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11 May 2022

NMA Welcomes Launch Of Reporters Charter At Future of News Conference

The News Media Association has welcomed the publication of the Reporters Charter - aimed at reinforcing the rights and obligations of journalists to report on court proceedings - which has been launched today at the Society of Editors Future of News conference.

The Charter, published jointly by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service, the Media Lawyers Association and the Society of Editors, includes details on the rights of journalists to attend proceedings, take notes from court and use social media, access hearings remotely and the provision of information to reporters in relation to court lists and other documentation.

Launched at the Society’s Future of News conference in London, John Battle, chair of the Media Lawyers Association and head of legal and compliance at ITN said that the Charter was a “significant step” in reinforcing the rights of journalists to attend proceedings.

He said: “The Charter is a significant step forward. It brings together in one document the basic rights reporters have when reporting the courts. The Charter will help court reporters to carry out their vital role Informing the public about the justice system. It is fundamental for justice, the rule of law and democracy that the courts are reported.”

Dawn Alford, executive director of the Society of Editors said: “The Society of Editors welcomes today’s launch of the Reporters’ Charter which will, no doubt, become an invaluable tool for journalists and court staff and ensure that the rights of reporters to attend court and receive documentation are better recognised and applied in practice.

"We congratulate the Media Lawyers Association on this achievement. The Society is delighted to endorse, promote and distribute the Charter and it will also be available to view on the resources section of our website.”

NMA director of legal Sayra Tekin said: “The NMA has worked closely with industry and HMCTS colleagues on the Reporters’ Charter and we welcome its launch. By promoting court reporting, the charter strengthens open justice which is so critical to public confidence in our judicial system.”