For almost a year and half, we’ve been intermittently inundated with excess commentary on the shooting of Florida teenager Travyvon Martin by Neighborhood Watch vigilante George Zimmerman.

From an outsider’s viewpoint and also from the perspective of a European journalist, the American media’s role in the judicial proceedings of the case has seemed to be both invasive and hysterical at times, calling on the opinions of commentators and with little to no knowledge of the finer points of the case or legal expertise.z

Perspectives have been thrown around (and continue to do so) not based on factual and dicerning of truth and credibility but moreso on pre-existing ideals and sociological standpoints and the US media have enabled this by regocnizing continued reporting on the shooting of Trayvon Martin can give a large number of people an opportunity to identify their own personal standpoints by taking either one side or the other in the trial of George Zimmerman.

Some of the relevent questions that have arisen:

1) Should the Zimmerman trial and the shooting of Trayvon Martin have been strictly portrayed as a racial conflict by the media? Or should focus have been put on other social or legislative elements too?

2) Did the lack of expert voices commenting on proceedings since February 26th 2012 lead the story down the path of sensationalism as opposed to putting a focus on legitimate criminal justice?

3) Are Americans happy to forego having an effective and contained criminal justice system in favour of having a circus-like media platform where the symbolism in a story is more important than the cold hard facts of an unfolding news event?

4) Should the media commentary have been geared to talk more about gun legislation than racial stereotyping and left the details of the case to be processed in a closed court of law?

5) What is it about this case that has caused such indignation and outrage in many Americans and sparked the possibility of race riots? Has it been an active intention of the media to martyrize one singular story to underline points of conflict in the general populace?

6) Why hasn’t the story of Marissa Alexander gained the same amount of trajectory of the Zimmerman trial? She has been in a Florida jail since 2010 awaiting a mandatory sentence of 20 years in prison for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Because it doesn’t stir conflict and is not a black and white issue, so to speak, The Stand Your Ground law was applied to acquit Zimmerman where it wasn’t considered relevant in the case of Alexander, who simply fired warning shots and didn’t kill anyone- namely an abusive former partner who had been directly threatening her at the time of the incident.

 Zimmerman may be officially not guilty. But Florida is. You can certainly blame the state’s laws for Trayvon Martin’s death and the national media for failing to instigate intelligent and expert discourse on the lead up to the case’s outcome.

Who write this article?

Marianne Petit is a blogger and freelance journalist from Toulouse, France. She likes to write about arts and culture, world politics and media convergence. She is a former student at Paris Institute of Political Science.