Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Note to Readers of the Dr. Murray Prelim Coverage

First off, I want to thank all of you for stopping by to read my efforts to give a detailed account of this preliminary hearing. If this is your first time reading, let me tell you a little bit about myself and T&T's in-depth trial coverage.

All of us at T&T have had a long time interest in criminal cases involving murder and have watched trial coverage on television and the Internet. We also have a special interest in cases involving children. For the most part, T&T is a "pro-prosecution blog," but with that being said, we do try to report what goes on inside a courtroom as independently as we can.

Myself specifically, the first trial I attended and wrote about was the Robert Blake trial back in 2004–2005. In 2007, I started T&T to publish my observations of the first Phil Spector trial and later attended every single day of the second trial. In 2009 I attended the re-trial of Cameron Brown, a man charged in the Rancho Palos Verdes cliffside death of his four-year-old daughter. I've also attended hearings in other cases here and there.

My reporting is different than the mainstream media (MSM). I transcribe extensive trial notes for T&T's readers. I also write about what goes on beyond the "well" of the courtroom, inside the gallery as well as in the halls of the courthouse. My goal is to try to give my readers the feeling that they are right beside me in the courtroom and they would get to see what I see. I will often describe the courtroom, who is in the gallery whispering to whom (that I recognize) and I often will describe what the major players look like and what they are wearing. Lots of T&T readers have commented that they appreciate this in-depth coverage of a case.

There are several things for this hearing that are new. For the first time, the LA County Superior Court's Public Information Office has recognized my trial coverage efforts and now consider me a member of the media. This is a huge honor for which I am very grateful. It means I can put my name on their lists for a seat at any upcoming noteworthy trial. It doesn't guarantee that I will get a seat, but it means I won't always have to take my chances with the public lottery for a seat every day.

Second, in my prior trial coverage, I wrote out my notes in a notebook and transcribed them to the blog at home at the end of the day. This is the first time where I am using my laptop to transcribe detailed testimony and it is much harder for me than writing by hand. Two reasons for that: I'm a lousy typist, and I'm not very fast. Because of the extensive amount of time it has taken me to edit the first day's testimony (and I'm still not done with day 1 or even started on day 2), I made a tough decision this morning to publish my notes before a thorough edit and accuracy for content. This will free up more of my time for personal responsibilities as well as give T&T readers a more timely reporting of the days events.

There are some problems with publishing without a complete accuracy edit that are troubling to me. If you note on the bottom of the blog, there is a copyright statement and request to get permission before rebroadcast. And, you probably noticed that I prefaced both of today's entries with disclaimers that these are unedited reports and cannot be relied upon for 100 percent accuracy. However, I'm finding that some web sites, blogs, forums and twitter accounts are copying my entire entries, and often those rebroadcasts do not contain the notice about this being an unedited, draft entry. Without the disclaimer in the rebroadcasts and a link back to the original entry, it can lead to misinformation being spread as fact.

If any site plans to rebroadcast my entries, I'm making a humble request that you please ensure that the disclaimer is included in your rebroadcast as well as a link back to the specific post. That's all I ask. I may decide to go back to fully editing my posts before publishing in the future (which will mean long delays) if I find the rebroadcasting doesn't include these simple requests.

And finally, you should be aware that this is a privately owned blog. There is no media organization that pays me (or the other T&T contributors) a salary to attend a trial and write about it. Because we are passionate about criminal trials, we are all volunteering our time to bring you this unique coverage.

Again, thank you for reading T&T.


Anonymous said...

I like the unedited version. I am extremely grateful to have you cover this this hearing, so extensively. You are doing a great job, and thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

thank you very much for your efforts, it helps a lot to receive transcripts so fast and it doesn't matter that they are unedited.

Thisbe said...

Thanks for all the time you put into the trials you cover. Please know that all of the Old Readers appreciate the huge effort this takes. Domminick Dunne would be all over this case if he was alive and he would be very proud of you for covering this, as you always do, in your own way. Keep up the good work!

helmpie3 said...

Thank you v.v.v. much for all of your efforts. I took notice of your latest reply. I already named the source, but will edit my post on a Michael Jackson forum and also add the disclaimer.

sparkle.socks said...

thank you so much for your detailed posts, you are doing a wonderful job.

mariahenchanting said...

I love your blog, I'm thankful for everything you do to keep the thruth alive. Please, don't stop. So far, this has been the most powerful source of information about the MJ trial to me.

Thank you

Kay said...

Dear T&T team,
I've been a faithful reader since I stumbled upon this blog during the first Phil Spector trial, although I don't usually comment.

First of all, congratulations on being acknowledged as a member of the media; yes, it is an honor and in my humble opinion well deserved.

Second, I think I'd be remiss as a reader if I didn't point out a couple of things - you most likely have considered them already, but I have to state them for my peace of mind:
- Since this trial is related to Mr. Michael Jackson, the amount of interest it generates will be huge, and so will be the number of people swarming the internet looking for information about it
- Not everyone is as "nettiquete conscious" as one of your commenters above, and niceties disclaimers and backtrack are considered unnecessary at best and annoyances at worst.

I guess my point is please be extra careful, I would hate for one uninformed source to tarnish your hard-earned reputation.

Best of luck,

Melissa Fields, Kentucky said...

I have always kept up with trial coverage from the beginnings of CourtTV. I watched the first Spector trial online and that's when I was introduced to your blog through the message board during that trial. I so appreciate your blog and love reading it. If there is ever an infamous trial in Kentucky I'd love to do the same. But you describe everything so well it's almost better than being there!!

Seven said...

I have utilized your reports here:

Starting with Day 3.

I copied your notes in their entirety and prominently provided specific links back to each entry on your blog here, as well as adding your notice that these are draft notes. I hope that helps.

Thank you for your detailed reporting on this trial!


Sprocket said...

I write what I hear. I "believe" she said 12:30 her time in Houston.

Kim B. said...

Thank you for your very detailed coverage of this hearing. While I appreciate edited versions of anything, your detailed account of what is occurring real time is very much appreciated. I do feel I'm right there beside you. When I do tweet about your blog, I basically tweet the link. Thank you for making this request as in today's age of obtaining information through the internet, the importance of citing sources is so very essential. You're doing a wonderful job. Thank you. -Kim