published Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Tennessee Legislature getting public TV coverage this year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Proceedings of the state Senate and House of Representatives will be broadcast statewide for the first time this year on Public Television's "Tennessee Channel."

The gavel-to-gavel broadcast will include live and taped-delayed committee meetings, floor sessions, joint conventions and other items.

The General Assembly will be responsible for feeding the broadcast of the sessions to the Tennessee Channel. It will then run through the state's six public television stations.

They are WCTE/Cookeville; WTCI/Chattanooga; East Tennessee PBS WKOP/Knoxville and WETP/Sneedville; WLJT/Martin; WKNO/Memphis; and WNPT/Nashville.

"This is rare around the country," Russell Humphrey, chief clerk of the Senate, said Wednesday. "We're one of only a few states to do this."

Up to 60 hours a week will be broadcast depending on the amount of work done by the legislators. Tape-delayed sessions will be broadcast on the day they are taped.

Live broadcasts will alternate between the House and Senate depending on which one has a floor session.

Some fragmented sessions have been broadcast previously but with a week's delay.

People can check with their local public television station for the weekly schedule.

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jpo3136 said...

An excellent opportunity for our people to stay informed. Let's allow prisoners to be able to tune in to this channel so that they can watch something worthwhile during their incarcerations.

It is good that we are not relying solely on Microsoft, the owner of Comcast, to broadcast our government meetings. With more Chattanoogans tuning in to antenna broadcasts or switching over to other providers like EPB, we should present these proceedings in real time through media we all can watch.

We have no worries that this will impede early morning cartoons and kids shows, as the Legislators themselves keep banker's hours.

Also, this should free up a great deal of funding to promote PBS' "Frontline" an award winning documentary series. Maybe we will see more of "NOVA", "Nature", "Independent Lens", "Charlie Rose", and perhaps more foreign and unrated art films.

This is also a good time for taxpayers, under Republican leadership, to redouble their commitment to studio and transmission equipment.

Poor, sagging budgets for PBS statewide have led to cheap imaging equipment that inadvertently broadcasts politicians with a white balance margin of error near 1500K. This means that TV stations who are underfunded, through no fault of their own technicians, might accidentally rebroadcast politician's images at the wrong color temperature.

The effect is that instead of looking bronzed and svelte like JFK, they come off looking pasty faced and sweaty, like Nixon.

The only way to cure that problem is to provide PBS with more funding to purchase those degrees Kelvin needed to heat up the final image.

It's funding I'm confident that Governor Haslam can't wait to spend. If his image were rebroadcast as cheaply as possible by PBS, he would probably have a grainy appearance and a slightly blue tinge to the recording.

We want him to look good, but it would mean doubling Big Bird's budget. Go, Big Bird!

Support PBS.

February 9, 2011 at 10:45 p.m.
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