Tag: Internet

For more information on cameras in the courtroom, read our book chapter on “Court TV”

I worked with my colleague Chuck Kleinhans at Northwestern University on a media study of the cable channel “Court TV.”  While the current channel “TruTV” has roots in Court TV, they are really nothing alike.  Court TV was owned by a lawyer and went courtroom-by-courtroom across the country fighting for access for cameras to the courtroom.  They learned how to “do it right” in the broadcast of court proceedings – no easy feat.  You don’t want to just dump any set of technologists into a courtroom and expect everything to be alright.  Judges became experienced in how to handle cameras.  The legacy of their early successes remain in most states today.

Chuck and I watched Court TV for ten years to do our study.  It is humanities-oriented (ie not quantitative) and a fun read. Court TV provided live gavel-to-gavel coverage of fascinating cases from divorces to small claims court.  It provided post-trial interpretation by experts and in the early years, it even had continuing-education programs for lawyers.  Court TV was not able to sustain sufficient ratings and transformed into the popular-cime-drama/docu genre that it is now.

Here is the citation: Chuck Kleinhans and Rick Morris, “Court TV: The Evolution of a Reality Format,” Startling! Heartbreaking!Real! Reality TV and the Remaking of Television Culture, Laurie Ouellette and Sue Murray, eds., (New York: NYU Press, 2004), 157-175  Note that this is the FIRST  edition of the book.  Laurie and Sue went on to do a second edition and Court TV had transformed into TruTV by then so our chapter did not make it through to the second edition.

Dangerous communications

Communications dangers in 2010, a few resolutions for the new year

1) Getting to know someone: Everything from dating to social media sites present dangers to the participants.  Recently we have seen children commit suicide for what was said to them on social media sites and have seen too many episodes of Dateline to know that there are real dangers.

2) Letting someone find out about you: Sure, you thought that only your friends would see that picture of you drunk and get a laugh.  But when the hiring partner of your future firm does not get a laugh of your picture with the lampshade posted world-wide, you will need to re-evaluate what you let others know about your personal life.  Remember that the hiring partner has a personal life too, but they don’t put pictures available worldwide on the Internet….

3) Not guarding your numbers: Keep your SSN, bank numbers and other important numbers away from the bad folks.