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Cameras in the courtroom Turko, Donna M. 2002

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CAMERAS IN THE COURTROOM by DONNA M. TURKO B.A., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1982 L.L.B., Dalhousie University, 1991 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Anthropology and Sociology We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Ap r i l 2 002 © Donna Mary Turko, 2 002 In p resent ing th is thesis in partial fu l f i lment of the requ i rements fo r an advanced d e g r e e at t h e Univers i ty o f Brit ish C o l u m b i a , I agree that t h e Library shall make it f ree ly available f o r re ference and study. I fu r ther agree that permiss ion f o r extensive c o p y i n g o f th is thesis f o r scholar ly pu rposes may b e g ran ted by the head o f my d e p a r t m e n t o r by his o r her representat ives. It is u n d e r s t o o d that c o p y i n g or pub l i ca t i on of this thesis fo r f inancial gain shall n o t be a l l owed w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n permiss ion . D e p a r t m e n t o f 3 ^ v o \ The Univers i ty of Brit ish C o l u m b i a Vancouver , Canada Date X ^ O ^ 7 2 0 0 2 -DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT This i s a t h e s i s on the i n t e r a c t i o n between the id e o l o g i e s and discourses of l e g a l and-media p r o f e s s i o n a l s i n c o n f l i c t over camera access to c r i m i n a l court proceedings i n B r i t i s h Columbia. A deconstruction approach i s taken to penetrate some of the r h e t o r i c of the ongoing debate. The id e o l o g i e s and d i s c u r s i v e underpinnings of the respective p r o f e s s i o n a l groups provided the framework from which to examine some of the reasons f o r the controversy and the p o t e n t i a l areas f o r convergence of l e g a l and media perspectives. A d e t a i l e d examination of court precedents and p u b l i c p o l i c y on cameras access i s offered, followed by a d i s c u s s i o n of s o c i a l science w r i t i n g s that help to frame the controversy. Issues regarding the p r o p r i e t y of cameras i n the courtroom are canvassed through interviews with media and l e g a l members, i n c l u d i n g t h e i r opinion of t e l e v i s i o n coverage of the O.J. Simpson t r i a l , the q u a l i t y of c r i m i n a l court t e l e v i s i o n coverage, and the p o t e n t i a l f o r the t e l e v i s i o n media to inf l u e n c e t r i a l proceedings and p u b l i c r e a c t i o n . The data gathered underscore d i f f e r e n c e s between media and l e g a l groups over whether cameras should be allowed to broadcast court proceedings. Evident i n the fi n d i n g s i s a v a r i a t i o n of opinion on the q u a l i t y of t e l e v i s i o n news coverage: the media a n t i c i p a t e that improvement would occur i f video coverage was permitted, while l e g a l members s t r e s s the media's lack of knowledge about the courts and i n the profit-making motives. There was a c l e a r r e c o g n i t i o n by the majority of a l l interviewees that cameras were detrimental i n the O.J. t r i a l , p o t e n t i a l l y problematic f o r future court proceedings, and that audiences could be ne g a t i v e l y influenced by p u b l i c l y t e l e v i s e d proceedings; nevertheless the media group was adamant about gaining camera access to the courtroom. The majority of the l e g a l group was st r o n g l y opposed to the idea. The d i f f e r e n t p o s i t i o n s of the l e g a l and media members are traceable i n part, to di f f e r e n c e s i n t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e p r o f e s s i o n a l discourses. The noted disparate elements and c o n t r a d i c t i o n s are i d e n t i f i e d as p o t e n t i a l grounds of convergence f o r the two sides of the debate. I l l TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract i i Table of Contents i i i Acknowledgement i v Chapter One Introduction 1 Chapter Two L i t e r a t u r e and Legal Case Review 10 Chapter Three S o c i o l o g i c a l Constructs 3 0 3.1 Legal Ideology and the Discourse of J u s t i c e 3 6 3.2 Media Ideology and the Discourse of O b j e c t i v i t y 4 3 Chapter Four Methodology 6 2 4.1 ' F i e l d Methods 6 2 4 .2 Procedures 6 5 Chapter Five Findings and I n t e r p r e t a t i o n 69 Chapter S i x Discussion and Conclusions 84 Bibliography 9 5 Appendix A L e t t e r to Interview Respondents 10 3 Appendix B Consent Form 104 Appendix C Semi-structured Interview Schedule 10 6 Appendix D Itemized Responses (abbreviated form) 107 Appendix E Press Release from B r i t i s h Columbia Supreme Court dated A p r i l 18, 2 001 114 i v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS With the g r e a t e s t of respect, I acknowledge the tremendous support and the e s s e n t i a l d i r e c t i o n on t h i s t h e s i s r e c e i v e d from my a d v i s o r Dr. Bob Ratner. Dr. Ratner's d e d i c a t i o n to students remains unsurpassed. I a l s o wish to express my g r a t i t u d e to committee members Dr. J o e l Baken and Dr. Ken Stoddart f o r t h e i r w i l l i n g n e s s to a s s i s t with t h i s work. Further, I am very a p p r e c i a t i v e of a l l the media and l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s who took time out of t h e i r extremely busy schedules to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s study. This acknowledgement would be incomplete without accolades to Rob, Emma, Jack, C i d a l i a and G l o r i a who each s a c r i f i c e d i n t h e i r own -way to see t h i s work completed. F i n a l l y , I thank my parents f o r never d i s c o u r a g i n g my endeavours no matter how i m p r a c t i c a l to them. 1 I . I N T R O D U C T I O N The purpose of t h i s t h e s i s i s to examine the b e l i e f systems i n f l u e n c i n g proponents of the debate over t e l e v i s i o n broadcast coverage of c r i m i n a l t r i a l s i n B r i t i s h Columbia. An attempt w i l l be made to i d e n t i f y the reasons f o r the continuing c o n f l i c t over the issue and the p o t e n t i a l f o r agreement between media and l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s on the i n c l u s i o n of broadcast cameras i n c r i m i n a l courtrooms. The struggle over p e r m i t t i n g e l e c t r o n i c recording devices i n courtrooms has been ongoing f o r decades i n Canada. The debate has been s i t u a t e d i n the courtroom i n the form of l e g a l arguments, i n the form of news coverage and e d i t o r i a l s , at the management and p o l i c y l e v e l s i n both professions, and i n academic and popular w r i t i n g . The p u b l i c appears to have l i t t l e input on the issue a l b e i t the debate i s focused on the p r o t e c t i o n of the r i g h t s of the p u b l i c as court p a r t i c i p a n t s and t e l e v i s i o n viewers. The arguments presented by members of both camps, media and l e g a l , are steeped i n t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l i d e o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n s . Ideologies are based upon b e l i e f s and are, therefore, laden wi t h assumptions. I t i s the i n t e n t i o n of t h i s w r i t e r to examine the i d e o l o g i e s and discourses held by members of the media and l e g a l community i n an 2 attempt to uncover the l e s s obvious a t t i t u d e s h e ld on the t o p i c of cameras i n the courtroom. There are a number of reasons f o r s e l e c t i n g the t o p i c at hand: F i r s t l y , an examination of t h i s t o p i c w i l l h o p e f u l l y provide i n s i g h t s to the i n t e r a c t i o n of two very important s o c i a l r i g h t s -f a i r t r i a l and freedom of speech/expression - and two very important s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s - the l e g a l system which regulates our c o n f l i c t s , and the media, which both informs and enter t a i n s us. Many academics have regarded the media as an important s o c i a l agency f o r promoting our ideas of j u s t i c e and strengthening l e g a l norms. The media has also been regarded by some as a p o t e n t i a l agent f o r change by o f f e r i n g c r i t i c a l comment on p r i v a t e and p u b l i c i n s t i t u t i o n s . The media has been thought capable of exposing s o c i a l problems and a c t i n g as a c a t a l y s t f o r change that would u l t i m a t e l y r e s u l t i n the strengthening of so c i e t y . The Legal System i n our s o c i e t y i s regarded as a necessary forum fo r r e s o l v i n g c o n f l i c t and maintaining order. The Legal System views the media as having an important s o c i a l r o l e and c o n t r i b u t i n g to the j u d i c i a l process, by a s s i s t i n g w i t h the p r i n c i p l e of openness of courtrooms. R e s t r i c t i o n s placed upon the media by the Legal System have been deemed necessary to protect 3 the r i g h t to a f a i r t r i a l because of the perceived i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y between c e r t a i n p r i o r i t i e s i n the two professions. T e l e v i s i o n news has been f i r m l y e s t a b l i s h e d i n postmodern c u l t u r e as an important source of information f o r the p u b l i c . I t appears that the ma j o r i t y of Canadians r e l y on t e l e v i s i o n as t h e i r major source of news about the l e g a l system. In one Canadian study, 96% of respondents c i t e d the news media as t h e i r c h i e f source of information about the c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system. 1 Another Canadian researcher, drawing p a r a l l e l s to American s t a t i s t i c s , has in d i c a t e d that the vast majority of Canadians r e l y on t e l e v i s i o n news as t h e i r major source of news and commentary on current a f f a i r s . 2 Parliament and the J u d i c i a r y , while recognizing that our courtrooms must be open to the p u b l i c , have a l s o f e l t i t necessary to place l i m i t a t i o n s on media access to our courtrooms. Despite te c h n o l o g i c a l advances which have made camera equipment l e s s i n t r u s i v e , p o l i t i c a l and l e g a l decision-makers have been concerned that camera coverage of court t r i a l s would r e s u l t i n d i s r u p t i o n to the proceedings, decorum and f a i r n e s s of the t r i a l , and a 1 Roberts, J u l i a n and Robert Gebotys, , News Media Influences on Pu b l i c Views of Sentencing, Law and Human Behaviour, Vol.14, No. 5, January 1990, 451. 2 Marie Finke-lstein, Charter Issues i n C i v i l Cases, Charter Issues i n C i v i l Cases, (1974) p. 213. 4 d i s t o r t e d presentation of the case to the p u b l i c . The Legal p r o f e s s i o n appears to be d i v i d e d over the issue of courtroom access f o r the e l e c t r o n i c media. Academics and members of the Canadian Bar have spoken both i n favour and against pe r m i t t i n g cameras i n the courtroom. The J u d i c i a r y has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been strong l y opposed to increased access f o r cameras i n the courtroom. However, even judges are not uniform i n t h e i r f e e l i n g s about p e r m i t t i n g cameras i n our courtrooms. Over the past four decades, the Canadian broadcast media has frequently challenged r e s t r i c t i o n s to court access, c i t i n g the freedom of speech doctrine and claiming to be the eyes and ears of the p u b l i c while also maintaining that they w i l l a i r what i s i n t e r e s t i n g to the p u b l i c , not n e c e s s a r i l y what i s of p u b l i c i n t e r e s t . The b a t t l e f o r r a t i n g s and increased p r o f i t s can provide the c a t a l y s t f o r the media to reconstruct court t r i a l s i n t o an entertainment format. Secondly, the subject matter of t h i s t h e s i s i s contemporary and evolving. From A p r i l to October 1995, the world watched the l i v e t e l e v i s i o n coverage of O.J. Simpson's murder t r i a l i n Los Angeles, C a l i f o r n i a . This was the f i r s t time Canadians were able to view a l i v e c r i m i n a l courtroom t r i a l , a l b e i t an American c r i m i n a l courtroom t r i a l , on t h e i r t e l e v i s i o n sets. The O.J. t r i a l generated renewed debate i n the United States, Canada and other 5 countries as to whether t e l e v i s i o n news cameras and tape recorders should be permitted to broadcast court t r i a l s . During the course of the research and w r i t i n g of this., t h e s i s , the struggle i n B r i t i s h Columbia over camera access to c r i m i n a l courts has been a l i v e and v i s i b l e . While there have been experiments p e r m i t t i n g cameras i n "appeal courts i n Canada, f o r the f i r s t time i n t h i s country,- there was t e l e v i s i o n coverage of c r i m i n a l t r i a l proceedings on J u l y 27, 2000 i n V i c t o r i a , B r i t i s h Columbia. In t h i s precedent s e t t i n g case, Reaina v. Cho (2000) 146 C.C.C.(3d) 513, broadcast coverage was l i m i t e d to the c l o s i n g arguments by counsel, and was regarded only as an experiment. In A p r i l 2 001, the Chief J u s t i c e of the B r i t i s h Columbia Supreme Court issued a press release s t a t i n g that the broadcast of a t r i a l can only occur i f the court and p a r t i e s i n the case agree to the i n c l u s i o n of cameras, (see Appendix E) Most r e c e n t l y (September 2 001) i n the case of Reqina v . P i l a r i n o s and Clark, [2 001] B.C.J. No. 193 6, a c r i m i n a l proceeding i n v o l v i n g the former Premier of the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, there was a s i g n i f i c a n t l e g a l r u l i n g against p e r m i t t i n g cameras i n the courtroom. Counsel f o r the accused and the amicus curiae argued against the imp o s i t i o n of recording devices. The media lawyers obtained intervenor status to argue f o r the i n c l u s i o n of t h e i r 6 t o o l s since i t was the type of proceeding that would be of i n t e r e s t to the p u b l i c ; however, the media was not successful i n t h i s a p p l i c a t i o n . T h i r d l y , the author of t h i s t h e s i s has experience i n the f i e l d of radio and t e l e v i s i o n broadcast journalism on a f u l l - t i m e and part-time ba s i s ( 1 9 8 4 - 1 9 9 0 ) as a reporter and producer, as w e l l as a c r i m i n a l defence counsel ( 1 9 9 2 - 2 0 0 2 ) . My work i n both f i e l d s has lead me to observe the phenomena from each vantage po i n t . My experience as a broadcast j o u r n a l i s t included some, although l i m i t e d , coverage of l e g a l s t o r i e s . As a c r i m i n a l lawyer, I have been a p a r t i c i p a n t i n a number of cases which received a considerable amount of media a t t e n t i o n . Most of the l e g a l and media p r o f e s s i o n a l s interviewed f o r t h i s t h e s i s have been known to the author f o r at l e a s t ten years during which time I have been able to observe or am aware of t h e i r experience i n l e g a l cases as e i t h e r lawyers or report e r s . At a minimum, I am f a m i l i a r with the day-to day a c t i v i t i e s of both . p r o f e s s i o n a l groups, as w e l l as, t h e i r p r o f e s s i o n a l argot and te c h n i c a l language. Hopefully, such experience has enhanced t h i s t h e s i s i n a meaningful way. L a s t l y , although there i s a great deal of m a t e r i a l w r i t t e n on the issue of cameras i n the courtroom, there i s l i m i t e d research on the t o p i c from a s o c i o l o g i c a l perspective. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , 7 searches of the S o c i a l Science /Abstracts r e v e a l no w r i t i n g s on the t o p i c of the i d e o l o g i c a l perspectives of the r e s p e c t i v e p r o f e s s i o n a l groups which u n d e r l i e the e x i s t i n g c o n f l i c t over cameras i n the courtroom. Eric s o n et. a l (1991), Postman (1985), Tuchman (1978), A l t h e i d e (1985), H a l l et a l (1978) have looked at the d i s c u r s i v e p r a c t i c e s of the broadcast media, a l b e i t not i n depth on the t o p i c of t e l e v i s i o n broadcast coverage of court t r i a l s . A search of the S o c i a l Science Abstracts revealed no Canadian s o c i o l o g i c a l w r i t i n g s on cameras i n the courtroom. Most of the e x i s t i n g l i t e r a t u r e on the issue i s found i n the Legal and Communication d i s c i p l i n e s , with a surge of i n t e r e s t f o l l o w i n g the O.J. T r i a l . In t h i s study, the s o c i o l o g i c a l constructs to be a p p l i e d to the phenomena are that of ideology and discourse. Further to the canvassing of opinions from the two groups to gauge the l e v e l of i d e o l o g i c a l entrenchment, i t i s hoped that a d i s c u r s i v e and i d e o l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s of the t o p i c w i l l c o n t r i b u t e to the f i e l d of s o c i o l o g i c a l knowledge on the issue of Cameras i n the Courtroom by i d e n t i f y i n g assumptions and p r a c t i c e s that may escape the awareness even of the p a r t i c i p a n t s . Both p r o f e s s i o n a l groups have d i f f e r e n t methods of c r e a t i n g the appearance of o b j e c t i v i t y through t h e i r day-to-day routines and ways of c o n t r o l l i n g the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of phenomena. An a n a l y s i s 8 of these discourses of ' o b j e c t i v i t y ' ought to i l l u m i n a t e t h e i r i d e o l o g i c a l perspectives, without becoming ensnared i n the ide o l o g i e s , and thus d i s t i n g u i s h r h e t o r i c from r e a l i t y . Members of the broadcast media and the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n construct t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e r e a l i t i e s to achieve the appearance of o b j e c t i v i t y . The routine p r a c t i s e s of reporters and lawyers therefore r e i n f o r c e c e r t a i n aspects of s o c i a l phenomena, while excluding others. . Moreover, the media deconstructs the court t r i a l proceedings and evidence, then reconstructs i t i n t o a format s u i t a b l e f o r p r o f i t -making broadcast. At times, an " e n t e r t a i n m e n t - f i r s t " format i s problematic f o r the l e g a l system. The media v e r s i o n of a t r i a l process i s st r u c t u r e d i n order to perpetuate the appearance of o b j e c t i v i t y , yet the media's account of the t r i a l proceedings may be regarded by l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s and/or the p u b l i c as f i c t i o n . The l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n i s concerned that the entertainment-over-information format can have negative consequences f o r the l e g a l system's working d e f i n i t i o n of o b j e c t i v i t y . Accordingly, the l e g a l system deconstructs and reconstructs phenomena to f o s t e r the appearance of j u s t i c e , which includes i n s u l a t i o n of witnesses and judges from outside influences. There i s al s o a recognised desire on the part of the j u d i c i a l system to protect p a r t i c i p a n t s and encourage testimony. The l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s regard themselves as 9 the gatekeepers to j u s t i c e . The focus of t h i s work i s on the broadcast media and c r i m i n a l courts. References to the media and the l e g a l system therefore are made wit h the t e l e v i s i o n media and the c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system i n mind. This introductory chapter has set out the purpose of t h i s t h e s i s , which i s to examine the ingrained p r o f e s s i o n a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n s f o r the on-going c o n f l i c t over camera coverage of c r i m i n a l court proceedings. The importance of studying t h i s contemporary problem i s discussed, the researcher's own i n t e r e s t s are acknowledged and the l i m i t a t i o n s of the e x i s t i n g research are noted. Comment i s also made about the p o t e n t i a l f o r t h i s t h e s i s to con t r i b u t e to the quantum of knowledge on the issue, e s p e c i a l l y i n Canada where current research i s even l e s s prevalent than i n the United States. 