The Bench Media Committee has been working hard to ensure a professional and positive working relationship among Nebraska lawyers, courts, and the media. Below is a list of recently completed activities:
-The Media Representatives created a Camera Pool Coordination Ad Hoc Committee that worked on streamlining pool coverage for high profile cases.
-General protocols have been established at pretrial motions and hearings. The protocols will be reviewed now that we have passed the 5-year mark of cameras in the courtroom.
-Credentialing media representatives was enhanced through the use of a rule review for everyone who requests camera credentials.
-The Court pivoted during the pandemic to keep the courts open through the use of technology. The technology was a cost savings to the counties from both a staff time perspective and travel expenses. The administrative office is reviewing technology that has worked, and what hasn’t. This committee will review and assist with enhancing the use of all new equipment.
-The Committee had petitioned the Legislature to change the law to allow video conferencing to be recorded-this was necessitated by an artful wording of the original statute. As a result of the change, news reporters are allowed to come into the courtroom with still and broadcast cameras to photograph individuals who appear in court from the jail and correctional facilities.
-Earlier this year, an educational Reporters Session was offered to assist the media with understanding the courts and judiciary as a whole: “How to Report on Nebraska’s Trial Courts 2022.” The session was the result of years of relationship building with the UNL College of Journalism. Earlier education sessions include a “pop-up” 1 credit hour course during the interim in 2019 and an appellate-level session that same year with Judge Riko Bishop entitled: “Pop-Up Student Journalist Class at Nebraska Supreme Court-Nebraska’s Appellate Level Court.”