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If courtroom transparency falls in a forest ...

More on cameras in Minnesota courtrooms

The St. Cloud Times has taken a closer look at the coming experiment with cameras in the courtroom in Minnesota:

What the setup will be in each county probably will vary by courtroom, said John Kostouros , a spokesman for the Minnesota Supreme Court. Some courtrooms already are wired with video cameras and journalists can just plug in. Others require people to bring their own equipment. Each county is being set up with a media coordinator who makes the request for cameras to the court, Kostourus said.

The reporter took the somewhat unusual step of quoting a fellow SCT reporter and the paper’s executive editor in the story:

The pilot project is a good first step to allow news organizations to bring video, audio and still cameras into Minnesota courts, said John Bodette, executive editor of the St. Cloud Times.

“It is my firm belief that Minnesota will make both civil and criminal trials with video and audio work and not be detrimental to the proceedings,” Bodette said.

Of course, the story goes on to note that the St. Cloud Times is unlikely to take advantage of the opportunity since, for now, the change only applies to civil cases, which most newspapers rarely cover. It’s also worth noting that the story went online on the July 4 holiday, which, knowing holiday publishing schedules as intimately as we do here at Minnesota Lawyer, suggests the paper’s editors didn’t consider “cameras in the courtroom” to be a hot topic, per se.

Which raises the age-old question: If courtroom transparency falls in a forest …

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