Albemarle School Board Meetings MP3s

The Albemarle County School Board is now providing the audio of their meetings as MP3s. The audio up there now seems to be limited to the Thursday-night board discussion about student conduct policies, a prelude to the plan of having an actual podcast of all meetings’ audio beginning in a few months. I’ll be happy to see that next step. Why can’t Charlottesville be this innovative? (Via Brian Wheeler)

5 thoughts on “Albemarle School Board Meetings MP3s”

  1. Charlottesville is not innovated. I been able to watch city council meetings, school board meetings, and zoning meetings on cable for years.
    Albemarle is behind in terms brodcasting meetings. I would guess that Brian wheeler is the sole reason those meetings are being podcast. Albemarle is not as open because of the cable contract which should be different when we get Comcast.

  2. I’d say classifying this as “innovative” might be a bit of a stretch. “Keeping pace” would be more accurate and that’s at least better than falling behind.

    In my mind, there are four issues with citizen participation in public meetings:

    meetings are at specific times
    they are held at specific places
    you have to be there to comment on an issue being discussed
    you end up sitting through parts of the meeting that are not of interest to get to the parts that are.

    Posting an MP3 of entire meetings would only addresses 1 & 2. It time shifts the meeting and allows you to listen where ever you want (provided you have the appropriate gear). It doesn’t address 3 & 4 and, to me, those are the most important. Splitting the audio up based on agenda item and allowing comment would be a move in the right direction. Implementing some form of audio search would be pretty darn innovative.

    Governments need to move beyond being satisfied that information is simply available and get to a point where it is available, easily accessible, and useful. Citizens would then be more engaged and public participation more productive.

  3. I think that citizen media can address the fourth concern. I fully intend to excerpt relevant bits of audio from school board meetings for use on I wouldn’t be surprised if Brian Wheeler did the same for his blog, or if citizens groups did likewise.

    It’d be best for the school board to slice and dice this stuff for us, definitely, but providing the raw material at least allows us to do it ourselves, and that’s a much lower bar. I take what I can get. :)

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