Media Coverage Of Court Proceedings

(a) Definitions

(1) "Media" means any recognized news-gathering or news-reporting agency and the individual persons involved, and includes newspapers, radio, television, radio and television networks, news services, magazines, trade papers, in-house publications, professional journals, or other news-reporting or new-gathering agency whose function is to inform the public of some segment thereof.

(2) "Presiding judge" means the judge, justice, master or other judicial officer who is scheduled to preside over or is presiding over the proceeding. Presiding judge in the appellate court shall refer to chief justice or chief judge of the court, or the senior justice or judge if the chief justice or chief judge is not participating in the proceeding.

(3) "Proceeding" means any trial, hearing, motion, argument or other matter held in open court which the public is entitled to attend.

(b) General Provisions

(1) Subject to the requirements of this rule, representatives of the media may use video, still cameras or recorders to cover proceedings in the courts of this state.

(2) Media representatives must give reasonable notice to the presiding judge of a request to cover a proceeding. If written notice is required by the presiding judge, Form 1 should be used. In the absence of reasonable notice, the presiding judge may refuse to permit media coverage, after giving due regard for the public educational benefits flowing from photographing and recording of court proceedings.

(3) The presiding judge may refuse, limit, or terminate media coverage of an entire case, portions thereof, or testimony of particular witnesses as may be required in the interests of justice.

(4) No direct public expense is to be incurred for the equipment, wiring, or personnel needed to provide the media coverage.

(5) Nothing in this rule shall prevent a judge from placing additional reasonable restrictions, or prohibiting altogether, photographing, recording, or broadcasting in court facilities other than a courtroom.

(c) Limitations

(1) Coverage of the proceedings which are otherwise closed to the public is prohibited.

(2) There shall be no audio pickup or broadcast of conferences which occur in a court facility between attorneys and their clients, between co-counsel of a client, between adverse counsel or between counsel and the presiding judge.

(3) The members of the jury may not be photographed except when they happen to be in the background of other subjects being photographed. Camera and audio coverage of prospective jurors during selection is prohibited.

(d) Equipment and Personnel

(1) No more than two television cameras, operated by no more than one camera person each, shall be permitted in any proceeding.

(2) No more than one radio recorder, operated by no more than one person, shall be permitted in any proceeding.

(3) No more than two still photographers, utilizing no more than two cameras and related equipment each, shall be permitted in any proceeding.

(4) if two or more media representatives have given notice under section (a)(2) above, the presiding judge shall notify the applicants that no coverage may begin until all the representatives have agreed upon a pooling arrangement for their respective news media. Such pooling arrangements shall include the designation of pool operators, procedures for cost sharing, access to and dissemination of material, and selection of a or resolve any dispute as to these pooling arrangements.

(5) Equipment or clothing shall not bear the insignia or marking of any media agency. Media personnel operating the cameras shall wear appropriate business attire.

(6) Reporters, in the interest of accuracy, may use hand-held micro-cassette tape recorders that are no more sensitive than the human ear, provided they are not used in violation of section (b)(2) of this rule.

(e) Sound and Light Criteria

(1) Equipment shall not produce distracting sound or light. Signal lights on devices to show when the equipment is operating shall not be visible. Moving lights, flash attachments, or sudden changes of lights shall not be used.

(2) Except otherwise approved by the presiding judge, existing courtroom sound and light systems shall be used without modification. Audio pickup for all purposes shall be accomplished from existing audio systems present in the court facility or from a television camera's built in microphone. If no technically suitable audio system exists in the court facility, microphones and related wiring essential for media purposes shall be unobtrusive and shall be located in laces designated in advance of any proceedings by the presiding judge.

(3) Court proceedings shall not be interrupted by a reporter or technician because of technical or equipment problem. If any problem occurs, that piece of equipment shall be turned off while the proceeding is in session. No attempt shall be made to correct the technical or equipment problem until the proceeding is in recess or has concluded.

(f) Location of Equipment and Personnel

(1) The presiding judge shall designate the location in the courtroom for the media equipment and operators.

(2) During proceedings, operating personnel shall not move about nor shall there be placement or removal of equipment.
(g) Compliance. Any media representative who fails to comply with this rule shall be subject to an appropriate sanction as determined by the presiding judge.
(h) Review. It is not intended that a grant or denial of media coverage be subject to appellate review insofar as it pertains to and arises under this rule, except as otherwise provided by law.
(i) Impermissible Use of Media Material. None of the video, photographs or recordings of the proceedings under this rule shall be admissible as evidence in the proceeding out of which it arose, any proceedings subsequent and collateral thereto, or upon any retrial or appeal of such proceeding.


Request Form for Photographic Coverage of Judicial Proceedings

Camera Pooling Guidelines