Panels explore news media, social media and the courts

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two recent panels, available in video and transcript formats on C-SPAN from the links below, examined the role of a free press in American life today and in the future. In particular, the discussions explored how — and how well — the press covers America’s court system.

  • What’s the state of the American news media today? What trends and challenges do they face? Panelists explored those and other questions, including news coverage of the courts, on Aug. 8 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., as part of the 2011 Conference of Court Public Information Officers. The program was moderated by Gene Policinski, senior vice president/executive director of the First Amendment Center.
  • Social media are increasingly playing a part in court cases. Is that good or bad? Using a hypothetical legal case and a series of motions presented to the “court,” panelists discussed the effects of Facebook, Twitter and similar media on the justice system. The Aug. 10 panel looked at matters from the perspectives of the prosecutor, defense, journalist, judge, juror and public information officer. The session, in Washington, D.C., was sponsored by the Reynolds Center for Courts and Media, following the 2012 Conference of Court Public Information Officers.