Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Livestreaming democratizes questioning of newsmakers

We received the following Web comment 12/28/2011 from a reader responding to an editorial of that date about the secrecy of a new state panel on public integrity:

ARMY1971 on 12/28/2011 08:58:21 said:
"Wow the Kingston Freekman is worried about transparency in government. These are the same people who last week ran the Q&A on the school district budgets and only invited school district employees to sit on the panel. Has the Freekman ever gone to a school board meeting and watched as the member retread to meet behind closed doors? Happens all the time, just ask the school board member what are the teachers salary demand for the next contract? And they will tell you, well that is confidential, yea we are the ones paying for it, but we can't know the cost until we have purchased it."
The livestreamed Q&A was intended to allow readers to pose questions of their choosing to education administrators about the coming impacts of the property tax cap. As with most of our public policy livestreams, the idea is to involve the public directly in the process of questioning newsmakers. We promoted the event for several days and invited readers to submit questions in advance or to participate by submitting questions during the livestream.

In the recent past, this was generally restricted to reporters and editorial board members without public access, so the new format represents a radical democratization of the process and livestreaming makes the process completely transparent. I don’t see how that can be compared to a public body going completely behind closed doors and shutting out the public.
Tony Adamis
Managing Editor


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