Media coalition asks U.S. Supreme Court to allow audio, video coverage of health-care reform opinion

By on June 15, 2012

This has been reposted from The Reporters Committee.

Press Release | June 14, 2012

(Clarification: The Reporters Committee and media coalition are asking the Court to allow live audio and video coverage of the release of the opinion in the health care cases. In the conclusion of the letter, we are asking that if the Court decides not to allow live audio and video, that it at least release the Court’s own audio recording of the hearing as soon as the hearing ends.)

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and a coalition of media organizations asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow live audio and video coverage of the announcement of its decision in the three cases involving proposed federal health-care legislation.

“There is a strong interest nationwide in the Court’s opinion and any comments by a member of the Court that may accompany its announcement,” the Reporters Committee letter to Chief Justice John G. Roberts stated. “Such access would allow the public to be informed of the Court’s ruling in a timely manner.”

The following media organizations, most of which joined the Reporters Committee’s Nov. 18, 2011, request that the Court provide audio and video access to oral arguments in the case, signed on to this letter:

  • ABC News
  • A. H. Belo Corporation
  • Allbritton Communications Company
  • ALM Media, LLC
  • American Society of News Editors
  • The Associated Press
  • Association of Alternative Newsweeklies
  • Atlantic Media, Inc.
  • Bay Area News Group
  • Belo Corp.
  • Bloomberg News
  • Cable News Network, Inc.
  • California Newspaper Publishers Association
  • CBS Broadcasting Inc.
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Consumer Reports
  • Cox Media Group, Inc.
  • The C-SPAN Networks
  • Digital Media Law Project
  • Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
  • The E.W. Scripps Company
  • First Amendment Coalition
  • Gannett Co., Inc.
  • Hearst Corporation
  • Los Angeles Times
  • The McClatchy Company
  • MPA – The Association of Magazine Media
  • National Association of Broadcasters
  • The National Press Club
  • National Press Photographers Association
  • NBCUniversal Media, LLC
  • New York Daily News
  • The New York Times
  • Newspaper Association of America
  • The Newspaper Guild – CWA
  • The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
  • North Jersey Media Group Inc.
  • NPR, Inc.
  • Online News Association
  • Reuters America LLC
  • The Seattle Times Company
  • Society of Professional Journalists
  • Stephens Media LLC
  • Time Inc.
  • Tribune Company
  • USA Today
  • The Washington Post
  • WNET

    “I am aware that various members of the Court have expressed concern that live television coverage of its proceedings may negatively affect the character and flow of the back-and-forth discussion between attorneys and justices,” Reporters Committee Executive Director Lucy A. Dalglish said in the letter. “But this interest is clearly not implicated when the proceeding at issue involves the summary of an opinion rather than the interaction at oral argument.”

    Barring the approval of live video coverage of the announcement, the Reporters Committee proposed the Court at least consider immediate or, at a minimum, delayed release of audio recordings of the announcement.

    The coalition requests “the Court allow the American public the opportunity to learn contemporaneously or near-contemporaneously how it resolved one of the most significant issues to come before it in many years,” the letter stated.


Jennifer Mizgata

Jennifer Mizgata is Director of Programs at the Online News Association, where she leads the Women's Leadership Accelerator. At ONA, Jennifer focuses on identifying talented digital journalists and innovative journalism projects and providing them with support. Jennifer is a business and design strategist with over a decade of experience creating industry-changing training programs, investing in award-winning projects, and managing key relationships with journalism partners and tech stakeholders. She regularly coaches managers, senior leaders and entrepreneurs on challenges related to their careers and launching new ventures. Jennifer shares advice for navigating tough work challenges in Work Space, a monthly column for Fortune.