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Rule 4. Technical.

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   (A) Equipment specifications. Equipment to be used by the media in courtrooms during judicial proceedings must be unobtrusive and must not produce distracting sound. In addition, such equipment must satisfy the following criteria, where applicable:
 
   1. Still cameras. Still cameras and lenses must be unobtrusive, without distracting light or sound.
 
   2. Television cameras and related equipment. Television cameras are to be electronic and, together with any related equipment to be located in the courtroom, must be unobtrusive in both size and appearance, without distracting sound or light. Television cameras are to be designed or modified so that participants in the judicial proceedings being covered are unable to determine when recording is occurring.
 
   3. Audio equipment. Microphones, wiring, and audio recording equipment shall be unobtrusive and shall be of adequate technical quality to prevent interference with the judicial proceeding being covered. Any changes in existing audio systems must be approved by the presiding judge. No modifications of existing systems shall be made at public expense. Microphones for use of counsel and judges shall be equipped with off/on switches.
 
   4. Advance approval. It shall be the duty of media personnel to demonstrate to the presiding judge reasonably in advance of the proceeding that the equipment sought to be utilized meets the criteria set forth in this rule. Failure to obtain advance judicial approval for equipment may preclude its use in the proceeding. All media equipment and personnel shall be in place at least fifteen minutes prior to the scheduled time of commencement of the proceeding.
 
   (B) Lighting. Other than light sources already existing in the courtroom, no flashbulbs or other artificial light device of any kind shall be employed in the courtroom. With the concurrence of the presiding judge however, modifications may be made in light sources existing in the courtroom (e.g., higher wattage light bulbs), provided such modifications are installed and maintained without public expense.
 
   (C) Equipment and pooling. The following limitations on the amount of equipment and number of photographic and broadcast media personnel in the courtroom shall apply:
 
   1. Still photography. Not more than one still photographer, using not more than two camera bodies and two lenses, shall be permitted in the courtroom during a judicial proceeding at any one time.
 
   2. Television. Not more than one television camera, operated by not more than one camera person, shall be permitted in the courtroom during a judicial proceeding. Where possible, recording and broadcasting equipment which is not a component part of a television camera shall be located outside of the courtroom.
 
   3. Audio. Not more than one audio system shall be set up in the courtroom for broadcast coverage of a judicial proceeding. Audio pickup for broadcast coverage shall be accomplished from any existing audio system present in the courtroom, if such pickup would be technically suitable for broadcast. Where possible, electronic audio recording equipment and any operating personnel shall be located outside of the courtroom. Exceptions may be made by the presiding judge to accommodate the pre-existing audio broadcast role for this Judicial District.
 
   4. Pooling. Where the above limitations on equipment and personnel make it necessary, the media shall be required to pool equipment and personnel. Pooling arrangements shall be the sole responsibility of the media coordinator and representative, and the presiding judge shall not be called upon to mediate any dispute as to the appropriate media representatives authorized to cover a particular judicial proceeding.
 
   (D) Location of equipment and personnel. Equipment and operating personnel shall be located in, and coverage of the proceedings shall take place from, an area or areas within the courtroom designated by the presiding judge. The area or areas designated shall provide reasonable access to the proceeding to be covered.
 
   (E) Movement during proceedings. Television cameras and audio equipment may be installed in or removed from the courtroom only when the court is not in session. In addition, such equipment shall at all times be operated from a fixed position. Still photographers and broadcast media personnel shall not move about the courtroom while proceedings are in session, nor shall they engage in any movement which attracts undue attention. Still photographers shall not assume body positions inappropriate for spectators.
 
   (F) Decorum. All still photographers and broadcast media personnel shall be properly attired and shall maintain proper courtroom decorum at all times while covering a judicial proceeding.

This page was last modified on Wednesday, November 7, 2012