Council bans recording equipment during meetings

Decision by Tårnby Council to prevent use of audio and video recording equipment is deemed a step backward by political opponents

November 2nd, 2012 8:50 am| by admin

Tårnby Council has decided to ban the recording of video and audio during its council meetings.

The decision moves counter to the policies of many councils and parliament, which stream their proceedings live over the internet.

According to Tårnby's deputy mayor, Elise Anderson (Socialdemokraterne), the decision was made to prevent the misuse of the material online.

“These days, with all the technology that is available, anyone can sit in the spectator’s seats and take all sorts of strange images and use it for whatever they want,” Anderson told public broadcaster DR. “And because of all the social media where this material can end up, we just don’t think it is very appropriate.”

The council's decision, which is perfectly legal, disappointed Frants Nielsen, a mayoral candidate for Venstre.

"It’s an attack against the openness that we think is necessary for the council administration,” Nielsen told TV2 Lorry. “We think it should be more open and we don’t understand why they want to draw up curtains around the town hall and the work of politicians.”

Tårnby Council meetings are still open to the public, however, and still cameras can be used with permission.

“There is also a question time in which spectators can ask questions about what is on the agenda,” Andersen told TV2 Lorry.

Nielsen, however, said that banning recording equipment to prevent the misuse of the material was akin to taking all the products off the shelves of a store in order to deter shoplifters.

Andersen countered that the presence of people with cameras moving around the meeting room can be also be distracting, though Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, chairman of the national journalism union, Dansk Journalistforbund, dismissed this argument.

"They can just make some rules about where the cameras should stand,” Bjerregård told TV2 Lorry. “They can easily find those technical solutions.”

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