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Expanded News Media Coverage

Broadcasting, recording, photographing, texting, blogging, or tweeting real-time electronic coverage of judicial proceedings in a courtroom and adjacent areas is prohibited unless the presiding judicial officer expressly permits coverage in advance of the proceeding. The judge shall allow expanded news media coverage unless the judge concludes that the coverage would materially interfere with the rights of the parties to a fair trial. If coverage is permitted, the manner of coverage and the equipment used is limited by court rule.

Expanded News Media Coverage of Initial Appearances in Criminal Cases

  • You must make a written or oral request for expanded news media coverage to the judicial officer presiding over an initial appearance in a criminal case in advance of the proceeding.
  • You must be in place at least fifteen minutes prior to the scheduled time of the proceeding.

Note: The prosecutor, defendant, or defendant’s attorney may object to expanded news media coverage.
Note: Authorization for expanded news media coverage of subsequent proceedings must be requested separately.

Expanded News Media Coverage of All Other Proceedings

  • You must submit a request for expanded news media coverage to the regional expanded news media coordinator at least seven days in advance of the proceeding (or, if the proceeding is not scheduled at least seven days in advance, as soon as practicable after the proceeding is scheduled). This includes texting, blogging, or tweeting real-time electronic coverage.
  • You must be in place at least fifteen minutes prior to the scheduled time of the proceeding.

Note: The expanded news media coordinator will notify counsel for all parties and the judicial officer of your request.
Note: The parties to the proceeding and witnesses may object to expanded news media coverage.

Expanded News Media Coverage of Supreme Court and Court of Appeals

  • The appellate court media coordinator must file a written request for expanded news media coverage with the clerk of the supreme court no later than the Friday immediately preceding the week in which the oral argument is to be held.
  • You must be in place at least fifteen minutes prior to the scheduled time of the proceeding.

Note: Authorization for expanded news media coverage of appellate proceedings must be requested separately.

Expanded News Media Coverage Prohibited in the Following Proceedings

  • Voir dire (jury selection);
  • Any court proceeding which, under Iowa law, is required to be held in private;
  • Victim witness testimony in sexual abuse cases (unless victim witness consents);
  • Juvenile, dissolution of marriage, adoption, child custody, or trade secret cases (unless consent on the record is obtained from all parties, including a parent or guardian of a minor child):
  • Conferences between attorneys and their clients, between attorneys, between attorneys and the judicial officer (at the bench or in chambers), or between judicial officers in an appellate proceeding; and
  • Jury selection or coverage of jurors (except coverage of the return of the jury’s verdict, or to the extent it is unavoidable in the coverage of other trial participants or courtroom proceedings).

Technical Rules

  • All news media personnel must wear identification stating the person’s name and media affiliation (contact the regional ENMC coordinator for information about how the process is handled in the jurisdiction).
  • All equipment must be unobtrusive and must not produce distracting sound.
  • Still cameras and lenses must be unobtrusive and must not cause distracting light or sound.
  • Television cameras and related equipment must be unobtrusive, must not produce distracting light or sound, and must be designed or modified so participants in the proceedings cannot determine when recording is occurring.
  • Audio equipment must be unobtrusive and must not interfere with the proceeding.
  • News media personnel must demonstrate to the judicial officer in advance of the proceeding that equipment sought to be used complies with the expanded media coverage rules.
  • Other than lighting sources already existing in the courtroom, no artificial light device of any kind may be used.
  • No more than five members of the news media using still cameras, television cameras, audio recorders, and electronic devices are permitted in the courtroom during a proceeding for recording, live streaming, or both.  Pooling may be required where there is limited space.
  • News media personnel are prohibited from moving about while proceedings are in session and must maintain proper courtroom decorum at all times.

Decorum

  • News media personnel must be properly attired and maintain proper decorum at all times while covering the proceeding.
  • News media personnel must not move about the courtroom or move in a way that distracts from the proceeding.
  • Cell phones cannot be used for calls and pagers must be turned off when in court.

Tips

  • Make sure your ENMC request is timely; do not wait until the last minute.
  • If possible, work with the appropriate court staff, and in some instances, the presiding judicial officer, well in advance of the day of the hearing or trial to discuss equipment placement, ground rules, and decorum.
  • Check the courtroom well in advance of the trial or hearing for electrical outlets, lighting, need for extension cords and other equipment.
  • Find the entire Expanded News Media in Iowa Court Rules Chapter 25 (PDF) on the Iowa Legislative website

Expanded News Media Coverage Forms for Media Coordinators

25.10 Guide: Chapter 25 Expanded News Media Coverage Compliance for News Media
25.10-Form 1: News Media Coordinator's Notice of Request for Expanded News Media Coverage of Trial or Proceeding
25.10-Form 2: Objection of Party to Expanded News Media Coverage of Trial or Proceeding
25.10-Form 3: Objection of Witness to Expanded News Media Coverage of Testimony
25.10-Form 4: News Media Coordinator's Notice of Request for Expanded News Media Coverage of Appellate Court Proceeding
31.25-Form 1: Application for Admission Pro Hac Vice - District Court

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