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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Live-Streaming Committee Hearings

Social media and other forms of communication technology have enabled Congress to become much more transparent.  But there are gaps, as Rachel Leven writes at The Hill:
Almost a quarter of all House hearings are not live-streamed online, according to a new study.
The Sunlight Foundation found that 49 out of 200 hearings over 20 days were not live-streamed, while 91 hearings since Jan. 17 were not archived on committee websites.
This is despite a January 2011 House rule “requiring that video coverage of hearings be available online.”The foundation took Congress to task for failing to stream the hearings.
“The privately-run cable network C-SPAN cannot cover every hearing, and it’s unreasonable to expect people to travel to D.C. to be in attendance,” study authors Daniel Schuman and
Cassandra LaRussa wrote. “Combined with cutbacks in newsroom staffs around the country, less prominent issues are unlikely to be covered by local media.”
Most of the hearings that were not live-streamed were hearings of the House Appropriations Committee.
Forty-seven out of 49 hearings that were not live-streamed were associated with that committee and 74 of the 91 hearings not archived were by the spending panel.