Bring On The Cameras

By: - December 2, 2008 1:17 pm


A state House panel moved closer on Monday to recommending that the chamber air video of its daily sessions and some committee meetings and place no restrictions on how the footage could be used.”

WOOOO! Sexy time! No, seriously, I think streaming NC House committee meetings and sessions would be brilliant. Of course, it’s inevitable that a former C-SPANner would feel that way, but, still, it’s valid. In this internet/blogging era, it’s even more essential that people have access to their government. So, you go NC House, you’re gonna be a BIG star.

With unfiltered internet and/or television coverage, citizen journalists can do the work that we left to our incredible shrinking newspapers for far too long. Let’s face it, TV news outlets have never covered the state house in a meaningful way, and the papers are spreading their people too thin to be able to cover it all. So, bring on the eagle-eyed reclusive bloggers, and let ’em rip.

Media outlets already bring cameras to the floor of both chambers to record debate, but the Legislature provides no streaming live video floor coverage – only audio from the House and Senate floor and two committee rooms – on its Web site.

The committee’s choice, which would include buying high-end video cameras and other equipment and hiring new staff, could exceed $1 million upfront and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. It could be 2010 before gavel-to-gavel coverage is aired given the setup time and tight fiscal times in state government.”

I know it will be expensive, and there are people who are satisfied with the current recordings of House debates, but live-streaming is the future, and we’d do well to get with it. Who knows how fast some sharp-eyed, homebound (trust a SPANner, there are a lot of shut-ins who would eat this stuff up!) watcher would cotton on to sold votes or conflicts of interest? The Senate is more than a little behind the times, what with just now allowing laptops in the chamber, but it’s sure to be next. Once the House, the Senate’s ugly little sister, starts getting the spotlight, big sister is sure to follow. Then the people will have one more tool to ensure their government is of, for, and by the people.

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