Nearly every state in the union has provisions to allow the media to use video cameras and microphones in courtrooms in some circumstances. In some, cameras are a routine sight at the trial court level. In others, the state's appellate courts or supreme court have cameras, operated by the courts themselves. On the federal appellate level, the Second and Ninth Circuits allow the media to use cameras. For members of the media, understanding the rules and procedures in your state and the federal courts is necessary to provide the best and most complete coverage of the judicial branch in action.
RTDNA is the nation's leading advocate of opening courtrooms at all levels to electronic media coverage and works with newsroom and court leaders across the country to develop clear and fair rules to allows journalists and judges to best serve the people. To assist members of the media in understanding current court rules and procedures, we have developed the RTDNA Cameras in the Courts State By State Guide. Included here are the most current policies from each state and circuit, with links to relevant resources and complete details. You also can compare all data and filter it by policy for further study.
The RTDNA Cameras in the Courts State By State Guide is produced in cooperation with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Wiley Rein, LLP, and developed by RTDNA Counsel Kathleen Kirby, Partner Ari Meltzer, and summer associate Stephanie Rigizadeh. The current version was completely revised in the summer of 2022 and is updated as laws and rules change. For questions regarding specifc rules in your state, please follow the links provided in each state section. If you believe the rules in your state are being overlooked or incorrectly applied, RTDNA may be able to help. Please contact us if you need assistance.
Resources like this are made possible by the support of donors like you to the Radio Television Digital News Foundation.