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"The Texas Tribune" and Oyez® to launch multimedia site for Texas high courts

May 23, 2014

Texas will soon benefit from an online archive for its two highest courts, launched through a partnership between The Texas Tribune and Oyez®, a free law project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Cases before the Supreme Court of Texas (pictured) and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals will be more accessible to the public with the launch of a new multimedia resource from <span class="smallcaps">The Texas Tribune</span> and Oyez. </ br><i>Photo credit: Christina Walker/Oyez</i>Amidst a scarcity of news coverage about law, the partnership between The Texas Tribune and Oyez will increase public access to the cases before the Supreme Court of Texas and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. This offers more opportunities for in-depth reporting and research on the state's judicial system.

"We're delighted to get to partner with such a fabulous institution on such an important project," said Emily Ramshaw, editor of The Texas Tribune. "We look forward to sharing rich details about Texas cases with our readers."

The site will go live in late summer 2014 and offer case summaries written for a non-legal audience. The multimedia resource will include opinions, transcript-synchronized videos of oral arguments, justice biographies and decision information. Fundraising is also underway to provide Spanish translations of case information.

"It is our great good fortune to work in partnership with The Texas Tribune, a leader in the field of digital journalism," said Jerry Goldman, director of Oyez.

The partnership is part of a larger initiative to expand Oyez's successful U.S. Supreme Court site to all federal appellate and state supreme courts. The Knight Foundation has funded Oyez's efforts in Texas, as well as in California, New York, Florida and Illinois, covering one-third of the U.S. population.

"This partnership allows Oyez to extend its impact, reaching more people with an important tool for opening access to government and our court system," said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism and media innovation.

About Oyez

Established in 1997, Oyez serves as a multimedia resource providing free, open access to the Supreme Court of the United States. Oyez.org and its mobile apps offer an in-depth collection of court materials and audio recordings dating back to 1955. The site receives 7.5 million annual visits and is often cited by NPR, The New York Times and CNN. The project is housed at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.

About The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public media organization whose mission is to promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government and other matters of statewide interest. In its first four years of operation, the Tribune has won significant national recognition, including four Edward R. Murrow awards, two Knight-Batten awards for innovations in journalism and two General Excellence awards from the Online News Association. For more information on The Texas Tribune, please visit texastribune.org.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.

Contacts

Oyez: Christina Walker, (312) 906-5358, cwalker@oyez.org

The Texas Tribune: Emily Ramshaw, (512) 716-8619, eramshaw@texastribune.org