Public Understanding of the Courts
in the Age of New Media
February 18, 2011
8:30 a.m. Registration
9:00am Panel I: New Media - Is it Changing the Coverage and Conduct of Trial Court Proceedings?
Description: The rise of social networking sites, the availability of new media devices, and the ability to access the Internet and communicate to a large audience using blogs and social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr affect the way trial court proceedings are covered and conducted. This panel will focus on some of the questions being faced by courts and the press, including: Who is a member of the press? What limits, if any, ought to be imposed on live blogging/coverage of trials? Does real-time reporting affect the conduct of trials? How do you know if jurors are Googling, blogging, or using Twitter or Facebook to post or find information about an ongoing trial? How about judges?
10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. Panel II: Anonymous No Longer? The Federal Courts of Appeals and the New Media
Description: Because the Supreme Court hears so few cases, the federal courts of appeals are the courts of last resort in most federal cases and regularly decide hot button issues and issues of first impression. But media coverage of those courts has been so sparse that the courts of appeals have been called the 'anonymous courts.' That anonymity had many sources, including the localized structure of the traditional media, the distance between the courts of appeals and the towns and cities in which many cases are tried, and the preference of some judges for anonymity. All of those barriers have recently begun to give way - the courts have become receptive to televising oral arguments, the Internet has surmounted geographical obstacles, and the new media includes news outlets with an
interest in legal developments across the country. This session will address the impact of federal courts of appeals and how the new media may be changing their anonymity and their public face.
12:00 p.m. Lunch: Remarks by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (retired)
12:45 p.m. Presentation by Judge Vaughn Walker on Cameras in the Courtroom
1:15 p.m. Panel III: High Profile Cases in the Digital Age
Description: This panel will focus on the challenges of handling and covering high-profile cases from the perspective of judges, court staff, lawyers, and journalists. Issues will include courtroom coverage, press access, and the pressures surrounding proceedings with an enhanced public profile
2:45 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. Panel IV: Fair Trial and Free Press - Dead or Alive?
Description: A conversation among journalists, judges, lawyers, and members of the public about covering court proceedings and the balance between fair press access and fair proceedings
||Mr. Ben Holden, Director, Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Courts and Media
||Hon. Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
||Mr. Manny Medrano, Partner, Medrano & Carlton, Los Angeles
||Hon. Barbara Rothstein, Director, Federal Judicial Center
||Prof. Tim McGuire, Frank Russell Chair of Journalism, ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication