Americans say Zimmerman trial got too much media attention

July 15, 2013, 7:24 PM GMT+0

A majority of Americans have said that the media paid too much attention to the Zimmerman trial.

The trial of George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin ended on July 13th, but since the shooting first took place in February 2012 the media has dedicated significant airtime and column inches to the case. The trial itself generated intense media scrutiny, with CNN coming under fire from some commentators for largely ignoring the military coup in Egypt in favor of focusing on the trial. A number of conservative commentators also have said that from the very beginning the media overplayed the racial connotations of the incident.

The latest YouGov research, conducted before the verdict on the trial was handed down on Saturday, shows that a majority of Americans believe that the media paid too much attention to the Zimmerman trial.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a noteworthy divide along racial lines, with whites (64%) and hispanics (51%) both having a majority who believed media coverage was excessive. Only 29% of blacks thought that the coverage was excessive, with 45% saying that it was appropriate.

The media may have given the public what they wanted, however, with 49% of Americans saying that they have followed the trial 'very' or 'somewhat' closely.

On Saturday evening the jury in the trial acquitted George Zimmerman on all counts, after having requested a clarification on the specifics of what would constitute manslaughter. The result provoked outrage in some quarters and satisfaction in others. YouGov is currently conducting fresh research into public attitudes towards the verdict and broader issues connected to the case.

Complete results are available here.

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