Tom Garrity

Government Webcasting and Blogging

In Uncategorized on January 26, 2009 at 11:49 pm
webcamThe first few weeks of any legislative session is a time for elected leaders and their staff to set the pace for the next 60-days. 
The collective activity of the first several weeks is usually a tell-tale sign of what the insanity will be like in the final seventy two hours of the session.
With that in mind, the first few weeks have been crazy around one topic, transparency.
First the legislative leadership announced it wouldn’t make live webcasting available. In the name of budget cuts, installed webcams were removed. 
Today a State Representative started the next phase of the transparency revolution by streaming live from a House committee meeting. Doing so, she effectively drew a line in the sand to the disgust of at least one colleague.
Shortly thereafter, the Senate requested its leadership to reconsider its webcast policy. It has been taken under advisement.
Meanwhile, the Governor’s office, which appears to have remained quiet on this issue, announced that the top executive’s staff would be blogging again during the 60-day session.  However, a key to blogging nirvana is found in RSS feeds… you know that technology that makes updates easy to access. Nirvana is but a dream because the Governor’s website lacks RSS technology.
Several reporters and wall leaner’s were twittering their thoughts about the age of internet transparency, providing a play by play of legislator remarks. More transparency is a good thing, but could inadvertently push the sometimes open conversation to another quiet corner, out of the public domain.
Transparency is good, but it is only effective when all political conversations are brought to the forefront. And that is something which has yet to be mastered by any local, state or federal government entity.
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