Covering court can be exhilarating, intimidating and incredibly challenging. You can be dashing from court to court desperately trying to jot down information about multiple different cases in different courtrooms. Or you could spend weeks covering a single trial involving large amounts of complex information. There’s always a lot going on.
Then there’s the legal jargon you need to decipher – and the biggest concern of all, reporting something you’re not allowed to. And you need to do all this while being 100% accurate. Phew!
In this module we look at the court systems in Aotearoa and provide tips and general advice for attending court in your journalism capacity. We discuss what you can and can’t report on (suppression orders), getting comment from talent and how to challenge the system.
There’s a stereotype that journalists are ‘hard’ or should ‘harden up’. That simply isn’t true. Court reporting can bring up all sorts of emotions and trigger past trauma, which is only natural. Make sure you have your armour on before you enter the courtroom.