Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lights, Camera = No Action?

Recently I posted about the City of N. Vancouver's website. I expressed my appreciation for the ability to watch Council meetings on live streaming video or as an archived video. Since posting that, I've had some emails and been asked a very thoughtful question:

"Would being filmed discourage members of the public from speaking at or attending a meeting?"

This is a valid concern. I firmly believe that we need to encourage people to speak...not scare people away. I personally have an aversion to being filmed so I truly understand the concern.

However,I think there is real merit to having totally transparent meetings. Reading the Minutes does not give a person the same flavour as watching the proceedings.

If you've been reading this blog, you might have guessed that I like to talk...and talk...and when I do speak as a member of the public at meetings I often use up the full 2 minutes. In the Minutes, my little speech, by necessity, has to be condensed to a few short lines. Although I would probably cringe if I watched myself on tape...I would appreciate that my entire speech was captured. For me, if I feel strongly enough to get up and speak about something, I want to make sure that there is a full public record of it.

For me personally, knowing that the meeting was filmed and archived, would actually be a comfort.

I LOVE that this has generated good discussion already! What do YOU think? Would having a Council meeting filmed encourage or discourage YOU from getting up and speaking?

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