Press coverage of Reeva Steencamp’s Murder

Steenkamp was shot several times on Thursday, allegedly by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius, with the incident swiftly and widely declared a tragedy for South Africa, for sport, and for disability rights. And – presumably to a lesser extent, because it was scarcely suggested in the scramble to get hold of bikini shots – for her family and friends.

The killing has yet to be described as a tragedy for women, probably because in the continual clustertragedy that constitutes female representation in the media, Steenkamp is just another casualty, who obligingly happened to be hot. That the story leading the news for the entire day of the One Billion Rising global action opposing violence against women concerned a woman being allegedly murdered by her partner was unfortunate. That the death was covered in the way it has been begins to look like something else. But nothing new, obviously.

For more, go here.

5 thoughts on “Press coverage of Reeva Steencamp’s Murder

  1. The coverage of this horrid crime has been in especially bad taste.

    I’m not a sports fan myself at all, but apparently, most of humanity continues to see sports-stars as “special” or as embodying especially lofty character traits , etc.

    If this character with a history of domestic violence, the probable killer, worked in a call center or was, say, a philosophy professor, the coverage would be saner, I suspect.

  2. Swallerstein, it’s not the fact that he’s a sports star. It’s that he’s a double-amputee who is still an amazing athlete and was very charming and telegenic at the Olympics. It was a great feel-good story… Was.

  3. Interestingly, the headline on the French CBC emphasized the fact that Steenkamp had participated in an event about violence against women the day before. But it is true that a lot was said about how it would tarnish the sport… I fail to see this myself.

  4. I thought this a good article, although I am not sure South Africa really has the highest instance of rape in the world: I think that is the highest instance of reported rape.
    From the article:
    “It’s a global problem that will only get solved with a global response if we want to even dream of a world where violence against women is a relic of history. That’s the sentiment behind initiatives like “One Billion Rising to End Violence Against Women and Girls” and this kind of brave solidarity and support is extremely welcome. This very solidarity was displayed by Reeva Steenkamp herself just before her death. Distraught over the murder of Anene Booysen, Steenkamp sent out an instragam message. It read, “I woke up in a happy safe home this morning,. Not everyone did. Speak out against the rape of individuals in SA. RIP Anene Booysen.”
    Anene Booysen was a 17 year old girl gang raped, mutilated and murdered one and a half week before Steenkamp died.

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