This morning the

Albemarle County Board of Supervisors

decided to move forward with a

three to six month trial project to prepare audio podcasts

for each of their meetings.  Unlike the City of Charlottesville, which has television coverage of City Council meetings thanks to their franchise agreement with Adelphia Cable, the County has no existing capability to broadcast the audio or video of their public meetings.  With this pilot, the gavel to gavel audio coverage of each meeting will soon be available on the Internet.

Listen to podcast:

Download BOSpodcasting20060503.MP3

I believe this decision is a very positive development and I think the trial will show County staff that it is relatively easy and inexpensive to make the raw audio available.  If this is done on a timely basis, then groups like

Charlottesville Tomorrow

can focus our energy on analysis of the discussion and the broadcast of certain segments or agenda items of interest to our subscribers.  Even if the County doesn’t see a high number of downloads of podcasts of entire meetings, other organizations will make use of the content, including the media, and the benefits of this effort to improve public access to local government will be significantly magnified.

The discussion by the Board included several references to the work of

Charlottesville Tomorrow

which has been podcasting many segments of the Board’s meetings during the past seven months on this weblog.  It was great to hear the Supervisors and Lee Catlin, Albemarle’s Community Relations Manager, talking in detail about the finer points of podcasts, media players, RSS feeds, and improved communications with the public.

Brian Wheeler


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