I've been watching the coverage of the murder trail of the man accused of raping and murdering Emma Agnew and my mind keeps lingering on the same question: do we actually need to know all the gory details?
I know that a robust media is an important part of democracy but I still can't help but cringe every time I read the graphic reporting of this case, in particular of a Dunedin women who allegedly had a very narrow escape from this man. It pains me that these women having gone through such a brutal experience then have to relive it not just in the courtroom but that their story then becomes part of a media feeding frenzy.
Sure the witness might be under name suppression but that doesn't mean that the people around her aren't aware that the anonymous person is her and that she might now want to share all the graphic details of her experience with them. Yet not only did she have to share this experience with a packed courtroom but also the entire country via the fourth estate. But I'm left wondering what purpose it serves that we all know that she was raped vaginally, and anally, and that the accused penetrated her with his fingers and punched her hard in the vagina at least twice other than to boost newspaper sales and feed our bizarre fascination with crime.