Guidelines for News Organizations Broadcasting, Televising, Recording and Photographing Sessions of Court

The Supreme Court of Ohio is committed to increasing public understanding of the judicial process by providing access to and opening proceedings of the Court to the public.

These guidelines for news organizations broadcasting, televising, recording, and photographing sessions of court are promulgated to allow maximum public exposure and access without detracting from the decorum of the proceedings or interfering with any party's right to due process.

Access to Live and Archived Sessions

Broadcast quality audio and video of all sessions of the Supreme Court are captured and broadcast live by Ohio Government Telecommunications (OGT). A schedule of the daily audio and video feed and availability of the signal on commercial cable networks is available at http://www.OhioChannel.org/. Live and archived access to the OGT feed (in non-broadcast, streaming quality) is available at http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/videostream.

News organizations that wish to carry live broadcast quality video and audio of sessions of the Supreme Court may do so by accessing the OGT feed, which is available in Hearing Room 104 through a mult box. This is the method encouraged for radio and television access to Supreme Court audio and video. Tapes are also available free of charge by contacting OGT at 614.995.5562.

Permissible Equipment and Operators

News organizations shall use the existing audio and video feed provided by OGT in the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center. In the event the existing audio and video feed is not available, or if it is not sufficient for the legitimate journalistic needs of a particular news organization or the circumstances of the proceedings, then cameras, recording devices, and other equipment necessary for broadcasting, televising, and recording may be used but shall be as inconspicuous as possible. The use of cameras, recording devices, and other equipment is subject to approval by the Chief Justice through written request.

The Supreme Court may limit the number of cameras, recording devices, and other equipment in the Courtroom. The Court encourages news organizations to make arrangements for pooling equipment for this purpose which shall be the responsibility of representatives of the organizations authorized to cover the proceeding. The arrangements are to be made outside the Courtroom and without imposing on the Court or Court personnel. If disputes arise over arrangements between or among such representatives, the Chief Justice may exclude all contesting representatives from the proceedings.

Written Request

Sessions of the Supreme Court may be broadcast, televised, recorded, or photographed by means other than through the live or archived feeds noted above, only with the prior approval of the Chief Justice. A request for permission to broadcast, televise, record, or photograph any proceeding shall be made in writing on a form provided by the Office of Public Information. The request shall be submitted to the Office of Public Information no later than the close of business the day before the session to which the request pertains.

A written request to broadcast, televise, record, or photograph a session of the Supreme Court will be approved or disapproved in a timely manner. Conditions may be set in the approval of a request.

Prohibitions and Limitations

News organizations shall be permitted to transmit or record only the proceedings in the Courtroom while the Court is in session. There shall be no transmission or recording of conferences conducted at the bench or conferences conducted in a Court facility between counsel and clients or co-counsel.

The use of electronic or photographic equipment that produces distracting sound or light is prohibited. No artificial lighting other than that normally used in the Courtroom shall be employed.

The changing of film or recording tape in the Courtroom during Supreme Court proceedings is prohibited.

Revocation of Permission

Upon the failure of any news organization to comply with the conditions prescribed by these guidelines, permission to broadcast, televise, record, or photograph Supreme Court proceedings may be temporarily suspended or permanently revoked.

Effective Date

These guidelines are effective Oct. 1, 2004.

Adobe PDF PDF files may be viewed, printed, and searched using the free Acrobat® Reader
Acrobat Reader is a trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated.