Williams: Audio and Video Coverage of U.S. State Legislative Proceedings

Rebecca Williams, JD, of the Sunlight Foundation has posted The Legislation Will Not Be Televised, at the Sunlight Foundation Blog.

Here are excerpts:

In February, Sunlight’s Open States team assessed the availability of legislative data sets associated with bill creation and amendments, votes, and bill tracking as a happy byproduct of their efforts (and frustrations) in streamlining and making these data sets available for all 50 states (and the District of Columbia) in one site (Open States). The results were displayed in a Transparency Report Card, which used criteria derived from the Ten Principles of Opening Up Government Information to rate the timeliness, ease of access, machine readability, use of commonly owned standards, permanence, and changelog for state legislative data.

At the time of the Report Card, Open States did not include AV documentation in their assessment because the platform does not currently include this information, but this data has recently come to our attention thanks to new research by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). NCSL charted all 50 states (and D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands) to review how (and whether) they broad- and webcast floor proceedings and committee hearings. In addition, NCSL notes whether the recordings are available live and/or archived and whether audio and/or video is available. […]

Although all 50 states provide some sort of (audio or video) webcast of floor proceedings, a significant amount of states (13) provide no live committee meeting documentation whatsoever (in either audio or video format). To make matters worse, only half of U.S. states (26) and D.C. provide archiving of both floor proceedings and committee hearings (see map) in either format, with 6 only providing audio. Sunlight’s own OpenGov Champion Waldo Jaquith tackled this archiving problem in Virginia last year with a fantastically successful Kickstarter project (it took ~3 ½ hours to become fully funded) dedicated to purchasing Virginia archived legislation videos and hosting them online where the public could access them for free. […]

The post includes maps displaying the data.

For more details, please see the complete post.

HT @elle_mccann

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