a positive discrimination towards her, but it also put a stigma on her, that she will probably never be able to leave behind.
The media provides a way to communicate information and the mass media, like the radio, TV or internet, is a section of the media that is designed to reach a very large audience. The mass media can have a positive or negative effect, depending on the situation. In the case of an emergency, it can save lives by bringing information to those, who are in the heart of the danger. On the other hand, the mass media, when it is allowed to blow out of proportion, can have serious consequences. The Debra Lafave case reached immense popularity and it was covered by major mass media companies, reaching even overseas. However, because of this huge interest created by the mass media, the trial would have been covered by the TV, revealing the identity of the teenager. Fearing the consequences of such an exposure, a plea bargain was accepted. In this case, the mass media’s c...


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...case received, in which the minor would have been exposed if he had proceeded with the trial. Both aspects led to an unfair trial and a sentence that did not fit the criminally deviant crime that she committed. Yet in some ways, the stigma that she received because of the popularity of the trial will leave a lasting mark on her life. Perhaps this was her just punishment; she was known for her looks and now everyone recognizes her, making it hard for her to lead a normal life. On the other hand, this case raises a serious question about society itself: how far can we allow one’s looks and the media to affect our judgment? What has become of us if we allow an offender to receive a lighter sentence because of her looks and for a few more minutes of entertainment that takes us away from our own problems? Is carrying a stigma for the rest of her life enough or too much?

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