Indiana to allow cameras in courtrooms beginning May 1
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana courtrooms will be allowed to have news media bring cameras into courtrooms, with limits, starting May 1, the Indiana Supreme Court announced Wednesday in a news release.
The cameras will be limited to proceedings that are not confidential and that are approved by the judge. The cameras also may not record jurors or juveniles in the courtroom. Violations of the limits could result in the revoking of a news media’s authority to use cameras in court.
Indiana currently prohibits broadcasting, recording or taking photographs in courtrooms, but the Indiana Supreme Court has allowed it in limited instances.
The Indiana Supreme Court had a four-month test that began in December 2021 to allow cameras in five courtrooms in Allen, Delaware, Lake, Tippecanoe and Vanderburgh counties. Court officials in the test reported that media interest focused on criminal cases. Ball State University student journalists, though, captured video for a documentary about Indiana’s four-month test.
Judge Sean Persin of Tippecanoe Circuit Court noted that once hearings began, everyone seemed to forget cameras were in the room. Persin also noted that journalists commonly sought guidance and understood the need to remain inconspicuous during the court proceedings.
According to the Radio Television Digital News Association, nearly every state has provisions to allow the media to use video cameras and microphones in courtrooms in some circumstances.
“This is the culmination of years of work and pilot projects with discussion and evaluation. Trial court judges are in the best position to determine how to balance the importance of transparency while protecting the rights of people involved in a court matter.”
Loretta H. Rush, chief justice of Indiana Supreme Court