June 22, 2021

New Media and the Courts: The Current Status and a Look at the Future

New Media and the Courts: The Current Status and a Look at the Future

From Twitter to Facebook to YouTube and Wikipedia, new Web-based digital media is transforming how citizens process information, and courts are beginning to examine the impact on a wide variety of their core functions. The Conference of Court Public Information Officers (CCPIO) undertook a yearlong, collaborative national research project to systematically examine this phenomenon and analyze its potential effects on the judiciary.

The CCPIO New Media Project has five primary objectives:(1) clearly define the current technology, (2) systematically examine the ways courts use the technology, (3) empirically measure the perceptions of judges and top court administrators toward the technology, (4) collect and analyze the literature on public perceptions of the judiciary and court public outreach programs and (5) offer a framework and analysis for judges and court administrators to use for making decisions about the appropriate use of new media. Among the technologies examined are social media profile sites; smart phones, tablets and notebooks; news categorizing, sharing and syndication technologies; and visual media sharing sites.

Government sectors at all levels are experimenting with many of these technologies hoping their collaborative capabilities can transform the relationship between governmental entities and their constituents. These new and emerging digital media technologies offer great potential; simultaneously there are significant inherent challenges specific to the judiciary. Ramifications range from the ability to ensure fair trials to building trust and confidence through public outreach and communication.

We hope this report provides you with the information and resources to examine the intersection of new media and the courts.

Source: Conference of Court Public Information Officers

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