Judge bans reporter from live tweeting trial

May 7, 2009 at 10:53 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

News sites have been increasingly using Weblogs to cover breaking and ongoing news stories and the trial of John Allen Muhammad in Virginia Beach, Va. is only the latest example.

Gazette reporter David Abrams is doing a fine job posting to a Weblog a few times each day — but Kerry Sipe, online news coordinator for The Virginian-Pilot, has taken the concept to a new level. He’s using wireless technology to file minute-by-minute Weblog updates on the court proceedings, something no other reporter in no other medium is doing because cameras are not allowed in the courtroom.

He then, acting on a lawsuit filed by Light owner Robert Plotkin, Marin County Superior Court Judge John A. Sutro issued an injunction forbidding Dave Mitchell, the Light’s former publisher, from posting his “Sparsely, Sage and Timely” column on the Navigator’s Web site. He further barred him from helping the Navigator in its West Marin coverage.

In court papers, Plotkin claims that his newspaper, which also maintains a Web presence, would suffer “irreparable harm” if Mitchell is allowed to write for the Navigator.

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