Court News Florida aggregates statewide court news and information
Court News Florida, a collaborative effort of the Florida Supreme Court, the Florida Office of the State Courts Administrator, and the Florida Court Public Information Officers, now offers readers the latest information from all levels of the state’s judicial branch from a single, convenient source.
“Newsworthy events happen in our courts on a regular basis. We are committed to making this as accessible as possible,” said 20th Judicial Circuit Public Information Officer Sara Miles, who also serves as FCPIO president. “Court News Florida brings it all together and makes it easy to share our news with the media, public, judges, and court employees.”
The FCPIO membership is charged by the Supreme Court with implementing the landmark Court Communication Plan. Court News Florida, available at CourtNewsFlorida.org, is the culmination of five years of activities delineated by the plan.
The 2016 Court Communication Plan has become a model for courts around the nation. It stresses greater use of court PIOs to provide information to the press and the public about what Florida’s state courts do.
“FCPIO members have diligently worked to implement the goals of the communication plan,” Miles said. “Court News Florida culminates all those efforts and creates a valuable resource for people who want to keep up on the latest from courts in our state.”
The FCPIO is a tax-exempt educational nonprofit corporation, organized in 2007 to promote best practices and professionalism among Florida’s court PIOs and to encourage collaborative work among courts around the state.
Many of the goals and strategies in the Supreme Court’s Communication Plan have their source in the Florida Supreme Court’s highly successful Public Information Office, which enters its 25th year in 2021. The plan urges state courts to make better use of technology to communicate with the public, including better websites, social media, podcasting, and phone app development. Court News Florida also addresses the goal of improving understanding of the judicial process, outlined in the 2016-2021 Long-Range Strategic Plan for the Florida Judicial Branch.
Florida has long been a pioneer in increasing public access to court information. In the mid-1970s, Florida was the first state to let cameras into its courtrooms. The Supreme Court’s first webpage went online in 1994.
“The introduction of Court News Florida will prove to be a watershed event for the judicial branch just like the debuts of our first website starting in 1994, of our livestreaming of court arguments starting in 1997, and of our use of social media to communicate better with the public we serve starting in 2009,” said Craig Waters, director of the Florida Supreme Court Public Information Office.