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The Twitter trial

The Twitter trial

A judge in the US banned a local newspaper from live tweeting during a trial in the courtroom. But judges in Australia have ruled otherwise. Whom do you agree with?

November 10, 2009 10:59 by

“On the basis that Twittering does not distract or interfere with the conduct of my court, I personally have no objection to its use,” Justice Dennis Cowdroy told The Australian.

“I believe that the public has a legitimate right to be fully informed of proceedings, particularly proceedings such as (the iiNet case), which have attracted considerable public interest. Twittering can serve to inform the public in a more speedy and comprehensive manner than may be possible through traditional media coverage,” he said.

The cases reflect the increasing role that media tools like Twitter are beginning to play in journalism. From a legal perspective, is live tweeting too intrusive? Will the immediate dissemination of information interfere with the just ruling of a case?

Or, does the public have every right to know what is going on inside a courtroom, especially in high-profile cases? After all, with the help of the mobile phone, people can communicate instantly with SMS and MMS. So, is Twitter just helping the news to spread wider and faster?

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