On The Record Media, Inc.
Open Government On-Line, On-Demand, 24/7

About The Project

The Open Government Video Project implemented in Newport County, Rhode Island was an experiment using new media technology to provide citizens with busy lifestyles access to On-line, On-Demand, 24/7 video recordings of local "governing" in action.

All five publications used a non-editorial, opinion free and totally non-partisan format. "If it didn't happen on the record, it did not go... on The Record."

Oversight, education and trust are just a few of the benefits gained by allowing internet connected citizens the ability to observe the performance, methods of deliberations and policy decisions made by their public bodies.

The project started with Jamestown in November of 2009 with a five year evaluation point being established from the outset.

Throughout the years in addition to The Jamestown Record we also launched The Newport Record, The Portsmouth Record, The Middletown Record and The Tiverton Record with various levels and methods of coverage.

The success of the Newport County Records has been much greater than expected with an average of 24,000 monthly viewers at our peak coverage levels.

With the 5 year Anniversary of launching the first Record we have ended the project with the hope that local governing bodies will now take up the work as part of their public service to their communities.

In addition to our Newport County participants we will provide technology consulting to New England municipalities that are interested in providing low cost on-line access to recordings of their governing bodies in action.

The Records delivered a broad range of unexpected benefits...

Expanded Oversight
The most obvious benefit is the government oversight that provides assurances to citizens that their public officials are meeting expectations of honesty and openness during deliberations over Public Policy making.
Improved Accuracy In Reporting
All parties had access to “The facts and nothing but the facts!” leaving no doubt about actions, statements and intentions.

Reporters, as well as public officials, were fully aware that quotes can easily be verified. The Records significantly improved accuracy and accountability from all parties.

More Efficiency and Integration
Council, Board, Commission and Committee members used The Records to stay current on meetings they were not able to attend. Members regularly integrated with each other as issues worked their way through the maze of bureaucracy.

Local Government 101
Citizens were more informed about the workings of their public bodies because they got instant access to meetings and were able to study the decision making process.

Whether they were considering a home improvement project that requires a variance from their Planning and Zoning Boards or concerned about environmental policy making, the “being there” experience was a great way to learn.

Increased Participation
Citizens having an interest in serving on a board, commission or committee were learning about the commitment and duties from The Records and have used it to prepare for their active service.

More and more people stepped forward to serve each year knowing what is expected of them.

Volunteer Recognition
All communities benefit from the volunteer efforts of their non-elected citizens who serve on committees that are rarely visited by the public nor get media coverage.

The Records brought recognition to scores of dedicated public servants who often wonder if anyone knows or cares about the work they do.

Our Newport County Project 2009-2014