Judge issues gag order, seizes notes of News & Record reporter


GREENSBORO — A judge in North Carolina’s 18th Judicial District Court has issued a protective order against a News & Record reporter that prevents her from using her reporting inside a courtroom last week.

Kenwyn Caranna, who covers Greensboro and Guilford County government, was observing juvenile court proceedings inside the courthouse on July 28. She was in the courtroom most of the day except for a period when District Court Judge Ashley Watlington-Simms closed the courtroom to hear a particular matter.

Everyone in the courtroom, including Caranna, was directed to leave the courtroom with only the parties and attorneys to that matter left behind. When that matter concluded, Caranna and others were permitted to return to the courtroom.


Late in the day, Watlington-Simms asked Caranna to identify herself. Caranna did so, and Watlington-Simms said she intended to leave the courtroom and consult with Chief District Court Judge Teresa Vincent. Caranna asked if she could call her attorney, a common practice for journalists, and Watlington-Simms denied her request.

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