Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Releases

BBC launches Democracy Live

Image of the Democracy Live website

The BBC will be providing the public with unparalleled access to the democratic institutions across the UK.

Democracy Live offers live and on-demand video coverage of the UK's national political institutions and the European Parliament at, backed by innovative search technology to allow the public to follow political debates and developments around the areas and issues that matter to them most.

No other offer exists like this anywhere else in the world.

Democracy Live will provide unmediated content straight to the public who can view information first hand and through the various features find out about their elected representatives and the decision-making process.

The extensive guides, search facilities and the easy navigation are designed to ensure Democracy Live provides information for people with different levels of interest, supporting the BBC's commitment to build a greater understanding of the democratic institutions amongst the public.

Head of BBC Political Programmes, Sue Inglish, said: "Democracy Live is an important addition to the way the BBC brings politics to our audiences across the UK, allowing people to see first hand the work of their elected representatives and ensuring we have a healthy and informed democracy.

"This is precisely the sort of different content the BBC should be providing in fulfilling our public service remit and representing all of the democratic institutions in the UK."

The key feature of the Democracy Live home page is an eight-screen video wall covering full sittings of the institutions and committee proceedings.

The search engine is based on an innovative "speech-to-text" system which allows users to search the video for specific topics and contributors from the Democracy Live archive. The archive holds the items of business which have been covered live on the site.

In addition to live and on-demand coverage, Democracy Live features a Historic Moments section containing video of memorable political events over the past two decades.

Democracy Live also offers guides to each of the institutions and an explanation of how the UK's devolved political system works. People will be able to follow representatives they are interested in and Democracy Live will gather video in which they appear and store this to be watched later.

A Comment section brings together all of the BBC's main political blogs and offers a place for public figures to explore topical issues.

The first of these contributions is an article by the House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow MP, exploring what reform is needed to rebuild the level of public trust in the House of Commons.

Notes to Editors

Democracy Live will cover all proceedings in the main chambers of the House of Commons, House of Lords, Scottish Parliament, Northern Ireland Assembly, Welsh Assembly and full sittings of the European Parliament.

It will also cover Westminster Hall and Select Committees at Westminster.

When there is no business in the main chambers in Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff, it will cover committee meetings.

Each of the institutions has its own section which outlines the business that is covered on Democracy Live that day.

The section covering the Welsh Assembly is also available in Welsh. The speech-to-text system has also been developed for Welsh language proceedings, the first time the technology has been used in this way.

In addition to the small Democracy Live teams based in each of the nations, Democracy Live at Westminster is produced from a newly-built newsroom jointly with the digital TV channel BBC Parliament.


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