The Dilemma

The first day of the hearing is coming to an end. Hurley is exhausted. The crown introduces count 73, sexual assault of 20-year-old “Jane Doe,” and count 74, her forcible confinement. The crime happened on the early morning of September 17 in 2009, just hours after Williams returned to his home in Tweed from a two-day trip to the North Pole.

Hurley starts typing on her laptop. It’s 4:32 p.m., and Hurley isn’t sure if she’s close to reaching the daily tweet limit on Twitter. Still, city editor Peter Robb and her other senior editors back in the newsroom in Ottawa are expecting Hurley to provide Citizen readers an accurate, tasteful and complete live account.

How should she communicate the facts recounting Williams’ first sexual assault? Should she quote the crown, paraphrase him or not report the content? How should she organize it? Should she issue a warning to Twitter users regarding potential graphic content? Should she flag any facts she’s unsure of and speak later with her editors about them? Should she be concerned with what other reporters are tweeting and live blogging? What if she gets the quote wrong, and a follower calls her out on it? What if she makes a spelling error?

The prosecutor began reading, and Hurley began to type, 140 characters at a time….

Read the transcript

LISTEN to the statement of agreed facts that Hurley was now expected to tweet .

Next: Epilogue

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