A recent blog we read by WAA has underlined some of the problems that arise from journalists tweeting in court.

Journalists have been able to tweet in courts since December 2011 however serious the case.

Lord Judge (great name) issued guidance which states that journalists no longer have to make an application to tweet, text or email from courts.

Any live text based communication is allowed, although the judge still holds full discretion to prohibit such communications from court at any time.


It’s all down to justice that the practice is being allowed.

Lord Judge has said that “a fundamental aspect of the proper administration of justice is open justice. Fair, accurate and, where possible, immediate reporting of court proceedings forms part of that principle.”

Therefore, communicating live court events via social media becomes part of the custom to ensure open justice by immediate reporting of proceedings.

The concept lends itself to mistakes being made

During the recent trial of Harry Redknapp for tax evasion, a Guardian reporter tweeted both the name of a juror and the legal argument that took place in the absence of the jury. This led to the court having to be suspended and a new juror sworn in.

Tweeting trial information which the jury have been absent for is an interference and can influence proceedings as it could be accessed on the internet by members of the jury.

This isn’t the first or the last case when social media has breached confidentiality and the impartiality of court cases. These mistakes are costly in both time and money, not only to those involved but tax payers as well.

Only so much multitasking a journalist can undertake

Journalists may misquote or not understand the context thoroughly enough to be informing the public without it being checked or submitted for approval first. This allows for mistakes to occur as there is only so much multitasking a journalist can undertake.

Having only 140 characters to report proceedings gives journalists artistic licence to distort information in order to publish it as soon as possible. The truth or accurate context may be misrepresented through social media.

It is therefore important for there to be a comprehensive account of the proceedings which can be relied upon in the case of any grievances, or accusations of misreported facts.

This can also be applied to an event or conference. If your audience is communicating through social media about the proceedings it is impossible for them to give full attention to the information which is being presented.


This is where Global Lingo Transcription services come in handy. We can provide you with a professional produced, quality assured transcript of your event or meeting.

In the past few years we’ve transcribed over 30,000 hours of speeches, press conferences, meetings and hearings including some moments in history such as the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Our transcripts can be kept as a record for future reference and for those who tweeted a little often or fell asleep to glance over and uncover what they missed.