10 II. LITERATURE AND LEGAL CASE REVIEW In t h i s chapter, I w i l l provide a b r i e f h i s t o r y of the-^struggle over cameras i n the Canadian courtrooms, and i n doing so the American experience w i l l a l s o be considered. In Chapter Three, I w i l l d i s c u s s the concepts of ideology and d i s c o u r s e i n the context of t h i s t h e s i s . Some general hypotheses about the i d e o l o g i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e s h e l d by the p r o f e s s i o n a l groups w i l l be put f o r t h at the end of chapter. These hypotheses w i l l form the framework f o r an a n a l y s i s of the i n t e r v i e w m a t e r i a l . H i s t o r y of the broadcasting equipment ban The i s s u e of t e l e v i s i o n cameras i n Canadian courtrooms has been a c o n t r o v e r s i a l t o p i c f o r the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n and the media i n North America f o r over three decades. 3 The general r u l e throughout Canada i s that b r o a d c a s t i n g r e c o r d i n g equipment i s not permitted i n t r i a l c o u r t s . Both law and p o l i c y regarding broadcast coverage i n t r i a l s has evolved i n Canada over the years, and most r e c e n t l y i n B r i t i s h Columbia. 3 F i l m cameras were denied access i n t o the courts i n 1961 (Estes V. Texas, 381 U.S. 532 (1965). Canadian courts c l o s e l y followed the American lead. 11 Although there are marked di f f e r e n c e s i n the Canadian and American c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e systems, the American precedent of pe r m i t t i n g broadcast coverage i n the l a s t two decades has been c a r e f u l l y observed north of the border. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA The F i r s t Amendment of the U.S.Constitution 4 i s often c i t e d as a reason why American courts have evolved to be more permissive of cameras i n courtrooms: Congress s h a l l make no law respecting an establishment of r e l i g i o n , or p r o h i b i t i n g the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press or the r i g h t of the people peaceably to assemble, and to p e t i t i o n the government f o r a redress of grievances. In the United States, cameras have been permitted i n almost a l l states on a permanent or experimental basis.' According to an Executive from the American Court T.V. Network, 50 states have adopted r u l e s and/or statutes allowing cameras i n t o courtrooms at the a p p e l l a t e l e v e l , and 37 of them permit the t e l e v i s i n g of c r i m i n a l t r i a l s . 5 However, t h i s has not always been the case. In 1961, when the p o p u l a r i t y of t e l e v i s i o n was on i t s i n i t i a l 4 U.S. C o n s t i t u t i o n , Amendment 1, 1787, United States Congress. 5 A f f i d a v i t of Douglas P. Jacobs, Executive V i c e -President and General Counsel of Courtroom T e l e v i s i o n Network, sworn on September 12, 2001, Reqina V. P i l a r i n o s and Clark, court f i l e number CC0011403, Supreme Court of B r i t i s h Columbia. 12 upswing, a U.S. court r u l e d i n Estes v. Texas (1968) 381 US 532, that the exemption of a l l types of e l e c t r o n i c recording devices d i d not v i o l a t e the freedom of the media, and that the presence of cameras i n the courtroom r a i s e s the presumption of a d e n i a l of a f a i r t r i a l . Over a decade l a t e r , the ban on cameras was challenged i n a case known as Chandler v. F l o r i d a , (1981) 449 U.S. 560, and the Supreme court, determining that there would be no infringement to due process, decided to open i t s doors to recording equipment despite objections from the defendant. Aside from a b r i e f experimental period, U.S. Federal Courts have never permitted camera coverage of proceedings. In 1994, c e l e b r i t y a t h l e t e O.J. Simpson was on t r i a l f o r the double murder of h i s wife N i c o l e Brown-Simpson and her f r i e n d Ron Goldman. The media coverage of the t r i a l was unprecedented, i n c l u d i n g l i v e broadcast coverage on the Court T e l e v i s i o n channel 6 and Cable News Network (C.N.N.)7 as w e l l as on-going expert commentary. Current a f f a i r s programs constantly discussed the d a i l y proceedings from the O.J. t r i a l . The d a i l y T.V. news a i r e d s t o r i e s at every opportunity. 6 The Court T e l e v i s i o n channel has been i n operation i n the United States since 199 0 and provides e x c l u s i v e coverage of t r i a l proceedings and court commentary. 7 The all-news s t a t i o n C.N.N, was e s t a b l i s h e d i n 1985. 13 Canadians a l s o had a great deal of exposure to the O.J. t r i a l coverage. Cable t e l e v i s i o n i n Canada provided viewers access to the American coverage, i n a d d i t i o n to coverage from Canadian networks. The broadcast coverage of the O.J.Simpson t r i a l , generated a great deal of negative sentiment regarding cameras i n the courtroom. 8 The O.J. trial"-remains as the most notorious media-court event. Pro-camera advocates c i t e a number of .counter-points to the judges' concerns over the O.J. T r i a l : that the case would have been h i g h - p r o f i l e even without the presence of the cameras, and that p a r t i c i p a n t s d i d not a l t e r t h e i r behaviour s o l e l y f o r the cameras. Also, i t i s argued that the p u b l i c a t i o n bans on p r e - t r i a l proceedings i n Canadian c r i m i n a l courtrooms are l e s s conducive to the types of abuses that occurred i n the O.J. p r e - t r i a l proceedings 9 where cameras had access to courtroom evidence. There have been over 700 t r i a l s r e c e i v i n g f u l l or p a r t i a l 8 J u s t i c e B i l l K e l l y , "A J u d i c i a l Case f o r t e l e v i s i o n i n the courts" The Vancouver Sun, December 9, 1995. Howard Kurtz, "Murder down, but not on news broadcasts" The Vancouver Sun, August 13, 1997. 9 Henry, Dan " E l e c t r o n i c P u b l i c Access: An Idea Whose Time Has Come" i n Yves-Marie Morissette, Wade McLauchlan and Monique Ou e l l e t t e (Eds) Open J u s t i c e (Canadian I n s t i t u t e f o r the Administration of J u s t i c e ) 1994, at pp.419-420. 14 broadcast coverage on the Court Television Network. 1 0 As well, these t r i a l s would have received coverage from other media franchises. In recent years, there have been no appeals or stays claimed to be or determined to be founded upon having cameras i n the courtroom. 1 1 However, there has been negative c r i t i c i s m about the influence of cameras on t r i a l proceedings and participants, especially where the case took on a si g n i f i c a n t p r o f i l e with the public. CANADA In Canada, the prohibition on camera access to the courtroom i s a matter of common law, statute and policy. Section 92(14) of the Constitution Act of 1867 1 2 grants the provinces power to deal with administration of court issues, which has been interpreted to include access for broadcasting equipment. The general prohibitions against electronic recording equipment i n courtrooms vary from province to province. Ontario i s the only province which pronounced statute law banning broadcasting recording equipment from the courtroom. The Ontario io See footnote 4. n See footnote 4. 12 Constitution Act- 1867. 15 Judicature Act R.S.O. 1980, C. 223 expressly provides that no cameras may be used to f i l m any person entering, l e a v i n g or i n s i d e a courtroom. B r i t i s h Columbian courts have p r o h i b i t e d e l e c t r o n i c recording equipment on the basis of p o l i c y and common law. In other provinces, Chief J u s t i c e s of the Supreme Courts have issued d i r e c t i v e s over the years banning broadcasting equipment. Precedents i n common law r e f u s i n g camera coverage have been set across the country and although decisions i n one province are not binding i n another province, the trend of p r o h i b i t i o n of cameras appears to be entrenched. The Crim i n a l Code of Canada and other statutes contain various forms of p u b l i c a t i o n bans on t r i a l proceedings. The Young Offenders Act p r o h i b i t s the p u b l i c a t i o n of the names of j u v e n i l e s . There are bans to protect the i d e n t i t y of some v i c t i m s such as i n sexual a s s a u l t cases i n the Criminal Code. Also pursuant to the Crimi n a l Code, an accused can request a p u b l i c a t i o n ban f o r the e a r l y stages of the proceedings such as f o r b a i l hearings and pr e l i m i n a r y hearings. Where co-accused are t r i e d separately, a ban i s often imposed so as to make i t ea s i e r to f i n d an i m p a r t i a l j u r y f o r the second accused. Bans on p u b l i c a t i o n have a l s o occurred i n cases i n v o l v i n g wardship, the care and treatment of l u n a t i c s , and trade secrets. 16 Bans on p u b l i c i t y are often used to encourage witnesses to t e s t i f y or as a means of p r o t e c t i o n . 1 3 P u b l i c a t i o n bans are often used when the courts are dealing with t o p i c s of a s e n s i t i v e nature. The courts take these bans on p u b l i c a t i o n s e r i o u s l y . There are cases where v i o l a t i o n s have r e s u l t e d i n f i n e s or j a i l sentences. 1 4 Since the e a r l y 1980's, cameras have been permitted i n some quasi-j u d i c i a l hearings i n Canada ( i . e . , Commissions of Inquiry, Royal Commissions and statutory-based t r i b u n a l s ) . 1 5 There has been some concerns expressed with the coverage of q u a s i - j u d i c i a l proceedings, 1 6 i n c l u d i n g camera-shy witnesses and the q u a l i t y of information being disseminated by the media. However, c r i t i c i s m from q u a s i - j u d i c i a l hearings has not r e s u l t e d i n any serious attempts to ban cameras. 13 See Reaina V. McArthur (1984), 13 C.C.C. (3d) 152 (Ont .H.C.) 14 For.Example, Reaina V. Chek TV Ltd (1987) 33 C.C.C. (2d) 369 (B.C.C.A.), the t e l e v i s i o n s t a t i o n was convicted of c r i m i n a l contempt. Also see Reqina V.Southam Press (Ontario) Ltd.(1976) 31 C.C.C. (2d) 175 (Que. CA. j . In both these cases the courts found that the p u b l i c a t i o n of court proceedings i n f r i n g e d on the accused's r i g h t to a f a i r t r i a l . 1 5 Cameras can be permitted i n Ontario court t r i a l s i n rare circumstances. The current c r i t e r i a i n Ontario f o r the admittance of T.V. cameras i n t o court t r i a l s i n cludes: 1) permission by the appointed judge, 2) consent of a l l p a r t i e s , and 3) i f the video i s to be used f o r educational purposes only (Ontario Courts of J u s t i c e Act, R.S.O. 1984, C . l l , S.146.) i s For example, Mr. J u s t i c e Grange, " J u s t i c e and the System"(1985) Law Society of.Upper Canada Gazette , pp. 121-139. 17 The Chief J u s t i c e s i n the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Canada have the inherent j u r i s d i c t i o n to decide the fate of cameras i n t h e i r courtrooms. Since 1995, a f t e r a 12 year p r o h i b i t i o n , cameras have been permitted i n t o the Supreme Court of Canada, and se l e c t e d cases are broadcast on the Parliamentary channel - CPAC. In 1981, t e l e v i s i n g of the Supreme Court of Canada P a t r i a t i o n Reference case was problematic due to sound d i f f i c u l t i e s . The Court prevented f u r t h e r broadcast coverage u n t i l 1993 . From 1993-1995, there was tape-delay broadcast by CBC Newsworld of three cases: Svmes, Rodriques, and Thibaudeau. In 1998, the Quebec Secession Reference Case was a i r e d l i v e by ra d i o and time-delayed broadcast on the Parliamentary channel. In 1993, a Federal court judge of the T r i a l d i v i s i o n intended to permit cameras i n t o a contempt proceeding. However, the case was conducted i n one of the Courtrooms i n the P r o v i n c i a l Supreme Courthouse of Toronto and the then Chief J u s t i c e d i d not l e t t e l e v i s i n g occur. Following that experience, a Federal Court committee arranged a two-year p i l o t p r o j e c t which included four appeal cases. Surveys of the judges, before and a f t e r the p i l o t p r o j e c t , i n d i c a t e d a minor increase i n pro-camera opinion 1 7, but reluctance among judges remained. The Court of Appeal i n Nova S c o t i a has permitted cameras on an experimental b a s i s f o r two years. However, there appears to be l i t t l e broadcast coverage by commercial news s t a t i o n s of appeal court proceedings. Commercial T.V. news agencies seem more i n t e r e s t e d i n t r i a l s w ith l i v e witnesses rather than the l e g a l arguing found i n appeal cases. 1 8 A l b e r t a , Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and the Northwest T e r r i t o r i e s have allowed broadcast cameras i n courtrooms on various s h o r t - l i v e d experimental runs. Despite what i s reported as problem-free r e s u l t s from the t r i a l runs, courtrooms i n those provinces have not removed p o l i c y or s t a t u t o r y bans. Numerous studies have been conducted by members of the Canadian l e g a l community. Most of these studies have favoured a l l o w i n g cameras i n the courtroom, 1 9 at l e a s t on a t r i a l b a s i s . An 1 7 Report to the Court's Committee on Cameras i n the Courtroom by the Court's Executive O f f i c e r / J u d i c i a l Administrator- A l l i s o n Small, "Cameras i n the Courtroom P i l o t P r o j e c t : Preliminary report and Survey Results", 6 March 1997. 1 8 Media L i a i s o n Committee, Report at Conclusion of Two-Year Camera P i l o t P r oject (1997). 1 9 The Law Reform Commission, the Canadian Bar A s s o c i a t i o n , and the Report of the Ontario Courts Inquiry have a l l made recommendations f o r the implementation of experimental video taping of court proceedings f o r broadcast news purposes. 19 extensive report of the issue was released by the Canadian Bar A s s o c i a t i o n i n 1987. 2 0 This study reached the f o l l o w i n g conclusions on the pros and cons of p e r m i t t i n g e l e c t r o n i c equipment access to courtrooms: For cameras: Extends the p u b l i c ' s r i g h t to access Confers educational advantages Enhances p u b l i c awareness of the j u d i c i a l system Against cameras: Compromises r i g h t to a f a i r t r i a l Results i n d i s t o r t i o n i n coverage Offends the d i g n i t y of the court Equipment d i s r u p t i o n However, i n 1988, despite the Bar's p o s i t i v e recommendations, the J u d i c i a l Council (an i n t e r n a l p o l i c y group composed of c h i e f judges from across the country) voted against p e r m i t t i n g cameras i n the courtroom. 2 1 The d e c i s i o n to deny camera access to the courtroom was reaffirmed by the J u d i c i a l Council i n 1994. No reasons f o r the J u d i c i a l Council's p o s i t i o n on cameras has ever 20 Canadian Bar A s s o c i a t i o n Proceedings, Toronto: Canadian Bar A s s o c i a t i o n , V o l . 70, 1987, pp. 172-188. 21 Canadian Bar A s s o c i a t i o n , The N a t i o n a l , March 1988. 20 been provided, although the O.J. Simpson case appears to have caused s i g n i f i c a n t apprehension f o r the Chief J u s t i c e s . Despite the p o l i c i e s and s t a t u t o r y bars to p e r m i t t i n g cameras i n t o courtrooms, the e v o l u t i o n of the law on camera access has i t s roots i n the p r i n c i p l e s of the openness of court proceedings and the media's r i g h t s to the freedom of speech and expression. An important e a r l y precedent f o r i n c r e a s i n g access f o r the media was set i n the case The Attorney-General of Nova S c o t i a V. Maclntvre. 2 2 The issue i n t h i s case was whether a news reporter should be allowed access to search warrants and supporting documents. The court stated that the "curtailment to p u b l i c access can only be j u s t i f i e d where there i s a need to protect s o c i a l values of superordinate importance." 2 3 The court r u l e d that the p u b l i c should be allowed access to the warrants and documentation a f t e r the search warrant i s executed and i n instances where something has been seized. Of importance to note i s that the judge i n Maclntvre stated that the " s e n s i b i l i t i e s of the i n d i v i d u a l s involved are not a basis f o r exclusion of the p u b l i c from j u d i c i a l proceedings." 2 4 22 (1982), 65 C.C.C. (2d) 129 ( S.C.C.). 23 i b i d , pp. 147. 24 i b i d . , p.146. 21 In Reaina V. Banville.(1982) 69 C.C.C.(2d)520, the court determined that a complete p u b l i c a t i o n ban was appropriate only i n rare c r i m i n a l cases. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has provided a springboard f o r many court challenges to the camera ban based upon the freedom of speech do c t r i n e . Section 2(b) of the Charter i states: Everyone has the f o l l o w i n g freedoms: freedom of thought, b e l i e f , opinion and expression i n c l u d i n g the freedom of the press and other media of communication. Legal scholars 2 5 and the courts have debated whether t h i s s e c t i o n of the Charter i s to be i n t e r p r e t e d to allow cameras i n the courtroom, or j u s t to allow the broadcasting of court news without video p i c t u r e s , thus g i v i n g the e l e c t r o n i c media the same access as the p r i n t media. A key post-Charter case on court openness i s Re: Southam No.1 (1983) . 2 6 This case again confirmed that p u b l i c access to the courtroom i s accepted as a necessary part of ensuring a f a i r t r i a l . Also of i n t e r e s t i s the lengthy d i s c u s s i o n on the purpose 2 5 See A. Wayne McKay (1989) "Freedom of Expression : Is i t a l l j u s t t a l k ? " , Canadian Bar Review (December), 68., No.4, pp.713-764. 26 16 C.C.C. (3d) 262 (1989) 22 of a free press and i t s r o l e i n the maintenance of our democratic system. There appears to be a t a c i t acceptance of the press as a p u b l i c servant serving as the eyes and ears of the p u b l i c who are unable to come to a court t r i a l . However, i n Southam, the court set out the l i m i t a t i o n s to the media's r i g h t s under Section 2(b): In my view, s e c t i o n 2(b) of the Charter, i n i t s guarantee of freedom of expression, i n c l u d i n g freedom of the press and other media of communication, confers a r i g h t on the media to p u b l i s h or broadcast information l a w f u l l y obtained as they see f i t , subject only to reasonable r e s t r i c t i o n s such as are immunized from c o n s t i t u t i o n a l attack under s . l of the Charter. Section 2(b) does not confer on the media any general c o n s t i t u t i o n a l r i g h t to compel access to information which they deem newsworthy. Section 1 of.the Charter states that: The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the r i g h t s and freedoms set out i n i t subject only to such reasonable l i m i t s p rescribed by law as can be demonstrably j u s t i f i e d i n a free and democratic s o c i e t y . The Supreme Court of Canada made an important pronouncement i n the case Irwin Toy Ltd. V. Quebec (Attorney-General)(1989), 58 D.L.R. (4th) 577 (S.C.C.) regarding the breadth of the freedom of expression as guaranteed by se c t i o n 2(b) of the Charter. The court determined that not a l l a c t i v i t y i s protected by s e c t i o n 2(b). This case has been appl i e d by the courts to j u s t i f y l i m i t a t i o n s on the use of cameras i n courtrooms. In the case of Re: Edmonton Journal and the Attorney-General of 23 A l b e r t a [1989] 2 S.C.R.1326, the court d e f i n e d what i t p e r c e i v e d to be the r i g h t s f o r a f r e e press. The court here r u l e d that the press had the r i g h t to expression p l u s the r i g h t to secure m a t e r i a l , but no absolute r i g h t of access to the c o u r t . An important l e g a l challenge to the general ban on broadcast camera r e c o r d i n g during t r i a l proceedings was i n the matter of Reaina v. Squires (1989) 23 C.P.R. 31 (Ont. Prov. C t . ) . In t h i s Ontario case, a C.B.C. r e p o r t e r d i r e c t e d a cameraperson to video a person emerging from a t r i a l . The r e p o r t e r and cameraperson were charged f o r v i o l a t i n g s e c t i o n 67(2)(a) of the Ontario J u d i c a t u r e Act (a ban on v i d e o i n g i n d i v i d u a l s entering, l e a v i n g or i n the courtroom). The C.B.C.'s lawyers argued that s e c t i o n 67(2) (a) was i n c o n s i s t e n t with s e c t i o n 2(b) of the Charter. Another B r i t i s h Columbia case on the i s s u e of broadcast coverage i s that of Reaina V. Vander Zalm [1992] B.C.J.No.3065 (S.C.) i n which the media made a p p l i c a t i o n to t e l e v i s e the proceedings. In denying the a p p l i c a t i o n , the court s t r o n g l y r e a s s e r t e d what i t took to be a long-standing and well-known r u l e a g a i n s t cameras i n the courtroom. . R. V. F l e e t (1994), 137 N.S.R.