Tumblelog by Soup.io
Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

February 23 2011

11:04

Councils should allow public meetings to be recorded, says Pickles

A welcome window of clarity on the issue of whether bloggers can record public council meetings today: Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has weighed in to say that public meetings should be open to bloggers and that they should “routinely allow online filming of public discussions as part of increasing their transparency”

It’s an issue that I’ve been investigating for a while on Help Me Investigate: while some councils actively stream their own meetings, and others allow members of the public to do the same, some councils explicitly forbid recording, others allow audio but require mayoral permission for video, and a few have conducted ‘investigations’ of citizens for daring to record public proceedings (and councillors), or ejected them from the room (see video above).

Pickles’ guidance – and the accompanying letter sent to all councils – provides useful material to show uncooperative councils.

The letter calls on councils to give “credible community or ‘hyper-local’ bloggers and online broadcasters the same routine access to council meetings as the traditional accredited media have”

It also reassures councils that “giving greater access will not contradict data protection law requirements”. This is a key part, as data protection is often used as an excuse to prevent filming. The Help Me Investigate investigation revealed a worrying ignorance regarding data protection laws by councils even in formal internal reports. Other areas, including privacy, copyright, defamation and “procedural matters” are covered in this blog post rounding up some of the investigation’s findings.

Other material that bloggers may find useful are mentioned in Pickles’ announcement. They include The Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960The Local Government Act of 1972 and The Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985.

I’m working on producing a cribsheet for bloggers wanting to record their local council’s public meetings. If you want to help, please leave a comment or subscribe to the investigation blog.

July 12 2010

10:28

Ed Walker: Council documents tell stories too, not just FOI requests

Ed Walker looks at the different types of papers and reports released by councils in the UK and how these can lead to news stories. This is a detailed post with advice on how to organise your research and newsgathering, and when to use Freedom of Information requests to deliver more information.

Full post on Ed Walker’s blog at this link…Similar Posts:



June 21 2010

08:11

LGEO Research: Where do local authorities fit in the hyperlocal media landscape?

Liz Asyan, a pHD student researching local government and citizen engagement online, has reproduced the answers she gave in an interview on Camden Council’s plans for using hyperlocal websites. Asyan is firm in her belief that local authorities using a hyperlocal strategy online will be “unofficial contributors” to the sites, but will leave them alone in the hands of citizens:

I do not see councils as “using” hyperlocal sites because they are not there to interfere nor moderate/own the hyperlocal websites. They hyperlocal websites belong to citizens and they are the “users” of hyperlocal websites. Councils are unofficial contributors to useful information that can help citizens within that particular area. So you can view councils as being just another member of that community sitting side-by-side with citizens, reaching out on citizens level without any barriers or judgements. This type of engagement will hopefully break down the barriers or walls that currently exist between councils and citizens and increase citizens trust towards local authorities.

Interesting to consider how such hyperlocal projects by local authorities will change the local media landscape and potentially their role as community media and publishers.

Full post at this link…

Similar Posts:



Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.
Get rid of the ads (sfw)

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl