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What Role Do Pool Reporters Play in the Courtroom?

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Because of the pandemic, a limited audience has been allowed to watch the trial of Derek Chauvin from inside the courtroom. Among those allowed inside are the judge, the jurors, the witnesses, the court staff, the lawyers and Mr. Chauvin himself. One seat has been set aside for a member of George Floyd’s family and one for Mr. Chavin’s.

Two more seats in the courtroom have been reserved for reporters and various journalists, including from The New York Times, who take on the role of pool reporter. The journalists who fill these seats will rotate throughout the trial (Shaila Dewan of the Times is on duty Wednesday morning) and are expected to send dispatches to other members of the media around the country to ensure everyone has a look inside the courtroom.

The pool reports from Mr. Chauvin’s trial have included descriptions of masks the jurors are wearing, the demeanor of the jurors and the appearance of younger witnesses who are allowed to testify off-camera.

Pool reporting is commonly used in Washington media circles. When traveling, the president is usually accompanied by a few print and television journalists who represent the entirety of their disciplines and send out a series of short reports throughout the trip to those not on it.

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