Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride announced on Tuesday that the Illinois Supreme Court has approved the application from the 14th Judicial Circuit in northwestern Illinois to allow news media cameras in trial courtrooms in the state for the first time.Chief Judge Jeffrey W. O’Connor of the 14th Circuit applied to the Supreme Court for approval last week, one day after Chief Justice Kilbride announced that an experimental program was unanimously approved by the seven justices on the Court.The 14th Circuit is comprised of Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside counties."Today's Order is a historic one," said Chief Justice Kilbride. "For the first time in state history, citizens not physically present will be able to see and hear proceedings in our trial courts. My colleagues and I an-nounced this change in policy hoping to promote greater openness and accountability. But we must carefully balance the goal of openness with the rights of defendants and parties to have fair trials."This pilot project will allow us to test the policy we have put in place and see if it is workable in Illinois, or if any changes need to be made before moving toward a full statewide policy. My colleagues and I are thankful for the 14th Circuit and Chief Judge O'Connor's willingness to serve in this pilot project. We look forward to their results."In his formal request to the Court for approval, Chief Judge O’Connor noted that the news media in the area are already familiar with broadcasting trial proceedings because Iowa, just across the Mississippi River, has allowed cameras in courtrooms since 1979, and media have aired court coverage in the Quad Cities area, which includes Illinois communities.