Twitter coverage of execution

Missourinet (a Learfield network) News Director Bob Priddy covered last night’s execution of Dennis Skillicorn. Reporters and witnesses can’t take cell phones past a certain point, but Bob was planning to use Twitter to file updates before and after the execution (he was a witness).

The wifi he expected wasn’t available so he took notes and posted to @missourinet when he got back on line (at the motel, I assume).

As I expected, Twitter was a very effective tool in the hands of good and experienced reporters. Here’s a screen shot from early this morning.

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Had reporters been allowed to keep their Blackberrys and iPhones, this is probably as close to live coverage of an execution as we’re likely to get.

And in the hands of someone as responsible as Bob Priddy, I think this might be a good idea. As I understand it, the rationale behind having witnesses is to insure the people of Missouri “see” this ultimate punishment. Twitter might be the least sensational way to accomplish this on a mass scale.

I’ll make a prediciton here: If not in Missouri, some state will allow or provide this coverage.

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