(2d) 156 (S.C.) was a Nova Sc o t i a n case that reconfirmed that s e c t i o n 2(b) of the Charter does not give the media the r i g h t to b r i n g t h e i r cameras i n t o courtrooms. 24 In Daqenais V. Canadian Broadcasting Corp., the Supreme Court of Canada c l a r i f i e d the common law d i s c r e t i o n to order a p u b l i c a t i o n ban. The court set down the f o l l o w i n g t e s t : A p u b l i c a t i o n ban should only be ordered when: (a) such a ban i s necessary i n order to prevent a r e a l and s u b s t a n t i a l r i s k to the f a i r n e s s of the t r i a l , because reasonably a v a i l a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e measures w i l l not prevent the r i s k ; and (b) the s a l u t a r y e f f e c t s of the p u b l i c a t i o n ban outweigh the del e t e r i o u s e f f e c t s to the free expression of those a f f e c t e d by the ban.(at page 317) The Daqenais case i s also s i g n i f i c a n t as i t set out a d i r e c t avenue of appeal from the P r o v i n c i a l Supreme Courts to the highest court i n the land. The h i g h l y p u b l i c i z e d Reqina V. Bernardo [1995] O.J. No.585 Ont. Ct.of J u s t i c e (General Div.) t r i a l was subject to a court imposed t o t a l ban on the t r i a l proceedings due to the o f f e n s i v e nature of the evidence. In Canadian Broadcasting Corp. V. New Brunswick (Attorney General), (1996) 139 D.L.R.(4th) 385 (S.C.C.), a l s o a C o n s t i t u t i o n a l challenge, the court held that i t had the j u r i s d i c t i o n to exclude the p u b l i c and the media from the courtroom. In. J u l y 2000.at V i c t o r i a , B r i t i s h Columbia, the t r i a l judge i n Reqina v. Cho, a case i n v o l v i n g i l l e g a l immigrants transported on 25 unsafe s h i p s , . d e t e r m i n e d t h a t t h e r e was no b a s i s i n law f o r a t o t a l e x c l u s i o n of b r o a d c a s t technology. However, due t o concerns of f a i r n e s s and p o t e n t i a l harm t o the accused r a i s e d by b o t h Crown and defence, the judge p e r m i t t e d r e c o r d i n g o n l y of c o u n s e l ' s c l o s i n g submissions and the judge's i n s t r u c t i o n s t o the j u r y . The c o u r t s p e c i f i c a l l y p r o h i b i t e d f i l m i n g of the accused' and j u r y . I t was a l s o t r e a t e d as an e x p e r i m e n t a l run. N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h i s case was h e r a l d e d by the media as the f i r s t time they had been g r a n t e d access f o r t h e i r equipment t o t r i a l p r o c e e d i n g s . 2 7 Another r e c e n t a p p l i c a t i o n f o r coverage of t r i a l p r o c e e d i n g s i n B r i t i s h Columbia was the a s s a u l t case of hockey p l a y e r Regina V. M c S orlev [2000] B.C.J. No.2639 ( P r o v . C t . ) . The t r i a l judge i n t h i s m a tter d i d not g r a n t the media t h e i r r e q u e s t , n o t i n g t h a t the Cho case was an experiment. I n September 2 0 0 0 , the Canadian J u d i c i a l C o u n c i l agreed t o examine the impact of t e l e v i s i o n s i n the c o u r t s . Then i n November 2 0 0 0 , an i n f o r m a l c o n s u l t a t i o n on the i s s u e of camera a c c e s s was h e l d w i t h v a r i o u s i n t e r e s t e d member groups of the Canadian Bar A s s o c i a t i o n r e v e a l i n g s t r o n g p o s i t i o n s on b o t h s i d e s of the i s s u e . However, a l s o i n November 2 0 0 0 , the C r i m i n a l J u s t i c e S e c t i o n of the CBA i n d i c a t e d s t r o n g o p p o s i t i o n t o camera a c c e s s . 27 See v a r i o u s newspaper a r t i c l e s i e . Globe and M a i l , J u l y 2 7 , 2 0 0 0 , page A 4 . 26 On A p r i l 18 2001, Chief J u s t i c e Brenner of the Supreme Court of B r i t i s h Columbia issued a D i r e c t i v e s e t t i n g out l i m i t a t i o n s upon the access f o r camera coverage. As noted, the D i r e c t i v e requires that a l l p a r t i e s involved i n a proceeding must agree to the i n c l u s i o n of recording devices i n the courtroom before a Judge can permit i t to occur. This D i r e c t i v e has been regarded by the media as contrary to the freedom of expression s e c t i o n of the Charter. In a lengthy d e c i s i o n d e l i v e r e d i n September 2 001, the t r i a l judge i n Regina V. P i l a r i n o s and Clark [2001] B.C.J. No.1936 ext e n s i v e l y reviewed l e g a l precedents on the issue of e l e c t r o n i c devices during t r i a l proceedings. The media ap p l i c a n t s challenged the l i m i t a t i o n of the r e c e n t l y issued D i r e c t i v e of the Supreme Court of B r i t i s h Columbia under s e c t i o n 2(b) of the Charter. I t appears to be the f i r s t case i n which an amicus curiae was appointed to represent the court's i n t e r e s t s . The Judge denied the a p p l i c a t i o n , except to permit the use of tape recorders f o r the v e r i f i c a t i o n of notetaking and not f o r broadcast purposes. Madame J u s t i c e Bennett concluded that l e g a l precedents do not support the notion that an open court i s absolute and that the t e s t f o r p r o p o r t i o n a l i t y of the impact of the ban was weighted i n favour of p r o t e c t i o n of the- t r i a l proceedings. The e f f e c t on the media i s minimal. The p o t e n t i a l e f f e c t on 27 the t r i a l i s s i g n i f i c a n t . The p r o h i b i t i o n and the a p p l i c a t i o n of the d r a f t p o l i c y by a court meets the p r o p o r t i o n a l i t y t e s t . Therefore, the r e s t r i c t i o n , i f i t v i o l a t e s s.2(b), i s saved by s e c t i o n 1.(paragraph 221, page The t r i a l judge f u r t h e r i n d i c a t e d that experiments with cameras i n the courtroom should be organized and supervised w i t h the approval of the J u d i c i a r y as a whole; moreover, she asserted that such experiments should be c o n t r o l l e d and conducted i n a s c i e n t i f i c manner to determine i f f a i r t r i a l r i g h t s would be v i o l a t e d . Following the Daqenais d e c i s i o n , i n which the court set out the procedure f o r a t h i r d party challenge to a p u b l i c a t i o n ban, the appeal of Madame J u s t i c e Bennett's d e c i s i o n to p r o h i b i t recording equipment i n R. v. P i l a r i n o s and Clark i s going d i r e c t l y to the Supreme Court of Canada. I t should a l s o be noted that the media's challenges to the camera ban have been organized and well-funded. The arguments presented i n court by the media are u s u a l l y w e l l researched and have been fine-tuned over the l a s t decade. The a p p l i c a n t lawyers s p e c i a l i z e i n the area of media law and provide representation over a number of years. On the other hand, c r i m i n a l lawyers responding to the media's a p p l i c a t i o n may be l e s s f a m i l i a r w i t h the issue and the case law. The responding lawyers to a media a p p l i c a t i o n may w e l l be preoccupied with the substantive matter before the court, and 28 are l i m i t e d i n the amount of time and resources they can devote to the camera ban issue. The media has the b e n e f i t of a long-term strategy. Further, the media, with i t s own resources, may be i n a p r i v i l e g e d p o s i t i o n to influence the p u b l i c . Consequently, the media are now l i k e l y to be viewed with concern by many members of the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n . 2 8 The purpose of the preceding h i s t o r i c a l account has been to set out the background to the current l e g a l struggle over the issue of camera access to our courtrooms. A general conclusion to be drawn i s that the Canadian courts have been u n w i l l i n g to take r i s k s with regard to camera coverage of court proceedings. I m p l i c i t i n such a p o s i t i o n i s the notion that the media w i l l i n t e n t i o n a l l y and/or u n i n t e n t i o n a l l y have a negative i n f l u e n c e on the t r i a l proceedings. Concern i s also expressed about the d i s t o r t e d dissemination of news about the court proceedings. The l e g a l strategy to date has been to r e l y upon s o - c a l l e d common sense, supposedly based on assumptions about the p u b l i c and court p a r t i c i p a n t s . Concurrently, the media make claims which appear to be p r i m a r i l y concerned with t h e i r own demands f o r courtroom access, j u s t i f i e d by the p u b l i c ' s r i g h t to freedom of speech. In the debate, the media emphasize t h e i r claims of s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , rather than t h e i r commercial purpose. 2 8 Romilly, Selwyn, The Honourable, B a r t a l k , Vol.12 ,No.5, October 2000, pp.3-6. 29 The f o l l o w i n g chapter w i l l o u t l i n e the manner i n which t h i s t h e s i s attempts to conceptualize the problem i n order to gain a b e t t e r grasp of the r e l a t i v e l y covert law-media tensions i n t h i s c o n t r o v e r s i a l area. 30 III. SOCIOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTS This chapter w i l l discuss the concepts of ideology and discourse i n the context of t h i s t h e s i s . Further, some general hypotheses w i l l be put f o r t h at the end of the chapter i n an attempt to gauge a t t i t u d e s of p a r t i c i p a n t s on the issues. These hypotheses w i l l form the framework fo r an a n a l y s i s of the in t e r v i e w m a t e r i a l from media and law p r o f e s s i o n a l s . The process by which goal-oriented members of s o c i e t y are coordinated through the d i v i s i o n of labour i s r e f e r r e d to by s o c i o l o g i s t s as an organization. Within various organizations there are formal and informal r u l e s , also r e f e r r e d to as norms, which d i c t a t e how members are expected to act under c e r t a i n circumstances. The l e g a l system and the media are examples of organizations. The basic o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e of the l e g a l system i s obvious to most Canadians: The Defence Counsel represents the i n t e r e s t s of the accused. The Crown Counsel represents the i n t e r e s t s of the sta t e , which can include representing the i n t e r e s t s of the p o l i c e and the v i c t i m s . The Judge represents the i n t e r e s t s of the court, by monitoring the law and r u l e s of court. The Judge i s also a decision-maker i n r e l a t i o n to the g u i l t or innocence of the accused person(s). In 31 the more serious cases,such as murder and other i n d i c t a b l e offenses, the Jury i s also a decision-maker i n r e l a t i o n to the g u i l t or innocence of the accused person(s), s p e c i f i c a l l y on the issue of the f a c t s of the case. The Judge i s always required to administer l e g a l precedents, even i n cases i n v o l v i n g a Jury. The law i s administered under an a d v e r s a r i a l system: the Defence and Crown are opponents i n a general sense. The Crown's job i s to ensure that a l l the evidence i s properly put before the t r i e r of f a c t . The Defence Counsel i s required to do that which i s necessary, w i t h i n the law, to a t t a i n an a c q u i t t a l or the best r e s o l u t i o n of the matter f o r h i s or her c l i e n t . The basic o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e of the t e l e v i s i o n media i s also obvious to most viewers: The Cameraperson videos the p i c t u r e s of an event. The Reporter conducts the interviews w i t h p a r t i c i p a n t s and helps to s t r u c t u r e the news report. The Video E d i t o r e d i t s the camera video tape. The Producer determines which events or issues w i l l be covered. The News D i r e c t o r oversees the operation of the newsroom. Some of the duties i n a media or g a n i z a t i o n may overlap depending upon the experience or the strengths/weaknesses of each member. While the j u s t i c e system i s an i n s t i t u t i o n of the st a t e , the majority of lawyers are i n p r i v a t e p r a c t i c e and are motivated by f i n a n c i a l p r o f i t s . Some p u b l i c i t y may be of b e n e f i t to lawyers. 3 2 S a l a r i e d Judges and crown counsel are not motivated by p r o f i t i n the same manner as p r i v a t e p r a c t i c e lawyers, but they are subject to other s e l f - i n t e r e s t s that are compatible w i t h p u b l i c i t y . In Canada, as i n other countries, there i s al s o s t a t e financed t e l e v i s i o n . The Canadian Broadcast Corporation (C.B.C.) has a mandate to promote Canadian c u l t u r e ; however, i t a l s o competes with the p r i v a t e t e l e v i s i o n s t a t i o n s f o r viewers. The media and the l e g a l system have both been regarded by s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s , government and members of s o c i e t y as having important influences on our soc i e t y . Within the media organization and the j u s t i c e system organization there are i d e o l o g i c a l perspectives held by t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e members which contribute' to t h e i r way of seeing the world and to s t r u c t u r i n g t h e i r own a c t i v i t y . I t i s submitted that these i d e o l o g i e s u n d e r l i e the debate on whether to allow cameras i n t o c r i m i n a l court t r i a l s . P a t r i c i a Marchak (1975:1) has s u c c i n c t l y described the s o c i o l o g i s t ' s notion of the concept of ideology. Ideologies are screens through which we perceive the s o c i a l world. Their elements are assumptions, b e l i e f s , explanations,, values, and o r i e n t a t i o n s . They are seldom taught e x p l i c i t l y and s y s t e m a t i c a l l y . They are rather transmitted through example, conversation, and casual observation. 33 One's i d e o l o g i c a l perspective can i n t e r f e r e w i t h the understanding of another group's p o s i t i o n because they are often formulated on notions that can not be disproved such as i s seen w i t h r e l i g i o u s and p o l i t i c a l b e l i e f systems. However, i d e o l o g i e s can be c r i t i q u e d . Marchak (1975:2) goes on f u r t h e r to describe the r o l e of the s o c i o l o g i s t . One of these i s the r o l e of the s o c i a l c r i t i c who points out the i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s , the lack of congruence between e m p i r i c a l evidence and i d e o l o g i c a l statements. Such c r i t i c s often seek reforms i n the s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , not so much because they challenge the ideology as because they f i n d discrepancies between i t and t h e i r observations of s o c i a l r e a l i t y . I t i s the search f o r discrepancies and the l e s s obvious notions held by the p a r t i e s i n the debate on freedom of the media and court access that f u e l s t h i s research herein. There are numerous methods of s o c i o l o g i c a l research that can be looked to f o r guidance. S o c i o l o g i s t Robert Merton (1981) discussed the u t i l i t y of analyzing s o c i a l phenomena with consideration to the notions of manifest and l a t e n t functions. Merton attempted to d i s t i n g u i s h between conscious motivations f o r s o c i a l behaviour and the o b j e c t i v e consequences. Merton adapted the terms 'manifest' and ' l a t e n t ' from Freud and notes other s o c i a l t h e o r i s t s i n c l u d i n g Mead, Durkheim, Sumner, who have also considered s i m i l a r 34 d i s t i n c t i o n s . For example, Mead noted that the manifest h o s t i l i t y d i r e c t e d towards law-breakers has the l a t e n t f u n c t i o n of u n i t i n g community members29. Merton has a p p l i e d the concepts of manifest and l a t e n t i n analyses of problems i n the sociology of knowledge. To uncover the so-c a l l e d hidden l a t e n t functions of manifest i n t e n t i o n s i n our s o c i a l organizations, s o c i o l o g i s t s from the s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t u r a l i s t to post modernist t r a d i t i o n s turn to the a n a l y t i c a l p r a c t i s e of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . I n t e r p r e t a t i v e theories d i f f e r i n r e l a t i o n to the degree they go beyond the i n d i v i d u a l ' s own understanding of t h e i r b e l i e f s and a c t i o n s . The work of the popular t h e o r i s t Michel Foucault i s of assistance to the task of i n t e r p r e t i n g b e l i e f s t r u c t u r e s . Foucault has focused on the concept of discourse. Foucault s t a t e d i n " P o l i t i c s and the Study of Discourse" what I am analyzing i n discourse i s not the system of i t s language, nor, i n a general sense, i t s formal r u l e s of con s t r u c t i o n : f o r I am not concerned about knowing what makes i t l e g i t i m a t e , or makes i t i n t e l l i g i b l e , or allows i t to serve i n communication. The question which I ask i s not about codes but about events: the law of existence of statements, that which rendered them p o s s i b l e . . . But I t r y to answer t h i s question without r e f e r r i n g to the consciousness, obscure or e x p l i c i t , of speaking subjects:without r e f e r r i n g the f a c t s of discourse to the w i l l - perhaps i n v o l u n t a r i l y - of t h e i r authors; without having recourse to that i n t e n t i o n of saying which always goes beyond what i s a c t u a l l y s a i d ; without 29 George H. Mead, "The psychology of p u n i t i v e j u s t i c e " , American Journal of Sociology, 1918, 23, 577-602. 35 t r y i n g to capture the f u g i t i v e unheard s u b t l e t y of a word which has no t e x t . 3 0 Foucault's w r i t i n g s on knowledge and power are relevant to l e g a l and media discourses. I t may be u s e f u l to invoke Foucault's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of discourse when considering whether the law remains i n a pre-eminent p o s i t i o n i n r e l a t i o n to the media. Foucault (1978) sees the eff e c t i v e n e s s of government c o n t r o l dependent upon a wide d i s p e r s a l of technologies of power throughout the s o c i a l f a b r i c . The e f f e c t i v e n e s s of the Legal System i s questionable i f the media technology p o r t r a y a l s of the courts weaken j u d i c i a l s o c i a l c o n t r o l of the courts. While f a i r and accurate c r i t i c i s m may r e s u l t i n improvements to the l e g a l system, the same cannot be s a i d i f d i s t o r t e d media p o r t r a y a l s of court proceedings serve p r i m a r i l y to en t e r t a i n the audience through presentations of f i c t i o n a l accounts of court proceedings. I t has been a l l e g e d that i n a postmodern soci e t y , the l i n e between f i c t i o n and r e a l i t y b l u r s because of media technology which allows everyone to see everything, everywhere.(Moore and Moore:1997:316) The f o l l o w i n g p o r t i o n of t h i s chapter w i l l attempt to provide a deconstructed v e r s i o n of the i d e o l o g i c a l b e l i e f s h eld by the media 3 0 B u r c h e l l , Graham, Simon, C o l i n and M i l l e r , Peter, Eds. The Foucault E f f e c t : Studies i n Governmental!ty: Studies i n Governmentality: with two l e c t u r e s by and an in t e r v i e w with Michel Foucault, Chicago: U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago P r e s s : 1 9 9 1 , 5 3 . 36 and j u s t i c e system members with regards to t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e discourses of o b j e c t i v i t y . 