Saturday, March 14, 2009

Webcasting, Schmebcasting

Our legislature, not content with being among the very last
to webcast their meetings, will be among the very worst.

Anyone watching the webcasting by New Mexico Independent
has seen some passable photography. I am new at running
a video camera, but am totally unashamed of the work that
has been turned in.

Viewers could at least see who is talking. But not any more.*

The end result of all of the fighting over webcasting is;

  • neither house is offering coverage of committee meetings.
  • the House is offering only audio and no video.
  • the Senate will be streaming audio, and video from a single camera so far from the action, link, that they might just as well stream a "google earth" shot of the outside of the Roundhouse,
  • neither house is covering committee meetings.
  • and NO ARCHIVE!

How many Senators can you identify in this photograph
taken by photojournalist Mark Bralley? And this is a better
picture by far, than you will see on the legislative website.

"Anything" is not better than "nothing".
"Nothing" would have prolonged the fight.
"Anything" mollifies enough (bloggers) that New Mexicans
will have to settle for an essentially useless end result.

It was pretty clear what the people want; the most robust
webcasting that modern technology will afford.

It is equally clear that our legislators don't give a rat's ass
what the people want.

They have done just enough to keep the hounds at bay, and
not nearly enough to do what needs to be done.

If the legislature had done nothing at all, there might well
have been public protest and a rally on the Roundhouse steps.

As it is, many are so mollified, some even claiming a "victory"
that there will be no protest, and ultimately very little more
transparency than there ever was.

A camera so far from the action that viewers will have no idea
whose bald spot they are looking at, is an insult.

Hopefully, voters will not forget
the name of the man who insulted
freshman Senator John Sapien.

It was his bright idea that the
camera in the Senate be placed
where fully half the Senators
will not be in the field of view at all,
and the rest of them so far away,
that viewers will have no idea
whose bald spot they're watching.

*It has been suggested that we fight fire with fire.
If legislators won't do this right, then we should to it "wrong";
close ups
of legislators sleeping, playing solitaire, and eating
their boogers.

Perhaps if they get tired enough of that,
they will do the job themselves, and do it right.

photos Mark Bralley

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