VANDERBURGH, Ind. (WEHT) – The Indiana Supreme Court is looking at the possibility of allowing media cameras inside the court rooms across the state.
Vanderburgh Superior Court Chief Judge Les Shively believes allowing media cameras into courtrooms is a good idea, but under the condition that it does not interrupt court precedings.
“We don’t want to open up the courtrooms to everybody with a cell phone, to do their own little filming,” Judge Shively. “The pilot program, just like any rule that would be adopted, would be for legitimate journalistic sources.”
July of 2006 was one of the only times the media was allowed to have cameras in the courtroom in Vanderburgh County.
“Why I believe cameras in the courtroom are important, transparency,” Judge Shively. “Rather than having a, shall we say a go between, they can see it first hand and that’s certainly a different perspective than getting it through a third party.”
Dave Arland, executive director for the Indiana Broadcasters Association says they support the ongoing trial that would allow cameras in the court room as it helps to tell the story as it is.
“We believe very strongly that courts should be open and transparent and the public has a right to know what happens inside courtrooms,” Arland said. “Unfortunately the Hoosier state is like 49 out of 50 in terms of allowing cameras in the court room.”
Judge Shively admits that he may have not always believed cameras should be part of the courtroom, but says times have changed and so has his perspective.
“I’m sure early on as an attorney I probably wasn’t that much in favor of it because I was an advocate at that time and I didn’t really, I was looking at it from the perspective of how is this going to help me and my client.,” Judge Shively said. “Now that I’m a judge I have to look at the big picture.”