Letter from the President – Renee Radcliff Sinclair
Welcome to 2021! And while we are all grateful to move past 2020, it’s important to remember that access to the Legislative Session, and the way we all work within it, will be a little different this year. And, yet, TVW will continue to bring you all activities happening on the Capitol Campus through the 2021 Legislative Session, the winter docket of the Supreme Court, and other important activities of state government that impact your life.
In this edition of TVW Update, you will learn more about how that will move forward, including the addition of closed captioning to TVW’s cable television station, an increased commitment to ensuring all streaming platforms are operating as intended, and a link to a handy Frequently Asked Questions to assist in navigating the 2021 Legislative Session in the only way you will be able to watch the work of the Legislature — through TVW — on television, online at TVW.org , and through mobile device applications for iOS (Apple) and Android mobile devices.
I can guarantee with 100 percent certainty there will be hiccups. But it is our desire to help you navigate those before they happen through our Frequently Asked Questions page. However, if you just can’t figure out what’s happening with your live streams or on television, we are always here to work through your questions at [email protected] or (360) 529-5310.
To bring it all together, in recent months we have added the following staff members to our team:
- Alicia Grezlik, Media Producer / Editor, Legislative Review
- Angela Nolasco, On-air Host / Producer, Legislative Review
- Chéri Ritchie, Office Administrator / Events Manager
- Heidi Sharpe, Digital Media Manager
- Roxy Boggio, Web Streaming Coordinator
- Stefani Smith, Media Producer / Education Specialist
Thanks for joining us and we look forward to working alongside you throughout 2021.
2021 Legislative Session Update – by Mike Bay, TVW Vice President for Programming
Game day! That’s what it always feels like as a legislative session gets started. This year more than ever, with the Capitol Building closed and the 2021 session gone virtual, meaning TVW is the only way Washingtonians are going to be able to watch their legislature in action. We’re going to do our best to live up to the challenge.
As always, TVW will cover every committee hearing (there are 19 House committees and 14 Senate committees, and they all meet multiple times a week!) and every floor debate. We’ll bring you the leadership press conferences hosted weekly by majority Democrats and minority Republicans – and many other legislative press conferences besides. In addition to our “gavel-to-gavel” coverage of legislative deliberations, we’ll also cover the Legislature with our award-winning produced/interview shows:
- Legislative Review: Every night of the week at 8pm and 11pm host Angela Nolasco brings you highlights of the top legislative bills and debates. Catch the show online at beta.tvw.org or throughout the day on social media.
- Inside Olympia: Our long-running interview program, hosted by Austin Jenkins, brings you in-depth interviews with legislative leaders. Premieres each Thursday at 7pm.
- The Impact: Hosted by Mike McClanahan, this program explores policy decisions and how they impact people across Washington. Premieres Wednesdays at 7pm.
Another way to stay informed? Get to know our website. Some key pages:
- The schedule page — https://www.beta.tvw.org/schedule-main/ — shows you what’s live now, what’s coming up, and what was recently covered.
- Current and Recent Video — https://www.beta.tvw.org/current-recent-video/ — allows you to scroll through current, future and past coverage.
Visit beta.tvw.org to check it out.
Interview with TVW Director of Information Technology, Scott Freeman
We took a few minutes to sit down with TVW’s Director of Information Technology to answer some questions about changes in how TVW will cover the upcoming Legislative Session.
What changes have been made since the last session and what can viewers expect to see differently online and on air?
The big change, which is huge, will be live captioning everything on television and on-demand on the website. All of the hearings and everything else we live broadcast with a combination of two different artificial intelligence systems one specifically for the broadcast and one for the online content. I’ve been on the R&D side of this for 15 years and we’re at a point now where the technology is accurate enough – we’re in a really good spot with this now. It’s never going to be 100% all the time but it’s as good as it’s going to get for today and this is only gonna get better so now’s the time to jump on it and make it happen.
Captioning means that web broadcasts will also be transcribed and that’s just an added benefit of doing this you’ll also be able to click through and find sections in the transcript as well. It will be like we currently have for recorded video but will be for live video as well.
One thing that I want to reiterate that people might not know about is that TVW‘s video is also now on the legislative website as well as the TVW website. I want to make sure people know they can go to the legislative committee website and go to schedules and find videos of every hearing. This was available last session but I don’t think people thought about it as much as they are now.
Do viewers have to do anything special to see captions on their television or device?
It will depend on what you’re using but you’ll have to be sure to turn on the closed caption feature on whatever device you are using.
Are there any changes to the TWV App?
These changes [transcripts and captioning] don’t translate over the app but we’re hoping we have an opportunity to redo the app and the TVW website by the end of this session. So no changes for this session but definitely afterwards.
This is a good segue to the new Legislative Technician that you’ve recently hired – is this going to be part of their role to support questions about captioning?
Yeah that’s kind of the role – the main part of the role for this technician is to manage streaming all events and to be able to take questions like that. It’s a way to get questions answered quickly. They are really well trained to answer these kinds of questions.
For streaming support: email [email protected] or call 360-529-5310.
TVW 2021 Annual Gala
TVW is pleased to announce our 2021 Annual Gala! The gala will take place virtually on Thursday March 18, 2021. We are excited to be able to continue the annual tradition of gathering together during each legislative session.
While we will not be able to gather in person this year, we’re planning a very special evening online to recognize the work of our elected leaders and share entertaining videos of these dedicated public servants in action. As many of you know, Zoom can catch us when we’re not at our best and our staff has curated some of the best “Cammies” while we all worked through COVID and learned about Zoom.
Part of the yearly tradition is producing short video skits starring some of the legislators. The TVW Annual Gala is the only place you’ll be able to see these hilarious segments. Don’t miss out!
We encourage you to watch for more information about the 2021 TVW Annual Gala coming soon. We don’t want to ruin any surprises but attendees will receive a gift basket courtesy of our generous sponsors, including items that are sure to make this year’s event memorable. For more information please visit www.beta.tvw.org/events.
TVW Viewer Survey
Each quarter we ask our viewers to let us know how we’re doing and how we can improve the services we provide. Take a few minutes and fill out out Viewer Survey.