Group Discusses Media And The Courts

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Journalists and judges came together Friday to improve the information the public gets from Kansas courtrooms.

The Montgomery Family Symposium "Journalists and the Courts" brought media professionals from around the state to the Judicial Center. The group attended various sessions addressing issues related to covering courtroom proceedings.

13's Melissa Brunner joined WIBW Radio's Liz Montano and Kansas Supreme Court Justice Eric Rosen for a panel discussion on how technology and new media are impacting courtroom coverage.

Panel moderator Mike Kautsch, a professor with KU's School of Law, says it's important for journalists and judges to find middle ground between openness for media and fairness for defendants. He says the idea behind transparency in court proceedings is to foster the public's trust in how the judicial system operates. Each time access is limited, he says, carries a risk that the public will no longer have confidence in the system.

The agenda also included time with federal, state and local judges and prosecutors.

The Montgomery Family Fund in the Kansas Newspaper Foundation sponsored the event in cooperation with KU's William Allen White School of Journalism. The Media Bar Committee of the Kansas Bar Association coordinated and presented the symposium with support from the Kansas Judicial Branch.