Joe Spurr

by Joe Spurr

The information office of the highest court in Massachusetts just launched a new online registration process for citizens and news organizations wishing to use cameras and other electronic equipment to cover court hearings throughout the state. The process is a lead-in for amended courtroom media rules that become effective next month. Key changes to Rule [...] more »

by Joe Spurr

Traditional media organizations cover big cases, and they do it well. Part of what’s neat about streaming normal courtroom proceedings as a part of OpenCourt‘s efforts is being present for the interesting hearings that would otherwise fall through the cracks. For instance, in a scene about a week ago that echoed a plot line from [...] more »

by Joe Spurr

The highest court in Massachusetts has just ruled in favor of OpenCourt’s ability to video record, stream and archive public court proceedings online, writing that restricting rights to publish would violate First Amendment press protections. The decision arrived during Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and [...] more »

by Joe Spurr

A version of this post first appeared on the OpenCourt blog. A man charged with selling drugs inside the courthouse. A woman said to have shoplifted $5 worth of barbeque chicken wings. A man charged with multiple counts of raping a child with force. A longtime Drug Court participant booted from the program for taking [...] more »

by Joe Spurr

OpenCourt, our Knight Foundation-funded project devised to help make courts more transparent, is facing a legal challenge soon to be heard by a judge in the highest court in Massachusetts. The central issue at stake is a First Amendment question of whether the court can order a news organization to redact material that has been [...] more »

by Joe Spurr

Of all the challenges since November, when we began our Knight-funded project, hooking up the Internet was probably the least expected snag. Our project, OpenCourt (formerly Order in the Court 2.0 ), aims to modernize an old-school district courtroom and stream its proceedings live online. There was so much policy to chisel out. There was [...] more »