High School Journalist Tweeting Soldier’s Murder Trial

UPDATE: A lot has happened since we first brought you this story. Evan’s coverage has been picked up by Huffington Post and The Paducah Sun included him in their coverage of the Steven Green trial.

From Green’s champagne sweater vest he wore on trial Day 1, to sorrow ebbing in the voices of
attorneys, Bright records every detail.

“Some of the attorneys were laughing about me,” Bright said after he learned involved attorneys, and even Green himself, were reading posts on his blog. “They were telling one another not to do anything (inappropriate) because I would put it in my blog.”

Therein lies the surprising and endearing rub with 18-year-old Bright in the mix, reporting from court every day.

In the middle of reporters from the Associated Press, Reuters and Time magazine is skinny, somewhat twitchy 18-year-old Bright, plugging away at journalism’s root functions with wit and thoroughness.

“I’ve learned a lot about how the journalism industry works,” Bright said.

The trial itself hasn’t made him a deer in headlights, although the day Iraqi witnesses testified sticks with him, and Bright said pictures of the victims’ bodies burned into his memory.

Bright is the talk of the local blogging and Twitter communities. Can’t say we were first to mention Evan, but glad everyone is giving him some well deserved credit.

Keep your eye out for a trailblazing young journalist out of Paducah, Kentucky. He has a bright future.

Evan Bright writes for write for his highschool newspaper, The Tilghman Bell
Evan Bright writes for write for his high school newspaper, The Tilghman Bell

Evan Bright, a senior at Paducah Tilghman High School, is a credentialed journalist cover the federal trial of a former U.S. Army soldier accused of raping an Iraqi girl and killing her and her family.

Pfc. Steven Dale Green is the first ex-soldier to be charged as a civilian under a 2000 law that allows U.S. authorities to prosecute former members of the military for crimes overseas.

“I’ll be able to say in forty years ‘I was there'”, said Bright.


Bright’s more extensive blog coverage is surprisingly insightful and engaging.

..a picture of Qassim Hamza Rasheed dead, laying face down on the floor with brain matter scattered in.. multiple places around him… caused several visible and audible grimaces within the crowd, with Green looking down but eyeing the jury. After pictures of all bodies were shown, Green was seen rubbing his eyes/forehead.

Bright’s trial blog is loaded with background articles, photos and exhibits from the trial.
Here is how Bright described his first day in court.

“Prosecuting attorney Brian Skaret, tall and gangly in stature, was very clear in his depiction of Green’s crime of heinous gang rape/murder: “While most of you were probably here at home in the USA, enjoying a sunny day, getting used to the warming weather, some of you were probably anticipating the upcoming March Madness tournament…on the other side of the world, in Iraq, five soldiers, five thugs, were terrorizing a harmless family.”

Bright said he became aware of the federal trial and decided to apply for a media request. He was surprised to be granted press credentials, but was looking forward the experience.
He is covering the trial alongside the Associated Press, Reuters, local NBC affiliate WPSDTV, TIME Magazine, the Courier-Journal, and the French Press Agency. Bright is also updating the trial on Twitter.

If we can nuture and grow talents like Bright’s, our industry future will be bright.

Still, Bright tells me he has no plans to pursue a career in journalism. He should reconsider. He is that good.


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