3.1 Legal Ideology and the Discourse of J u s t i c e J u s t i c e i s an absolute i d e a l , but i t i s a l s o c u l t u r a l l y r e l a t i v e . What i s ' j u s t ' i n one s o c i e t y may not be so i n another s o c i e t y . And what i s * j u s t ' to a c a p i t a l i s t may not be so to a Marxist. Various w r i t e r s have perceived j u s t i c e i n very different•ways. Max Weber's 3 1 notion of Ideal Type i s u s e f u l f o r the purposes of t h i s t h e s i s by pr o v i d i n g us with a point of departure to compare the theory of j u s t i c e with the day-to day r e a l i t y of l e g a l p r a x i s . This procedure can be indispensable f o r h e u r i s t i c as w e l l as expository purposes. The i d e a l t y p i c a l concept w i l l help to develop our s k i l l i n imputation i n research: i t i s not "hypothesis" but i t o f f e r s guidance to the co n s t r u c t i o n of hypotheses. I t i s not a d e s c r i p t i o n of r e a l i t y , but i t aims to give an unambiguous means of expression to such a d e s c r i p t i o n . (Weber: 1968: 497) A d i s c u s s i o n of an i d e a l type of j u s t i c e i n Canadian s o c i e t y 31 Weber, Max (1968) Economy and Society , Vol.1 New York: Bedminster Press. 37 demonstrates the d i f f e r e n c e between 1) what "ought to be", and 2) "what i s " . Later, the media, i n theory and i n p r a c t i c e , w i l l be considered. The conventional notions of j u s t i c e i n Canada have developed along with c a p i t a l i s m . But, the roots of bur understanding of the i d e a l notion of j u s t i c e trace back to the ideas of the c l a s s i c Greek philosophers. I t was A r i s t o t l e who s a i d '"Man i s a p o l i t i c a l animal." He meant by t h i s that man was a s o c i a l animal and thus i n t e r a c t e d with h i s f e l l o w man. Some sort of order was necessary to maintain the tightrope that man walks between h i s d e s i r e to f u l f i l h i s wishes, and h i s acknowledgement of s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y (Bronowski i n Waddens: 1973: 411.) According to Hume (1902: 206) i n Lucas (1900:1), j u s t i c e i s the bond of soci e t y , and without i t no a s s o c i a t i o n of human i n d i v i d u a l s could s u b s i s t . I t follows that j u s t i c e i s a s o c i a l norm that i s a d i r e c t i v e f o r guiding human ac t i o n (Bird: 1967: 11.) How s o c i a l order i s maintained d i f f e r s , of course, depending upon the p o l i t i c a l , economic and s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e , as w e l l as the i d e o l o g i c a l perspective that i s dominant i n a s o c i e t y . A frequently c i t e d t r e a t i s e on the l i b e r a l theory of j u s t i c e i s John Rawls' A Theory of J u s t i c e , (1971), as a defence to the 38. c r i s i s of legi t i m a c y f o r the c a p i t a l i s t system and i t s i n s t i t u t i o n s . Rawls' idea of j u s t i c e i s 1) freedom of the i n d i v i d u a l to acquire an equitable share of goods, and 2) a welfare s t a t e designed to regulate d i s p a r i t i e s . Rawls presumes that the s i t u a t i o n i n a l i b e r a l c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y i s one where r a t i o n a l people make decisions about r u l e s f o r l i v i n g together based upon consensus. Rawls bases h i s theory on a hy p o t h e t i c a l s i t u a t i o n he c a l l s the " o r i g i n a l c o n d i t i o n . " I t follows that the dominant perception of the law and l e g a l s t r u c t u r e i s that they are the s o c i a l constructs of the meaning of j u s t i c e . The Concept of Law w r i t t e n by H. L. A. Hart, i s a tex t commonly found on the reading l i s t s f o r law schools i n Canada, the U. S. and B r i t a i n . In attempting to address the question of 'what i s law,' Hart c i t e s a number of c l a s s i c sources(1961:1) What o f f i c i a l s do about disputes i s . . . the law i t s e l f (Llewellyn: 1951: a) The prophecies of what the courts w i l l do... are what I mean by the law. (Holmes: 1920: 173) Statutes are 'sources of Law... not parts of the Law i t s e l f . ' (Gray: 1902: S. 276) C o n s t i t u t i o n a l law i s p o s i t i v e m o r a l i t y merely. (Austin: 1954: 259) One s h a l l not s t e a l ; i f somebody s t e a l s he s h a l l be punished... I f at a l l , the f i r s t norm i s contained i n the second norm which i s the only genuine norm. Law i s the primary norm which s t i p u l a t e s the sanction. (Kelsen: 1949:61) 3 9 Lucas has noted that most thinkers have construed the concept of j u s t i c e i n terms of r u l e s of u t i l i t y or e q u a l i t y (1980:1). I t i s a l s o a t t r i b u t a b l e to the c l a s s i c Greek t h e o r i s t s that j u s t i c e o r i g i n a t e s i n the b e l i e f that equals should be t r e a t e d equally and unequals unequally (Ginsburg:1965:7). These l a s t p o i n t s speak to the idea that j u s t i c e must be consistent and standardized. Richard Quinney (1977:7) has noted that: J u s t i c e i n contemporary c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y equates the idea of equal j u s t i c e with the formulation and a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of p o s i t i v e law. The appearance of o b j e c t i v i t y i s very important f o r the c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system. In short, not only must j u s t i c e be done, i t must appear to be done. Ideal j u s t i c e can not always be f u l f i l l e d . C l a s s i c and contemporary c r i t i c s see two kinds of j u s t i c e : one f o r the r i c h , who can a f f o r d the best lawyers, and one f o r the poor and middle c l a s s . In a popular handbook recommended by law schools f o r f i r s t year students of law, t i t l e d Introduction to the Study of Law, by S.M. Waddems, the notions of j u s t i c e and law are discussed: Everyone knows that the law i s not the same th i n g as j u s t i c e . Generally, indeed, when the two words are mentioned i n the same sentence, i t i s by way of contrast. I t i s a rare that a 40 r e s o l u t i o n of dispute leaves both p a r t i e s e q u a l l y happy, and i t would be Utopian to expect that a working system should s a t i s f y the l o s i n g party a l l the time. The best that can be expected i s that the l o s i n g party w i l l admit that he has had a f a i r hearing according to f a i r procedures and that the r e s u l t has been determined by p r i n c i p l e s that he w i l l recognize as the appropriated sort of p r i n c i p l e s to apply i n such a case! (1979:6) [emphasis added] The court i s struc t u r e d with the i n t e n t i o n of i n s u l a t i n g i t s e l f from i n t e r f e r e n c e from the outside. Waddems notes that the i s o l a t i o n of the judge and f o r m a l i z a t i o n of h i s o f f i c e helps not only the p u b l i c perception of h i s r o l e , but i t a s s i s t s the judge's perception of h i s own role.(1979:12) Waddems l i s t s a number of ways t h i s i s accomplished: s e c u r i t y of tenure and elevated status, the dress worn by judges and counsel, addressing the judge as "My Lord" or "My Lady". Such r i t u a l s are attempts to preserve... the r e a l and apparent i m p a r t i a l i t y of the judge. I t i s easier to perceive of the judge as i m p a r t i a l i f he i s seen not j u s t as an o l d p a l whom you might c a l l on the telephone f o r a chat about tomorrow's case. (Waddems:1979:12) The s t r i v i n g f o r independence and i m p a r t i a l i t y contributes to the a b i l i t y of the courts to make decisions " r a t i o n a l l y and c o n s i s t e n t l y . " I f disputes are determined by f a i r procedures before an i m p a r t i a l t r i b u n a l honestly t r y i n g to give r a t i o n a l and consistent reasons f o r i t s r e s u l t s , we w i l l not s a t i s f y every l i t i g a n t a l l the time, but we w i l l come as close as humanly p o s s i b l e to administering j u s t i c e . 41 S i m i l a r l o g i c i s appli e d to j u r i e s i n Canada. Members of the jury-are a l so expected to make r a t i o n a l and i m p a r t i a l d e c i s i o n s , and measures are taken i n t h i s regard. The j u r y i s sworn i n to act i n an i m p a r t i a l manner. They are asked not to discuss the case u n t i l a l l the evidence i s presented i n court. The j u r y i s sequestered to i n s u l a t e them from outside influences during t h e i r d e l i b e r a t i o n s . In contrast, i t i s also thought to be a cornerstone of j u s t i c e that the courts are open to the p u b l i c . There i s no better-guarantee of i m p a r t i a l i t y and r a t i o n a l i t y i n decision-making than the requirement of reasons open to the s c r u t i n y of the p u b l i c and of an ap p e l l a t e t r i b u n a l . (Waddens:1979:13 ) The general r u l e i s that a l l c r i m i n a l and c i v i l proceedings are open to the p u b l i c . C l a s s i c j u d i c i a l statements on the concept of pu b l i c access are found i n the case Scott v. S c o t t . 3 2 Following a divorce t r i a l , the wife sent a copy of the court t r a n s c r i p t to a family member. The wife was o r i g i n a l l y charged w i t h contempt of court; however, she was l a t e r a c q u i t t e d of that charge. While the judge i n the Scott case noted the openness of the courtroom served to promote honesty i n the courtroom, he al s o commented that access was not absolute. As the paramount object must always be to do j u s t i c e , the 32[1917] A.C.417. 42 general r u l e as to p u b l i c i t y , a f t e r a l l only a means to an end, must accordingly y i e l d . 3 3 While there i s much w e l l founded c r i t i c i s m of the problematic features and f a i l u r e s of our l e g a l system, the l e g a l system continues to view the media (and s p e c i f i c a l l y courtroom camera coverage) as a threat to the preservation of j u s t i c e . I t i s t r a d i t i o n and precedent which provides the foundation of the court's power. Many c r i t i c s regard the courts as keepers of the status quo, rather than promoters of s o c i a l change. Case decisions i n B r i t i s h Columbia courts i n d i c a t e a cautious approach to issues at bar, i n c l u d i n g the a p p l i c a t i o n s f o r cameras i n the courtroom. In summary, the main elements of the l e g a l system's discourse p e r t a i n i n g to t e l e v i s i o n coverage have been i d e n t i f i e d as: - o b j e c t i v i t y as an i d e a l ( -court c l a i m to be unbiased decision-maker -routine p r a c t i c e s of the court enhance the appearance of obj e c t i v i t y -court proceedings open to p u b l i c observation -court ban on camera coverage of proceedings -court c o n s t r i c t e d by budgetary concerns - t e l e v i s i o n coverage w i l l have i l l a f f e c t s on court p a r t i c i p a n t s and the p u b l i c 33Recrina V. McArthur (1984), 13 C.C.C.(3d) 152 (Ont.H.C.) 43 3.2 Media Ideology and the Discourse of O b j e c t i v i t y The Media also operate i n a manner which attempts to p r o j e c t the notion that they are o b j e c t i v e . The notion of o b j e c t i v i t y i s grounded i n the routine p r a c t i c e s of media members which vary depending'upon the medium of communication; i e . whether audio, v i s u a l or p r i n t . Knight (1982), S c h i l l e r (1981), Tuchman (1978) and Schudson (1978) have a l l discussed the emergence of the penny press and i t s e v o l u t i o n i n t o p r o f e s s i o n a l work e t h i c s of o b j e c t i v i t y to increase readership. The penny press claimed to speak f o r everyone, u n l i k e the predecessor p a r t i s a n j o u r n a l s . This can be considered the beginning of the mass marketing of the media. Stuart H a l l , i n "Popular Culture and the State" (1986), discusses the changing nature of the press and broadcast media and t h e i r r e l a t i v e autonomy from the state, as they developed along with c a p i t a l i s m and the d r i v e f o r economic s u r v i v a l and p r o f i t s . Ian Connell (1987:79) has pointed out that by adopting procedures of o b j e c t i v i t y , the new j o u r n a l i s t i c i n s t i t u t i o n s secured t h e i r r e l a t i v e autonomy (or appearance of i t ) from other s o c i e t a l i n s t i t u t i o n s - state , p o l i t i c a l and governmental a s s o c i a t i o n s . 44 Without claims of o b j e c t i v i t y , news has no more relevance than gossip heard on the s t r e e t (Carey:1969:53). Thus, a discourse of o b j e c t i v i t y i s employed not n e c e s s a r i l y f o r j u s t the p u b l i c ' s b e n e f i t . ...news procedures... are a c t u a l l y s t r a t e g i e s through which newsmen protect themselves from c r i t i c s and l a y p r o f e s s i o n a l claims to o b j e c t i v i t y , e s p e c i a l l y since t h e i r s p e c i a l p r o f e s s i o n a l knowledge i s not s u f f i c i e n t l y respected by news consumers and may indeed be the b a s i s of c r i t i c a l attack. (Tuchman: 1972: 664) Introductions to journalism-type textbooks set out the i d e o l o g i c a l nature of news. The textbooks t e l l prospective j o u r n a l i s t s that they are supposed to get the " f a c t s " - the b a s i c four vWs' and the VH' (who-, what, where, when and how) . P r i n t j o u r n a l i s t s are advised to assemble these f a c t s i n the i n v e r t e d pyramid format, and to be f a i r , i m p a r t i a l , unbiased and balanced while doing so. Such adverbs are used as synonyms f o r the concept of o b j e c t i v i t y . However, very few seasoned j o u r n a l i s t s would c l a i m that true o b j e c t i v i t y can be achieved; instead, j o u r n a l i s t s w r i t e often about the^problematic nature of o b j e c t i v i t y . Two c l a s s i c w r i t e r s who have addressed the t o p i c of o b j e c t i v i t y are Walt Whitman and Robert Park. More rec e n t l y , s o c i o l o g i s t s Tuchman (1978), S c h i l l e r (1981) and Knight (1982) have addressed t h i s contentious issue. Some w r i t e r s have argued that "absolute n e u t r a l i t y i s undesirable". (Knight : 1983:39) Despite awareness of the problem of o b j e c t i v i t y , there i s an 45 i n t e r e s t i n g paradox found w i t h i n the p r o f e s s i o n a l ideology of j o u r n a l i s t s . Gaye Tuchman, a former j o u r n a l i s t , was one of the f i r s t s o c i o l o g i s t s to address t h i s issue. In " O b j e c t i v i t y as S t r a t e g i c Ritual"(1972), Tuchman notes that whenever j o u r n a l i s t s are accused of bias or slanted r e p o r t i n g , they employ a defence of claiming o b j e c t i v i t y . Other s o c i o l o g i c a l works which address s t r a t e g i c r i t u a l s of o b j e c t i v i t y include Breed's (1955) d i s c u s s i o n of s o c i a l c o n t r o l i n p r i n t newsrooms and Epstein's (1973) a n a l y s i s of t e l e v i s i o n networks, which also focuses on how such r i t u a l s maintain order. These studies reveal how s o c i a l pressures i n newsrooms attempt to substantiate the myth of o b j e c t i v i t y because i t serves the funct i o n of enabling the j o u r n a l i s t s and management to do t h e i r jobs and to j u s t i f y t h e i r work to themselves and others. Without t h i s process of s e l f - j u s t i f i c a t i o n , media persons would be unable to make t h e i r deadlines as they would want to s t r i v e f o r i n c l u s i o n of a l l competing i n t e r e s t groups and a l l r e l a t e d phenomena. Tuchman (1972), i n her a n a l y s i s of the o b j e c t i v i t y code of j o u r n a l i s t s , has a r r i v e d at four " s t r a t e g i c procedures" used by the p r i n t j o u r n a l i s t to d i s t i n g u i s h f a c t s from opinions i n order to appear o b j e c t i v e : 1) present both sides' of the dispute; 2) present corroborating statements; 3) . include d i r e c t quotations; 46 4) organize s t o r i e s with m a t e r i a l f a c t s f i r s t . S i m i l a r r i t u a l s are employed by broadcast j o u r n a l i s t s ; however, anyone who watches t e l e v i s i o n news can a t t e s t to missing information from news reports. I t i s not uncommon to see s t o r i e s without representation of both sides of the dispute. Tuchman has a l s o pointed out that such r i t u a l s are a l s o u s e f u l to help newsworkers meet t h e i r t i g h t deadlines. J o u r n a l i s t s are able to f i n i s h t h e i r work as q u i c k l y as p o s s i b l e , knowing i t w i l l be at l e a s t s u i t a b l e f o r broadcast. This can be contrasted with n o v e l i s t s , academics or j u d i c i a l decision-makers who would ponder, question and r e v i s e t h e i r work. There are a number of assumptions underlying media r i t u a l s such as the above noted c h e c k l i s t . Molotch and Lester (1974:53) have noted that the key arguable assumption i s not that the media are o b j e c t i v e , but that there i s even a world out there tb be o b j e c t i v e about. Other attempts to create the appearance of o b j e c t i v i t y include j o u r n a l i s t s ' use of c y n i c a l or s a r c a s t i c tones to distance themselves. Mark Fishman (1980) has also noted that the media tends to over-r e l y upon c e r t a i n i n s t i t u t i o n s and c e r t a i n spokespersons. The r e s u l t i s a dependence upon c e r t a i n points of view to the exclusion of others. P o l i c e departments and government agencies which are set up with media r e l a t i o n s spokespersons are constant 47 and r e l i a b l e sources f o r the media, which often r e s u l t s i n media • omission of opposing perspectives. H a l l et. a l . (1978:58) observe that the need to appear o b j e c t i v e , combined with time and other c o n s t r a i n t s "produce a s y s t e m a t i c a l l y s t r u c t u r e d over-accessing to the media of those i n powerful and p r i v i l e g e d i n s t i t u t i o n a l p o s i t i o n s . " Eri c s o n et.al.