We began streaming the Juneau Assembly meetings live this week. It is not being financed by the city. The city looked at streaming meetings last year but in the light of budget reductions, it was afraid that starting the service might be perceived as ostentatious. It is my hope that sponsors step forward to endorse this new effort after seeing the potential of the product and understanding its importance for better, more efficient government.
I believe our state's financial situation is exactly why we need to expand the reach and involvement of our community. Our elected leaders are limited by "bounded rationality" the process of formulating a decision based on the best construct of information, experiences, and extrapolations our brains can manage. Our leaders are relying on their own heuristics and this leads them to make decisions in an information vacuum. The community is full of talented citizens that have expertise, experience, and ideas to contribute. Too often our community leaders are being ask to decide issues based on a dearth of information on issues they may have little context to properly analyze. They are having to settle on a poor choice of solutions. If more of our community was participating and contributing ideas, the choice becomes choosing between good solutions. Poor decisions lead to expensive ineffective government.
So how do you reach a larger audience? A recent pew research statistic claims 89% of adults in Alaska own a smart phone. We spend more time on our phones than television. Alaska has always traditionally had a high use of cellular phones because of the very nature of our remote and undeveloped geography. In a world that has created an expansive "information economy," Alaska is technologically ready to participate. Today's youth hardly communicate in any other way and the technology is here now to take advantage of video. Clearly citizens can be reached and engaged through this medium of video.
Why stream Assembly Meetings? Recently there has been an uproar about "fake news." Well in reality any news that you do not experience first hand is a little bit fake. Most reporters do their best to be unbiased, but just the simple process of condensing the news down for us changes the story. Even if everyone is in the same room experiences the same event together, there will be different interpretations among them. Our life experiences, our prejudices, our tendency to embrace news that fits into our own comfortably constructed conventions reinforces itself when we interpret news. It is only in the face of convincing first hand experiences that we begin to drop anchor on firmly entrenched convictions. That is the power of "real news".
The only "real news" is live news and that is what we here at AlaskaNews.tv aim to provide. Coverage of other live events will happen as they happen across the state. We plan on covering political events of all kinds - Capitol protest,demonstrations, debates, and speeches. We will cover Alaska life, Alaska sports, and issues that affect Alaska. Stay tuned as we develop and grow and bookmark us. We will be bringing it all to you the best we can.