Friday, October 15, 2010

NY Times-Reporter Uses Twitter In Blanketed Conn. Murder Trial

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(Story reported by Williams Glaberson for the NY Times)

NEW HAVEN — Dr. William A. Petit Jr., whose wife and daughters were killed by two intruders in Cheshire, Conn., took the witness stand. It was one of the most expectantly intense moments of the three-week long trial of one of two defendants in the case. Every seat in the courtroom was taken.

No television cameras were there to record the scene, but people around the state and beyond in offices and family rooms still followed every word. The medium? Twitter. Half a dozen reporters for mainstream Connecticut newspapers and television stations clicked out reports of up to 140 characters on iPads, smart phones and laptops.

Tweet: The oozing blood from the doctor’s wounds after he was beaten by the intruders.

Tweet: His escape.

Tweet: His memories of his family.

Haiku journalism, one of the courtroom Twitter users called it. Still, followers learned everything, if succinctly, including the most gruesome details, as well as who was napping in the second row and the schedule for breaks. “It made you feel like you were there,” said Lawrence E. Soda, a supermarket accountant, who said he kept Twitter reports of the trial rolling on his computer at the market in New Canaan.

(Click here to read the full story on the NY Times website.)

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