Press Accommodations

All court proceedings, with the exception of some juvenile and domestic matters, are open to the public and press. In larger courthouses with very active trial schedules, there may be a large number of reporters at any one time, particularly during high profile trials. The press room is designated space in which reporters can conduct interviews, prepare notes, and make telephone calls, without interfering with the work of the court. This relieves congestion in the corridors and makes the courthouse less crowded and noisy.

The size of the press room should range between 200 to 400 square feet and should have storage space for equipment.

This room should be a quiet environment in which to work, with adequate insulation to ensure that adjacent offices or courtrooms are free from any noise or conversations.

The press room should be accessible to persons with disabilities.

The location of the press room is flexible. It should be convenient to the courtrooms and the external exits but should not require the passage through restricted or secure areas of the building.

The press room should be easily accessible from the main public entrance.

No specific security arrangements are required.

Generally, the news media will provide all furniture and equipment.

The press room should be equipped with adequate electrical power, telephone jacks, tables and chairs, and storage and work space for audio equipment, photographic equipment, computers, and television video equipment. Video monitors may be provided for viewing video feeds from courtrooms. Usually the media will pay for video cabling and the furnishings, equipment and telephones in the press room.

In large courts that frequently experience high-profile cases, the court may wish to install cameras in several of the courtrooms to provide the press with a video feed directly to a press/media control room where it can be split to different networks. The camera location in the courtroom should be above the jury box to avoid showing the jurors. A large cable conduit should connect the press/media control room with the exterior of the building adjacent to an area used by television satellite trucks park. The judge should have a monitor and “kill switch” to cut unacceptable coverage or shots.