(1991) have taken an extensive look at the issue of the Canadian media dependence on p o l i c e and government spokespersons. S i m i l a r l y , i t can be remarked that while the media are able to access media spokespersons f o r the p o l i c e department and crown counsel, defence counsel do not always have a mandate to speak to the media or the a b i l i t y to h i r e spokespersons. S c h i l l e r (1981:196) has noted that those without i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d resources have, time and time again, found themselves p i l l o r i e d and marginalized i n the press. This can be seen to r e i n f o r c e the e x i s t i n g l e g i t i m a c y of the state and of c a p i t a l i s t r e l a t i o n s g enerally since i t leads "the general p u b l i c to accept i n s t i t u t i o n a l c o n t r o l . " (Schiller:1981:196) Others may have access to the media f o r other reasons such as t h e i r n o t o r i e t y , support s t r u c t u r e s , or economic power. The O.J.Simpson case i s an example of a s i t u a t i o n i n v o l v i n g a defendant with large f i n a n c i a l resources and strong l e g a l 48 representation, who appeared to have l i t t l e d i f f i c u l t y i n obtaining media access. I t i s of course impossible to p u b l i s h or broadcast every phenomenon which occurs i n the world. I t i s a l s o impossible to include i n a report every aspect of a phenomenon. Thus, any s e l e c t i o n process i s d i s c r i m i n a t o r y , but to appear o b j e c t i v e , newspersons r e l y upon a r i t u a l of s e l e c t i v i t y which they c a l l newsworthiness. On the bas i s of a p e c u l i a r notion of newsworthiness, j o u r n a l i s t s s e l e c t which s t o r i e s to cover, and what aspects of those s t o r i e s to emphasize. What c o n s t i t u t e s news, therefore i s based upon newsroom p o l i c i e s and p r o f e s s i o n a l i d e o l o g i c a l assumptions about the audience. Some c r i t i c s have accused the media of attempting to please commercial sponsors at the expense of news q u a l i t y . Journalism textbooks often attempt to define what news i s ; i e . famous persons, dramatic events, p u b l i c events, a f f e c t s whatever concerns the audience's l i v e s , and perhaps most importantly, that which i s "new" and novel. While the O.J. Simpson murder case d i d not a f f e c t the l i v e s of the p u b l i c (except f o r the f a c t i t evolved i n t o a spectacle with devout observers), i t d i d in v o l v e many other newsworthy aspects; famous persons (O.J. and other Hollywood types), dramatic event (murder), p u b l i c event (car chase). T e l e v i s i o n news has brought an added dimension to what i s 49 considered newsworthy and f i t f o r broadcast. What i s considered to make good t e l e v i s i o n i s that which i s v i s u a l . The b e t t e r the video i n terms of i n t e r e s t , colour, a c t i o n or r a r i t y of p i c t u r e s , the more l i k e l y a story w i l l make the s i x o'clock news. Thus, court cases would not warrant broadcast coverage on the s i x o'clock news unless they passed the media's s e l e c t i o n c r i t e r i a . Further, extended broadcast coverage of a court t r i a l (on f o r example C.N.N.) would also undergo a s e l e c t i o n process which would, by nature of l i m i t e d a i r time, r e s u l t i n even fewer court t r i a l s r e c e i v i n g coverage. The courtroom i s not a h i g h l y v i s i b l e s e t t i n g , although the dress and the pomp and circumstance may be somewhat novel f o r viewers. However, to keep today's t e l e v i s i o n viewer from changing channels, the media incorporates packaging of the event, as was evident i n the broadcast coverage of the O.J. T r i a l . For example, C.N.N packaged the t r i a l much l i k e a sporting event w i t h i n s t a n t playbacks, commentaries during the proceedings and recaps at the end of the day, as w e l l as short feature reports to f i l l up time when the court was not i n session. The term "Dream Team", used by the media to describe O.J.'s defense counsel, was borrowed from the sportsworld. News i s defined as something that i s novel and new. Ericson, et. a l . , have noted that: 50 The news i n s t i t u t i o n focuses upon what i s out of place: the deviant, the equivocal, and unpredictable. News operatives attend to the more calamitous happenings i n other i n s t i t u t i o n s that have proved d i f f i c u l t to c l a s s i f y or that c o n t r a d i c t standard expectations i n the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e about r i g h t s and the d i s t r i b u t i o n of power. (1991:4) I t i s a c r i t i c i s m that j o u r n a l i s t s seem preoccupied with bad news and disorder. Such a notion suggests that newscast reports would focus on the most unusual and c o n t r o v e r s i a l aspects of a t r i a l . T.V. broadcasters must deal with an a d d i t i o n a l element (video) that i s capable of d i s t r a c t i n g them from being purveyors of information due to an a d d i t i o n a l set of r i t u a l s and r u l e s surrounding i t s use. T e l e v i s i o n news, i t i s suggested, accentuates c e r t a i n forms of s e l e c t i o n and s t o r y c o n s t r u c t i o n through the guise of i t s own v e r s i o n of empiricism. The emphasis i n news story c o n s t r u c t i o n upon 'drama,' 'action' and c o n f l i c t / c o n f r o n t a t i o n points to ways i n which the empiricism of news presentation i s blended i n t o the emphasis upon extraordinariness as a primary c r i t e r i o n of newsworthiness. (Knight:1982:30) The t e l e v i s i o n news emphasis on immediacy and a c t u a l i t y i s an example of t h i s attempt to appear empirical.. Reporters and camerapersons s t r i v e to get as close as p o s s i b l e to the a c t i o n , and be current or l i v e , where p o s s i b l e . The "eyewitness news as i t happens" concept i s frequently u t i l i z e d i n T.V. newscasts. "Keeping i t simple" i s an important aspect of formatting T.V. news. Reporters b e l i e v e that i f viewers can not understand the story they w i l l turn o f f the set. Reporters must format T.V. 51 reports to compete with d i s t r a c t i o n s i n the viewers' homes. I f one accepts the t h e s i s of c r i t i c a l s o c i o l o g i s t s , then one would expect to see reports on court t r i a l s formatted to be as e n t e r t a i n i n g as p o s s i b l e regardless of whether those reports include video of i n s i d e the courtroom, and regardless of whether the e n t e r t a i n i n g story i n f r i n g e s on the appearance of a f a i r t r i a l . Consideration f o r the accused' may w e l l be only an a f t e r -thought . There have been a number of a r t i c l e s w r i t t e n by s o c i a l t h e o r i s t s about the O.J. Simpson t r i a l . Michael C. Moore and Lynda J . Moore (1997) analyze the media-generated process that transformed O.J. from a c u l t u r a l hero to a b r u t a l murderer. Moore considers several scenarios of postmodern media implosion that embedded the O.J. T r i a l and i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r such influences i n other t r i a l s . 3 4 Another account of the negative impact of cameras on the O.J. T r i a l and the c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e process i s o f f e r e d by George Gerbner (1995) of the Annenburg School of Communications. Gerbner argues that the audience was a l t e r e d during the O.J. T r i a l by the media coverage. According to Gerbner, the t e l e v i s i n g of the t r i a l transformed viewers i n t o witnesses who i n turn i n f l u e n c e d the 34 Moore, Michael C. and Lynda J . , " F a l l from Grace: Implications of the O.J. Simpson T r i a l f o r Postmodern Criminal J u s t i c e " , S o c i o l o g i c a l Spectrum, 1997,17, July-September, 305-322 . 52 court and media p a r t i c i p a n t s . 3 5 Sandra F. Chance also w r i t e s on the negative impact of the media coverage of the O.J. t r i a l upon the t r i a l process and the p u b l i c . However, Chance sees the backlash against cameras i n the courtroom as a r e s u l t of the O.J. T r i a l as an anomaly, since t r a d i t i o n a l camera coverage of court proceedings i s perceived as a i d i n g education of the p u b l i c . The O.J. T r i a l i s seen to have generated debate i n the p u b l i c sphere on numerous issues i n c l u d i n g race r e l a t i o n s and l e g a l e t h i c s . The author concludes that cameras i n the courtroom are c o n t r o v e r s i a l p r e c i s e l y because they reveal• problems with the l e g a l system. 3 6 I t i s evident that the O.J. T r i a l has had a r e a l impact upon those concerned about expanding the media coverage of c r i m i n a l t r i a l s . Recent l e g a l challenges i n Canada to the camera ban have not escaped d i s c u s s i o n of the O.J. T r i a l . Case law i n Canada on the issue of camera coverage of c r i m i n a l t r i a l s remains most concerned about the i n f l u e n c e on the witness, and the p o t e n t i a l f o r a d i s t o r t e d broadcast presentation of the court proceedings. 35 Gerbner, George, "The O.J. Show Turns the Tide", Journal of Broadcasting and E l e c t r o n i c Media, 1995, 39, 4, F a l l , 562-568. 3 6 Chance, Sandra F., "Considering Cameras i n the Courtroom", Journal of Broadcasting and E l e c t r o n i c Media, 1995, 39, 4, F a l l , 555-561. • 53 V In summary, the main elements of the t e l e v i s i o n media's discourse p e r t a i n i n g to coverage of l e g a l proceedings have been i d e n t i f i e d as: - o b j e c t i v i t y as an i d e a l -claim to be o b j e c t i v e -claim to be eyes and ears of p u b l i c -routine media p r a c t i c e s enhance appearance of o b j e c t i v i t y -media dri v e n i n part by p r o f i t motive -media r i g h t to gain equipment access i n t o courts. -media compromised i f unable to report properly without p i c t u r e s The above discussions on media and l e g a l discourses h i g h l i g h t some of the ways knowledge and communication are processed by the two p r o f e s s i o n a l groups. As i t has been presented i n the preceding chapters, o b j e c t i v i t y i n each group i s defined by the p r a c t i c e of presenting phenomena to the p u b l i c i n a manner which i s consistent with promoting the p r i n c i p l e s of f a i r n e s s . However, f a i r n e s s f o r the media may r e s u l t i n unfairness of a l e g a l proceeding. From the above discussions of the d i s c u r s i v e p r a c t i c e s of the two respective groups, inferences can be drawn about t h e i r a t t i t u d e s toward p e r m i t t i n g camera coverage of court proceedings. Further, the h i s t o r i c a l overview contained i n chapter one o f f e r s a 54 summation of how that issue has evolved to date i n court precedents, l e g i s l a t i o n and p u b l i c p o l i c y . The purpose of s e t t i n g out the f o l l o w i n g hypotheses w i l l be to examine the current b e l i e f s held by p a r t i c i p a n t s i n r e l a t i o n to the assumptions underlying the relevant cases and studies addressing cameras i n the courtroom. The in t e r v i e w questions to be posed to the media and l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s are derived from these hypotheses. HYPOTHESIS ONE IA) MEDIA PARTICIPANTS WILL BE IN FAVOUR OF PERMITTING CAMERAS IN THE COURTROOM. IB) LEGAL PARTICIPANTS WILL BE AGAINST PERMITTING CAMERAS IN THE COURTROOM. The formulation of t h i s basic hypothesis i s derived from the c i t e d case law, which i s evidence of the media's continued i n t e r e s t and a c t i v i t y i n attempting to expand t h e i r coverage t e r r i t o r y , while the courts continue to p r o h i b i t same. Another source of ma t e r i a l r e l i e d upon f o r t h i s hypothesis r e f e r s to the pr o p r i e t a r y claims discussed e a r l i e r f o r each re s p e c t i v e p r o f e s s i o n a l group: the media's p o s i t i o n that they are the eyes and ears of the p u b l i c , and the court's p o s i t i o n that they are the gatekeepers to j u s t i c e , i n c l u d i n g a f a i r t r i a l and preservation of 55 t h e c o u r t ' s d i g n i t y . H Y P O T H E S I S T W O 2 A ) M E D I A P A R T I C I P A N T S W I L L R E G A R D A N Y L I M I T A T I O N O N C A M E R A C O V E R A G E A S U N J U S T I F I E D . 2 B ) L E G A L P A R T I C I P A N T S W I L L R E G A R D C E R T A I N L I M I T A T I O N S N E C E S S A R Y I F C A M E R A S A R E P E R M I T T E D I N T H E C O U R T R O O M . These h y p o t h e s e s a r e b a s e d upon s i m i l a r r e a s o n i n g t o t h a t c i t e d a b ove u n d e r H y p o t h e s i s One. The m e d i a ' s d i s c o u r s e o f o b j e c t i v i t y p r e s u m a b l y j u s t i f i e s t h e i r d e s i r e f o r u n f e t t e r e d a c c e s s t o t h e c o u r t r o o m . The l e g a l s y s t e m ' s d i s c o u r s e o f o b j e c t i v i t y p r o v i d e s s e l f - j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r a t t e m p t s t o p r o t e c t p a r t i c i p a n t s , w i t n e s s e s a n d p r o c e s s e s i n t h e c o u r t r o o m , a nd t o p r o t e c t t h e d i g n i t y o f t h e c o u r t d e s p i t e t h e r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t j u s t i c e i s a n i d e a l . Thus, t h e d i s c o u r s e s o f o b j e c t i v i t y f o r e a c h r e s p e c t i v e g r o u p on a day-to--day b a s i s r e i n f o r c e t h e d e s i r e t o p e r m i t o r n o t p e r m i t cameras i n t o c o u r t r o o m s . The c u r r e n t c a s e l a w i m p l i e s t h a t t h e m e d i a c o u l d n o t s e l f -r e g u l a t e b r o a d c a s t c o v e r a g e c o m p a t i b l e w i t h a f a i r t r i a l o r d i g n i t y o f t h e c o u r t . I t i s f u r t h e r p r e s u m e d i n c a s e l a w t h a t t h e mere p r e s e n c e o f cameras w o u l d i n f l u e n c e p a r t i c i p a n t s . L i m i t a t i o n s a r e deemed t o be n e c e s s a r y b y t h e c o u r t s b e c a u s e p a r t i c i p a n t s i n a t e l e v i s e d t r i a l m i g h t a l t e r t h e i r b e h a v i o u r . 56 Although the courts have stated that i n d i v i d u a l s e n s i t i v i t i e s are not enough to make proceedings closed to the p u b l i c , the courts have concluded that the st r e s s on a witness or p a r t i c i p a n t from a camera would be enough to render a t r i a l u n f a i r . The media's discourse of o b j e c t i v i t y and accompanying r i t u a l s d i r e c t the media to act as purveyors of knowledge. Hence, the media w i l l submit that l i m i t a t i o n s on t h e i r access to courtrooms i s not j u s t i f i e d . I t appears that the power of the media as a s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n increases with growing access to phenomena consistent with t h e i r accompanying claims of p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m i n the p u b l i c i n t e r e s t and compatible with profit-making o b j e c t i v e s . H Y P O T H E S I S T H R E E 3A) M E D I A P A R T I C I P A N T S W I L L R E G A R D T H E M S E L V E S A S P U T T I N G P U B L I C I N T E R E S T B E F O R E P R O F I T S . 3B) L E G A L P A R T I C I P A N T S W I L L R E G A R D T H E M E D I A A S P U T T I N G P R O F I T S B E F O R E P U B L I C I N T E R E S T . These hypotheses are derived from the p r o f e s s i o n a l ideology of both groups and t h e i r perceived r e a l i t y to date w i t h cameras i n the courtroom. The media, to gain respect from the p u b l i c and' to increase t h e i r i n fluence, continue to st r e s s t h e i r d e d i c a t i o n to the p u b l i c , 5V. claiming to be the eyes and ears of the p u b l i c . The c i t e d s o c i o l o g i c a l theories on the media's r e l i a n c e upon r i t u a l s such as eye witness presentations to appear o b j e c t i v e and p r o f e s s i o n a l , despite i t s underlying commercial foundation, provide the b a s i s from which to put f o r t h Hypothesis 3A. Hypothesis 3B, founded upon the notion of the court's discourse of o b j e c t i v i t y , would include i n s u l a t i o n of the proceedings from p o t e n t i a l sources of influ e n c e extraneous to the evidence at bar. I t i s suspected that the underlying concerns of the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n about the media's e f f e c t upon t r i a l s w i l l be g r e a t l y influenced by the experience of the O.J. case and other media celebrated t r i a l s i n Canada and the United States. Despite media claims, the broadcasted m a t e r i a l to date w i l l be regarded by the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s as formatted f o r entertainment purposes and hence p r o f i t s , rather than f o r p u b l i c enlightenment. HYPOTHESIS FOUR 4A) MEDIA PARTICIPANTS WILL REGARD THE CURRENT QUALITY OF TELEVISION COVERAGE AS POOR DUE TO THE LIMITATION OF CAMERA COVERAGE. 4B) LEGAL PARTICIPANTS WILL REGARD THE CURRENT QUALITY OF THE TELEVISION COVERAGE OF LEGAL TRIALS AS POOR REGARDLESS OF LIMITATION OF CAMERA COVERAGE. 58 The media's discourse of o b j e c t i v i t y promotes p o r t r a y a l s of immediacy and a c t u a l i t y to give credence to t h e i r a c t i v i t y . The media can not a t t a i n the maximum impact on the audience without video coverage of court proceedings. There i s no s u b s t i t u t i o n f o r immediacy of video footage of a t r i a l i n the eyes of the media, although the length of a report on a news broadcast w i l l be only a few minutes. Claims of accuracy, such as "the camera never l i e s " , w i l l a l s o be a t t r i b u t e d to video footage, despite the p o t e n t i a l f o r d i s t o r t i o n of the r e a l i t y . The l e g a l group p a r t i c i p a n t s w i l l regard the media's formatting of information to a t t r a c t viewers as inaccurate and d i s t o r t e d regardless of the i n c l u s i o n of video footage of court proceedings since the media's reconstructed v e r s i o n w i l l vary from the law pr o f e s s i o n a l s ' v e r s i o n of events. The l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n w i l l regard the broadcast news p o r t r a y a l s of the t r i a l s as having an entertainment rather than educational emphasis. HYPOTHESIS FIVE 5 A ) MEDIA PARTICIPANTS WILL REGARD THE TELEVISION COVERAGE OF THE O . J . TRIAL AS GOOD. 5B) LEGAL PARTICIPANTS WILL REGARD THE TELEVISION COVERAGE OF THE O . J . TRIAL AS BAD. The sensational coverage of the 0..J. t r i a l w i l l be j u s t i f i e d by 59 the media based upon t h e i r discourse of o b j e c t i v i t y . The media's d e f i n i t i o n of news includes coverage of a c e l e b r i t y murder t r i a l . Further, the media w i l l j u s t i f y O.J.coverage since the usual r i t u a l s were employed by the media; moreover, the p u b l i c demanded such coverage. The l e g a l system w i l l regard the coverage i n the O.J. matter as a breach of the r u l e s of decorum and a negative i n f l u e n c e on the court p a r t i c i p a n t s . Further, d i s t o r t e d t e l e v i s i o n news coverage would also be regarded as contrary to the ob j e c t i v e s of the l e g a l system which requires that j u s t i c e appear to be done,as w e l l as be done. H Y P O T H E S I S S I X 6A) M E D I A P A R T I C I P A N T S W I L L R E G A R D T E L E V I S I O N NEWS M E D I A A S H A V I N G A P O T E N T I A L L Y P O S I T I V E E F F E C T ON T H E P U B L I C ' S E X P E C T A T I O N S A B O U T T H E C R I M I N A L J U S T I C E S Y S T E M . 6B) L E G A L P A R T I C I P A N T S W I L L R E G A R D T E L E V I S I O N NEWS M E D I A A S H A V I N G A P O T E N T I A L L Y N E G A T I V E E F F E C T ON T H E P U B L I C ' S E X P E C T A T I O N S A B O U T T H E C R I M I N A L J U S T I C E S Y S T E M . These hypotheses address both i n t e n t i o n a l and u n i n t e n t i o n a l influences upon.the p u b l i c r e s u l t i n g from broadcast t r i a l reports. The l e g a l discourse of o b j e c t i v i t y would d i c t a t e that the courts be concerned about the p o t e n t i a l consequences of unfavourable 60 p o r t r a y a l s by the media. Reconstructed versions of court proceedings to e n t e r t a i n viewers would not be compatible with the desir e of the l e g a l system that j u s t i c e be seen to be done. While the media p r o f e s s i o n a l s may not always intend to cast a negative l i g h t on the l e g a l system, the deployment of media r i t u a l s w i l l r e s u l t i n m a t e r i a l that i s o f f e n s i v e to l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s . There w i l l a l s o be c r i t i c a l reportage of l e g a l proceedings that may also be regarded as slanted u n f a i r l y . H Y P O T H E S I S S E V E N 7A) M E D I A P A R T I C I P A N T S W I L L R E G A R D T E L E V I S I O N C O V E R A G E A S H A V I N G T H E P O T E N T I A L TO I N F L U E N C E C O U R T P R O C E E D I N G S . 7B) L E G A L P A R T I C I P A N T S W I L L R E G A R D T E L E V I S I O N C O V E R A G E A S H A V I N G T H E P O T E N T I A L TO I N F L U E N C E C O U R T P R O C E E D I N G S . These hypotheses address the unintended in f l u e n c e s upon the court proceedings. The l e g a l discourse of o b j e c t i v i t y and case decisions i n d i c a t e that the courts be p r o t e c t i v e of such consequences and make every e f f o r t to i n s u l a t e proceedings from any such outside i n f l u e n c e s ; thus, the underlying assumption i s that the p o t e n t i a l f o r influence must e x i s t . While the media may clai m that t h e i r job i s only to observe and report, the need to present themselves as p r o f e s s i o n a l s , as per the discourse of o b j e c t i v i t y , l i k e n s them to a u t h o r i t i e s on the courts and p u b l i c opinion, which could influence court p a r t i c i p a n t s or the p u b l i c on 61 a s p e c i f i c case. The above seven groups of hypotheses form the b a s i s of the in t e r v i e w questions f o r the media and l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s . The next chapter w i l l describe the methods and procedures undertaken i n the research process, i n c l u d i n g a d i s c u s s i o n of the i n t e r v i e w questions posed to the twenty-six subjects. The questions were designed to consider the issues set out i n the hypotheses. Chapter f i v e w i l l consider the data c o l l e c t e d during the interviews i n r e l a t i o n to the above hypotheses. 