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Trial by Media

Good ideas for radio programmes are rare. At the moment in Canada one of the radio stations seems to be deluging us with reporters playing detective; literally playing detective. Suspects and potential witnesses in hereto unsolved murders are interviewed by supposed journalists. Sometimes even police officers are foolish enough to take part. Years ago there was an interesting programme in this vein when a Canadian took a look at the long unsolved murder of a black man in the Deep South of the United States. Though unsolved, everyone in the area knew who was responsible for the murder. The victim was Black and the killer was White. It made for a good radio show but it was very low hanging fruit. Present-day imitators settle for carefully libel lawyer-vetted innuendo. Sometimes resurrecting an old case pays off because someone finally cracks and comes forward with evidence they have withheld for years. But I’ve yet to come across this in this recent crop of imitations. I recall when I was newspaper reporter one of my bosses pretty much pointed the finger of guilt in a child's murder on a very close relative of the victim. DNA evidence eventually revealed the killer was a stranger. 


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