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Video cameras allowed in the court room?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by spikechiquet, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    Since when have video cameras been allowed in a courtroom for things like this? It's after the trial is complete, but is this legal to film and then publish to a newspaper website?

  2. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    1. There's approximately zero news value in that video. The only thing I can think is the defendant and family wanted the camera there so they could record his last moments as a free man.

    2. Laws governing cameras in courtrooms vary from state to state and when there's no controlling state law they vary court to court depending on the judge. That's why you see so many TruTV cases from Florida. Very strict sunshine laws (remember the 2000 recount).

    3. Even where cameras are prohibited during court, they are very often let in after the judge has left and court proceedings have recessed.

    4. I cannot stress enough how little news value there was in that. My God.
  3. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Disagree on the news value. The way it was presented wasn't good -- the added music was horrifying -- but the human element presented there was fascinating. Jesus, the dude posing for one last photo with his baby before he goes to prison for 60 years? And the mom explaining that the dad isn't there because he wants nothing to do with him?

    Strip away the music and I'm fine with it. Good court coverage puts a human face on legal proceedings, and this did that.
  4. WolvEagle

    WolvEagle Active Member

    Don't add music to it.

    That said, it can make for compelling video if done right. We had a video clip from a court hearing for a young man accused of killing his girlfriend's baby. Before the young man was led away in handcuffs, the court officers allowed his father to reach over the divider, hug him and pray for him. Man, it was powerful. Our photo editor showed it to me before it was posted.

    And, our most viewed video last year was from a court hearing for a woman who tormented her neighbors. We've talked about this woman on another thread - Olbermann's worst person.
  5. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Video in a courtroom can add a lot to a story, and tell a story in itself.

    I watched one of those "Shocking Video Moments" or whatever it was called a while back. They had a courtroom video of a guy who was convicted of murder. It showed the victim's father reading a statement, then, as the murderer was being led away, the father attacked him, starting beating him (giving the murderer a small cut on his head), and had him in a chokehold. It took four baliffs to pull the guy off of him.

    The dad said he had just snapped, and one of the baliffs quoted said that he had never seen that level of rage before in anyone.
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