What is PARLY?
PARLY a new journalism project that focuses on the UK Parliament. PARLY aims to capture the mood in the Westminster village, be an expert voice on procedure and provide the context that makes Parliament understandable to outsiders. Its website will provide exclusive content using a live format feed of short pieces of information, along with photos and videos to capture each day Parliament sits.
PARLY will launch on May 8th, the day after the general election.
The project was created by Tony Grew, a journalist who has been based in Parliament since 2009.
He has a reputation as an expert on MPs and on Commons procedure, and worked on The House magazine, the in-house journal of Commons life, for more than three years. Tony was recently described by Speaker Bercow as "a partisan of Parliament", which neatly sums up his approach to the Westminster village.
"I want to create something that is interested in Parliament as a place, as a community," says Tony. "Politics and Parliament are not the same thing.
"At present information about Parliament is filtered, incomplete, partial and outdated. PARLY responds to the changes that Twitter and other social media have made in the way we consume information. PARLY is modern, immmersive, expert and always paying attention."
Why is PARLY needed?
The traditional media approaches Parliament in a traditional way. When it pays attention at all, its focus is usually on contentious debates or exchanges in the Commons. This largely ignores the Lords and fails to dig deeper. There is so much that happens every day in Parliament, both inside and outside the chambers, that just gets missed.
At present information about Parliament is filtered, partial and time-lagged. It can be hard to work out what is happening and why.
PARLY responds to the changes that Twitter and other social media have made in the way we consume information. PARLY is modern, immersive, expert and always paying attention.
Who is PARLY for?
It is for anyone interested in our Parliament. More than 100 new MPs will be elected in May, and an unstable government is likely no matter what the result of the general election. PARLY will be your guide to how the Commons actually operates, both in terms of procedure and in terms of personalities, alliances, factions, turf wars and feuds.
With its unique approach to its subject, its expertise and its insight PARLY will attract citizens who want to know more. The success of the recent BBC documentary Inside the Commons demonstrated that millions of people are interested if the subject is presented in a new way. PARLY aims to build on that interest. Parliament can be endlessly fascinating if you know what is happening and why.
What plans does PARLY have for its first year?
This crowd-fund will provide for creation and launch of the PARLY website. There are three main aims for PARLY beyond that: the creation of a smartphone App, dedicated coverage of the House of Lords and an apprenticeship scheme.
APP: there is huge potential for PARLY to reconfigure and innovate in the ways in which information about Parliament is presented. Our App will put Parliament in your pocket. The App will be a digital tool, building on the website, that will allow people to find out about the people, procedures and the Palace itself on their smartphones.
LORDS: always the Cinderella chamber, the Lords has a cast of characters just as interesting as the Commons, but rarely gets any attention, despite the vital role it plays in scrutinising legislation and holding the government to account. PARLY aims to have dedicated Lords reporters to ensure that our users know as much about peers as they will about MPs.
APPRENTICES: a key part of the business model for PARLY is the establishment of a fully-funded apprenticeship scheme. Over time journalism has become a post-graduate profession, closing access to those from poorer and other less well-represented backgrounds. PARLY will find the smartest 18-to-24 year olds, and train them to be experts in Parliament, while building a contacts base any lobby journalist would be proud of.
What rewards are on offer?
There are lots of rewards available! For £15, you can get an exclusive PARLY mug. Only 500 are available, so get in early.
For £40, you will be signed up for our daily email updates from inside Parliament. These will be invaluable for people who want to know more about the day to day life of the next Parliament.
For £100 you will be invited to PARLY's launch party where you will meet some of the interesting people who work in the Westminster village.
For £500, Tony will come to speak at your school, club, event etc. anywhere in the UK. Tony is regularly asked to speak about Parliament at conferences, corporate events and to businesses, as well as on TV or radio. This is an opportunity to get an insider briefing from him.
Finally, for £1,000 you will be added to the PARLY Hall of Fame, and have your name or your company's logo displayed on the PARLY website.
How can I help?
You can find more information about PARLY here.
Here is a mock-up of the site: