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Newspaper covers Raoul Moat inquest live

A North-East regional daily is providing readers with live coverage of the Raoul Moat inquest via Twitter.

Newcastle Evening Chronicle reporter Alastair Craig is tweeting updates every few minutes on the evidence being given into the killer’s death at Newcastle Crown Court.

Multimedia editor at the Chronicle, Colin George, said he believed they were generating news from the inquest faster than any other media outlet.

The inquest is expected to last four weeks and the live tweets are also being published on the newspaper’s website.

Raoul Moat, from Newcastle, went on the run for a week after shooting dead karate instructor Chris Brown, 29, and maiming his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, 22, in July last year.

While on the run the gunman shot and blinded Northumbria Police traffic officer PC David Rathband, before shooting himself in the head following a six hour stand-off with police, during which he was fired at with Taser guns.

Said Colin: “We asked the coroner’s office and they were against us doing it so we are doing it in shifts with a reporter coming out of the court to Tweet.

“We are far ahead of PA, Sky, and the BBC, they hardly seem to be doing anything on it at all.

“I knew it was such a massive event for us. It was a very difficult time when we broke the news originally that there had been a shooting. It was 7am and we broke it online.”

In one Tweet, Alastair describes how the coroner had told the jury to dismiss everything they had read in the press about the former nightclub doorman.

He also tells that the two police men who shot at the murderer will give evidence later this week but their identity will be protected because they are in the most important anti-crime unit in the North East.

The jury will decide whether Taser rounds fired from experimental weapons may have caused Raoul Moat’s death.

Alastair reported that the coroner had reiterated to the jury that ‘Moat is not on trial here. We are establishing how he came to die’.

Follow the live updates here.





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  • September 6, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Groundbreaking stuff this Colin, using Twitter. Revelations which were tweeted about include the coroner telling the jury to dismiss everything they had read in the press. Hardly unusual. And that Moat is not on trial. Of course not he’s dead!
    I imagine the Beeb, Sky and PA aren’t tweeting every few minutes because they realise what a waste of time and resources it would be – more so when you can’t tweet live from the courtroom itself – and would rather properly concentrate on reporting the story.
    Not against newspapers using Twitter per se. On the contrary it is an immensely useful tool for journalists. But please spare us these “we are using twitter aren’t we great” type-stories.

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  • September 6, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Scatter-gun tweet reports every few minutes for a month may be just what the good people of Newcastle want (although time will tell) … after all, the subject of the inquest was a local man. But it would be a ridiculous waste of resources for the national media to follow suit. Far better to offer a considered piece a couple times a day, which is precisely what they are doing.

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  • September 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Tweeting updates on developing stories should be standard practice.

    As with many stories on HTFP, the fact that this is newsworthy in our industry is a sombre reflection on the general levels of both quality and common sense.

    That’s not to deduct from the Chronicle’s efforts though. I’m glad they’ve got the staff.

    The test here will be whether the Tweets are worth reading. As we all know, a standard two-hour inquest yields roughly 70 minutes of rubbish.

    I’ve seen many examples of regional reporters getting carried away with Tweets that give unnecessary blow-by-blow accounts of, for instance, public meetings.

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  • September 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    I’m all for the up-to-the-minute coverage and am impressed that the Chronicle has sufficient staffing levels to manage it. However, would the coverage not be better directed to the paper’s website, where it might be of some benefit, rather than giving away all the news on Twitter and potentially making people feel they don’t need to read it in the paper now?

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