News organizations including WTNH, the Hartford Courant, FOX CT, and the New Haven Register turned to Twitter to cover the trial of Steven J. Hayes, who was convicted of capital murder for his role in the brutal killings of the wife and daughters of Dr. William A. Petit Jr. of Cheshire, Conn., as TV cameras were barred from the courtroom, The New York Times reported.
Among reporters using Twitter to cover the trial: WTNH assignment editor Rachel Guerra (@rachelguerra), Hartford Courant columnist Helen UbiÃ±as (@NotesFromHeL), Courant reporter Alaine Griffin (@alainegriffin), FOX CT reporter George Colli (@GeorgeColli), and FOX CT television reporter Laurie Perez (@LauriePerez), according to the Times.
Hartford Courant senior editor Andrew Julien told the Times, “It has given us an insight into a new way to reach our readers,” while Guerra added, “It was just a matter of how fast I could type.”
However, Paul Bass, editor of online newspaper New Haven Independent, wasn’t as enthusiastic, telling the Times, “Every fact in a gruesome trial as it unfolds is not that important or relevant. It’s just gossip.”