News organizations across the country support WDAM's appeal to state supreme court


HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Nearly three dozen national news organizations have joined with WDAM-TV in the televisions station's appeal to the Mississippi State Supreme Court seeking the right to broadcast video tape which allegedly shows abuse of juvenile inmates in the Forrest County Detention Center.


The station filed the emergency petition in the second week of January asking the high court to lift a youth court injunction prohibiting the station from showing the tapes. 


Youth court judge Mike McPhail ruled WDAM failed to provide evidence of a need to show the video.  WDAM's attorneys argue the order is an unconstitutional prior restraint on the station's ability to publish truthful information of public significance. 


The following organizations are seeking permission to file a friend of the court brief...


  • Mississippi Association of Broadcasters
  • Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information, Inc.
  •   Mississippi Press Association 
  •  Advance Publications, Inc.
  • A.H. Belo Corporation
  • Allbritton Communications Company
  • ALM Media, LLC
  • Atlantic Media Company
  • Associated Press
  • Belo Television
  • Cable News Network, Inc.
  • CBS Broadcasting Inc.
  • Dow Jones & Co., Inc.
  • E.W. Scripps Company
  • Forbes LLC
  • Gannett Co., Inc.
  • Harman Newsweek LLC
  • Hearst Corporation
  • Home Box Office, Inc.
  • LIN Television Corporation
  • Media General, Inc.
  • Meredith Corporation
  • NBC Universal, Inc.
  • New York Times Company
  • NPR
  • The Radio Television Digital News Association
  • The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
  • The Society of Professional Journalists
  • Time, Inc.
  • Tribune Company
  •  The Washington Post

The state supreme court has given the Forrest County Youth Court until January 25 to respond to the emergency petition.    


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