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June 30, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

A 99-cent Casey Anthony trial app developed by an NBC affiliate in Orlando, FL, where the trial is being held, became the No. 1 news app on Apple’s iTunes store last weekend and now resides at No. 2, according to a report by Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab. The success is particularly remarkable given the fact that numerous newspapers and television news outlets that are covering the trial offer their own apps at no charge. Its success, Justin Ellis of the Nieman Lab commented, “does seem to indicate there can be a business opportunity when a local story goes national.” The app provides access to WESH-TV’s liveblog, updates, court documents, photos, and recaps — but not live video, which the station said would be too costly for them to offer. Users are principally interested in looking at documents introduced as evidence by both sides, said Gave Travers, digital media manager for the station’s website. “You’d think documents would be something dry for folks, but people have a huge interest,” Travers said. Revenue from sales of the app have helped the station offset some of the costs involved in covering the trial, he said.