Home    Sign In    Join    Give    More

> Latest News, Blogs and Events (tap to expand)

Home > SPJ News > SPJ member pioneers use of Twitter in federal court

SPJ News
Latest SPJ News | RSS

SPJ member pioneers use of Twitter in federal court



INDIANAPOLIS – As courts adapt to new technology, Ron Sylvester, an active SPJ member and committee volunteer, is blazing a trail for legal reporting by using Twitter from inside a federal courtroom.

The Wichita Eagle reporter has been using Twitter, the Web-based instant messaging service for computers and cell phones, to send immediate updates to followers about a federal racketeering gang trial in Kansas. U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten is allowing Sylvester to send real-time updates – called “tweets” – from inside the courtroom.

Associated Press reporter Roxana Hegeman wrote about Sylvester’s “tweeting” and its newcomer status in federal court:

“It's not the first time online streaming has been allowed in courtrooms, but the practice is still rare in the federal system, especially in criminal cases. … Sylvester has been using Twitter for a year to cover hearings and trials in state courts, but the racketeering trial of six Crips gang defendants that he's covering online this week is his first in federal court.”

Sylvester is vice chair of the SPJ digital media committee, which helps journalists adapt to evolving media technology. He was formerly SPJ Region 7 director, a volunteer board position with oversight of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri.

The AP story referenced above is here. Those with a free Twitter account can follow his updates at http://twitter.com/rsylvester.


Copyright © 1996-2020 Society of Professional Journalists. All rights reserved.

Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn RSS


Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
3909 N. Meridian St., Suite 200
Indianapolis, IN 46208

Contact SPJ Headquarters
Employment Opportunities
Advertise with SPJ