A small victory for open access: Crowdfunded public stenographers will transcribe Bradley Manning trial

Over the past month, Freedom of the Press Foundation (I'm on the board) has been crowdfunding money to hire a professional stenographer to provide daily transcripts of the court martial of accused WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning. His court martial started this week and will be very important for the future of journalism, whistleblowers' rights and government secrecy—yet, paradoxically, the government refuses to provide public transcripts of the proceedings. Trevor Timm and Rainey Reitman from Freedom of the Press Foundation write:

Earlier today, we scored victory for transparency: the military judge, Col. Denise Lind, and the lead prosecutor in the case against Manning indicated that neither was likely to object to our publicly-funded court reporters using stenography equipment in the media operations center.

The issue came up early on the first day of the trial, when Judge Lind was questioning whether press and public access to the trial had been hampered. She specifically brought up the issue of a stenographer sitting in the media room. The prosecution did not object to a stenographer providing transcripts of the trial provided there was no actual audio or video recording made of the proceedings.

Essentially, this means that our stenographers can do their jobs without running afoul of a misguided and overly aggressive interpretation of the media restrictions on the trial.

Read more: Despite Government Obstacles, Publicly-Funded Stenographers Will Transcribe the Bradley Manning Trial. [Freedom of the Press Foundation]