Idaho panel fine-tuning proposal to allow cameras in state courtrooms
IDAHO — A task force created by the Idaho Supreme Court to draft recommendations on allowing cameras in the courtroom met in late July to fine-tune a proposal that may go to the state Supreme Court by the end of the year.
In September 1993, the Idaho Press Club presented a proposal to the state Supreme Court, which then formed the task force to develop a plan under which cameras could cover proceedings in magistrate and district courts. Cameras are currently permitted in appellant courts and the Supreme Court.
The Press Club proposal would allow audio and visual recording equipment in courtrooms as long as a journalist notifies the court that she or he plans to cover a proceeding and presents credentials. A media pool coordinator would arrange coverage when numerous news organizations request to cover the same court proceeding.
The guidelines would not allow coverage of in-camera sessions, judicial deliberations and juvenile court proceedings unless authorized by the presiding judge. Under the proposal, the media may challenge a judge’s decision to close a courtroom to camera coverage.
A committee of Idaho print and broadcast journalists, judges and attorneys is charged with studying whether cameras should be allowed in courtrooms and, if so, how to implement a plan that would give broadcasters access to courtrooms without unduly disturbing proceedings.
Subcommittees will meet periodically until Nov. 10, when the task force is slated to meet again and likely vote on recommendations to forward to the Supreme Court.
(Guidelines for the Use of Cameras in Idaho’s Magistrate and District Courts)