Media coverage of Pistorius trial hits record high

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Coverage of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial hit record numbers on the first day of judgment.

More than 300 000 unique articles were produced on Thursday after Judge Thokozile Masipa cleared Pistorius of premeditated murder.

Coverage of judgment day dominated world news – almost squashing other top stories such as the commemoration of the 9/11 tragedy as well as Scotland’s Independence referendum – with over 80% of global coverage.

Social media platforms such as Twitter were buzzing too. Journalists saw about 300 tweets a minute during court proceedings.

Media monitoring company, Roi, also found a negative bias towards Judge Masipa with many social commentators criticising her findings and her credibility as a judge.

Judge Masipa is expected to shed more light on Oscar Pistorius’ negligence on the morning he shot dead Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year.

On Thursday, Masipa said though Steenkamp died under peculiar circumstances, a lot of questions might never be answered.

She rejected the defence assertion that his disability made him vulnerable to danger and said he could have explored other options before discharging the firearm.

SAfm will cross live to the North Gauteng High Court for the judgment on Friday morning, and it will also be carried live on SABC TV services.

For digital coverage of the judgment, you can visit www.sabc.co.za/news.

Videos of the trial proceedings are also available at www.youtube.com/sabcnews.

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