Broadcasting Howard County’s Governmental Meetings

Earlier this month, the Howard County government announced it would shut down Gtv, the government’s cable access channel.1 Gtv broadcasts civic interest programs, such as County Council meetings. These services will be merged into HCC-TV, managed by Howard Community College, which also shows civic and educational programs.

This announcement presents an opportunity for Howard County to expand its broadcasting opportunities. County Council meetings are typically broadcast live and are rebroadcast during the week. Howard County should deliver this content on-demand over the Internet through streaming video. Montgomery County’s government access channel, County Cable Montgomery (CCM) broadcasts council and other meeting live with rebroadcasts following. However, CCM offers streaming video online of meetings, complete with interactive transcripts.2 The CCM video archive even allows users to select specific sections of meetings.

Howard County could consider adopting similar technology for County Council meetings and expanding the service to include the County’s decision making bodies, such as the Planning Board, Public Works Board, and Board of Appeals. This would expand citizen involvement by making information readily available.

  1. Larry Carson, “8 Losing Gtv Jobs Look Back as They Also Look Forward,” The Sun (Baltimore), January 23, 2008.
  2. Montgomery County, Maryland, “County Cable Montgomery”