January 3rd, 2010
Using Twitter to bring the reader into the courtroom
By Rebecca Aguilar
Most of us have covered more than one trial in our careers. We go through the same steps–go to the trial, watch the players at work, write what is said and done in the courtroom and meet our deadline.
London Free Press reporter, Kate Dubinski took it one step further. She recently used Twitter during a high profile case to give readers a play-by-play on what was going on during the trial. Here a few key points from an article she wrote for The Canadian Journalism Project.
1. She started with a few dozen followers and in the end had more than 1,000 followers on Twitter.
2. The newspaper had to assign two reporters to the case: One to tweet and the other to report it for the paper.
3. Dubinski learned quickly how to prioritize information because she could only tweet 140 characters.
4. She used links to Google images to show readers images of such things as the type of gun used in the crime.
5. She also used links to direct followers back to the London Free Press website.
6. Dubinski also says some of the followers became sources who gave her background information.
Here’s Kate Dubinski’s story Tweeting a Trial which can teach many of us another way to use Twitter and get more readers interested in our news coverage.
Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy Award winner. She’s has spent much of her 28 years in journalism in television, but is now a freelance multimedia/online reporter based in Dallas. She can be contacted at email@example.com