Greta Van Susteren addresses Media Law Conference

06/01/07 Seán Kinane
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Today the 2007 Media Law Conference was held at Stetson University College of Law’s Tampa campus. It brought together people from both professions to discuss the changing relationship between the law and the media. WMNF’s Seán Kinane reports.

Greta Van Susteren is the host of FOX News’ legal program, On the Record. She was the moderator of a panel called ‘What’s happening to the News business?’ Van Susteren feels that while the media’s demand for information under the first amendment is important, it should never get in the way of another constitutional protection, that of a fair trial.

“… our job as best we can.”

Jerrianne Hayslett is a media-relations consultant specializing in courts. She was director of public information in Los Angeles County during high profile cases including O.J. Simpson and Rodney King. Like most of the other participants in this Media Law conference, she thinks that there will be more television and streaming internet coverage of trials in the future.

“ … move toward more camera coverage …”

Jeff Brown is an attorney who said there was a 100 to 1 sentencing disparity between defendants accused of possession of crack versus powered cocaine. He agrees that cameras should be allowed in federal court because if the public could see what was happening they would want to improve the system.

“… awareness of what’s going on in Federal Court.”

Judge George Greer is a Circuit Judge in Pinellas-Pasco. He presided over the Terry Schivo case where his controversial decision to allow the removal of Schivo’s life support after she had been in a persistent vegetative state for years was upheld by appellate courts at the federal and state levels. So he has much experience at the intersection of the law and media. He didn’t have a problem with cameras in his courtroom.

“… never had an issue with electronic media in the courtroom.”

That was Judge George Greer speaking today at the Media Law Conference at Stetson University’s College of Law Tampa campus. WMNF will bring you more from today’s Media Law Conference on Monday’s Evening Newscast. For WMNF News, I’m Seán Kinane


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