skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 221877 Find in a Library
Title: Cameras in Court: How Television News Media Use Courtroom Footage
Journal: Judicature  Volume:91  Issue:3  Dated:November/December 2007  Pages:124-134
Author(s): Wendy Pogorzelski; Thomas W. Brewer
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study involved a content analysis of local television news coverage of the criminal trial of four New York City police officers charged with murder in the shooting of Amadou Diallo, a Bronx resident.
Abstract: Analysis of the 201 newscasts found that the majority of coverage consisted of reporter or anchorperson voice-overs and footage from outside the courtroom. When the media did use the video footage or the audiotape from inside the courtroom, the coverage was in the form of sound bites. The mean length of each newscast was 3 minutes and 35 seconds. On average, each story contained 47 second of audio coverage from inside the courtroom. For every 10 minutes of news coverage, the public heard 2 minutes of actual court proceedings. These findings on news coverage of a single, albeit significant trial, parallel previous research and reviews regarding how established news formats and editing decisions shape broadcast content. Cursory coverage of dramatic elements of an event, including trials, is a well-established pattern in the news media, particularly as the line between information and entertainment is blurred. This research shows that the assumption that news coverage of trials are an exception must be questioned and reexamined. Future research should explore the development and measurement of key concepts for systematic examination. Newscasts from five television stations were analyzed each day court was in session (a total of 12 days). The total number of newscasts during this period was 216. Each station's 30-minute midday newscasts and the evening newscasts for the four Albany television stations were analyzed. The newscasts from New York City were from one channel and included only a late broadcast. Three events were measured for each newscast: total time spent on the story, total time spent airing video footage from inside the courtroom, and time spent airing audiotape from inside the courtroom. 1 table and 4 figures
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Courtroom proceedings broadcasting; Media coverage; New York; Television programming; Trial courts; Trials
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.