Journalists attending our regional Media Workshops have asked for stock photos of courtrooms. Tweets responding to a suggestion that Canadian media avoid photos of gavels (since Canadian judges don’t use them) complained about the lack of alternative images. It’s clear that finding photos to illustrate media reports on court proceedings is a challenge.
To help Canadian media meet that challenge, the Provincial Court of BC has undertaken a three-pronged project.
Exterior courthouse photos
First we added exterior photos of most BC courthouses to our website’s Court Locations pages. These photos may be copied and used by media, with a photo credit when one is provided. (Some of these photos are snapshots that we intend to replace as better photos become available. We are also in the process of adding higher resolution copies for downloading where these are available.)
Including courthouse photographs on our website has had an additional benefit – it’s helping people who aren’t familiar with a courthouse's location to find it.
Stock professional quality courthouse interior photos
In addition, we have obtained and posted on our website high resolution photos consisting of trial and remand courtroom interiors at the Surrey Provincial Courthouse and the Vancouver Criminal Court at 222 Main Street, and related images. They are now available on the Stock Photos page of our website at https://www.provincialcourt.bc.ca/Media/StockPhotos. We invite members of the media to download and use these photos or portions of them with photo credit to Cliff MacArthur/provincialcourt.bc.ca.
Additional source of courthouse photos
Finally, we have identified a source of photos that could assist media right across Canada! We have ascertained that media may use the interior and exterior photos of Canadian courthouses displayed on the website courthouses.co. Photographer and website owner John Deacon Q.C. has advised the Court that he consents to media use of the photographs on his website for news stories with photo credit to “John Deacon Q.C. courthouses.co".
Mr. Deacon’s website is worth visiting for the information provided about the courthouses he’s visited, as well as the photos. There are pages for each Canadian province and two territories, as well as for Mexican and American states. See http://www.courthouses.co/canada-courthouses/british-columbia/ for BC courthouses.
A shared interest
The media play a crucial role in our democracy by giving the public accurate information about what takes place in our courts. The Provincial Court hopes these photographs will assist the media in performing that role.