A Colorado judge approved the use of Twitter and blogs inside the courtroom to cover an infant-abuse trial, says the Social Media Law Student blog. Wichita (KS) Eagle reporter Ron Sylvester pushed for the court to allow the use of Twitter for his courtroom reporting, arguing that courts are open to the public and the process of reporting with Twitter is similar to writing a story for a newspaper.
Quoting a story from the Boulder Daily Camera, the blog said that a Boulder judge allowed cell phones and computers into the child-abuse trial of Alex Midyette. Defense argued that live-blogging and Tweeting the sensational case could tip witnesses to proceedings before they testified, thus impeding a fair trial. “I think there are other manageable options and less restrictive options than shutting down the flow of information during the trial,” Boulder District Judge Lael Montgomery said. “Courts are supposed to be public and this is just another way of creating public access,” Sylvester told the Colorado Independent. “When I use Twitter to cover trials, there's really very little difference in what I do with social media than what I write for the next day's newspaper.”