Schapelle Corby on way back home

Corby media coverage 'extreme and chaotic': academic

THE media coverage of convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby's homecoming was "extreme and chaotic" according to a senior journalism academic at the Queensland University of Technology.

Corby touched down in Brisbane last Saturday after serving 13 years in a Balinese jail for attempting to smuggle a large amount of cannabis infamously hidden in her boogie board bag.

Corby, 39, and her sister Mercedes were then whisked away from the airport, leading the country's media on a wild-goose chase and leaving many Australians cringing as the story unfolded.

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The journalistic merits of the chase were hotly debated within the media, with some identities slamming the coverage.

And Queensland University of Technology senior journalism lecturer Dr Lee Duffield agreed that the media had been left red-faced by the decision to pursue Corby throughout south-east Queensland.

"My impression is, like that of a lot of people, well (the coverage) is being overdone," Dr Duffield told Seniors News.

"The woman herself is courting publicity with her social media and building up a following for herself.

"It's all an extreme, and chaotic and silly situation."

Today host Karl Stefanovic claimed the coverage had made the media "look like idiots", while an exclusive poll for Seniors News showed that 97 percent of readers thought the chase of Corby was over the top.

However, Dr Duffield said all the elements of the story had left the media "in two minds".

"Looking at it from everybody's separate point of view it makes sense," he said.

"First off, (the media) had to get the story because members of the public want to know what's going on.

"Secondly, there is a drive to be the first.

"If you're in the media game and expected to do something about Schapelle Corby and she's running and it's difficult and there's competition, there's pressure on them to spend too much.

"But it's the situation that is making them overdo it … they can't get out of it." 

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