Wednesday, 14 OCT 2015 :: Political access

This is an early post for me...  I am still searching for more debate follow-up... or will be.  I don't usually turn the TV on until evenings, sometimes late afternoons.  I can't afford the local paper and the Christian radio station I listen to doesn't have a lot of news details.  Internet replays have become an important access point for me.  They are also hard to find.

I left a message on Twitter last night asking if anyone knows where to find the full debate (hopefully without commercials) so I can see exactly what happened for myself.  Some kind of follow-up video access seems like the wiser thing for event promoters to do, especially when everyone can't "attend" the event themselves, by ticket or through media access.  People work, have other things to do, just can't get to the right place at the right time, or they forget something was on.  The option to see it at another time, by recorded video, is a natural for the internet... and for the websites affiliated with an event like a political debate, town hall meeting, or local fundraisers.

In the case of political debates, the likeliest spot would be the main website for each party.  Since most debates are sponsored programs, the sponsors could also have it available for viewing.  It may be that the days following a main event will reflect public interest better than the limited viewing of the original show. 

Like me, millions of households don't have cable TV.
Others may not have a computer for internet access.  I have always found it a challenge to afford internet access, but it is essential to my business income goals.  I definitely could not afford both.  Consequently, poverty households like mine are often shut out of the entire process if there are not a variety of access options. 

A political debate is best seen on TV, live-streamed on the Internet, or watched later by video replay.  It can be listened to by radio or podcast if those are the only options available, but a lot of the details are missed without "body language" cues.  Newspapers and magazines can report after the fact, but are not able to share the entire event without editing.  For poverty households, including homeless citizens and those without cable or internet access, computers at local libraries may be the only connection to political involvement. Unfortunately, the time limitations for computers at public libraries may not allow the entire debate to be viewed or listened to. Some library systems do not allow public access to every platform.  Costs are another serious handicap for poverty households.

INCLUSION  is really the top priority for political debates.  
I might be willing to pay a small fee, like $1, to download it, watch it, and keep it for more viewing in the future, but I can't afford having to pay each time I try to watch it.  The only computer I own is second-hand and not attached to the Internet.  The computer I am using now belongs to someone else, and is also old, with problems.  Most websites selling online materials have high-end delivery systems.  I wouldn't want to pay any amount of money to watch something that may not function on my computer system, and then being expected to pay for it again and again and again.  Ownership of the video would allow me to try again after the problem is fixed.  Purchasing, even at a nominal fee, creates some added income for the sponsors of the event.  We are all beginning to expect this video access.  I find it hard to believe it isn't out there somewhere.
By making the entire event available by video, somehow, the one-time event can become an engagement activity in schools and groups.  Permanent links would make it accessible throughout the election cycle.  When the election is over, the video becomes research material for future students and writers.  The internet is changing the way we see dramatic programs, movies, concerts and special events.  Political events can become a part of that process. 

Why does it matter to me that I see the entire program?  Because most news reports are filled with only the sound-bites that share their point of view.  I prefer to watch the whole thing (without commercials) to discover the details that matter to me. 

Video access is an important issue  
for people of all income levels,
education levels,
and ages.