The BBC has today launched a new online service, Democracy Live, to enable the public to follow political debates more closely in the run up to the general election.
Taking its lead from the popularity of political websites such as TheyWorForYou and PoliticsHome, the new site will provide a one-stop-shop of live and on demand video coverage of the UK’s national political institutions and the European Parliament.
In addition to the video streams and archived material, the BBC has introduced guides to how the different institutions work and who sits in them.
The website’s search technology uses a speech-to-text feature that will allow users to jump directly to the part of a video they are interested in and also help keep tabs on issues and political figures of interest to them.
The site is reported to have cost in the region of £1m to launch and has been funded by the BBC’s existing online budget. A staff of 11 fulltime employees will run the service.
The new service will also contain links to political stories on BBC News and have a section for the corporation’s main political bloggers, including political editor Nick Robinson, Europe editor Gavin Hewitt and home editor Mark Easton.
Political figures will also be offered a forum to discuss particular issues. The Commons new speaker, John Bercow, has contributed the first article about rebuilding trust in parliament.
In addition to the coverage of current political events, the site will also feature an archive of significant moments in British political history.