This year’s Illinoisan of the Year award goes to a group that helped transform Extended Media Coverage in the state’s circuit courts from an experiment to a permanent program: The Media Coordinators.
Edith Brady-Lunny, media coordinator in the 11th district, addressed the Fall 2017 Convention Sunday on behalf of the group.
It has been five years since cameras and microphones were allowed in Illinois courtrooms, after decades of hard work by individuals and organizations like INBA. The media coordinator has been a critical part of our success. This person is a member of the media within a circuit, selected by news organizations within that circuit to represent them. These volunteers serve as the go-between for the courts and the rest of the press, notifying case-by-case the judges, attorneys, defendants, and court liaisons that we intend to bring the tools of our trade into the courtroom. They also defend our right to be there when someone objects.
Jim Grimes chairs INBA’s Cameras and Mics in the Courts committee. He notes that “the Media Coordinators are a deserving group, putting in work beyond their regular jobs, with very diverse situations across the state.”