Starting earlier this week, court proceedings from Quincy District Court have been streaming live over the internet thanks to OpenCourt, a new pilot program being run by WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station with funding from the Knight News Challenge. The goal of the project is to increase openness and transparency of courts and to serve as a model for other courts that are hoping to modernize. While not all proceedings will be broadcast (among others, juvenile sessions and restraining order hearings won’t be broadcast), this will provide a window into a number of different kinds of court proceedings. And, even if you aren’t interested in watching the court proceedings, the OpenCourt Guidelines and FAQ provide some very interesting background on the types of issues they encountered starting this project and the difficult decisions they had to make along the way.
In addition to the streaming video of court proceedings, the OpenCourt website also includes a blog and a resources page. You can also sign up for their email newsletter or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.