What's on tonight?

Monday, 10 October 2016 14:03 wilfred tomlinson
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webcastWhat’s on tonight?

That’s the question heard in my home as evening approaches. At one time a quick gander in the Radio Times would provide the information for viewing or listening. Nowadays it’s the webpage of that publication that informs us. So we’ve moved with the times? Well apparently not.

This summer our teenage grandson spent two weeks with us. He and his smart phone were inseparable. It was as though the gizmo was a permanent extension of his hand. He seemed to spend hours, eyes glued to the screen.

This addiction, although annoying for us, seemed to be the way he interacted with the world. When we watched our favourite scheduled TV programmes he was smart-connected to Youtube. He was watching the stuff he wanted to watch when it was convenient for him. Then I realised that we also did this to a small degree by tuning in to iPlayer. We live in a televisual age. We can see things at our convenience and even 'on the go'.

The Manx government boasts that, as a small nation, we are in the forefront of communications technology and a Digital Inclusion policy has been approved by Tynwald. Yet Tynwald itself has not shifted its stance of refusing cameras in parliament.

For six years PAG has lobbied to raise awareness of this, but the webcasting of proceedings has been rejected. Yet the States of Jersey took the decision to allow in the cameras, and it appears to have been a success.

This was in a week when it was announced that Tynwald was conducting  a training project for 124 members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly - "to expose KPA Members to the workings of parliament and equip them with the skills to ensure good governance, improve parliamentary proceedings, strengthen the legislative process and employ IT more effectively".

Isn’t it ironic that a very useful training tool - video footage - is not available in the 21st century.

The new progressive intake of MHKs must surely aim to open up Tynwald to live webcasting.

Come on, lets move with the times!