In terms of modern journalism, I would say that the Times of India has not entirely shaken off the Victorian template. Detailed background of a death or crime (such as the family dispute that led to it) are frequently reported in a way that is not common in Australia now. Let's see if I can find a current example. Here we go: look at the amount of detail that goes into this (alleged) rape report. The accused getting a fair trial after such publicity seemingly is of no concern in the country.
Anyone who thinks the 21st-century tabloid represents some sort of journalistic nadir, for instance, will find this book a bracing corrective. On the contrary, we live, it turns out, in a hitherto unexampled golden age of truthfulness and integrity.
Even proper 19th-century newspapers seethed with class bigotry, and routinely printed rumour as fact without thought to prejudicing a trial. What are now called ‘backgrounders’ would report that the accused robbed corpses in battle, spent his childhood torturing dogs, or had ‘been known to twist a whipcord round a horse’s tongue, and tear it out by the root’.
If facts weren’t available, they’d be invented. The Morning Chronicle, Jackson’s Oxford Journal, John Bull and the Bristol Mercury all reported solemnly that Mary Ann Milner had ‘conducted herself with much composure’ at her execution. This stretched plausibility, considering she’d committed suicide in her cell the night before. Even the illustrations were, more often than not, stock images appended at random: the purported likeness of one murderer, it was pointed out, was actually a portrait of William IV.