Cameras in the Courtroom

Abstract:

In this lesson, students will examine the constitutional conflicts of allowing or disallowing cameras in courtrooms.  The importance of this issue will be emphasized through a discussion about media literacy. Students will participate in a “Shuttle Debate,” where they will argue whether the state of Minnesota, which currently does not allow cameras in courtrooms, should change its policy.

Objectives:

  1. Students will understand media literacy, particularly as it relates to law.
  2. Students will understand the potential effects cameras have on trials.
  3. Students will be able to list the constitutional considerations at issue when developing a policy on cameras in the courtroom.
  4. Students will evaluate the competing interests involved in the debate over cameras in the courtroom.
  5. Students will be able to discuss the impact of television on the administration of justice.

Grade level: 9-12