A lone “citizen journalist” ended up as much a part of the Hackgate story as the high profile protagonists in court, not least for revealing how the world has moved on from the old-world tabloid days, writes Paola Totaro
The news arrived at 11.57am GMT, in 140 characters and BIG capital letters, an ironic echo of an old-fashioned 172-point, front page tabloid headline: “BREAKING: Jury finds Brooks NOT Guilty on all counts at Hacking Trial: Coulson guilty on Count one.”
A second or two later, another ping: “Kuttner, Hanna, Carter, C Brooks not guilty – other verdicts still pending.”
So began the Twitter firestorm launched from the Old Bailey overnight as Justice Saunders delivered a string of verdicts – guilty for the former News of the World editor, Andy Coulson, and exoneration on all charges for his colleague, Rebekah Brooks – in the much-anticipated Hackgate trial.
Written by Peter Jukes, a British dramatist turned journalist, that first, electronic missive from Court 12 represented the #hackgate denouement of an estimated 25,000-plus tweets he has pumped out live, daily from the Old Bailey over the last seven or so months.