The case of Amanda Knox, the Amer­ican col­lege stu­dent accused of killing her British room­mate while studying over­seas in Italy, was major news world­wide over the last four years — from Knox’s arrest to her over­turned con­vic­tion last week. We asked Alan Schroeder, a pro­fessor of jour­nalism in the Col­lege of Arts, Media and Design, for his insight on why the case dom­i­nated head­lines and where the story will go now that Knox is back in America.

What was it about this case that caught the atten­tion of the nation and the world?

It’s a big story in three coun­tries, which is unusual: the United States, Italy and Britain: Amanda Knox is from Seattle, Wash., the victim was from Britain and the trial took place in Italy. You’ve got this inter­na­tional aspect to it. She’s also a young, attrac­tive woman, and we know that makes her a very com­pelling pro­tag­o­nist for the media. It’s also everybody’s worst night­mare — that you’re trav­eling in a for­eign country and you get caught up in the local crim­inal jus­tice system.

What will media out­lets be looking to do now that Amanda Knox is free and back in the United States?

Unless she has to go back to Italy for a retrial or some other legal pro­ceeding, and that could happen, I don’t think we’ll have a second chapter to this story. I think the inter­esting thing will be what she does with the story and what she makes of the expe­ri­ence she has had and how — or whether — she will parlay that into some kind of plat­form for herself.I found it really inter­esting that she gave a news con­fer­ence at the air­port when she got home because if you were really strate­gizing about this, you wouldn’t have talked then; you would be with­holding your story to increase its value. I didn’t get the feeling that she is already thinking about cashing in or she would not have done that news conference.But I do think there is money to be made if she chooses to go that route. I think a book would be the log­ical plat­form for her and I think there would be an appetite for it, per­haps even more so in Britain and Italy, where the story got so much more press cov­erage than here.

How will major news orga­ni­za­tions go about trying to obtain an inter­view with Knox? 

I’m sure that process prob­ably began the minute she was exon­er­ated by the court. Typ­i­cally, the way that works is that the big names who com­pete for these inter­views — the Anderson Coopers, the Diane Sawyers, the Katie Courics — make per­sonal appeals. Amanda Knox will be hearing directly from Anderson Cooper, directly from Diane Sawyer, not just their pro­ducers. In that appeal, they are trying to posi­tion their venue as the most advan­ta­geous for get­ting her story out. They’re going to try to figure out her psy­chology a little bit — why would she want to tell her story right now, why would she want to tell it to me and how can I appeal to her on those grounds?