State government in the United States is not well-known for its embrace of whiz-bang technology, but the Iowa Senate is going cutting-edge with a plan to offer live video streaming of floor debates over the Internet during the 2013 legislative session (the state’s 85th legislative assembly).
The streaming option will kick off on Jan. 14, underpinned by an entirely new lighting and sound system. The Iowa House has spent $130,000 to install six video cameras to help the project along. The Senate chamber meanwhile added five video cameras, which cost more than $200,000 but was offset by $135,000 thanks to an IowAccess grant.
Just as C-SPAN aims to make U.S. Congress proceedings accessible in people’s living rooms, Iowa lawmakers hope to contribute to a more knowledgeable citizenry. Speaking to the Iowa Globe Gazette, “It’s just one more step in the right direction to be accountable,” said Sen. Pam Jochum, D-Dubuque, who will be the Senate’s new presiding officer. “This is one more way to make government a bit more transparent and let citizens know how their government works. Sometimes it’s like making sausage, which isn’t so pleasant. We’ll be testing this out and see how it works.”
In addition to live debates, the effort will eventually include an archive of past “conversations” to be available on-demand via Web cast.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, told the paper that he expects the number of viewers to steadily grow as awareness of the project rolls out. He caveated, “it’s not going to be high-def.”
Want to learn more about how video is helping to transform the industry? Don’t miss Video World Conference & Expo, collocated with ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at Video World Conference & Expo. Follow us on Twitter.Tara Seals has over thirteen years of experience as a journalist. Her areas of expertise cover the waterfront of the service provider segment, especially mobile networks, devices and applications; and video infrastructure, content and broadcast models.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo