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Oklahoma bombing trial site opens

In what could become a trend, reporters covering the trial will be able to get court documents through a secured Web site.

O.J. Simpson had television. Timothy McVeigh will have the Internet.

In what could become a journalistic trend, the thousands of reporters covering the Oklahoma City bombing trial will be able to access crucial court documents through a secured Web site.

Journalists covering trials have long had to compete with each other over access to courtroom seats and vital documents. But this high-publicity trial will have a Web site where official correspondence of court proceedings, including motions and comments from Judge Richard Matsch, will be posted daily.

Colorado Web site developer Navidec will develop the site and also provide the hardware and network architecture for it. Network Solutions Group is providing the firewall.

While the 2,000 members of the "Oklahoma City Bombing Trial Media Consortium" will have free access to the site, it will cost Navidec about $50,000, according to Navidec spokeswoman Andrea Pearson.

Navidec is seeking sponsorship to cover costs, but Pearson said the service is "good exposure for us. We're doing this as a benefit for us and the consortium."

Although the site would certainly prove quite popular to Netizens in general, the consortium is keeping it limited to credentialed members of the press who will be logging into a secured server.

Wayne Wicks, coordinator of the consortium, said the Web site will help reporters obtain both timely and accurate information, the two essentials in the journalism business.

"Navidec developed this secure and dedicated Internet Web site to provide reporters with accurate and comprehensive information--not theory and rumor," said Wayne Wicks, coordinator of the consortium.

The site will be operational when the trial starts, scheduled as early as late March.