Media Representations of Perpetrators: Case Study of South Africa’s Eugene de KockMedia, Violence, and Transitional Justice Class (2014)
AbstractThis paper examines the importance and practices of media portrayal of perpetrators in human rights atrocities. Specifically, it investigates the media portrayal of Eugene de Kock, the commander of the Vlakplaas death squad in South Africa and one of the most notorious perpetrators of the South African apartheid. The paper first introduces the debates and moral dilemmas surrounding the media portrayal of perpetrators. It then examines the how news media and books represented Eugene de Kock and his Amnesty Committee trial and analyses how those portrayals help or hinder the transitional justice process in South Africa. The media surrounding de Kock varied in content, tone, and amount of context about apartheid and his actions. Taken alone, each would limit the transitional justice process in different ways, but as a whole, they contribute to a better understanding of the history of apartheid and de Kock’s guilt, innocence, and remorse. This case study can inform media portrayal of perpetrators in other countries working to reconcile their traumatic pasts and move forward into the future.
Publication DateFall December 15, 2014
Citation InformationEmily H Freilich. "Media Representations of Perpetrators: Case Study of South Africa’s Eugene de Kock" Media, Violence, and Transitional Justice Class (2014)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/efreilich/1/