Philippa Thomas Online

Occasional thoughts about life, books and news.


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#Trials on #Twitter – the #Stephenlawrence case

I’m not a legal expert. I’m not even a regular court reporter. But I was one of the BBC team assigned to cover the Stephen Lawrence murder trial at the Old Bailey in November.

I am also the BBC broadcaster who used Twitter to present “breaking news” programmes about the verdicts and sentences given to  Stephen Lawrence’s killers this week.

This is not a polished article. It’s my attempt to reflect on the uses – and perils – of using Twitter in our courts. Thank you for your comments on the issue; do keep the feedback coming!

A little about me first. I love using Twitter as @PhilippaNews. It keeps me in touch with stories & contacts around the world, and I enjoy what we’ve come to call the curation of news – sharing links on everything from London life to Arab Spring politics to the US election campaign.

But this was the first time I’d used the social media channel as another form of broadcasting. Continue reading


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Covering the #Stephenlawrence trial by #Twitter – your thoughts

I’m writing something about covering the Stephen Lawrence trial on Twitter – and would appreciate feedback about the uses and limitations of the twitterstream for those who are following it.   You may have found the notes and quotes useful pointers which supplement longer form coverage online / in the press – or you might point out the problems of  “reducing” complex legal arguments to 140 characters. I’ll reply to your thoughts.  P