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Blogs and podcasts are a growing fixture on our social landscape. There are now more than 750,000 podcasts produced and over 48 million people a week listen to a podcast. Estimates are that billions of people worldwide read one or more blogs on the internet. This is a fact that courts face along with all government institutions. When grappling with the media, courts can no longer deal simply with the city newspaper and local television reporters. Bloggers and podcasters demand equal treatment with traditional media outlets. What advice do we have for courts that are facing the challenge of social media’s blogs and podcasts? Darren Toms and Stephen Thompson talk about how courts can deal with the growing phenomenon of social media’s focus on the justice system.
This is a fascinating podcast episode for listeners interested in courts, court administration, social media, blogs, and podcasts.
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A child of the northeast, Stephen Thompson earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston University, served a tour in the Peace Corps teaching English as a foreign language in West Africa, and earned a master’s degree from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. He worked for more than twenty years as a newspaper reporter and editor, most of it at the now-defunct Tampa Tribune, before he was hired by the Sixth Judicial Circuit to be its public information officer in 2014.
Darren Toms is the public information officer and community outreach coordinator for the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in Cleveland, Ohio, where he works with the media and community groups on a regular basis. Darren is the president-elect of the Conference of Court Public Information Officers (CCPIO) and recently hosted the organization’s annual meeting in Cleveland. Prior to joining the Court in 2013, Darren spent 16 years at Newsradio WTAM 1100, the news-talk station in Cleveland, as news director, anchor and reporter. Darren also spent seven years in television news. A graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, Darren is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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