The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

April 4, 2014

Iowa court adopts new media rules for courtrooms

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A rule going into effect May 1 will allow members of the news media to use laptops and cell phones in Iowa courtrooms with permission.

The Iowa Supreme Court on Wednesday approved updates to the rules governing news media coverage to address new technologies and social media.

In particular, it wasn't clear under the old rules whether reporters could use computers and phones to report, blog and tweet live on courtroom proceedings. It also wasn't clear how bloggers and others who do not work for traditional media outlets were treated.

In the new rules, the news media is defined as anyone who regularly reports on matters of public interest "in any medium."

The rules continue to require news media to obtain advanced approval from the presiding judge for such coverage.

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Southeast Iowa
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