March 31, 2023

Cameras/Mics in the Courts – Information and Resources

On February 22, 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court filed an Order amending the Policy for Extended Media Coverage in the Circuit Courts of Illinois (EMC Policy) by discontinuing the pilot program and adopting the program as permanent. Judicial circuits previously approved under the pilot program are retroactively approved to continue on a permanent basis.

Under the amended EMC Policy, the Chief Judge of a Judicial Circuit can make application for approval to provide extended media coverage of judicial proceedings in the chief judge’s judicial circuit. If approved, the judicial circuit will be authorized to allow news media cameras in trial courtrooms in that circuit.

Each Circuit approved for EMC has a designated Media Coordinator(s), chosen from among the journalists who cover the court. Reporters are to notify the Media Coordinator for assistance in having the required forms filed in requesting EMC.

McLean County Courthouse / Teemu08/Flickr/CC BY SA 2.0

Here are several resources available for journalists regarding Extended Media Coverage:

INBA can also help facilitating meetings with area media representatives, Judges and Court Administrators. Please get in touch if you have any questions or concerns while covering your courts. If you have any questions, or need the INBA’s help, e-mail Cameras/Mics in the Courts Committee Chair Maggie Hradecky or INBA President Jenna Dooley.

The Court’s policy allows electronic journalists to use video cameras, still cameras, and microphones to record certain proceedings in courts that have received approval to participate in the experiment from the Supreme Court. This comes after decades of effort on the part of INBA and other journalism organizations; however, not all courts in Illinois have asked to participate at this time.

If you know of any updates or changes in your area, contact Cameras/Mics in the Courts Committee Chair Maggie Hradecky via email: