Thursday, January 17, 2008

A good idea from Bill Graham

I didn't think I'd ever write a blog post with that headline.

But his proposal to provide live video on the internet of the Legislature just makes sense.

I'm sure I was the dorkiest kid on the block but I always enjoyed watching the Michigan Legislature growing up, which had a whole tv channel devoted to broadcasting its doings. There's really no downside to it that I can see.

Of course it's not exactly the kind of big idea that a gubernatorial campaign is needed to move forward. The folks in the Legislature ought to just make this happen on their own.


Anonymous said...

Do you (or Bill Graham) listen to the General Assembly live over their audio stream on the internet?

Do you (or Bill Graham) know that you can listen to the General Assembly live over their audio stream on the internet?

The General Assembly has live audio streams from the House and Senate chambers and from the finance and appropriations committee rooms (Legislative Office Building rooms 643 and 544, respectively), as well as from the press room. The links can be found at The audio from the two LOB committee rooms are used between sessions for review commission meetings. (A schedule can be found at the General Assembly’s home page at

Certainly video would be better than audio. We could all see what color suits our elected leaders are wearing. It would also be easier to understand who is speaking.

The improvement I would like to see is recorded audio or video saved and available on the web site. Anyone can download and watch past Cary Town Council, committee meetings, and the Cary Planning and Zoning board meetings. The downloadable video files can be found at:

Video would be nice, but archiving of the files for download, so I could listen to the meetings on my schedule rather than live, would be a more useful improvement.

John Shaw

Laura said...

I don't disagree with the idea of webcams - more exposure is better, period - but I do disagree with the premise behind the proposal.

Graham proposed the webcams less as an open government initiative than as a tactic to battle corruption in Raleigh. But most of us know it wouldn't do anything of the sort. All the wheeling and dealing would just move to rooms with no cameras (and no press), just as most of it now takes place in rooms with no audio wiring, either.

Tom Jensen said...

I agree with you on not agreeing with the premise of his proposal. I certainly think it's silly and naive to think that it would have any impact on reducing legislative chicanery.

I also think the terminology of 'webcams' is kind of funny. I bet if the legislature agreed to be televised UNC-TV could broadcast it on one of its digital channels, in addition to it being available on the web.

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