62 I V . M E T H O D O L O G Y AND D A T A C O L L E C T I O N In the preceding chapters the c o n f l i c t over whether to permit t e l e v i s i o n cameras i n t o courtrooms was introduced and a number of hypotheses were proposed based upon assumptions i d e n t i f i e d i n the cases and debates on the issue of whether to permit cameras i n t o c r i m i n a l courtrooms. The remainder of the t h e s i s w i l l document how t h i s issue was examined through personal interviews with media and l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s , beginning i n t h i s chapter w i t h a d e t a i l e d account of the research methodology employed i n t h i s study. 4.1 F i e l d Methods A t o t a l of 26 p a r t i c i p a n t s (13 from each of the two respective groups) were questioned. This researcher had intended to obtain a greater number of p a r t i c i p a n t s ; however, the sample pool of those having l o c a l f i r s t - h a n d knowledge of the issue was l i m i t e d . Most of the 13 members of the media sample group were known to the researcher through her personal experience or were r e f e r r e d to the researcher by other interviewees as being knowledgeable on the t h e s i s t o p i c . 63 The media persons have experience with t r i a l s that received extensive media p u b l i c i t y . Many of the p a r t i c i p a n t s from both groups have been involved with a d m i n i s t r a t i v e d e c i s i o n s on the top i c of cameras i n the courtroom. The media interviewees include reporters, producers and management, i n c l u d i n g news d i r e c t o r s . Three p a r t i c i p a n t s have le c t u r e d at broadcast journalism school. Three of the media p a r t i c i p a n t s have law degrees, with two of the three working as lawyers on the l e g a l challenges to the court ban on video coverage. The 13 l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s interviewed were a l s o known to the researcher f o r t h e i r involvement i n t r i a l s r e c e i v i n g media a t t e n t i o n . Some members were included i n the group because the, researcher observed t h e i r involvement i n t r i a l s which were subject to ongoing broadcast media a t t e n t i o n . Other l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s were chosen due to t h i s researcher's observation of t e l e v i s i o n media coverage of t h e i r cases. The lawyers, prosecutors and judges included i n the study have a l l been involved i n high p r o f i l e c r i m i n a l cases which a t t r a c t e d media coverage. Some members have been involved with policy-making or 64 have published commentary on the t o p i c . For the l e g a l group, the average number of years of experience i s 30.' The media group's average years of experience i s 16. The l e g a l interviewees includes defence counsel, prosecutors and judges, some of whom have l e c t u r e d on the law. Data f o r t h i s t h e s i s was c o l l e c t e d by personal i n t e r v i e w s . I t was intended that the interviews be p a r t i a l l y exploratory, although there was a set of predetermined questions which were general i n nature and l o o s e l y s t r u c t u r e d upon the hypotheses set out i n chapter three of t h i s t h e s i s . The researcher often followed up the semi-structured questions with more d i r e c t questioning or/and d i s c u s s i o n on issues r a i s e d by the subject. (See Appendix C). Interviewees were also asked to provide comment on issues that they f e l t were not adequately covered by the researcher's questions. Data from l o o s e l y structured interviews complicates a n a l y s i s due to the length of t r a n s c r i p t s and the lack of u n i f o r m i t y i n p a r t i c i p a n t responses. However, the h e u r i s t i c value of the data i s most valuable f o r t h i s study since c o n s i d e r a t i o n w i l l be given to whether explanations other than those given by the p a r t i c i p a n t s could account f o r the ongoing c o n f l i c t s over the cameras i n the courtroom issue. Since many of the subjects were chosen by the researcher based upon some l e v e l of f a m i l i a r i t y , s e l e c t i o n b i a s can not be r u l e d out. However, the nature of the questions are such that f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h the researcher i s u n l i k e l y to a f f e c t r e s u l t s i n systematic way. Bias has been c o n t r o l l e d by s e l e c t i n g subjects, who f o r the most part, are mere acquaintances of the researcher and whose b e l i e f s are unknown to the researcher about most of the i n v e s t i g a t i v e questions. On the plus side, i t i s hoped that my previous acquaintance with subjects increased t h e i r comfort l e v e l and the frankness of t h e i r responses to the i n q u i r y . 4.2 Procedures Subjects were i n i t i a l l y contacted v i a l e t t e r which i n d i c a t e d the purpose of the research and requested that the r e c i p i e n t s p a r t i c i p a t e i n an' interview. Contact names of supervisors at the U n i v e r s i t y were a l s o included i n t h i s l e t t e r , (see Appendix A f o r i n t r o d u c t i o n l e t t e r ) The l e t t e r was followed by a telephone c a l l to arrange a meeting i f respondents expressed an i n t e r e s t i n p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n an interview. Interviews were held i n p r i v a t e o f f i c e s of the. respondents, although some of the interviews were conducted i n the researcher' 66 o f f i c e at the request of the p a r t i c i p a n t . A few of the interviews were conducted over the telephone due to the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' time c o n s t r a i n t s . The interviews occurred between A p r i l 2000 and November 2001 . Thirteen interviews were conducted w i t h media pr o f e s s i o n a l s and the same number with l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s . The a v a i l a b l e pool f o r s e l e c t i o n of the media subjects, e s p e c i a l l y those with experience i n the f i e l d of l e g a l r e p o r t i n g experience, was much smaller than that of the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s . Further while the media subjects interviewed f o r t h i s p r o j e c t were cooperative and supportive of the p r o j e c t , there were a number of media persons who refused interviews or d i d not r e t u r n phone messages. One media person who refused a personal i n t e r v i e w o f f e r e d the company's o f f i c i a l w r i t t e n p o l i c y . Such data was inappropriate f o r i n c l u s i o n i n t h i s t h e s i s without the opportunity to question the subject. S i x t e l e v i s i o n reporters d i d not retu r n telephone messages. Two to four messages f o r each person were l e f t at the newsrooms where they work. This d i s i n t e r e s t toward the interview process i s somewhat i r o n i c i n l i g h t of the pressures that the media often place upon members of the p u b l i c to grant interviews. The l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s were quite cooperative and supportive of t h i s p r o j e c t . No one from the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l group refused to be interviewed. 67 P r i o r to proceeding with the interview, s u b j e c t s were asked to si g n a consent form. P a r t i c i p a n t s were provided with a copy of a standard research consent form as r e q u i r e d by the graduate program at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia (see Appendix B). A copy of the signed consent form was provided to each p a r t i c i p a n t , with the i d e n t i t y of p a r t i c i p a n t s remaining anonymous, as s t i p u l a t e d i n the consent form. 3 7 None of the p a r t i c i p a n t s i n d i c a t e d any d i f f i c u l t i e s with the purpose of the in t e r v i e w or the consent form. A number of media p a r t i c i p a n t s i n d i c a t e d , f o r the record, that they would be expressing t h e i r own o p i n i o n i n the i n t e r v i e w and not that of the company p o l i c y . A few judges i n d i c a t e d p r i o r to the i n t e r v i e w that they were somewhat r e s t r i c t e d by the court's o f f i c i a l p o l i c y on the t o p i c . Interviews were audio-tape recorded with the permission of the p a r t i c i p a n t s . The questions asked of p a r t i c i p a n t s were i n the nature of a semi-structured i n t e r v i e w schedule, (see Appendix C). There were three main areas of i n q u i r y covered by the questions: a t t i t u d e s toward camera coverage of c r i m i n a l court proceedings, the O.J t r i a l , and suggestions regarding the f e a s i b i l i t y of p e r m i t t i n g cameras i n c r i m i n a l courtrooms. 37 Many of the p a r t i c i p a n t s from both groups i n d i c a t e d on t h e i r own i n i t i a t i v e that they were not concerned about having t h e i r i d e n t i t y revealed. 68 The questions posed to interviewees were sometimes probed i n i n d i r e c t or c i r c u i t o u s fashion to encourage l e s s guarded and more elaborate responses. At the conclusion of the interviews, p a r t i c i p a n t s were thanked f o r t h e i r involvement. None of the p a r t i c i p a n t s i n d i c a t e d any concern with what had t r a n s p i r e d during the interview. A number of subjects i n d i c a t e d i n t e r e s t i n reading the completed t h e s i s . A l l p a r t i c i p a n t s conducted t h e i r p r a c t i c e i n the province of B r i t i s h Columbia at the time of t h e i r i n t e r v i e w s . F u l l t r a n s c r i p t i o n s were completed f o r each int e r v i e w . T r a n s c r i p t i o n s have concealed i d e n t i t i e s of p a r t i c i p a n t s by the use of pseudonyms ("L" f o r Legal P r o f e s s i o n a l and "M" f o r Media Pr o f e s s i o n a l s , numbered from 1-13). P a r t i c i p a n t s were promised that the tapes and t r a n s c r i p t s would remain c o n f i d e n t i a l . P a r t i c i p a n t responses have been analyzed i n terms-of-the seven hypotheses derived from the key assumptions emergent i n the respective discourses of the l e g a l and media professions bearing respect on the cameras i n the courtroom issue. 69 V. FINDINGS AND INTERPRETATION 3 8 The f o l l o w i n g chapter w i l l set out the data gathered w i t h regard to each hypothesis. Responses w i l l be represented both q u a n t i t a t i v e l y and q u a l i t a t i v e l y . The s i g n i f i c a n c e of the responses w i l l be examined i n r e l a t i o n to the e a r l i e r discussed theories p e r t a i n i n g to each group's i d e o l o g i c a l discourse. HYPOTHESES ONE IA) MEDIA PARTICIPANTS WILL BE IN FAVOUR OF PERMITTING CAMERAS IN THE COURTROOM. IB) LEGAL PARTICIPANTS WILL BE AGAINST PERMITTING CAMERAS IN THE COURTROOM. MEDIA 12/13 INDICATED THAT CAMERAS SHOULD BE PERMITTED INTO COURTROOMS. 1/13 INDICATED THAT CAMERAS SHOULD NOT BE PERMITTED INTO COURTROOMS. LEGAL PROFESSIONALS 10/13 INDICATED THAT CAMERAS SHOULD NOT BE PERMITTED INTO. COURTROOMS. 3/13 INDICATED THAT CAMERAS SHOULD BE PERMITTED INTO COURTROOMS. 38 See Appendix D f o r itemized point-form responses to questions germane to the hypotheses. 70 The i n t e r v i e w r e s u l t s supported the above hypotheses. C l e a r l y , the media was i n favour of p e r m i t t i n g cameras i n t o courtrooms, w h i l s t the l e g a l group was not. The media group widely r e l i e d upon the cl a i m that they are the eyes and ears of the p u b l i c who can not be i n attendance at t r i a l s . Only one media person who d i d not wish cameras i n the courtroom commented that as a member of the p u b l i c , he/she would not l i k e the p o t e n t i a l f o r an u n f a i r t r i a l . A few of the media persons expressed concern f o r the p o t e n t i a l problem of an i n d i v i d u a l convicted i n the news and the i n a b i l i t y to reverse that, perception i f the courts f i n d him/her not g u i l t y . The m a j o r i t y of the media recognised the inherent p o t e n t i a l f o r problems and unfairness. Only one media member argued that the media should have complete access to proceedings, good or bad, regardless of whether media presented coverage i n a sensational or d i s t o r t e d manner. Only three of t h i r t e e n l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s i n d i c a t e d a de s i r e to place cameras i n the court. The great m a j o r i t y of the l e g a l group was not accepting of the media's claim that they are the eyes and ears of the p u b l i c and e s s e n t i a l f o r communication about the l e g a l j u s t i c e system. The l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s frequently i n d i c a t e d that 71 the a d d i t i o n of cameras i n t o the courtroom would cause s t r e s s f o r the p a r t i c i p a n t s , encourage some p a r t i c i p a n t s to act d i f f e r e n t l y , diminish decorum, and present the p u b l i c with a f a l s e glimpse of the proceedings. The m a j o r i t y of the l e g a l group appeared to be u n t r u s t i n g of the media and uninterested i n having cameras i n the courtroom f o r t h e i r own personal reasons and as a concern f o r j u s t i c e . The l e g a l group emphasized the media's p r a c t i c e of p r o v i d i n g the p u b l i c with a d i s t o r t e d image of proceedings, arguing f u r t h e r that camera coverage would compound the problem. The three l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s i n favour of i n t r o d u c i n g cameras be l i e v e d that the b e n e f i t of broadcasting court proceedings on the news would be to inform the p u b l i c . However, l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s i n favour of cameras i n the courtroom wanted a number of l i m i t a t i o n s placed upon the media. Generally, the l e g a l group were uninterested i n dealing with the media when preoccupied w i t h the t r i a l . About h a l f of the l e g a l interviewees f e l t that the media would only be i n t e r e s t e d i n the unusual or celebrated. 72 HYPOTHESES TWO 2A) MEDIA PARTICIPANTS WILL REGARD ANY LIMITATION ON CAMERA COVERAGE AS UNJUSTIFIED. 2B) LEGAL PARTICIPANTS WILL REGARD CERTAIN LIMITATIONS NECESSARY IF CAMERAS ARE PERMITTED IN THE COURTROOM. MEDIA 12/13 INDICATED THAT LIMITATIONS WERE NECESSARY. 1/13 INDICATED THAT NO LIMITATIONS WERE JUSTIFIED. LEGAL PROFESSIONALS 14/14 INDICATED THAT IF CAMERAS WERE PERMITTED, LIMITATIONS WERE NECESSARY. The respondents' answers to Hypotheses 2A were not as expected and did not confirm the hypothesis as put forth. Overall, the media were more respectful of the legal system and cognizant of the potential problem areas of court coverage then was predicted based upon underlying assumptions i n court decisions and discussed theories of objectivity. Instead, i t appears that the media's answers support the potential for cooperation of the media with the legal system. 73 With the exception of one media member, a l l interviewees (both groups) f e l t l i m i t a t i o n s on camera coverage were necessary. 25/26 interviewees recognized the p o t e n t i a l need to pr o t e c t the i d e n t i t y of some witnesses and/or the jury . Many members from both groups expressed the necessity f o r l i m i t a t i o n s because of the exposure to unwanted p u b l i c i t y f o r p a r t i c i p a n t s . The problems of the O.J. t r i a l were al s o c i t e d by many as j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r imposing c e r t a i n l i m i t a t i o n s on camera coverage. The one media person supporting u n r e s t r i c t e d access to the courts, expressed no concern about the 0. J . Simpson t r i a l coverage. Media persons a l s o recognized a tendency f o r t h e i r members to ignore l i m i t a t i o n s imposed by the courts. A few media members stated that i t would be i n e v i t a b l e that there w i l l be media who v i o l a t e l i m i t a t i o n s i f cameras are permitted. Legal persons c i t e d a greater number of court p a r t i c i p a n t s and s i t u a t i o n s that should be subject to l i m i t a t i o n s . Many l e g a l group members connected the need f o r court imposed l i m i t s to a tendency f o r the media to s e n s a t i o n a l i z e , p a r t l y due to the media's l i m i t e d knowledge about the c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system. Two of the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s i n d i c a t e d that they thought cameras should be permitted f o r appeal cases only. 74 There were ho suggestions by e i t h e r group as to l i m i t a t i o n s that should be placed upon the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n i n the advent of cameras i n the courtroom. HYPOTHESES THREE 3A) MEDIA PARTICIPANTS WILL REGARD THEMSELVES AS PUTTING PUBLIC INTEREST BEFORE PROFITS. 3B) LEGAL PARTICIPANTS WILL REGARD THE MEDIA AS PUTTING PROFITS BEFORE PUBLIC INTEREST. MEDIA 5/13 INDICATED THAT THE MEDIA PUTS PROFITS BEFORE PUBLIC INTEREST 3/13 INDICATED THAT THE MEDIA PUTS PUBLIC INTEREST BEFORE PROFITS 1/13 INDICATED THAT IT IS IRRELEVANT WHETHER PROFITS OR PUBLIC INTEREST ARE PRIORITIZED. 1/13 DEPENDS UPON EDITING IF PUBLIC OR PROFITS PRIORITIZED. 2/13 INDICATED THAT HE/SHE UNSURE IF PUBLIC OR PROFITS PRIORITIZED. 1/13 QUESTION NOT ADDRESSED (OVERSIGHT OF RESEARCHER TO ASK ONE PARTICIPANT) 75 LEGAL PROFESSIONALS 11/13 INDICATED THAT THE MEDIA PUTS PROFITS BEFORE PUBLIC INTEREST. 1/13 INDICATED THAT THE MEDIA SOMETIMES PUTS PROFITS BEFORE PUBLIC INTEREST. 1/13 INDICATED THAT THE MEDIA PUTS PUBLIC INTEREST BEFORE PROFITS. The response to Hypothesis 3A) was not as expected and affirmed the expectation only i n part. Almost h a l f (6/13) of the media interviewees acknowledged that f i n a n c i a l s t r u c t u r a l c o n s t r a i n t s i n f l u e n c e formatting m a t e r i a l f o r broadcast, a l l or some of the time. Only three media persons j u s t i f i e d camera i n t e r v e n t i o n with the a l t r u i s t i c i n t e n t i o n of p u t t i n g p u b l i c i n t e r e s t ahead of p r o f i t s . Two media persons were unsure as to p r i o r i t y . One media person d e c l i n e d to answer the question, and one media interviewee was i n a d v e r t e n t l y not asked the question. Given the s t r e s s on the media's p r o f i t motive, i t i s questionable whether there i s p o t e n t i a l f o r any sort of coverage that i s not compatible w i t h favourable viewer ratings.. As f o r the l e g a l group's response to Hypothesis 3B), the perceived f i n a n c i a l motive of the media may be another reason f o r t h e i r lack of f a i t h i n the a b i l i t y of the media to conduct themselves i n a responsible manner and to present the p u b l i c w i t h a f a i r and accurate p i c t u r e of court proceedings. 76 HYPOTHESES FOUR 4 A ) MEDIA PARTICIPANTS WILL REGARD THE CURRENT QUALITY OF TELEVISION COVERAGE AS POOR DUE TO THE LIMITATION OF CAMERA COVERAGE. 4B) LEGAL PARTICIPANTS WILL REGARD THE CURRENT QUALITY OF THE TELEVISION COVERAGE OF LEGAL TRIALS TO BE POOR REGARDLESS OF LIMITATION OF CAMERA COVERAGE. MEDIA 4/13 INDICATED THAT THE QUALITY VARIES FROM GOOD .TO BAD DEPENDING ON MEDIA OUTLET, REPORTER'S EXPERIENCE AND RESOURCES. 9/13 BAD, BUT WOULD IMPROVE IF CAMERAS WERE PERMITTED INTO COURTROOMS. LEGAL PROFESSIONALS 11/13 INDICATED COVERAGE WAS POOR REGARDLESS OF CAMERAS. 