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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Media Profits Trump Public's Right To Open Government?

At Monday night's Janesville City council meeting, council members discussed the feasibility of televising city council study sessions on public access JA-TV.

The debate centered mostly around two key elements: more government transparency and how to accomplish the task with as little disruption as possible. At one point during the discussion, Council member Tom McDonald seemed disinterested when he made it clear that he was not inclined to vote either way on televising the study sessions. He later re-entered the discussion and in a startling statement that garnered at least one gasp from the audience, he expressed a deep concern for how the camera's might hinder the Janesville Gazette's (Bliss Communications) ability to exploit the public meetings for profit. He then went on to ask if any folks from the Gazette would like to share their view on this matter.

The city council eventually approved of allowing public access TV to televise the study sessions. McDonald abstained from the vote.

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