FORMER MSP, Tommy Sheridan, is to be sentenced tomorrow, after being found guilty of perjury – and journalists will be able to update their twitter and Facebook accounts, blogs and websites from inside the court.
Earlier today, the Scottish Judiciary confirmed that journalists will be allowed to send live electronic text updates from the hearing, following an application by STV News. It is believed to represent a Scottish legal first.
Just before Christmas, Sheridan was found guilty of lying during a successful defamation case against the News of the World five years ago, after it published allegations about Sheridan’s private life. He is expected to be jailed tomorrow.
Says a statement issued by STV: “It is the first time that reporters will be able to send updates direct from a Scottish courtroom. The Lord Chief Justice recently issued interim guidance for England and Wales which allowed journalists to cover the bail hearing of Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange.
“STV News was the only media organisation to make a formal written application to the trial judge Lord Bracadale to ask for permission to use the social networking site to provide instant updates from the hearing.”
Digital news editor, Matt Roper, is quoted, saying: “We’re delighted to be able to offer this innovation for our viewers. Fair and accurate reporting of court has always been central to the principle of open justice. Now technology will allow journalists to bring us what is happening inside court without delay.”
STV is to also provide a ‘video livestream’ from outside the court on its website, providing coverage of the aftermath of the case. There will be special reports in STV News at Six from political editor, Bernard Ponsonby, and chief reporter, David Cowan.