mediation of trials

Representation of Trials in other Media

In this project, we investigate how questions of truth production are mediated when trials appear in literature, film, and news media.

Project information

More about the project

A legal trial is a complex process used to agree upon what can be considered as (legal) facts. Representations of trials in other media do not only tell the story of a specific case but also convey questions of truth production and credibility. In this project, we investigate how social conflicts and questions of truth production are mediated when trials appear in literature, film, and news media. Which aspects are chosen for a credible re-presentation of the complexity of the trial? And how can these insights be used in today's social climate which lacks a common basis on what can be regarded as facts and truth?

The project examines these questions by analyzing representations of the trial in news media and literature as a form of media transformation (Elleström 2014). By analyzing the interaction between aspects of media representation (which parts of the legal process are represented) and transmediation (how are case story and underlying social conflicts reconstructed), we can describe how news articles and literary texts evaluate credibility and transmediate the production of truth that is part of the legal process.

The first step in this project will be an analysis of court reports in German and Swedish print media, which will be followed by comparative analyses of literature, film, podcasts and liveblogs.

Photo credit: Wolters Klüwer. CC-BY-3.0.