Thursday July 17, 2008
Judgement and experience are key ingredients for producing Parliament TV which is one year old today.(July 17, 2008).
“You never know for sure who will be speaking next,” says Senior Parliamentary Officer (Broadcasting), Carol Rankin who manages the channel. “Our operators are really skilled at anticipating the unexpected and maintaining a high broadcast standard.”
Parliament TV (PTV) started out being streamed through the Parliamentary website in July 2007. It went live on the Freeview digital channel 22 and on SKY Channel 94 in October last year. TelstraClear followed in December.
“We are opening Parliament to a larger audience and improving the service all the time.
“Our latest venture is PTV replay of Question Time. We do two replay packages a day, at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Viewers find it a convenient way of keeping in touch with what is going on in the debating chamber.”
“In this job it is important to know how the House works and to have a good team of operators.”
Carol Rankin, a former Serjeant-at-Arms, keeps in touch with the flow of parliamentary proceedings as a Clerk at the Table within the House. She is one of several who service the needs of the House.
“Managing a television channel is a job with lots of challenges and we have made a lot of progress in improving the service during the first 12 months.”
The television signal on the first broadcast day was made available through the Parliamentary website and Wynne Price, Clerk Assistant (Reporting Services) who project managed the start of televising Parliament, said it attracted a high level of interest.
“The biggest initial challenge was coordinating all the different aspects of getting to air. This was a major coordination effort across nine different projects.”
Television networks were also offered footage for news and current affairs.
“PTV offers the opportunity to see parliamentarians at work in the debating chamber and for viewers to get a better understanding of the processes of Parliament,” she said. “We are very happy with the progress in the first 12 months.”
PTV will again be on air at 2pm on Tuesday, July 22, when the House next sits. When in session, Parliament sits on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The sitting calendar is available at http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/ThisWk/
Each day begins with question time at 2pm. There is a break between 6pm and 7.30pm. Parliament concludes at 10pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and at 6pm on Thursdays.