Live Courtroom Coverage in Massachusetts | OpenCourt.us

OpenCourt is a pilot project which aims to open the workings of the justice system to the public. The project involves live-streaming of proceedings from the Quincy District Court in Massachusetts.  Live Coverage | OpenCourt

opencourt.us screen capture 2011-5-6-13-25-2

In addition to being the first video streaming of live court proceedings, the project changes the traditional rules prohibiting the public from using most electronic devices while in the courtroom.  Bloggers and texters (i.e., new media journalists) will also be able to post to the internet live from the courtroom.

The judge has the ability to shut off the entire feed to protect identity, such as that of a victim.  The opencourt.us site posts updates regarding outages. For example, it reported:

The judge has toggled off the feed several times today. Right now we are off because of a potential identity issue.
Thu May 5 17:13:07 EDT 2011

On May 6th, after the prosecution requested shutting off the feed to protect the name and address of a victim, the judge ruled that the request could be handled instead by not mentioning that particular personal information and continued.  Nevertheless, live streaming means that there is no tape delay in case something slips out.  Currently the project is trying to determine a policy for access to the video archives.

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