Recording Public Meetings

According to the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, “any person may record the proceedings at meetings required to be open [under the Illinois Open Meetings Act] by tape, film or other means,” however, “the authority holding the meeting shall prescribe reasonable rules to govern the right to make such recordings.”

What does this mean?

A “meeting” is any gathering of a majority quorum of the members of a public body held for the purpose of discussing public business.

Your right to record public meetings is protected by under the Open Meetings Act but be sure to familiarize yourself with (and comply with) the relevant media policies for the public media you are assigned to.

Be careful not to inadvertently record private conversations while covering public meetings.

When in doubt, comply when a governmental body insists you not record a meeting—but be sure to describe the reasons given and the circumstances in which the rule was provided in your notes and/or checklist.