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Dicta and acta at the Italian Senate Assembly reports and tweets: two different roles

Giulia Torregrossa (Italy)

report by Deru Schelhaas

In her presentation, Giulia Torregrossa, a parliamentary reporter from Italy, introduced two different techniques used by the Italian Senate to make institutional content available. The first one was invented in the 19th century, the second more than 150 years later.

2015 marks an important anniversary in the history of stenography in the Italian Senate. It’s the bicentenary of the birth of Antonio Michela Zucco, who invented the Michela stenography machine in 1862. This machine, looking like a piano with just 20 keys, breaks down words into syllables. It permits the use of many abbreviations.Thus stenographers can achieve very high transcription speeds. Nowadays, a newer version based on the very same technique as the original machine, is still in use.

On the digital side of the spectrum, the Senate has set up a number of Twitter accounts, including accounts for its institutional work and for budgetary matters and one aimed at young people. Since their inception in April 2013, the accounts have grown steadily and now count 45,000 followers. The tweets are institutional, but are delivered in a journalistic style. They provide short snippets of information with links to more detailed background information on the legislative and parliamentary process. In this way, Twitter functions as a hub to all the information on the Senate’s website.

The presentation slides and notes for this presentation are available on our Downloads page.

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