Wednesday November 20, 2013
Citizens have unprecedented access to government at work
Louisville citizens can now watch Metro Council meetings live – or save them for later viewing – on mobile devices such as phones and tablets, thanks to innovations at Metro Government and MetroTV, the city’s award-winning government broadcast channel.
This means that people can watch a Metro Council hearing while riding the bus home from work, at home after they put the kids to sleep, or during a lunch break the next day.
“MetroTV is a vital part of the city’s efforts to engage citizens,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “This takes MetroTV’s work to the next level, keeping pace with the change around us. It has never been easier to see, for yourself, first-hand and without a filter, what elected officials are doing.”
MetroTV is broadcast on Time Warner Cable channel 25, and also available for online viewing at: http://www.louisvilleky.gov/MetroTV. The website has long included both livestreaming of all public Metro Council meetings – as well as mayor’s press conferences and other events. After the event, people could also watch the videos online. The new capabilities, however, also allow them to download the meetings and watch them at their convenience – even if they are in an area without cell service or wifi.
“MetroTV is dedicated to increasing the transparency of government through televising and streaming important government meetings, public announcements, and civic discussions,” said Holly Thompson, MetroTV’s multimedia services supervisor. “We’re delighted that our services are even more accessible.”
The live streaming on mobile devices (and the ability to download) is possible because of technological changes and a new MetroTV livestreaming vendor contract.
Metro TV has been honored two years in a row by The Alliance for Community Media for “Overall Excellence in Government Access” in the “Hometown Media Awards” competitions. According to a Community Needs Assessment last year, 41 percent of cable subscribers watch MetroTV, with 82 percent describing the value of the programming as either “excellent or good.”
When it comes to using technology to connect with citizens, Louisville is one of the top local governments in America. For the third year in a row, Louisville was recently named a top digital city by the Center for Digital Government in its annual Digital Cities Survey.