Nov 9, 2012

Kansas Allows Tweeting, Texting From Court

As reported by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the Kansas Supreme Court has amended the state's courts rules to explicitly permit tweeting and texting from courtrooms.

Kansas' court rules previously allowed photography or broadcast of court proceedings only by the news media, and only with permission of the presiding judge. Nevertheless, a few judges in the state did allow tweeting and texting. (Former Wichita (Kansas) Eagle Staff Writer for Interactive News Ron Sylvester, for one, did a lot of this from courts in his city.)

The new rules also require permission of the presiding judge to send messages or images from court. Without such permission, courtrooms observers may possess electronic devices such as cellphones, laptops and cameras in court, but may not use them.

After permission has been granted, the rules impose various restrictions on what can be sent from the courtroom. For examples, jurors may not be photographed, and bench conferences may not be recorded.


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