Council meeting videos: when does a one word edit become overt censorship

Last Tuesday's Council meeting was once again less than ordinary. During the Public Forum session Mr Peter Bernard of Dalmeny addressed the councillors and said a naughty word that can't be repeated here for legal reasons. On hearing the word the usual attendees in the Council Gallery watching on those watching via Live Streaming reached for Google or a dictionary to look up how this bad word was spelt and what it meant. So did the councillors and the staff in the chamber. To cut to the chase the presentation of Mr Bernard including his naughty word went out live across the internet. The video archive for the public record has however taken six days to finally appear on Councils website HEAVILY EDITED. How edited? Twelve and a quarter minutes out of a seventeen and three quarters. Why would they have to remove all of that over a single word? For legal reasons the word had to be removed. It was a naughty word and shouldn't be used in the playground. Not only did they need to remove the naughty word but also any suggestion of the word. Council could have done this with a beep and long beep as is the normal case when naughty words such as b*m, sh*t, d*ckhead are said. But rather than do that to retain the fulsome debate that happened in a Public Forum at a very public council meeting being diligently recorded and archived for the public record they chose to delete a whole lot more than the naughty word. Watch the video below and you will head just what they deleted (except for the naughty bits). This comes at a time when the General Manager of Eurobodalla Council wants to remove both Live Streaming and video recording of Public Forum sessions under the proposed new Code of Meeting Practice yet to be adopted. Such removal, if agreed to by councillors, will ensure that any presentation by the public along with councillors questions and responses will never be recorded, archived or available on the public record. The Beagle has recently signed an MOU with Council that we will provide to our readers a FULL video extract of a presenters Public Forum address however in this case as Council has chosen to provide just five minutes of a seventeen minute interchange we are providing the presentation and subsequent discourse in FULL so that you can see and hear for your self exactly what Council did NOT want you to hear.

The video below is therefore provided instead under Fair Dealing for the purpose of news. NOTE that we have edited the naughty word and replaced it with a flock of seagulls fighting over a chip which Council could also have done (maybe using a different noise such as "rhubarb-rhubarb" being mumbled) Have a listen and ask yourself "Did Council apply an appropriate edit or did they overly censor a public record ?".

VIDEO: This video extract of the March 26th 2019 Ordinary Council meeting of Eurobodalla Shire Council and the additional audio recording is published under Fair Dealing for the purpose of news Copyright of the video and original unedited audio remain with Eurobodalla Shire Council This video is published outside of any MOU as the original and full presentation is not available. BIG NOTE: any mention or hint of the bad word in the comments will NOT be published

#Opinion #Council #LocalStateFederal #LeiParker

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