Live from home: Streaming federal trials (finally!)

Kudos to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for deciding to stream big federal trials live on the Internet beginning next week, the first federal court to do so.

It’s about time! You can watch Congress on C-SPAN and most city council meetings on public access cable, but the courts have been squeamish about airing their proceedings live for the public. I suppose they got gun shy following the O.J. Simpson trial in 1995. (By the way, for a good journalist’s guide to covering federal courts, check this out from the Ninth Circuit, or dozens of guides from Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press).

kozinski_thumbChief Judge Alex Kozinski, I applaud you, and stay strong even if you run into a situation where it is uncomfortable to be seen by millions. You can handle the Lance Ito heat.

This is particularly timely when the White House is under fire for controlling visual images of the president – telling photographers they can’t take pictures of the president in meetings with important people and then releasing official White House photos of the events. Mr. President, tear down that visual wall!



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  • Amy Yannello

    I agree with Mr. Seaman’s essay, and would add: We need more of an overall push for what is now called “long-form” journalism (funny, when I was coming up, it used to be just called “news.”) over all of our platforms, and get the reading public again used to demanding more than 650 words from the bulk of its opinion pieces (ie: devoid of reporting) and so it bleeds into their tastes and habits in the news section. Editors react by going along with budget cuts they’re told are “necessary” and so it goes. / Excellent piece; thanks for writing. — AY


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