Social Insight - Oscar Pistorius
South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, who faces murder charges over the fatal shooting of his girlfriend, has dominated global news coverage these past 2 weeks.
The world’s global offline and online media have physically scrummed to get into the courtroom as global viewership has soared in what is set to be the court case of 2013.
The Olympic and Paralympic sprinter denies his charge, insisting that he repeatedly shot at Miss Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door in the dead of night having mistaken her for a burglar.
Twitter took up the role of news breaker with each new piece of information retweeted and dissected by a hungry public on the morning of Valentine’s Day. Then when the presiding magistrate ordered that there be no cameras present during the ensuing bail hearing, it became a crucial means of getting the latest facts coming out of the courtroom.
87% of the conversation around the case has occurred on Twitter, with Facebook and mainstream news outlets battling it out for second place.
Unsurprisingly, the lists of most mentioned and retweeted user names contain a lot of similarities. That’s largely down to the fact that people have had to rely on reporters tweeting live from the court room for information as live camera feeds were banned from proceedings.
1,935,353 online posts about the incident between 14 - 20 February 2013, averaging out to 240,675 posts per day, 9776 posts per hour and 430 posts per minute.
Pistorius is understood to have been in receipt of almost US 2 million dollars (1.3 million pounds) a year overall in sponsorship, with the Nike deal worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Nike, which described Pistorius in an advertisement in 2011 as the "bullet in the chamber" added on Thursday that they "will monitor his case closely".
So what has happened since the revelations?
Double amputee athlete Oscar Pistorius has been forced to cancel all future races and states his key focus is now defending himself against the charge he murdered his girlfriend.
The head of the Paralympics is said to be in a state of "disbelief" about the murder charge against Oscar Pistorius, but is trying to reassure his organisation that it still has a strong future without its star athlete.
Steenkamp's father, Barry Steenkamp, told the Sunday Mail that right now they just need to find some answers. “We ask the lord every day to help us find a reason why this should happen to Reeva" he told the Mail.
So what next?
Well Oscar Pistorius is due back in court on June 4th 2013. At this stage what the future hold for the “blade runner” remains unclear. All we know now is that while his family insists he is not a murderer, prosecutors disagree. Let’s wait and see.
Senior Social Insight Executive