October 11, 2009

Do Televised Meetings Help The Community?

Franklin (Virginia) has started carrying its city council meetings on cable television C-SPAN style. It's televised without any commentary. But will it lead to better government? Local journalist Steve Stewart talks about the advantages and disadvantages of the coverage in his column in the Tidewater News. The upside? A better informed citizenry. The downside: Possible outbreaks of pontification. But I really like his closing comment:

"There’s a misnomer that government should be pretty and smooth. Effective government rarely is. Lawmaking often has been compared to sausage-making, and the metaphor is apt.

More important than appearance is authenticity — and the ability of citizens to see for themselves their government at work, warts and all."

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