A new national survey by the Conference of Court Public Information Officers shows the impact social media is having on judges and courts.
The 2014 CCPIO New Media Survey has some interesting findings. More courts are using social media like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as a public information tool. Facebook use by courts is up by more than 5 percent; Twitter use increased by 3.5 percent and YouTube by 3.2 percent.
Court officials have also changed their attitudes about reporters’ use of social media during courtroom proceedings. Nearly 66 percent of court officials in the previous survey had objected to the media’s sending of messages. Now only 46 percent say it’s inappropriate and 39 percent have no problem permitting it.
Over time more judges and court personnel have begun to become comfortable using social media themselves, but there are still pitfalls for judges due to ethical restrictions on what they may say about their pending work and opinions they express. I certainly understand that concern, and since my first blog post in 2010, I’ve been very cautious in the topics chosen because I write as a sitting justice.
I was glad to share some thoughts about blogging in the survey report. While by no means an expert in the field of communication, I am a firm believer that exchanging ideas on the best ways to help the public understand our courts is time well spent.