The legislature’s Labor and Public Employees Committee co-chairs skipped the masks, but they were very socially distant.
Once imperiled by a fight over money and mission, CT-N is a link to a State Capitol closed by COVID.
A legislator who helped create CT-N, the public affairs network that provides gavel-to-gavel coverage of the General Assembly, accused legislative leaders from the House floor Wednesday of turning the network into a staff-operated “political propaganda” instrument.
After losing its non-profit operator in a fight over budget and independence, CT-N resumed live broadcasting Monday with coverage of a hearing by the legislature’s Public Health Committee about patient abuse and excessive overtime at the state’s high-security Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital. Bigger tests are to come.
Some visitors to the web site of CT-N, the state-owned public-affairs network whose non-profit vendor ceased operations Friday, were greeted Wednesday with an error message or default pages with links to pages promoting real estate and florists. The site still was there, just not at one of the usual addresses.
It started so well, with mutual respect and shared ambition. But the 18-year marriage of the Connecticut General Assembly and the Connecticut Public Affairs Network ended Friday, each finally acknowledging that the growing tensions of recent months over the operation of CT-N had hardened into irreconcilable differences over money and mission. CT-N apparently will survive, but in what form and under whose management is uncertain.
The Connecticut Public Affairs Network, the non-profit operator of CT-N since its inception in 1999 as the provider of gavel-to-gavel cable-television coverage of the General Assembly, said Thursday it will end operations Friday, unable to abide by a slashed budget and the loss of editorial control imposed by the legislature.
CT-N, the public’s video window into operations of the General Assembly and other government functions, will continue operations past the expiration at midnight Tuesday of the legislature’s contract with the network’s non-profit operator. Longer-term prospects are uncertain.
The Connecticut General Assembly is proposing to assert greater control over the Connecticut Network, keeping the state-funded public affairs network known as CT-N tightly focused on the legislature’s debates, hearings and press conferences.
CT-N has just proposed a new State Civic Network with up to ten channels of coverage via the web. The technology would allow viewers to do a key-word search of archives, wading through hours of coverage to find exactly what matters to them. Citizens (and media) could lift video clips at no charge. And all this would cost cable subscribers just 40 cents a month.
The cable and satellite television industries are lining up against a proposal for a new State Civic Network that would provide unprecedented cable and streaming video access to the legislature, courts and other aspects of public life in Connecticut. Their customers would pay for the new network, though proponents say it could cost as little as 40 cents per subscriber.
What do keno, state grants for cities and towns, and the not-for-profit public access network that covers state government have in common? More than you’d think.