Sunday, February 07, 2010

Searchable archives of legislative webcasts, why not? except to hide the truth?

There are currently three resolutions that address legislative webcasting; HR1, HR2, and SR1.

Rep Keith Gardner is carrying House Resolution 1 which reads, pg2 line 14-15;

The live stream shall not be archived.
Rep Jeff Steinborn is carrying House Resolution 2 (substitute), link, which reads, pg 2, line 22;
The streams shall not be archived.
Senator Michael Sanchez is carrying Senate Resolution 1, link, which reads pg2, line15 ;
(c) the live stream shall not be archived;
Without an archive, the access to the legislative process that webcasting is supposed to provide, does not exist. It limits viewing to only those willing to watch all day, either live or if they make their own recordings. If two webcast meetings take place at the same time; committees all meet at the same time, it would be impossible, without multiple recorders, to catch more than one meeting.

I am disturbed at the number of people who are buying the new openness and transparency myth. Do they not know that archiving is being denied, or do they not understand the implications of the denial?

There is no good and ethical reason to not archive;
it is not technologically difficult, and it is not too expensive
- a few tens of thousands of dollars at most.

There is only one reason I can think of to eschew archives and that is, an unwillingness, born of a lack of character or courage, to be held honestly accountable for what is done and said in committee meetings and on the floor of the legislature.

If there were another reason, someone should be able to articulate it.

There is no reason, that I can think of, that political writers in any medium, should accept the denial of archives without a fight, as archives are central to documenting the process and sharing it with reader and viewer stakeholders.

There remains only one hope to create searchable archives; an upwelling of public support. That upwelling will not take place unless and until, political writers and reporters urge their readers to take up the cause and demand real access to the process.

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