News | Lecturers demand council opens up

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Leeds Journalism lecturers are calling on the Council to allow the recording of public meetings.

Broadcast Journalism course leader Julia Firmstone said that it could only benefit the Council “to encourage people to have a better understanding of what [it] does – allowing live coverage on the Internet of meetings will help to achieve this”.

The Council has released a draft protocol to place a blanket ban on videoing and to restricting audio recording at public meetings over concerns of “filming being disruptive or distracting to the meeting.”

Teaching staff from all three of Leeds’ universities have sent a joint letter to Leeds City Council, calling on them to allow the recordings.

Along with Richard Horsman from Leeds Trinity and the course leader from Leeds Met, Dr Firmstone have sent a letter to the Council, highlighting the importance of transparency when making decisions.

Currently, requests to record meetings are being dealt with on an individual basis, with some being turned down and others granted.

Emma, a third year Music student from Leeds University said it was a good idea “As long as there’s a system in place to control how the information is used, such as people signing something to say they’re not going to use the recording in a harmful way.”

The letter was sent on behalf of the three degree courses and signed by the leaders of each course. The debate will continue at a meeting of the council’s General Purposes Committee next Monday.

Julia Macetti

Photo: Jack Scates

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