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Alabama’s Legislative Meetings to be Recorded, Made Widely Accessible

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lwval.org

The Alabama Channel, a new project of the League of Women Voters of Alabama Education Fund, will capture and save live video recordings of all sessions of Alabama’s State House and Senate and of legislative committee meetings. The video recordings will be available to the public online and on demand.

The video recordings will be searchable. Users will be able to enter a keyword or phrase to quickly find the point in any recorded meeting where the word or phrase is mentioned. Users can then easily share these moments via Facebook, Twitter, or by embedding them onto their website.

The Alabama Channel can be accessed at: www.thealabamachannel.org.

Currently, footage of Alabama’s legislative meetings is live-streamed, but not recorded. This poses a problem for Alabama’s residents as many of them lack the time to sit through lengthy live meetings.

With The Alabama Channel, citizens can now stay informed without having to watch in real time. The public, advocacy groups, members of the media, and legislators themselves will all benefit from using the powerful search functionality of The Alabama Channel to find exact moments when bills or issues of interest were discussed in a meeting, then easily save and share those clips.

After previewing The Alabama Channel, Barbara Manual, President of the Alabama National Federation of the Blind stated, “Now, our blind community, other disabled individuals and interested citizens of this great state can retrieve information simply and in one location. Knowledge is power and, viewing legislative sessions live or recorded, will foster greater awareness that impacts our daily life.”

Kathy Jones, President of the League of Women Voters of Alabama Education Fund said, “Ultimately, we anticipate that the Alabama Channel will improve civic engagement and government transparency. Through the searchable digital archive of legislative proceedings, the Alabama Channel will help us all gain a big picture of Alabama’s legislative process and provide context for the complex issues that Alabama faces.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Alabama is one of only four states that is not recording its legislative meetings.

Tara Bailey, Director of The Alabama Channel, said, “Our legislature is elected by the people yet as voters we often feel disconnected from what our legislators are working on. The Alabama Channel makes it simple for all Alabamians to quickly see what their legislators are saying about the issues they care about most.”

The Alabama Channel utilizes software created by the nonprofit, Open Media Foundation. The Open Media Foundation, based out of Denver, Colorado, is an innovative media and technology nonprofit organization dedicated to putting the power of the media in the hands of the people.

Brandon Stiller, Creative Director with the Open Media Foundation said, “Open Media is excited to partner with The League of Women Voters of Alabama’s Education Fund to increase constituent engagement and awareness. We are honored to provide this technology to the League of Women Voters of Alabama and the citizens of Alabama.”

The Alabama Channel can be accessed at: www.thealabamachannel.org.

For more information about the Alabama Channel, contact Tara Bailey, the LWVAL Education Fund’s Director of The Alabama Channel at 205-314 9356; thealabamachannel@lwval.orgwww.thealabamachannel.org