Kyle Rittenhouse trial: MSNBC banned, media professors weigh in

Banned from the courtroom, an MSNBC producer is accused of following the Kyle Rittenhouse jury bus. The news outlet denies the claims.

Judge Bruce Schroeder said Thursday, Nov. 18 the freelance producer claimed he was following the bus under the instructions of his boss. Though NBC News denies any wrongdoing, those who teach journalism say it certainly has an impact on media perception.

Kenosha County Judge Bruce Schroeder

Kenosha County Judge Bruce Schroeder

"It would go without much thinking that someone is following the jury bus, that’s an extremely serious matter," said Judge Schroeder.

There were weighty accusations inside the Rittenhouse courtroom Thursday; an MSNBC freelancer accused of following jurors under the instructions of a producer in New York City.

"They will be referred to the proper authorities for further action," said Judge Schroeder.

Kenosha police pulled the man over and briefly detained him after they say he may have tried photographing jurors. NBC News denies the claims, saying the man: "Never photographed them or intended to photograph them."

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The incident has raised ethical flags and questions among journalists.

"Trust in media is obviously paramount and is something that is very much in question these days," said A.Jay Wagner, assistant professor at Marquette University.

Wagner is an assistant journalism and media professor at Marquette. He says while the truth of the situation is not known right now, it certainly has a ripple effect.

"Ethics is what we lead with," said Wagner. "Our job only works if people trust and believe in us that we’re doing things ethically.

Judge Schroeder banned the cable network from the courtroom in a surprising move.

"I find it troubling to see a judge bar a media organization without some sort of process to it," said Michael Mirer, UW-Milwaukee visiting professor. "I would be concerned about a government actor barring public access to anything."

Deliberations continue with access still allowed for media not accused of breaking the law. 

That freelancer was given traffic citations. The incident is under investigation.

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