Use of Twitter and other communications is allowed in some courtrooms but not others
At George Zimmerman’s trial last summer, Orlando Sentinel reporter Rene Stutzman wrote traditional stories but also tweeted courtroom highlights, sometimes more than 50 times a day.
“It provided pieces of information to followers of Twitter who wouldn’t otherwise be looking at more conventional news sources, like reading the newspaper or watching an evening newscast,” Stutzman said.
While the circuit court in Seminole County, Florida, let reporters use Twitter to cover the Trayvon Martin murder trial, many judges ban courtroom tweets. They say the practice can distract people at hearings or impede the defendant’s right to a fair trial. But as tweeting becomes more routine across newsrooms, many crime reporters want to use the technology in courtrooms, too.