Ears on the Ground and Flies on the Wall
I’ve a direct interest in the proceedings, of course, but part of what I’ve been doing at all of these public meetings in Tiverton has been developing and practicing a citizen-driven mode of coverage. The mainstream media doesn’t cover everything, and of what it does, it offers only that for which it has space and believes there to be a large audience. But having public eyes and ears present when power is being applied is a necessity.
I honestly don’t know the degree to which my increasing ability and habit of recording and posting audio from various meetings is to credit for the good behavior of the Tiverton teachers’ union, last night, but I think it likely to have been a factor. Hearing the union leader in East Providence stammer after Jim Hummel played one of my recordings for her live on the radio had to have made an impression.
In that regard, citizen recordings can have two related benefits:
- They enable other busy citizens to hear important moments at meetings, without having to attend every one.
- To the extent that they give the unions a reason to behave, they’ll make it more likely that more citizens than just those representing taxpayer groups will stand up and speak.
Inasmuch as we are able, Anchor Rising will be working to expand not only our own, but also others’ coverage of events in other towns. The more broadly we can apply the technique, the more likely a reformist movement will congeal, and the better it will be able identify and target common themes and problems.
Once again, the limiting factors are the nearly synonymous time and money, so if you’re able, please help us to bring Anchor Rising to another level of utility.
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