Panel finds no problems in camera in court test

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An advisory panel says it found no problems during a pilot project allowing cameras in some Minnesota courtrooms, and that the state Supreme Court should consider extending the project or making it permanent.

The test project allowed news organizations to use cameras and audio equipment during civil proceedings in trial courts, but not criminal cases. The committee says the rules appear to work well.

But the panel says there was a striking lack of media requests to use cameras or audio recorders during the first 26 months. Out of around 20 to 25 requests, about half resulted in some electronic coverage being allowed.

The advisory committee also says it may be appropriate in limited circumstances to permit electronic coverage of at least some criminal proceedings, but more study is needed.

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