Jo targets Parliament YouTube ban

Jo put forward a motion to change the rules on using video footage of Parliament

Jo Swinson is calling for a ban on video clips of Parliament being shown on YouTube and other websites to be axed.

Existing rules only allow MPs to post clips of debates in Parliament on their personal websites, but Jo believes that making clips more widely watchable online would improve the public’s engagement with politics.

Jo has put down a motion in Parliament calling for House of Commons authorities to lift restrictions on the wider use of video clips of Parliament on the internet.

Commenting, Jo said:

“Under the present rules, MPs are banned from posting videos of Parliamentary debates on YouTube and similar sites. More and more people now see online viewing as an alternative to television, so the current situation needs to be reviewed.

“In my opinion, the more people see what goes on in Parliament, the better. I can currently host videos on my personal website, but using sites like YouTube, clips can be easily searched, rated and shared. This would go a long way to helping reconnect politics with a wider audience, and a younger audience.

“There may be copyright issues involved, and if so these should be looked at, with a view to making Parliament as accessible as possible.

“This is fundamentally an issue about Parliament reforming itself to keep up-to-date with modern technology.”

Jo is set to hold discussions with House of Commons authorities to press for a review of the current situation.

Full text of Jo Swinson’s motion in Parliament:

Viewing Parliamentary proceedings online

That this House notes the imperative to maximise turnout at General Elections and address the issues behind instances of low turnout, particularly among young people; believes that the public’s engagement with politics would be improved by wider viewing of proceedings in Parliament; notes that there is currently a ban on the posting of Parliamentary video clips on websites described by the relevant authorities as ‘third party hosting websites’; believes that video footage of Parliamentary proceedings should be made available to the public on video hosting websites such as YouTube; notes that online viewing is increasing in popularity, with a 2006 ICM survey finding that 43% of people in the UK are watching less television as a result of increased online viewing; and calls for Parliamentary authorities to review its current broadcasting arrangements so that footage of Parliament can be widely viewed by the electorate using the internet.

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