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Sick Of Schapelle? Why You're The Problem

Whether you love or hate it..

Sick Of Schapelle? Why You're The Problem

Pic: Nine/Seven/Getty 

If you've had it up to here with Schapelle Corby coverage, then why are you reading this right now?

It's OK. There are thousands like you. Willing to criticise the media for the constant, over-the-top reporting of a convicted drug smuggler, but it's kind of your fault, and Corby's fault that we're still talking about it. 

For Triple M's websites over the past 48 hours, four of the top five most read news stories were about Schapelle. Despite this, the majority of the comments say things like "WHO CARES?" and "Leave Schapelle alone!". Then why are they getting so many clicks?

Why does Schapelle's new Instagram account (that's just 48 hours old) already have 150,000 followers? 

Why was the mini-series about her, 'Schapelle', such a massive ratings hit?

Why did so many Aussies read the 'tell-all' books? Because people are interested even if they won't admit it. There's a part of us that's curious. Whether you're for or against it, you're talking about it.

"When we hear from Schapelle to be quite honest, that's enough," said QUT Media Expert Dr Jason Sternberg.

"On one hand I do understand the backlash especially when we're cutting into kids programming, particularly this week after the Manchester attack I think a lot of parents just wish their children could have a bit of a breather."

"But on the other hand it's a little bit hypocritical in ways because people have been really hungry and interested in this story for more than a decade. I think the news media are just trying to deliver on what they think their viewers want. "

Channel 9 Brisbane reporter Jess Millward has been in the thick of it, staking out several locations including Schapelle's mothers house. Even she says she's in two minds about the coverage.

"The point is we have cared and have been so captivated by her story, what we're doing is really rounding out this story for the Australian public. She's home now and today really is the beginning of the rest of her life," she said.

"The family though are certainly playing up to the cameras with the decoy, the Schapelle body double and the Halloween masks to hide their faces. Schapelle herself has joined Instagram so she's not completely shying away from the public spotlight."

Fellow channel 9 reporter Chris O'Keefe covered the story from Bali and has defended the media frenzy, arguing as many others have, that Corby herself is partly to blame for the prolonged interest.

O'Keefe hit back at claims the media's mission was to "Get Schapelle at all costs".

"It's nothing like that, and I think you've got it a bit wrong. It's not the attitude we took when we went to Bali, we just went to cover a news story," he said.

“She’s saying she’s paranoid and sick of cameras - what’s going on with the Instagram then?”

“The whole of Australia’s talking about it, we’ve been talking about it for 13 years. We went to cover it as respectfully as we could. It’s up to her if she wants to get celebrity bodyguards and body doubles and police escorts. That’s Schapelle and the Corby family’s business. Our job’s just to cover the news and bring it to you guys, and I think we did a pretty good job of that.”

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Written by: Amy Drew 29/05/2017

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