2012 Spring Forum: Focusing on the Ethics of Cameras in the Courtroom

Panel Discussion

A pilot project permitting cameras in Minnesota trial courts in civil cases is underway.  If it succeeds, the Supreme Court may extend access rights to include criminal trials.

Panelists included

  • Joan Gilbertson - Is the senior news producer at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, where she writes and produces the 6 p.m. newscast.  Previously, she worked for CBS News in New York and Tokyo.  Gilbertson is the only TV journalist currently working with cameras inside Minnesota courts.
  • Caroline Palmer - Is the staff attorney at MNCASA (Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault), and has prior experience as Pro Bono Development Director at the Minnesota State Bar Association, Executive Director of LegalCORPS, and as a staff attorney at the Minnesota AIDS project.  She was a Policy Fellow at the Humphrey Institute in 2009-10, and is also covers the arts as a freelance writer.   
  • Abby Simons - Covers Hennepin County District Court of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Prior to joining the newspaper in 2008, she worked as a newspaper reporter in Iowa and Missouri – both states where cameras are allowed in trial courts.
  • Hal Davis - Is team leader for public safety for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, where he directs courts and crime coverage.  He did similar work for the Dayton Daily News, was an associate editor at the National Law Journal, and covered trial and appellate courts in Manhattan for the New York Post
  • Gary Hill - Is Director of Communications at Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin. Previously, he was Director of Communications for the Minnesota Senate Majority Leader. Before that, he was managing editor at KSTP-TV in St. Paul, and served as chair of the National Ethics Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists.

An audience Q & A followed the discussion. The event was free and open to the public - no reservations were required.

Event Location

130 Murphy Hall

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