Supreme Court seeks public comment on camera coverage of courts

January 29, 2003

The Mississippi Supreme Court seeks public comment on a draft of rules to permit broadcast, still camera and other electronic media coverage of trial and appellate courts.

The Supreme Court has not adopted the draft. The court would like to get public comment before making a decision.

The draft is available on the Supreme Court's web site, Go to the NEWS page on the web site.

Comments may be submitted in writing to the office of the Supreme Court Clerk, P. O. Box 249, Jackson, MS 39205. The deadline for submitting comments is March 14, 2003.

The Media and the Courts Study Committee was established by Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman. The committee was chaired by Supreme Court Justice James E. Graves Jr. and included seven judges from the chancery, circuit, county, justice and municipal courts and two media representatives. The committee conducted five public hearings across the state to talk about the possibility of allowing broadcast and still camera coverage of the courts, as well as other public access issues. The committee studied the camera coverage polices of other states and engaged in lengthy discussions of the pros and cons of allowing camera coverage in Mississippi courts. The study committee report, submitted to the Supreme Court on Dec. 18, 2002, recommended adoption of rules to permit broadcast coverage and still camera coverage, and proposed a set of guidelines for camera coverage.