ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST ALLOWING TELEVISION CAMERAS INTO THE COURTROOM Against: l. The trial participants' primary audience would shift from the case at hand to the external public. 2. Courtroom distractions would increase, and witnesses, already uncomfortable and stressed because of having to appear in court, would be further stressed, thus hampering the free flow of information. 3. Jurors, concerned with being on television, would not concentrate on the trial proceeding to the extent that they should. 4. Lawyers would be tempted to play to the television cameras rather than focus on the basic elements of the case at hand. 5. Television cameras tend to portray defendants as being guilty and produce a climate of hostility toward defendants. The result being, all else held constant, a greater likelihood of guilty verdicts being returned due to the presence of the camera in the courtroom 6. Television cameras inherently focus on court participants and as a result, targets them for possible community pressure, threats and abuse. 7. A distorted picture of court proceedings would be portrayed to a wide audience, thus further undercutting an already much maligned social institution. 8. Television tends to sensationalize cases, with the result being decisions based on passion and emotion rather than reason and ration. 9. The judicial system would lose control of its own proceedings 10. Television reporting is inherently biased - "Television in its present state and by its very nature reaches into a variety of areas in which it may cause prejudice to an accused ... the televising of criminal trials is inherently a denial of due process" (Estes v Texas 381 U.S. 532, 1965). For: l. There is no clear and convincing evidence that television cameras in the courtroom negatively affect courtroom personnel nor places undue hardship on trial participants. 2. Modern technology has made television camera equipment less cumbersome, allowing deployment in a relatively discreet and unobtrusive fashion. 3. The public has become so accustomed to television as a fact of everyday life that the presence of television cameras in the courtroom would not cause court participants to respond in a discriminatory or fundamentally unfair fashion, and would not hamper the free flow of information. 4. Court participants would perform in a more professional fashion, knowing that the proceedings are being televised. 5. As the public witnesses the televised professional proceedings of the courtroom, the courts' image would be bolstered. 6. By expanding the trial audience and educating the public with respect to the judicial process, public understanding and confidence in the courts would increase, while myth and mystique would dissipate. 7. The courtroom is a public forum, and the public 'has the right to know'.