Live-streaming Council meetings

Stuff reports:

A trial proved a ratings flop, but the Wellington City Council is pressing ahead with plans to live stream its meetings.

The council spent about $5000 on a live broadcast of October’s inauguration ceremony for the new council on YouTube, with hopes of getting viewers “in the thousands”. As of yesterday, the video clip had gathered 782 views. …

Last year, the cost of live streaming all full council meetings was put at about $30,000 a year.

Deputy Mayor Justin Lester said he did not share Ritchie’s concerns.

“I don’t know what she’s on about really. People have been asking for this for a long time.”

Taupo District was the first council to start broadcasting meetings in 2010.

In 2012 it had an average of 15 viewers per meeting.

In principle this is a good thing to do – allowing people to see their elected representatives debating issues and making decisions.

In Canada many local authorities have their meetings covered on a local channel, and quite a few people actually watch them.

However it looks like the demand is not enough to justify the expense. 15 viewers per meeting for Taupo tells us something, and many of them may be bots!

InternetNZ used to record its meetings, as it wanted to show how transparent they were. So every meeting would be miked up with a dozen mikes, recording equipment and the like. A review a few years back found that the only people who had ever accessed the audio files were staff (off memory), and so it was dropped.

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