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Twittering From the Courtroom

"There's a new kind of journalism coming from a Kansas courtroom this week," writes Anne Reed at her blog Deliberations. She calls it "Twitter journalism." Whereas blogging a trial already seems old-hat, Wichita Eagle reporter and multimedia producer Ron Sylvester is reporting a capital murder trial through a series of Twitter posts -- each capped at 140 characters.

As he explains at the Society of Professional Journalists blog Technolo-J, his "tweeting" of this trial evolved from his experiment last year live blogging an earlier trial, e-mailing his posts to the newsroom, where other staffers would post them online. But the workflow lagged, and he found himself filing faster than the staff had time to post. So this time, he decided to try Twitter as an experiment, thinking to himself, "Who would notice?" As it turned out, plenty of people noticed. "I didn't expect the reaction," he writes. "This is important to me, because they are local people, looking for local news. They're not readers or viewers or audience anymore -- in this world of social networking, they're my friends."

Back at Deliberations, Anne Reed sees this as another way in which Twitter is finding its way into the legal world. "Ron Sylvester is reporting jury selection with a fresh and direct style you don't often see," she says, "except on Twitter." 

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on May 15, 2008 at 11:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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