Letter from the President
By Renee Radcliff Sinclair
On March 13, 2020, I sent our team home to let the dust settle on the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 Legislative Session had ended the day before and I thought by mid-summer we would be back into our typical interim groove. I was wrong. As much as I wish I had been right, the last year has brought some valuable lessons that will continue to serve TVW as we move past the pandemic and well into the future.
As I think about the last year, three things keep cropping up in my world…Adjust and Adapt, Endure and Renew…
Adjust and Adapt. Whether we like it or not, more than a year into this pandemic we have a new reality. For TVW that means guests are still not present in our studio, staff is still not traveling to remote locations, and some of our administrative team members are still working from home. It also means that access to the 2021 Legislative Session, the Winter Docket of the Supreme Court, and updates from the Governor’s office continue be available only through TVW’s online and television portals. And it means that typically in-person gatherings like TVW’s annual Gala would be forced into the virtual world.
In March of 2020, I never dreamed the TVW technical teams would be able to adjust our engineering, IT and production workflows and physical spaces to accommodate remote interviews, Zoom committee hearings and hybrid floor sessions, and produce two appropriately distanced and COVID-safe debates. The technical aspects of accomplishing these objectives are far more challenging than any of us realized. But we adapted. I also wouldn’t have imagined the lengths to which our creative and development teams would go to fulfill TVW’s long-standing commitment to provide an evening of good-natured fun to our Capitol Campus family. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when creative minds and technical acumen join forces to accomplish the mission at hand. We adjusted and we adapted.
Endure. I love this word. If you look it up you’ll see it has two meanings. The first is to suffer something painful or difficult with patience. I think we can all relate to that. The second definition is to remain in existence; last. I think that says it all. We endure.
Renew. Renewal is an interesting concept. Maybe it’s the springtime, maybe it’s the glimmer of hope at the end of a very long pandemic tunnel, but I’ve been thinking a lot about renewal in recent weeks. Part of it may be the waning public trust in institutions — from government to media to education and health care — we’re all seeing it in our public discourse, social media posts, and other communication outlets. One way to renew our faith in these foundational institutions is to provide real-time access to the voices making decisions about our future. That’s what we do.
TVW’s ability to bring you state government — all its branches and agencies — without filter, bias, or commentary, is more important than ever before. We spent a lot of time and energy talking about that during Sunshine Week (March 15-21) this year; check out our work at beta.tvw.org/sunshine
Thanks for caring about TVW, the work we do, and the health of our state. We value your support and your friendship.
The 15-week 2021 legislative session has entered its 13th week. Both the House and Senate have now passed their proposed operating, capital construction, and transportation budgets, with negotiations going on between the two bodies to decide the final versions. As usual, TVW has covered every committee hearing, every floor session, every leadership press conference since the session convened on January 11th, and will continue to do so through the Legislature’s scheduled adjournment of Sunday April 25th.
Some observations about this legislative session, which has been conducted almost totally virtually, amidst the ongoing COVID pandemic: Online viewing is sky high: So far this year TVW has seen 10 million minutes of online viewing at beta.tvw.org
A couple more interesting stats:
- Nearly 400,000 individual video plays on beta.tvw.org
- Average watch time on beta.tvw.org: 25 minutes
- Another 2.5 million minutes of viewing TVW coverage on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
Because TVW is the only way to access the Legislature, we’re covering legislative meetings we’ve not covered before:
- House and Senate Rules Committee meetings
- All “Pro Forma” (no official business) floor sessions
- And, coming soon, Conference Committee meetings on negotiated bills
With not only the Legislature but state boards and commissions meeting virtually, TVW’s coverage of those boards and commissions has hardly fallen off at all while the Legislature meets – that’s unusual.
When the legislative session is over, you’ll be able to go back and watch it all on beta.tvw.org. Since its founding, part of TVW’s mission has been to serve not only as a source of live legislative action, but as an historical archive of past hearings and debates.
The TVW Open
Join TVW for the 3rd annual TVW Open Golf Tournament at
The Golf Course at Hawks Prairie on Sept. 21, 2021.
Learn more and purchase tickets.
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Inside Olympia, The Impact, TVW Daily Legislative Update & Legislative Review.