Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Pistorius Trial, Week One - the Reporting Hall of Shame Oscars

analysis

Photo: Marco Longari/Sapa
South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius crying in court.

The Pistorius trial is putting enormous strain on journalists to churn out an incredible amount of content on a trial which pretty much anyone has full access to in other media. We feel it too, and we're far from perfect ourselves - in fact, we were accused of straining for outlandish new angles on the case just this week.

But it must be said that some of the news stories to come out of the trial so far are plumbing new depths of absurdity and desperation. We ain't judging, we're just observing. Okay, we're judging. Here we award our first week's Oscars for absurd reporting on the Pistorius trial.

Most Ridiculously Over-Cautious Punctuation Use

We're all for hedging your bets when it comes to reporting on complicated legal matters and its matching legal jargon. None of us want to be sent to Barry Roux's office to explain ourselves. But website DNA India took erring on the side of caution a step too far this week in their Pistorius coverage, when they referred to "the night that Pistorius 'killed' his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp". Er, word to DNA India: You don't need the scare-quotes around 'killed'. He did...

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InFocus

S. Africa: Witness Feared Pistorius Would Shoot Himself

South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius crying in court.

The first doctor to arrive at the scene where Oscar Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp testified that the athlete was so emotional he feared he would turn the gun on himself. Read more »