Palm Beach Post social media star: Courts reporter Jane Musgrave

John Goodman trial
By Breaking News Editor Rick Christie

It’s not often that we get to set a new standard for coverage.

But we did just that with our coverage of John Goodman’s high-profile DUI manslaughter trial.

One day in, it was clear that our initial plan to go with one reporter both for print and online was not going to be enough if we wanted to do it right.

Criminal Courts Reporter Daphne Duret’s level of interaction with readers on a live CoveritLive chat during the first day’s proceedings created such a high demand that we were forced to bring in another reporter.

Enter Civil Courts Reporter Jane Musgrave to pick up the live chat duties and keep the momentum going.

By the time it was all said and done, Social Media Editor Tiffini Theisen reported the following:

“Cumulatively, for the 12 days of the trial the chats had 93,998 readers, several thousand of those no doubt repeat viewers, including a core group of several dozen who served as the “leaders” of an ad hoc online community that formed around discussion of the trial on”

And readers appreciated it. Just a small the multitude of the comments and questions (which Jane answered) that show how much readers appreciated the live coverage and connecting with Jane:

  • Jane, do you know in what level prison would he serve his sentence if he is convicted?
  • Jane, do you have any clue as to why the prosecutors didn’t refute the malfunction of the Bentley by having a Bentley representative testify?
  • Jane, How does this make Bentley the company look? Doesn’t this big bad press to there vehicles? Aren’t they going to rebut this?
  • @Jane, I noticed Goodman goes to sidebars with his attorneys. I know he has that right. In my area, I’ve never seen a Defendant do that. Is it common practice in FL?
  • Jane, how much is this proceeding COSTING the residents of Palm Beach County (ballpark)???
  • Jane, could Rose have bailed instead of being dropped by the defense but defense is merely saving face?
  • Thanks again Jane & Daphne for your reporting during this trial
  • Thanks Jane. I remember earlier that the defense team stated that there case is based on the Bentley malfunctioning because of acceleration? Perhaps they are not going to mention it like that.

Even streaming live video from the courtroom didn’t slow down the growth in readers on the daily chat.

View the archive of the Goodman trial chats here.


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