2/13 INDICATED COVERAGE WAS GOOD REGARDLESS OF CAMERAS. The responses here were consistent with the hypotheses only i n part. The media group presented mixed responses regarding the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the current q u a l i t y of t r i a l coverage and the a v a i l a b i l i t y of videos. Almost h a l f the media p a r t i c i p a n t s claimed that video p i c t u r e s would r e s u l t i n b e t t e r q u a l i t y 77 coverage. Another claim by the media p a r t i c i p a n t s i s that the a v a i l a b i l i t y of courtroom footage would improve the accuracy of t e l e v i s i o n news reports. A number of media interviewees stated more s p e c i f i c a l l y that the p u b l i c would b e n e f i t from having the a b i l i t y to observe cross-examinations and the demeanour of t r i a l witnesses, experiencing f i r s t hand what reporters now can only o f f e r opinion about. Two media people f e l t that t h e i r news reports would be longer and/or have more prominence i n the newscast i f they could include a c t u a l video of the courtroom proceedings. In. general, the media interviewees b e l i e v e d that allowing cameras i n the courtroom would encourage the media to cover more court t r i a l s . One media interviewee commented that there would be l e s s of a need to e x p l o i t the process i f video were a v a i l a b l e ( i . e . the media would not be forced to obtain comments from neighbours, family, people on the s t r e e t or on the courthouse steps). I t was also i n d i c a t e d by t h i s respondent that p u b l i c i n t e r e s t groups would -have l e s s opportunity to infl u e n c e opinion as the video would dominate the story. In general, the media interviewees f e l t that a l l o w i n g cameras i n the courtroom would encourage the media to cover more court t r i a l s . 78 Although there was r e c o g n i t i o n by a majority of the media interviewees of room f o r improvement i n t h e i r l e g a l r e p o r t i n g , the s o l u t i o n i n d i c a t e d was to obtain video p i c t u r e s rather than.to increase t h e i r l e v e l of knowledge about l e g a l proceedings. The greater majority (11/13) of the l e g a l group was disappointed with what they perceived to be a lack of knowledge regarding the l e g a l system as displayed by the media as a whole. Only two of the l e g a l group members ranked the current t e l e v i s i o n coverage of c r i m i n a l t r i a l s to be good. There was l i t t l e optimism (1/13) from l e g a l interviewees that the q u a l i t y of t e l e v i s i o n r e p o r t i n g would improve i f cameras were permitted i n t o the courtroom. HYPOTHESES FIVE 5A) MEDIA PARTICIPANTS WILL REGARD THE TELEVISION COVERAGE OF THE O.J. TRIAL AS GOOD. 5B) LEGAL PARTICIPANTS WILL REGARD THE TELEVISION COVERAGE OF THE O.J. TRIAL AS BAD. MEDIA 12/13 MEDIA PROFESSIONALS INDICATED THAT THE O.J. COVERAGE WAS BAD BECAUSE IT WAS A POOR REPRESENTATION OF THE REALITY OF THE PROCEEDINGS.DESCRIPTORS USED: CIRCUS, SOAP OPERA, CHEAP,NOT BENEFICIAL FOR PUBLIC OR JUSTICE SYSTEM, RIDICULOUS. 79 3/13 FELT THAT IN ADDITION TO THE BAD COVERAGE, THERE WAS SOME ) GOOD COVERAGE. 1/13 MEDIA PERSONS INDICATED THE COVERAGE OF THE O.J. CASE WAS GOOD, VERY INTERESTING. LEGAL PROFESSIONALS 11/13 INDICATED COVERAGE OF THE O.J. CASE WAS BAD BECAUSE IT WAS A DISTORTION OF REALITY. 2/13 INDICATED COVERAGE OF THE O.J. CASE WAS GOOD REPRESENTATION OF REALITY. The m a j o r i t y of a l l p a r t i c i p a n t s , media and l e g a l , i n d i c a t e d that the media broadcasts of the 0. J . Simpson t r i a l proceedings were problematic. The d e s c r i p t o r s used by subjects i n c l u d e d : c i r c u s , s e n s a t i o n a l , show b i z , abysmal, f i c t i o n a l , d i s t o r t e d . The two i n d i v i d u a l s who expressed a p o s i t i v e response to the t e l e v i s i o n coverage of the Simpson t r i a l i n d i c a t e d that i t i s b e t t e r to have many a l t e r n a t i v e sources of information, r e g a r d l e s s of the q u a l i t y of those sources. In sum, 23/2 6 p a r t i c i p a n t s regarded the t e l e v i s i o n coverage of the 0. J . t r i a l proceedings to be poor as i t was s e n s a t i o n a l and d i s t o r t e d , d i s r u p t e d proceedings, and n e g a t i v e l y a f f e c t e d the p u b l i c ' s impression of the j u d i c i a l system. About h a l f of the p a r t i c i p a n t s from both groups f e l t that the coverage may have 80 a f f e c t e d the conduct of a l l or some of the witnesses,.lawyers, judge and ju r y . Many media p r o f e s s i o n a l s f e l t that the T. V. coverage of the 0. J . t r i a l was outrageously bad as an accurate r e f l e c t i o n of the courtroom r e a l i t y , but that i t made f o r good entertainment. However, i t was thought by a large number of the p a r t i c i p a n t s that the 0. J . coverage would not be t y p i c a l of the video coverage of most l e g a l t r i a l s . I t i s submitted that the above responses can be c i t e d as support f o r the d i s i n t e r e s t of both groups i n p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the type of coverage observed during the O.J. T r i a l . H Y P O T H E S E S S I X 6A) M E D I A P A R T I C I P A N T S W I L L R E G A R D T E L E V I S I O N NEWS M E D I A A S H A V I N G T H E P O T E N T I A L TO A F F E C T T H E P U B L I C ' S E X P E C T A T I O N S A B O U T T H E C R I M I N A L J U S T I C E S Y S T E M . 6B) L E G A L P A R T I C I P A N T S W I L L R E G A R D T E L E V I S I O N NEWS M E D I A A S H A V I N G T H E P O T E N T I A L TO A F F E C T T H E P U B L I C ' S E X P E C T A T I O N S A B O U T T H E C R I M I N A L J U S T I C E S Y S T E M . 81 MEDIA 9/13 INDICATED THAT THE TELEVISION MEDIA COULD AFFECT THE PUBLIC'S EXPECTATIONS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. 4/13 INDICATED THAT THE TELEVISION COULD NOT AFFECT THE PUBLIC'S EXPECTATIONS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. 1/13 OFFERED NO COMMENT. LEGAL PROFESSIONALS 11/13 INDICATED THAT THE TELEVISION MEDIA COULD AFFECT THE PUBLIC'S EXPECTATIONS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. 2/13 INDICATED THAT THE TELEVISION MEDIA COULD NOT AFFECT THE PUBLIC'S EXPECTATIONS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. Both groups ranked s i g n i f i c a n t l y high i n holding the view that the media's coverage could a f f e c t the p u b l i c ' s views- on the c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system. These fi n d i n g s are troublesome i n l i g h t of Hypotheses 5A) and 5B): that the media are perceived by themselves and l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s as having l i m i t e d knowledge of the c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system. Aside from the media's rec o n s t r u c t i o n of phenomena that i s of concern to the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s , the perceived lack of knowledge of the l e g a l system by the media may a l s o be at the heart of the lack of confidence and/or t r u s t the l e g a l 82 p r o f e s s i o n a l s have i n d i c a t e d towards them. HYPOTHESES SEVEN 7A) MEDIA PARTICIPANTS WILL REGARD TELEVISION COVERAGE AS HAVING THE POTENTIAL TO INFLUENCE COURT PROCEEDINGS. 7B) LEGAL PARTICIPANTS WILL REGARD TELEVISION COVERAGE AS HAVING THE POTENTIAL TO INFLUENCE COURT PROCEEDINGS. MEDIA 8/13 INDICATED THAT THE MEDIA COULD INFLUENCE THE PROCEEDINGS. 1/13 INDICATED THAT THE -MEDIA COULD NOT INFLUENCE THE PROCEEDINGS. 4/13 OFFERED NO COMMENT. LEGAL PROFESSIONALS 11/13 INDICATED THAT THE MEDIA COULD INFLUENCE THE PROCEEDINGS. 2/13 INDICATED THEY WERE UNCERTAIN ABOUT WHETHER THE MEDIA COULD INFLUENCE THE PROCEEDINGS. The l e g a l group expressed greater c e r t a i n t y and concern that t r i a l proceedings could be a l t e r e d by the i n t e r v e n t i o n of the media. Generally, the concern was about the e f f e c t s of stresses on p a r t i c i p a n t s , and persons p l a y i n g to the camera. There was also concern f o r the jury' s i n t e g r i t y , once inf l u e n c e d by p u b l i c i t y . A few l e g a l persons commented on media i n f l u e n c e over judges. 83 Over h a l f of the media persons also b e l i e v e d that camera i n t e r v e n t i o n could influence courtroom a c t i v i t y . Thus, the media can not be regarded as adhering b l i n d l y to the notion that they merely observe and report. A number of media persons a l s o thought that l e s s i n f l u e n c e would occur with the passing of the novelty of cameras i n the courtroom. The above f i n d i n g s are admittedly only suggestive, and are based on r e l a t i v e l y small research samples; however, they are nevertheless r e f l e c t i v e of the a t t i t u d e s held by the p a r t i c i p a n t s . Following i s a d i s c u s s i o n of the i m p l i c a t i o n s of the f i n d i n g s as r e l a t e d to the struggle over cameras i n the courtroom. 84 VI. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS This chapter w i l l provide f u r t h e r a n a l y s i s of the f i n d i n g s , draw some conclusions, as w e l l as discuss various problems w i t h the research. Areas f o r contemplated future research w i l l be addressed. To account f o r the continuing struggle over cameras i n the courtroom i n B r i t i s h Columbia, t h i s researcher has attempted to i d e n t i f y the- fundamental i d e o l o g i c a l b e l i e f s h eld by the media and l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s engaged i n the controversy. A number of assumptions about the p r o p r i e t y of cameras i n the courtroom were i d e n t i f i e d from w i t h i n the context of previous court d e c i s i o n s . Theories of ideology and discourse were a l s o discussed i n r e l a t i o n to the p r a c t i s e s of the media and l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s which provided f u r t h e r foundation f o r the hypotheses regarding the a t t i t u d e s of p a r t i c i p a n t s . A presumption was made that the need to appear 'objective' and the p r o f e s s i o n a l groups' working d e f i n i t i o n s of o b j e c t i v i t y would d i c t a t e the basi s f o r some of the underlying assumptions i n the ongoing debate over camera coverage i n c r i m i n a l t r i a l s . Strongly evident i n the interview f i n d i n g s of t h i s t h e s i s i s the media's die-hard r e l i a n c e upon the notion of o b j e c t i v i t y when attempting to j u s t i f y t h e i r penetration i n t o the courtroom. However, when f u r t h e r explored, even media members i n d i c a t e major 85 problems wi t h t h e i r broadcast presentations of court proceedings. Almost a l l p a r t i c i p a n t s were i n agreement that the O.J. T r i a l broadcast coverage was problematic f o r many reasons. Further, there was wide agreement among a l l i n t e r v i e w p a r t i c i p a n t s f o r the p o t e n t i a l of the media to influence the p u b l i c ' s expectations of c r i m i n a l t r i a l proceedings, as w e l l as agreement on the p o t e n t i a l of the media to influ e n c e the ac t u a l court proceedings. But p a r t i c i p a n t s d i d not agree on the issue of whether cameras should be permitted i n t o c r i m i n a l courts. The media c l e a r l y supported a l l o w i n g cameras i n t o the courtroom, whereas the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s s t r o n g l y opposed the idea. However, a large sub-sample i n both groups i n d i c a t e d that l i m i t a t i o n s on coverage would be necessary i f cameras were permitted i n t o c r i m i n a l courtrooms. A c o n f l i c t i n g set of responses was obtained on the issue of the q u a l i t y of media reports. The l e g a l group d i d not regard the q u a l i t y of the reportage to be good due to the media's lack of knowledge about the c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system and t r i a l proceedings. The media group i n d i c a t e d that the q u a l i t y of the current court r e p o r t i n g would improve i f they were able to obtain video footage of the proceedings. The two groups a l s o d i f f e r e d on t h e i r response to the issue of whether the media puts p r o f i t s before p u b l i c i n t e r e s t . The l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s regarded p r o f i t s as a p r i o r i t y f o r the media. The 86 media was d i v i d e d amongst themselves as to whether p r o f i t s took p r i o r i t y over p u b l i c i n t e r e s t . While l e g a l members may b e n e f i t from p u b l i c i t y due to increased n o t o r i e t y , the interview r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e d l i t t l e i n t e r e s t by the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n i n having cameras i n c r i m i n a l courtrooms. Most of the time, according to a majority of the l e g a l respondents, camera coverage would not be i n the best i n t e r e s t of the accused as i t i s thought to detract form the focus of the proceedings. Refusing to provide comment to the media i s also a concern as l e g a l members be l i e v e the d e s i r e to avoid p u b l i c i t y i s misconstrued at times as an i n d i c a t i o n of c l i e n t ' s - g u i l t . Legal subjects a l s o expressed more concern than the media f o r the witnesses and v i c t i m s . Furthermore, i n s t i t u t i o n a l d i f f e r e n c e s between the media and lawyers are traceable to t h e i r respective representative o b l i g a t i o n s : lawyers to t h e i r c l i e n t s and courts, media p r i m a r i l y to t h e i r corporate employers. With no formal duty to the p u b l i c , the media r e j e c t s the suggestion that they are an educational i n s t i t u t i o n , despite t h e i r on-screen presentation as dedicated p u b l i c servants. In the interviews conducted f o r t h i s t h e s i s , many media members acknowledged that the media puts p r o f i t s ahead of p u b l i c i n t e r e s t . Nevertheless, the discourse of o b j e c t i v i t y of the media provides a strong j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r the media p r o f e s s i o n to continue to argue f o r t h e i r s o - c a l l e d r i g h t to court access on behalf of the p u b l i c , regardless of the p r o f i t - d e r i v e d notion of 87 obj e c t i v i t y . An examination of these discourses of o b j e c t i v i t y i n both the t e l e v i s i o n media and the l e g a l j u s t i c e system i n d i c a t e that each of these p r o f e s s i o n a l groups s t r i v e s f o r an appearance of o b j e c t i v i t y , and that o b j e c t i v i t y i s no l e s s an i d e a l i n the media as i t - i s i n the l e g a l system. Media persons, f o r the most part, expressed an entitlement to have courtroom access f o r broadcast cameras, on the b a s i s that they are the eyes and ears of the p u b l i c . The struggle to get i n t o the courtroom i s important to the media. However, there i s some disagreement on how u s e f u l videotaped court proceedings would be fo r newscasts since i t i s not the most v i s u a l l y e x c i t i n g m a t e r i a l . While some i n s i g h t was expressed on the a l l e g e d h y p o c r i t i c a l nature of t h e i r p r o f e s s i o n a l ideology, media p a r t i c i p a n t s tended to defend same. Ml. That there i s a p u b l i c appetite f o r trashiness and sensationalism, these are v a l i d appetites (p. 3, para 5)The argument sort of f a l l s down to what the media want...1 put i t to you, i t ' s what the p u b l i c want (p. 6 para 3 ) ( T r a n s c r i p t Ml) Other media persons expressed a perspective which i n d i c a t e d a greater awareness of the p o t e n t i a l i n t e r f e r e n c e w i t h a f a i r t r i a l : M2 ...but t h i s i s a case where a defendant's i n t e r e s t would probably be more important than the p u b l i c ' s r i g h t to know. (Transcript M2) 88 Legal p r o f e s s i o n a l s expressed concern about media coverage. L3 So they are to some extent the eyes, the ears of the p u b l i c , but how w e l l do they do t h e i r job? You know... p r o t e c t i n g the p u b l i c ' s i n t e r e s t , as opposed to trudging up the d i r t . ( T r a n s c r i p t L3) The l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s g e n e r a l l y tended to see the issue from the perspective that they are the p u b l i c safeguard i n s i d e and outside of the courtroom, i n terms of j u s t i c e . L5 . . . i t s not unusual f o r things to be taken out of context... I think c u r r e n t l y many people have misperceptions based on the media and l a r g e l y American t e l e v i s i o n (p. 2, para. 2 & 4) (Transcript L5) For confirmation of t h i s view, one only has to look to the strong response i n t h i s study to the O.J. Simpson t r i a l i n C a l i f o r n i a , from the standpoint of both p r o f e s s i o n a l groups. The responses from the interviewees i n t h i s study i n d i c a t e a strong b e l i e f that such coverage, f o r various reasons, d i d not serve the i n t e r e s t s of j u s t i c e , but was l a r g e l y a h i g h l y successful form of entertainment, although a f f e c t i n g p a r t i c i p a n t s both i n s i d e and outside the courtroom (T.V. audience). From the inte r v i e w responses a number of broad conclusions can be drawn about the p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h i s t h e s i s : 1) the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s do not t r u s t the media to report cases without d i s t o r t i o n due to an overarching p r o f i t motive; 89 2) the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s i n d i c a t e a d i s i n t e r e s t i n dealing with the media, e s p e c i a l l y during t r i a l s ; 3) the mere presence of the media i s viewed by both groups as having the p o t e n t i a l to influence courtroom p a r t i c i p a n t s ; 4) both media and l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s agree that the media can influ e n c e p u b l i c opinion about c r i m i n a l proceedings; 5) the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s are concerned about the l e v e l of l e g a l knowledge possessed by the media; 6) the media p r o f e s s i o n a l s , on the other hand, i n d i c a t e d l i t t l e concern f o r t h e i r l e v e l of knowledge about the law; 7) both the media and l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s regard the s t y l e of broadcast coverage i n the O.J. T r i a l as u n s a t i s f a c t o r y ; 8) a very large percentage of the media group i n d i c a t e d a w i l l i n g n e s s to work w i t h i n l i m i t a t i o n s imposed by the courts; 9) the media appears steadfast i n t h e i r p u r s u i t of gaining entry to the courtroom f o r t h e i r e l e c t r o n i c recording devices. In general, the r e s u l t s of t h i s i n q u i r y demonstrate the extent to 90 which each group upholds i t s respective ideology and discourse of o b j e c t i v i t y . Nevertheless, the deconstruction of the i d e o l o g i c a l perspectives of both groups reveals some disparate and con t r a d i c t o r y elements. Such f i n d i n g s could provide p o l i c y makers with points of departure f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g convergences between media and l e g a l p o s i t i o n s on the issue of cameras i n the courtroom. As i n d i c a t e d i n the interview data, media subjects appear to recognize c e r t a i n problematic aspects of p e r m i t t i n g cameras i n the courtroom. Media responses i n d i c a t e a strong d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the camera coverage i n the O.J. Simpson t r i a l , as w e l l as concern fo r the p o t e n t i a l of t e l e v i s i o n media to n e g a t i v e l y i n f l u e n c e t r i a l p a r t i c i p a n t s and p u b l i c perception of a t r i a l . Moreover, while media subjects are s t r i d e n t about gaining access f o r t h e i r video equipment, the r i g h t to a f a i r t r i a l i s not overlooked. Thus, the media members d i s p l a y a s e n s i t i v i t y to the concerns of the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s , despite the s t r u c t u r a l c o n s t r a i n t s imposed by the profit-making o b j e c t i v e of t h e i r business. Herein l i e s the basi s f o r p o s s i b l e detente with the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n , l i k e l y around a h i g h l y regulated approach 3 9 to media coverage of 3 9The f o l l o w i n g aspects of c r i m i n a l t r i a l s are p o t e n t i a l l y l e s s o f f e n s i v e to members of the Bar f o r i n c l u s i o n of cameras coverage; opening arguments, c l o s i n g arguments, judges' d e c i s i o n s . While parties/witnesses who grant consent to camera coverage may make court d e c i s i o n making l e s s problematic i n some regards, i t does r a i s e the question of whether i t would place u n f a i r pressure on the opponents and other witnesses. Also, concern that future witnesses w i l l have exposure to t r i a l evidence through t e l e v i s e d 91 c r i m i n a l t r i a l s . The l e g a l subjects interviewed i n t h i s study presented as a more cohesive group, r e g i s t e r i n g more un i f o r m i t y i n t h e i r responses. They were unimpressed by the t e l e v i s i o n coverage of the 0. J . t r i a l , and g e n e r a l l y dubious about t e l e v i s i o n news re p o r t i n g , which i n t e n s i f i e d t h e i r concern about the need to prote c t t r i a l p a r t i c i p a n t s from probable media d i s t o r t i o n . While media p r o f e s s i o n a l s have not been i n d i f f e r e n t to the problems associated with camera coverage, and have expressed a w i l l i n g n e s s to cooperate with court imposed l i m i t a t i o n s , they need to address the l e g a l profession's concern f o r t h e i r lack of knowledge and perceived disregard f o r the l e g a l system. On t h i s score, however, change may not be p o s s i b l e owing to the inherent economic s t r u c t u r e of each i n s t i t u t i o n . Legal s p e c i a l i s t s i n the Canadian media are few. Time c o n s t r a i n t s f o r report deadlines a f f e c t q u a l i t y of production. The f i n a n c i a l burden to the l e g a l coverage was a l s o regarded as a contentious issue by a small number of l e g a l and media subjects. Since the news media format generally accommodates snippets of court proceedings only, consideration may need to be given to other forums f o r cases of p u b l i c i n t e r e s t , such as a Court regulated i n t e r n e t s i t e or t e l e v i s i o n channel r e l a y i n g s u b s t a n t i a l portions of t r i a l s . The broadcast of large p o r t i o n s of t r i a l s could elevate the o v e r a l l q u a l i t y of media coverage as the p u b l i c would have access to the courtroom r e a l i t y , and not j u s t b r i e f d e pictions, a l l o w i n g f o r c r i t i c a l comparison. 