There is a misunderstood notion that reporters can’t be in the courtroom for juvenile proceedings. Illinois law provides for media access to juvenile court proceedings, but does allow for certain restrictions on publicity.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press notes, “Specifically, the law allows the judge to exclude the general public except for the news media and the crime victim from any hearing. The court may, however, for the minor’s safety and protection and for good cause prohibit anyone present from further disclosing the minor’s identity.
However, that does not limit the media from reporting the name of a minor, if the court was not the source of identity. Nothing would stop news reporters from publishing truthful information gathered through common reporting techniques. There are instances where a judge did prohibit identification discussed in the article linked above.
“Juvenile court records are confidential and may be inspected only by certain individuals and agencies designated by statute, including representatives of the news media by general or special court order. In cases that are no longer pending, the minor or the minor’s parent or guardian must be notified, and the request will be referred to the chief judge presiding over juvenile courts. I In delinquency cases, the public has a right of access to the name, address and offense of juveniles adjudicated delinquent for the commission of serious acts. Specifically, such information is publicly available in cases where a juvenile: 1) has been adjudicated delinquent based on the commission of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault or criminal sexual assault; 2) who was 13 years old or older at the time the act was committed and has been adjudicated delinquent based on the commission of an act involving criminal street gang activity, the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony or an act involving cannabis or controlled substances that would be a felony if committed by an adult; 3) who was 13 years old or older at the time the act was committed and has been criminally convicted based on the commission of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault or an act involving criminal street gang activity, the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony or an act involving cannabis or controlled substances that would be a felony if committed by an adult. 705 Ill. Comp. Stat. 405/1-8. Law enforcement records are closed to the public unless the juvenile is being prosecuted as an adult for a criminal offense. Officers may not disclose the identity of any minor when releasing information to the general public about the arrest, investigation or disposition of any case involving a minor. Id. 405/1-7.
Illinois law allows a trial judge to close the courtroom when a victim 17 years old or younger is testifying about a sexual offense. The media are included among those permitted to remain in the courtroom during this testimony.” View the PDF of Reporters Committee For Freedom Of The Press discussion.
Here are links to the laws referenced above.