Reuters has been leading on multimedia coverage of Johnny Depp’s libel case against the publishers of The Sun newspaper over allegations of domestic violence during his relationship with American actress Amber Heard, with Reuters clients around the world featuring content from Reuters.
The case is heard at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, United Kingdom, and Reuters senior correspondent Michael Holden is in court each day, listening to testimony to deliver coverage to Reuters customers.
Holden explains that the UK courts do not allow recording devices, so he relies on his shorthand skills, something previous generations of journalists would be expert at, though it is less common now.
In an internet age dominated by smartphones, real-time video calls and phones that broadcast live, this might seem anachronistic, but Holden has found it a professional life saver. “I used to be able to do 120 words a minute,” he says. “I’m a bit slower now.”
By writing in shorthand, Michael has been able to deliver Reuters coverage first and fast, reaching millions worldwide, from ABC in Australia to Zvezda in Russia.
Each day of the trial, Reuters photographers and videographers are outside the court, scrambling to find the best vantage point of the arriving celebrities.
For Holden, the pressure is on to relay the action inside the courtroom, often using five-minute breaks in the morning and afternoons to write his stories: “In court, you’re listening and taking down the details. You only have time to write in the breaks,” he says.
Reuters text stories have provided critical context and background to the visual elements. Hundreds of broadcasters have used Reuters footage, with thousands more digital and print outlets reliant on Reuters text copy for fast and accurate reporting.
The trial has generated thousands of views on Reuters social media accounts and millions of views on Reuters clients’ accounts.
As the trial continues with Amber Heard taking the stand this week, Reuters clients around the world can expect further outstanding coverage of what is likely to be the biggest celebrity trial of 2020.
[Reuters PR Blog Post]