In partnership with the US District Court for the District of MA, Discovering Justice hosted its first Courthouse event of the year with a lively discussion about the importance and challenges of telling the stories of what goes on inside the courtroom.
“Writing the First Draft of Justice – The News Media and the Justice System” brought together three journalists; Chris Villani, a Senior Boston Courts Reporter at Law360, Kimberly Atkins Stohr, a Senior Opinion Columnist at The Boston Globe & MSNBC Contributor, and Patricia Hurtado, a Federal Courts Reporter at Bloomberg News in conversation with Senior United States District Judge George A. O’Toole.
The panel, moderated by Discovering Justice’s Executive Director Matt Wilson, highlighted the openness that COVID has brought to the system with increased access to the public through audio and video broadcasting. The journalists shared the decisions they have made around news coverage of the justice system, and stories from their careers around their coverage of court cases. Judge O’Toole talked about the tensions he and his fellow judges face balancing the need to protect the integrity of the case and the desire to inform the public of the important discussions going on inside the courtroom.
“The media often provides the filter of what we know and learn about the workings of the justice system. It is good to hear that from the Supreme Court to District Courts, the trend is to be more open to the media with their proceedings,” said Wilson.
Discovering Justice looks forward to working with the District Court to host future panel discussions and speaker events at the Moakley Courthouse this Fall and Winter.