Coalition of media organizations calls for broadcast coverage of Greitens trial

   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Should the trial of Gov. Eric Greitens be broadcast? A motion filed on behalf of several local and national media outlets this week is hoping that will be the case.

The Radio Television Digital News Association and its Voice of the First Amendment Task Force filed a motion for a pre-trial conference in the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis City asking the judge to consider allowing broadcast coverage of the upcoming felony trial beginning on May 14.

In addition to RTDNA, the entities signing on to the motion were:

  • Meredith Corp.
  • The Associated Press
  • CNN
  • Gannett Company, Inc.
  • Multimedia KSDK, LLC
  • NBCUniversal Media
  • The E.W. Scripps Company
  • Tribune Media Company

The motion, filed on March 23, asks for a conference with the court to discuss the request for camera an audio coverage.

“They can discuss and demonstrate, for example, ways that cameras and audio equipment can be made unobtrusive, limitations that can be made on particular kinds of activities, and management of media coverage in ways that are least disruptive to the courtroom, while meeting the media’s need for accessing and reporting information about the case,” the motion reads. “In other high-profile cases, protocols have been established and successfully implemented regarding the number of cameras, the use of audio, whether any transmission is live or delayed, and limitations on what may (and may not) be recorded.”

According to the RTDNA’s release, the prosecutor in the case opposes the presence of cameras in the courtroom.

“For decades, RTDNA has fought for the public’s right, and need, to know what is occurring in local, state and federal courtrooms across the land. The best way to achieve such transparency is for broadcast and digital journalists to be allowed to use the best tools of their trade, namely cameras, microphones and computers,” said Dan Shelley, RTDNA Executive Director. “It’s hard to imagine a more important type of case where such openness is needed, and demanded by the public, than the felony trial of the governor of a state.”

Read the motion below:

Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email benjamin@themissouritimes.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.