Saturday, March 03, 2007

discussing a murder

"A WEB of secret internet message boards could be crucial to solving the suspected murder of South Australian teenager Carly Ryan"
- Web hunt for teen murder clues
Should jackals like Rupert Murdoch have a field day airing their propaganda uncontested, dressed up as objective reporting? Or should a more truthful view be presented as well?

So, I decided to discuss the murder of Carly Ryan (15 yo girl who was murdered in Adelaide last week) with my Year 12 class and I have decided to write this blog about it.

Rupert Murdoch has no shame. Not only does he own the newspaper that links Carly's murder to her MySpace account but he also owns MySpace itself. So he profits from the sensationalism in the first instance and he profits from the notoriety gained in the second instance. As the newspaper man knows, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

The current state of reported truth is that there is no known connection between Carly's MySpace web profile and her murder. Of course, it is possible that there is a connection but a simpler explanation is that the police are required to follow all possible leads.

It is the choice of the Murdoch press to make a headline out of it. It sells papers and frightens parents about self directed youth autonomous activity. Money and moral panic, what a grubby combination.

Those of my Year 12 students who are in the know, because they have their own accounts, understood the point quite clearly. Although it is possible that she met the person who murdered her through MySpace there had to be a very big extra factor involved to take things to the next stage - to turn an online meeting into a face to face meeting. Those students who already understand protective behaviours understand that. As one of them said, "I feel in no danger at all from having a MySpace account"

It's a disgrace that some Schools block MySpace and then turn a complete blind eye to the fact that many of their students have signed up to it at home. If there is some danger involved here for naive students who haven't learnt how to protect themselves then this approach is not in those students best interests.

4 comments:

Kat said...

I agree 100 percent, as an 18-year-old with a MySpace and the sort of person likely to be stereotyped as a goth. The way the Murdoch media is indulging in veiled victim blaming is disgraceful and the insinutations they're making about Carly's friends and family are plain cruel. God knows it's last thing they need right now, after losing her under such evil circumstances.

Well done for helping teach kids to think twice about believing what they read in the newspaper, and to ignore sensationalist scare-mongering. O.o

Bill Kerr said...

hi kat,

I agree that the murdoch media coverage is cruel, thanks for saying that.

You might be interested in dana boyd's analysis of myspace, she is on the side of the youth and is researching the topic

Here is an extract from an interview with dana and henry jenkins

Artichoke said...

Rupert Murdoch has no shame. Not only does he own the newspaper that links Carly's murder to her MySpace account but he also owns MySpace itself. So he profits from the sensationalism in the first instance and he profits from the notoriety gained in the second instance. As the newspaper man knows, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

How easily we "the bewildered herd" are manipulated.

Anonymous said...

The emo part doesn't matter, the news coverage was horrible and made me realise how much they twist and change stories to their own advantage.
Her MySpace and other online profiles aren't the reason she's dead, but her lack of knowledge when it comes to Internet predators.