Information for potential contributors

March 25, 2009 at 2:42 pm Leave a comment

The site is due to go live on April 20th.

While it is our intention to eventually cover all aspects of Parliament’s work, in this initial stage we plan to focus on the Commons and some committee business.

There are several ways in which contributors can help. We are looking for people to write impartial, yet engaging, summaries of debates and question periods.

This can be done ‘live’ or by reading Hansard or watching video of the proceedings of the House.

The point of the exercise is to give an honest, engaging account of what was said.

It is important that these reports are non-partisan. However, they should give the reader a sense of the mood and tone of the debate or question period.

Two examples are attached at the bottom of this document.

The author of each report will take responsibility for seeding it and placing links to it on relevant discussion boards, forums etc.

The idea is to disseminate information to people who may not be interested enough in Parliament to visit our site, but will be drawn to a report on issues that are of interest to them.

As the business of the House is published in advance, we will be able to decide in advance which contributors will cover each piece of business.

Depending on how many people want to contribute to the site, there will be scope for those who are able to attend committee meetings to submit reports.

There may also scope to cover Lords business and Westminster Hall debates.

We want the reports of debates and question periods to be online as soon as practicable, normally the next day.

In a normal week the House of Commons sits:

Monday: 2.30pm-10.30pm
Tuesday: 2.30pm-10.30pm
Wednesday: 11.30am-7.30pm
Thursday: 10.30am-6.30pm

Each day there is a mix of questions to ministers, opposition day debates, legislation, ministerial statements, bills introduced by MPs, presentation of petitions and short adjournment debates.

In each session there are thirteen Fridays devoted to consideration of Private Members’ bills. On those days the House sits from 9.30am-3pm.

Any contributors who are in a position to monitor the House live, via BBC Parliament or in person, will be in a position to maintain our Twitter feed.

Others can maintain our Facebook page and others social networking sites, help with raising funding for the site, or contribute to general maintenance.

At present we are in talks with various companies about hosting the site on a pro-bono basis.

While it is possible for us to launch the site with a basic structure based around WordPress, we have approached several companies about designing the site for us.

If any potential contributors have any suggestions about potential partners we would be interested in hearing from them.

We are also planning to integrate some of the content from the Parliament website on i spy strangers.

When Parliament is not in session we will be able to feature reports on historic debates, building content for the site.

i spy strangers is a collective social enterprise and will operate on a not-for-profit basis. We are keen to hear your ideas and suggestions about how the site will work.

Meetings of potential contributors will take place in London next week – please email for more details.

If you do not live in London, we will be happy to consider any suggestions by email.




Entry filed under: Commons.

Sample debate reports Welcome to i spy strangers

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