92 system i s increased by the i n c l u s i o n of cameras i n the courtroom by complicating the proceedings and lengthening the t r i a l process. I t remains to be seen which party w i l l finance the s t r a i n s on the l e g a l system, since i t i s the media who stands to p r o f i t , and yet the p u b l i c would b e n e f i t i f the r e p o r t i n g i s accurate and f a i r . The l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n may also wish to consider p r o v i d i n g a r t i c l i n g students and lawyers with t r a i n i n g i n media r e l a t i o n s , as the media shows no signs of g i v i n g up the p u r s u i t of courtroom access f o r t h e i r cameras. The courts would l i k e l y b e n e f i t from the on-going appointment of. an amicus curiae and f u r t h e r development of p o l i c y on the issue, i n l i g h t of the w e l l organized e f f o r t s of the media. However, i f the interviews with the l e g a l respondents are r e f l e c t i v e of the p r o f e s s i o n i n general, as i t a p p l i e s to c r i m i n a l courts, the media may be w a i t i n g a long time f o r cameras i n c r i m i n a l courtrooms. L i m i t a t i o n s and Areas f o r Future Research Possible improvements i n t h i s study include a l a r g e r i n t e r v i e w sample, the canvassing of more issues, and an informant s e l e c t i o n process that ensures a representative sample f o r each group. Since the researcher was f a m i l i a r with the interviewees f o r various reasons, there does e x i s t the p o t e n t i a l f o r a systematic s e l e c t i o n bias , skewing the range of responses, but any such impact i s not 93 e v i d e n t t o t h i s r e s e a r c h e r . F u r t h e r r e s e a r c h on t h i s t o p i c would l i k e l y b e n e f i t from a l a r g e r sample s i z e of each r e s p e c t i v e group i n v o l v e d i n the courtroom drama, as w e l l as a da t a breakdown a l o n g the l i n e s of the s p e c i f i c t a s k s ; i e . j u d g e s , defence c o u n s e l , r e p o r t e r s , e d i t o r s . I t i s u n c l e a r from the study d a t a a t hand whether the d e c i s i o n - m a k e r s (ie.Judges and News D i r e c t o r s ) r e g a r d the i s s u e i n a manner s i m i l a r t o o t h e r s i n t h e i r p r o f e s s i o n a l group. The s m a l l sample s i z e a t hand would not a l l o w f o r a mea n i n g f u l breakdown a l o n g the l i n e s of a d i v i s i o n of l a b o u r i n each p r o f e s s i o n . I t s h o u l d be kept i n mind t h a t t h i s study d e a l s o n l y w i t h the area of c r i m i n a l c o u r t p r o c e e d i n g s . Concern about camera coverage i n n o n - c r i m i n a l m a t t e r s may y i e l d d i f f e r e n t responses from p a r t i c i p a n t s . A l s o worth n o t i n g i s t h a t the average age of the l e g a l group i s much h i g h e r than the average age of the media group. T h i s age d i f f e r e n c e i s a r e f l e c t i o n of the more y o u t h f u l make up of the media, as the more s e n i o r management peopl e a r e fewer i n numbers. I n c o n t r a s t , the l e g a l system has a g r e a t e r number of s e n i o r c r i m i n a l b a r members to j u n i o r members, e s p e c i a l l y w i t h media e x p e r i e n c e . I n t e r v i e w responses may be r e f l e c t i v e o f the age f a c t o r i n b o t h groups. 94 I t i s also uncertain as to whether inferences from the data could be drawn with regards to a c t u a l behaviour of p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the event that cameras are permitted i n the courtroom. Reporters are • influenced by producers; thus, t h e i r comments during the course of these interviews may not r e f l e c t how they would react to the phenomenon while under the pressure and d i r e c t i o n of others. Lawyers are influenced by t h e i r c l i e n t s who may be camera shy or p u b l i c i t y seeking. These q u a l i f i c a t i o n s notwithstanding, the f i n d i n g s of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r study may be regarded as a snapshot of opinion held by media and l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s i n B r i t i s h Columbia at t h i s time on the issues of cameras i n the courtroom. This t h e s i s i s , therefore, only a very modest s t a r t i n g point f o r examining p r o f e s s i o n a l b e l i e f systems and c o n f l i c t s i n the struggle f o r cameras i n the courtroom i n B r i t i s h Columbia, Canada, and i n other venues where the media and l e g a l systems operate under s i m i l a r p r i n c i p l e s . Hopefully, t h i s study has provided some leads.to more i n t e n s i v e research on the issue and w i l l encourage others to pursue i n q u i r y i n t o t h i s c o n t r o v e r s i a l and important t o p i c . 95 B I B L I O G R A P H Y C A S E S Estes V. Texas (1968) 381 US 532 Chandler V. 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Roberts, J u l i a n and Robert Gebotys, , News Media Influences on Pub l i c Views of Sentencing, Law and Human Behaviour, Vol.14, No.5, January 1990, 451. Romilly, Selwyn, The Honourable, B a r t a l k , Vol.12 ,No.5, October 2000, pp.3-6. S a l t e r , L i o r a (ed.) (1981) Communication Studies i n Canada. Toronto: Butterworths. S c h i l l e r , Dan (1981) O b j e c t i v i t y and the News. P h i l a d e l p h i a : U n i v e r s i t y of Pennsylvania Press. Singer, Benjamin D. (1972) Communications i n Canadian Society, 101 Toronto. Copp. Clark P u b l i s h i n g Company. Smith, Carole (2000) "The Sovereign sta t e V. Foucault: law and d i s c i p l i n a r y power" The S o c i o l o g i c a l Review /Volume 48 ,No.2, May ,283. Smythe, D a l l a s W. (1981) Dependency Road: Communications. Capitalism. Consciousness and Canada. Norwood, J J : Ablex. p. 23. Sumner, C o l i n (1979) Reading Ideologies. London: Academic Press. Tuchman, Gaye (1972) " O b j e c t i v i t y as s t r a t e g i c r i t u a l : An examination of newsmen's notions of o b j e c t i v i t y , " American Journal of Sociology, V o l . 5, 4, January, pp. 660-679. Tuchman, Gaye (1978) Making News. New York: Free Press. Waddens, S.M. (1979) Introduction to the Study of Law. Toronto: Carswell Company Ltd. Wallace Clement(1975) The Canadian Corporate E l i t e , Toronto: McClelland and Stewart. Weber, Max (1968) Economy and Society, V o l . 1. New York: Bedminster Press. Weinstein, Jack B. and Dianne L. Zimmerman (1977) "Let the people observe t h e i r courts," Judicature, V o l . 61, 4: (October) 156-163. Williams, Raymond (1976) Communications. 3rd e d i t i o n , Hamondsworth: Penguin Books, pp. 108-109. Wright, Peter (1947) "The open court - the hallmark of j u d i c i a l Proceedings," Canadian Bar Review, 24., p. 721. Newspaper A r t i c l e s "A J u d i c i a l case f o r t e l e v i s i o n i n the courts" The Vancouver Sun, December 9, 1995. "Cameras i n court seen as r i s k to accused" The Vancouver Sun, J u l y 14, 2000. "Cameras have long h i s t o r y i n U.S. Courts" The Vancouver Sun, J u l y 102 19,2000. "Judge Okays Cameras i n Smuggling case t r i a l " The Vancouver Sun, J u l y 19, 2000. "T.V. Cameras make h i s t o r y i n B.C. court" N a t i o n a l Post, J u l y 27, 2000. "Cameras enter the court i n B.C.'s f i r s t t e l e v i s e d t r i a l " The Vancouver Sun, -July 27,2 000. V 103 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A APPENDIX "A" Denartment of Anthrnnoloev and Socioloev 6303 N . W . Marine Dr ive Vancouver . B . C . Canada V 6 T 1ZI Te l : (6()4) S22-2878 Fax: (604) 822-6161 http://www.arts.ubc.ca/anso/anso.htm L e t t e r to Interview Respondents Date Dear I am c u r r e n t l y conducting r e s e a r c h f o r my Master's degree i n S o c i o l o g y . I am i n t e r e s t e d i n your views on the t o p i c of t e l e v i s i o n camera coverage of c r i m i n a l t r i a l s . I i n t e n d to inter v i e w l e g a l and broadcast media p r o f e s s i o n a l s . I am c u r r e n t l y a c r i m i n a l lawyer. P r i o r to e n t e r i n g the f i e l d of law, I worked as a t e l e v i s i o n news r e p o r t e r and producer. My research i n the f i e l d of s o c i o l o g y began p r i o r to law school and so the issue of t e l e v i s i o n coverage of c r i m i n a l t r i a l s has been of i n t e r e s t to me f o r many years. Dr. Robert Ratner, Department of Anthropology and S o c i o l o g y , i s the F a c u l t y A d v i s o r f o r t h i s Thesis. Dr. Ratner can be contacted at 822-3574. I would be g r a t e f u l i f you could meet w i t h me f o r approximately one to two hours when i t i s convenient to your schedule. In the next few weeks, I w i l l be c a l l i n g you to arrange an i n t e r v i e w time. P a r t i c i p a n t s may withdraw from the study at any time without explanation. I look forward to meeting with you. Sincerely, Donna Turko Department of /Anthropology and Sociology 105 The r e s e a r c h d e s c r i b e d above has been e x p l a i n e d to me, and I v o l u n t a r i l y consent to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s study. I have had an opportunity to ask questions and understand that f u t u r e questions that I may have about the research or about p a r t i c i p a n t ' s r i g h t s w i l l be answered by the i n v e s t i g a t o r . I acknowledge that I have been provided a copy of t h i s consent form. I f you have any concerns about your r i g h t s or treatment as a r e s e a r c h p a r t i c i p a n t , you may c o n t a c t Dr. R i c h a r d S p r a t l e y , D i r e c t o r of the UBC O f f i c e of Research Services at 822-8598. Signature of P a r t i c i p a n t Date 106 APPENDIX "C" Semi-structured Interview Schedule 1. What i s your opinion on perm i t t i n g cameras i n t o the courtroom? Benefits? Problems? 2. What i s your opinion on the q u a l i t y of t e l e v i s i o n coverage of c r i m i n a l t r i a l s i n l o c a l and n a t i o n a l courts? Why? P r o f i t vs. Publ i c i n t e r e s t ? Lack of video? 3. Did you watch the O.J. Simpson t r i a l ? I f so, what i s your opinion on the q u a l i t y of t e l e v i s i o n news coverage? 4. Do you f e e l the t e l e v i s i o n coverage of O.J. Simpson had any impact on the court proceedings? 5. Do you f e e l that c r i m i n a l t r i a l s pose s p e c i f i c l i m i t a t i o n s f o r t e l e v i s i o n coverage from the perspective of the : a. Court? b. Defence? c. Prosecution? 6. Do you b e l i e v e that t e l e v i s i o n news media can a f f e c t the p u b l i c ' s expectations of the c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system? 7. Do you have any recommendations f o r the format of the t e l e v i s i o n news coverage of c r i m i n a l t r i a l s ? i e : a. Requirement that both ( a l l ) sides have opportunity to provide comment each-day? b. Requirement that news report be of a minimal length or address c e r t a i n issues? c. Reliance upon media spokespersons by crown or defence counsel? 8. Is there anything e l s e you want to add? 107 APPENDIX "D" Itemized Responses (abbreviated form) HYPOTHESIS 1A) MEDIA PARTICIPANTS ARE IN FAVOUR OF PERMITTING CAMERAS IN THE COURTROOM. Ml yes M2 yes M3 yes M4 yes M5 yes M6 yes M7 yes M8 no M9 yes M10 yes M i l yes . M12 yes Ml3 yes HYPOTHESIS IB) LEGAL PARTICIPANTS ARE AGAINST PERMITTING CAMERAS IN THE COURTROOM. L l no L2 no L3 yes L4 no L5 no L6 no L7 no L8 no L9 no L10 yes L l l no L12 no L13 yes 108 HYPOTHESIS 2A) MEDIA PARTICIPANTS REGARD LIMITATIONS AS UNJUSTIFIED. Ml g e n e r a l l y no r e s t r i c t i o n s M2 l i m i t a t i o n s on occasion M3 r e s t r i c t i o n s necessary M4 few l i m i t a t i o n s necessary M5 l i m i t a t i o n s necessary M6 some l i m i t a t i o n s M7 some l i m i t a t i o n s M8 cameras should not be permitted M9 r e s t r i c t i o n s necessary M10 some l i m i t a t i o n s necessary M i l l i m i t a t i o n s sometimes M12 l i m i t a t i o n on which s t a t i o n s should be permitted access Ml3 l i m i t a t i o n s necessary. HYPOTHESIS 2B) LEGAL PARTICIPANTS REGARD LIMITATIONS AS JUSTIFIED L l l i m i t coverage to appeal courts L2 cameras should not be permitted L3 permit camera coverage, but l i m i t a t i o n s very necessary L4 cameras should not be permitted L5 l i m i t coverage to appeal courts L6 cameras should not be permitted L7 cameras should not be permitted L8 cameras should not be permitted L9 cameras should not be permitted L10 permit camera coverage, but l i m i t a t i o n s necessary L l l cameras should not be permitted L12 cameras should.not be permitted L13 permit camera coverage, but l i m i t a t i o n s necessary 109 HYPOTHESIS 3A) MEDIA: MEDIA PUBLIC INTEREST FIRST Ml P u b l i c i n t e r e s t f i r s t M2 P r o f i t s f i r s t M3 P r o f i t s f i r s t M4 P u b l i c i n t e r e s t f i r s t M5 P r o f i t s f i r s t M6 P u b l i c i n t e r e s t f i r s t M7 (not addressed) M8. P r o f i t s f i r s t M9 P r o f i t s f i r s t M10 Unsure M i l P r o f i t s f i r s t M12 Unsure M13 I r r e l e v a n t HYPOTHESIS 3B)LEGAL: MEDIA AS PUTTING PROFITS FIRST. L l P r o f i t s f i r s t L2 P r o f i t s f i r s t -L3 P u b l i c i n t e r e s t f i r s t L4 P r o f i t s f i r s t L5 P r o f i t s f i r s t L6 P r o f i t s f i r s t L7 P r o f i t s f i r s t L8 P r o f i t s f i r s t L9 P r o f i t s f i r s t L10 Sometimes p r o f i t s , sometimes p u b l i c i n t e r e s t L l l Depends on how edited L12 P r o f i t s f i r s t L13 P r o f i t s f i r s t 110 HYPOTHESIS 4A) MEDIA REGARD COVERAGE AS POOR DUE TO NO CAMERAS Ml Poor due to camera exclusion M2 Room f o r improvement M3 High p r o f i l e cases are w e l l covered, lower p r o f i l e cases are les s so M4 Good and bad, would improve i f cameras permitted M5 Good to cheap M6 Need more coverage, need cameras i n courtroom M7 Q u a l i t y would go up i f cameras permitted i n t o courts M8 6/10 j u s t above mediocre M9 National coverage b e t t e r M10 Varies M i l W i l l vary with or without camera footage of t r i a l s Ml2 Depends on media o u t l e t Ml3 Some has news value, some sensational HYPOTHESIS 4B) LEGAL REGARD COVERAGE POOR REGARDLESS OF BAN L l Poor, inaccurate L2 Good L3 Some reporter know nothing about system, some poor c o l l e c t o r s of information L4 Poor L5 Poor, not as good as i t could be L6 L i m i t a t i o n s on time, u s u a l l y d i s t o r t e d L7 Poor, only snippets L8 Poor, uneven L9 Poor, sensational L10 Low q u a l i t y now, would improve i f cameras permitted i n courtroom L l l Completely inadequate: inaccurate and incoherent L12 Poor:sensational L13 Very good 111 HYPOTHESIS 5A) MEDIA PARTICIPANTS REGARD COVERAGE OF THE O.J.TRIAL AS GOOD. Ml Bad, People magazine-type coverage M2 Outrageously bad M3 Circu s , d i s r u p t i v e to the court M4 Good,very i n t e r e s t i n g coverage M5 Good to cheap M6 Good to s e n s a t i o n a l l y poor M7 Circus M8 Ridi c u l o u s and over-saturated M9 Too much coverage M10 Varied from good to bad M i l Soap opera, l o s t focus Ml2 No b e n e f i t to p u b l i c or j u s t i c e system Ml3 Concerning HYPOTHESIS 5B)LEGAL PARTICIPANTS REGARD COVERAGE OF THE 0.J.TRIAL AS BAD. L l Circus L2 Well-covered L3 Not good L4 Harmful to j u s t i c e L5 Not serve j u s t i c e L6 Showbiz L7 F i c t i o n a l L8 Most sensational, d i s t o r t e d L9 Circus L10 P o s i t i v e L l l Abysmal L12 Se n s a t i o n a l l y poor L13 Awful 112 HYPOTHESIS 6A) MEDIA PARTICIPANTS REGARD T.V. NEWS AS EFFECTING THE PUBLIC ON COURTS Ml yes, p u b l i c see l e g a l system at f a u l t M2 yes, p u b l i c see media at f a u l t M3 yes, p u b l i c see l e g a l system at f a u l t , but als o see media 'as bad M4 no conclusion M5 unsure, a l o t of i n c o r r e c t assumptions about p u b l i c M6 depends on q u a l i t y M7 sometimes M8 yes, p u b l i c b e l i e v e s what media t e l l s them M9 sometimes M10 not sure M i l r e j e c t media Ml2 yes, see problems with l e g a l system Ml 3 no HYPOTHESIS 6B)LEGAL PARTICIPANTS REGARD T.V.NEWS AS EFFECTING PUBLIC ON COURTS L l yes, neg a t i v e l y L2 yes L3 yes,; see the problems with l e g a l system L4 yes, misrepresent l e g a l system L5 not sure L6 not know L7 yes, improperly about l e g a l system L8 yes, inaccurate on l e g a l system L9 yes, d i s t o r t e d on t r i a l s L10 yes, but f a i r l y L l l yes, improperly about l e g a l system L12 yes, misrepresent L13 yes, blame l e g a l system f o r problems 113 HYPOTHESIS 7A) MEDIA PARTICIPANTS REGARD TELEVISION TO INFLUENCE COURT PROCEEDINGS Ml yes, but not negatively M2 yes . M3 yes M4 no conclusion M5 yes M6 yes M7 yes, depends on s i t u a t i o n M8 yes M9 yes M10 not sure M i l no comment Ml2 changes by media's presence Ml3 yes HYPOTHESIS 7B)LEGAL PARTICIPANTS REGARD TELEVISION TO INFLUENCE COURT PROCEEDINGS L l yes, p a r t i c i p a n t s L2 yes, p a r t i c i p a n t s , e s p e c i a l l y lawyers and judg L3 yes, p a r t i c i p a n t s L4 yes, p a r t i c i p a n t s L5 not sure L6 yes, witnesses e s p e c i a l l y L.7 yes, p a r t i c i p a n t s L8 yes/ p a r t i c i p a n t s L9 yes, p a r t i c i p a n t s L10 yes, but not n e c e s s a r i l y i n a negative manner L l l yes, p a r t i c i p a n t s L12 yes, ' p a r t i c i p a n t s L13 yes, b i g r i s k 114 APPENDIX " E " PRESS RELEASE T h e British Columbia Supreme Court has adopted the following with respect to the televising of court proceedings: The Court has agreed as a matter of court policy that: There shall be no broadcasting, televising, recording or taking of photographs in the courtroom, or areas Immediately adjacent thereto, during sessions of court or recesses between sessions, unless the parties to the proceeding consent, and unless prior permission has been expressly granted by the presiding judge, following application upon timely notice to the parties, and subject to such conditions as the presiding judge may prescribe to protect the interests of justice and to maintain the dignity of the proceedings. The Court will also be preparing guidelines for the broadcast or televising of court proceedings. T o ensure general acceptance these will be prepared by the judiciary in consultation with the bar, the media and others with a demonstrable interest. Vancouver, B . C . April 18, 2001 Donald I. Brenner, Chief Justice 

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