Recently, our new Minister of Information has announced some minor changes to our dearest RTM television channels. Beginning the end of this month, RTM will broadcast live parliament proceedings whenever parliament is in session, between 10:00 and 10:30am daily.
Broadcasting parliament proceedings is a common practice in most democratic countries as a means to encourage accountability and transparency. It serves to inform and educate the public on various national issues and it also allows the voters to gauge how their various MPs are performing at their jobs. So, it is certainly a move that I feel is, although long overdue, thoroughly a welcomed one.
However, some friends have harped that it’s the time chosen is not a very good one as it’s during mid-morning when most people would be at work. But there’s obviously some rational in choosing that time.
Firstly, it’s probably the timeslot with the least number of advertisers. So, filling up with something as boring as parliamentary proceedings, would not affect the bottom line much. Then, it is a good opportunity to gauge interest before evaluating whether or not to start a dedicated parliament channel similar to BBC Parliament.
But the main concern would actually be the actual show that we will be seeing. I would think that the opposition members who have always complained about not getting any airtime, would relish the opportunity at getting free airtime now. Hopefully, they’ll later expand the timeslot so that we would be able to see more of the parliamentary proceedings.
Regardless, I do think that it is a good overture that there are some changes happening in government. Whether or not we’re moving in the right direction is yet to be seen. But it is still good to know that we are moving somewhere, one step at a time.
Actually, everyone should make sure that we support this move and tune into the parliament proceedings everyday. Somebody should actually automate the task of recording the broadcast at 10am each day and uploading it to YouTube. It is something that is fairly trivial to do, with the right knowledge and equipment.