Freesteel Blog » New feature: webcast links

New feature: webcast links

Monday, September 1st, 2008 at 4:47 pm Written by:

Webcasts are cheap if you happen already to be filming the procedure and recording the live translations being provided (both of which are rather expensive). They are usually posted onto the website long before the meeting transcripts come through.

Unfortunately they poorly archived and not linked with the written transcripts (which you can’t link to anyway) or to the documents they depend on, and there’s no good way to dip in.

The latest archive pages for the General Assembly are here and the Security Council are here. The latter includes Media Stakeouts where, ideally, the ambassador gets to rendezvous with an open microphone following his theatrical storming out from an important meeting.

Now I wanted to make links directly to these pages from the parsed transcripts on, but these enormous tables don’t have any anchor tags, so I can’t link directly to the correct place. The feedback form seems to reject messages of longer than 100 characters, so I hope I got something through. Not that I expect anyone in the UN offices to take any notice, like anyone there has taken any notice all ready. I wonder how many hits they get on these webcasts in total anyway.

So in the meantime I’ve skinned these index pages by loading them into the server and writing them out again with id’s on each line corresponding to the dates. Subject to a few annoyances, such as the index pages going: sc2003.html, sc2004.htm, sc2005.html, sc2006.html, sc2007.html, sc.html, and the month names Janurary, Febuary, and Septmeber, I’ve got it working, so you can have the pleasure of dipping into a General Assembly meeting, such as this one from last December.

Click on the Webcast Video link in the top right and it takes you to the corresponding point in the skinned index. When you get bored, skip through to minute 18 of the webcast to see some voting as well as Mrs. Mladineo banging her strange hooked stick.

Security Council meetings are also very scripted and dull (except for the last couple ones on Georgia). However this one on Western Sahara has a rare display of dissent. Costa Rica pipes up. And so does the South African ambassador in minute 12 (you have to skip past all the media stakeouts) complaining about behavior the Group of Friends (the Permanent Members) who script the show in advance too much.

Anyone who is missing Tony Blair and his interminable rants about terrorism, “this ghastly game with our conscience… we must never forget that the events of 11 September 2001” can get their fix from here (45 minutes into the webcast). That was a man obsessed. His name is now mentioned monthly in the Security Council by those expressing appreciation for his work as The Quartet representative, although he has never showed up to read a personal report. Otherwise we could see him in video as he is now without needing to be praying customers at the Yale Schools of Divinity and Management.

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