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Federal court in Virginia allows reporter to use laptop, cell phone

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  1. Newsgathering
The Roanoke Times reports that the newspaper received special permission to use a netbook and cell phone to blog during…

The Roanoke Times reports that the newspaper received special permission to use a netbook and cell phone to blog during the trial of a white supremacist accused of harrassing a newspaper reporter.

Reporter Laurence Hammack got special permission from federal Judge James Turk to bring a broadband-equipped laptop and cellphone into the courtroom, which he used to send frequent e-mail updates to a producer back in the newsroom.

Though it wasn’t the first time a reporter has communicated electronically from a federal courtroom, the Times believes it is the first time it was allowed in the Western District of Virginia.