Charleston County to Televise Council Meetings

April 21, 2010

Investigative Reports

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The NerveWe thought we had heard it before, and we had, at a number of Charleston City Council meetings. The issue was to televise Charleston County Council meetings.

Differing from the City Council debate, the discussion was relatively short and there was unanimous agreement among council members to do so.

But there were still some differences. Council member Dickie Schweers wanted both the finance and council meetings televised. But Chairman Teddie Pryor Sr., fearing grandstanding, wanted only the council meetings.

As Schweers pointed out, there often was little discussion of issues at the council meetings as differences had been hashed out at the previous finance committee meeting. To be fully informed, the public needed to see the finance committee proceedings.

In a vote, the view of the chairman prevailed.

Differing from the city, the broadcast can be satisfactorily done with only one camera. This reflects the seating arrangement in the County Council chamber where all members of council face the audience, and presumably the camera.

Because TV broadcasting is covered in the county’s franchise agreement with Comcast, the broadcast will be free.

The broadcast will not be live but recorded. The tape will be shown on the “government” channel some days after recording but will be also accessible on the county’s website. No mention was made of making the tape available to other cable operators.