Promoting Regional Court Reporting 

Since the launch of the Society’s Crisis in our Courts campaign in 2018, the Society of Editors has embarked on an ambitious partnership with the Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to stage regional roadshows to promote court reporting and improve media access to courts.

In April 2019, we held an inaugural court reporting roundtable, with over 30 attendees from the South West region coming to Bristol to meet the CEO of HMCTS, Susan Acland-Hood and regional heads of court operations.

In July 2019, the Society travelled to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light to discuss court reporting in the North East of England. 

In the autumn of 2019, two further court reporting roundtables took place in Birmingham and Cardiff gathering regional media representatives from the Midlands and Wales respectively. The Society is planning further events in Manchester and London, in conjunction with the Royal Courts of Justice, later in the year.

These events have been successful in providing an opportunity for regional court reporters to meet local court staff and executives to talk through any barriers faced by journalists in accessing magistrate and crown courts.

This follows the Society’s input in helping to streamline the HMCTS media guidelines issued to court staff. While distributed to HMCTS staff, this document is a useful aid to journalists seeking clarification on what they are entitled to access and do in a courtroom. This document is available to download here.

Read more about these events so far:

  • Cardiff (Welsh court reporters), November 5, 2019. 
  • Birmingham (Midlands court reporters), September 12, 2019.
  • Sunderland (North East court reporters), July 4 2019.
  • Bristol (South West court reporters), April 25 2019.

Pictured: Susan Acland-Hood (CEO of HMCTS) and Ian Murray (Executive director, Society of Editors).