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'This story drove a lot of people a lot of different directions' | What the Scott Peterson trial meant for media

Peter Shaplen was hired to coordinate the press from all over the world. He says the trial elevated court coverage forever, but also set records that remain today.

SAN MATEO, Calif. — "This is like the Super Bowl of court television!” 

Those were the words of National Television legal analyst Paula Canny 19 years ago talking Tim Daly, a former ABC10 reporter and one of the most prominent local reporters on the Scott  Petersen trial. 

Scott Peterson was tried and convicted of killing his wife Laci and their unborn child back in 2004. Nearly two decades later, Peterson is still guilty according to the Supreme Court of California, but might not have received a fair jury trial, experts say.

When asked if the Peterson trial changed the way he covers courts, Daly said yes, but not for him. 

"It may have changed for some people, but did not change for me," Daly said. "I mean that I made a point of trying to maintain my principles and my journalistic ethics…I did that no matter what the story was, I wish I could say that about everybody. This story drove a lot of people a lot of different directions."

Peter Shaplen was hired to coordinate the press coverage who convened from all over the world and had descended upon Northern California. He says the trial elevated court coverage forever, but also set records that remain today.

"In the end, we had more than 900 credential journalists, including crews covering what was in reality a homicide, a garden-variety homicide in California," Shaplen said. "That is a huge number of people from all over the country, a number that remains the largest ever."

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