SHORT ITEMS & UPDATES
NORTH DAKOTA State Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp wrote in early April that “any doubt whether a record or meeting is subject” to open government laws “should be resolved in favor of providing the public with the access requested.”
Heitkamp’s article, appearing in the North Dakota Newspaper Association Publisher’s Quarterly, also announced the upcoming publication by the attorney general’s office of an open records and meetings manual.
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CALIFORNIA The California legislature quashed a bill in early May that would have given police the power to cut off live television coverage of “law enforcement emergency incidents.” The proposed law would have held journalists criminally responsible for failing to follow the “editorial direction of the police,” according to David Bartlett of the Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA). The bill failed to receive the eight votes necessary to pass out of committee.
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MAINE CBS News has abandoned its plan to record jury deliberations in a civil trial after the case it hoped to tape was settled. CBS planned to use the trial as part of a documentary it is producing on the nation’s jury system.
A producer of the show said that after the case was settled, there was not enough time to line up another trial to replace it, according to The Associated Press.
The Maine Supreme Court in early February had authorized CBS News to record jury deliberations in a civil trial under certain circumstances.