I Promise to Tell the Truth, So Help Me Blog

Something different is taking place in two  big trials here in the MidSouth.   Several media  outlets are keeping anyone who might be interested in these trials up to speed by blogging from the courtroom on what’s going on.  One of the trials is that of former Tennessee Senator John Ford of the politically prominent Ford family here in Memphis.  He’s facing federal charges in connection with the Tennessee Waltz sting which has brought down several politicians and power brokers across the state.  The other is the murder trial of a woman in Selmer, TN accused of killing her minister husband by shooting him in the back with a shotgun and then taking the three kids on the road before she was apprehended in LA (lower Alabama).  Both of the trials have generated a lot of publicity around here.  That’s why several of the TV stations and the Commercial Appeal newspaper have announced they have bloggers in the courtroom tapping out what happens and making it available on the internet.  I thought I’d check out the first day to see how it’s going.  For full disclosure, let me say that I was approached by one of the outlets about covering the trial as a blogger.  I said I was interested but never heard back so I guess they found somebody else to man the keyboards.  Having said that, here’s my opinion of what I’ve seen so far as of 4-p.m.


They may be the only TV news operation NOT blogging from one of the trials.  A visit to their webpage found some information about Winkler and Ford.  If there was a blog, I couldn’t find it.


They have blogs on both trials but are really pushing the Ford Blog.  I had to search to find that Janice Broach has blogged on the Winkler Trial but the latest blog information as of 4pm Monday that I found was from Sunday.  On the Ford side, Darrel Phillips has kept a decent running commentary on things.  I don’t like the way that it’s split up on the website requiring you to shift to another page after several postings.  It has good content and some courtroom sketches.  I found it interesting reading


I thought at first that WREG DIDN’T have a blog on either trial as it was difficult to find.  Plenty of background information was available though.  I finally located the blog.  It was only for the Ford trial.  Not as many posts as the other stations but the posts they have are longer and include more observation.  This is probably helpful if you’ve never been in a courtroom and you’re trying to get a sense of the mood.  I expected to see some sort of joint effort between WREG and the Commercial Appeal but apparently that was NOT the case here.   More on the CA in just a moment.


Fox 13 has bloggers at both trials.  The Winkler trial coverage though was very generic.  From what I’ve read so far, the courtroom is small and the jury pool is large so maybe not much is going on or perhaps they’re limiting the media access to what’s going on.  There were only two posts prior to jury selection beginning this afternoon.  The blog from the Ford trial is a different story.  The blogger managed to get the highlights of what’s going on with the jury selection, making it somewhat interesting.  Some updates were every five minutes while others came in 30 minutes later.  A lot of detail on gender and race of jurors.  Interesting reading.

Commercial Appeal

The CA had an item on the Winkler trial called “The Selmer Circus”.  A nice title, but the only info on the blog page I found was from Sunday.  On the John Ford trial I found an item called “Casting Call” which detailed the attorneys involved.  Nothing on the blow-by-blow happenings in jury selection.  I would have thought that the CA would be blowing everybody away.  In fact the other bloggers are blowing THEM away.

Anyway, my observations on the blogging thing from court.  I plan to check back on these later in the week to see if things have changed.

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2 Comments on “I Promise to Tell the Truth, So Help Me Blog”

  1. Jeff Says:

    I think the reporters are out of the loop during jury selection.They will be in the courtroom when the trial begins but the Judge said no to Reporters for Jury Selection because there wasn’t enough room.

    We were suppose to get alot of the overflow of reporters here in Pickwick due to the Motels being Soldout in Selmer but so far I don’t see them at our area hotels.Maybe they are waiting for Jury Selection to be finished.

  2. b Says:

    phillips is the only one doing a decent job with the blogging. the ca’s attempts are silly (does anybody really care that the fridge in the motel in selmer has a dean martin action figure on it?), and dtor also doesn’t seem to get it.

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