In Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart the Supreme Court held that trial courts trying to minimize prejudicial publicity to preserve a fair trial must consider alternatives less drastic than gagging the press. This comment will examine post- Nebraska Press cases involving orders that restrict the flow of information concerning judicial proceedings and will suggest standards that focus on whether an indirect gag order inhibits media coverage of the judicial process. After a brief discussion of Nebraska Press' reasoning and its emphasis on the prior restraint doctrine, a survey of lower court cases will demonstrate Nebraska Press has not prevented judges from issuing orders that substantially impair press coverage of the judicial system. Finally, the comment will propose procedural safeguards to protect the press' role as a monitor of governmental abuses.
Valerie Bell, Gagging the Press through Participant and Closure Orders: The Aftermath of Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, 2 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 317 (1979).