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).
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!
Unfettered access to those in power, a push for government transparency and a vigorous defense of the First Amendment are perhaps more important now than ever before. Join us as we fight for the public’s right to know as an SPJ Supporter. Or, if you’re a journalist, we welcome you to stand with us as a Professional, Student or Retired Member.