Today, many cities opt to record City Council and other administrative meetings. This provides increases opportunities for community involvement, as well as a full record of everything discussed at the meeting. In order for recordings to benefit the community, they must be:
- Clear and watchable.
- Accessible to the public.
- Organized in a structured way.
In some cities, it may be desirable to live stream City Council meetings. Live streaming lets people tune in from anywhere, but can also facilitate the management of overflow situations, if the room is not large enough for everyone attending.
Meeting recordings should include video, audio, and access to any presentation media used by the Council or those presenting before the Council. This provides the viewer with the best possible record of what happened, and can help to provide vital information to the community.
- Video can feed from one or more cameras. Cameras should be placed to film not only the Council, but speakers from the community, if present.
- Wireless and USB microphones can provide good-quality audio for the City Council meeting recording.
- If a PowerPoint or video is shown, it can be added directly to the meeting recording, as can the contents of a SmartBoard or computer screen.
Depending upon the budget, some cities may have hardware-based recording solutions, with mounted cameras and equipment. For others, a software-based capture solution will be a more practical choice.
Streaming and Sharing Media Content
For many towns and cities, making meeting recordings publicly accessible is essential; the recordings don’t just exist as a record, but as a tool for the community. It may also be helpful to be able to store, organize, and grant access to content that is not publicly available.
- Share a link to publicly stream video content. This brings transparency to the proceedings, and is well-received by the community.
- Opt for an accessible interface to display public meeting recordings. This should be clear and easy-to-use, without logging.
- Make use of a secure system to store and organize archived content, or meetings not open to the public.
- Choose a system with varying permission levels to enable departments and divisions in the city administration to use video and multimedia content to engage with one another and the public.