Monday, November 08, 2010


Twitter would go where press can’t afford to tread

by Larry Geller

A breaking news alert just now (it’s happening at this moment) sent me not to a newspaper or TV station website, but to a Twitter account.

Hartford Courant columnist Helen Ubinas is tweeting from the trial of Steven Hayes, now sentenced to death for the murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters,  during a home invasion, robbery and arson in Connecticutin July 2007.

Hawaii readers may not be particularly interested in following this case. I mention it because I would like to see some kind of openness from the federal court in Honolulu to allowing cell phones, laptops and one day even TV cameras into the courtroom.

In following these tweets I felt the drama as the jurors were polled, as described by the reporter.  I think it was her moving narration of the process that kept me watching the TweetDeck pop-ups.

Many significant court proceedings in Honolulu now go unreported. There’s no one from the press present in the courtroom at all. Some of these trials are very significant.

If cell phones were allowed, Twitter could do the job our press can no longer afford to take on.


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