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Newsrooms Not Fighting Court Access Battles as Frequently

dcogcadmin | September 1, 2009

On the occasion of the U.S.

On the occasion of the U.S. Supreme Court review of a case involving issues of public access to courtroom proceedings, the New York Times in this story has highlighted one issue that was described more than once in amicus briefs filed with the Court: the declining willingness of newspaper companies to challenge closed courtrooms in recent years.  Newsrooms used to be the most likely challenger when an access issue arose, but the industry’s financial troubles have contributed to a reduced appetite for costly legal battles.  The article notes some media organizations that continue to press for access to governmental proceedings, but sources indicate that overall the trend is down.  In the case that will be argued in front of the Supreme Court, the judge closed the courtroom to the public during jury selection due to her feeling that there was not enough room for both the potential jurors and the public to fit in the available space.