Why I’m a proud supporter of The Public Record

In the last several years the news landscape in Hamilton has expanded. The city has had the mainstream staples for years in television, radio, and print, but has grown in later years. We have CHCH News on telvision, AM 900 CHML on the radio, and The Hamilton Spectator in print.

By all accounts Hamilton is doing pretty good for itself when it comes to local news, especially in the light of many smaller markets having their tv stations taken away and local papers being shuttered.

The digital landscape has given rise to more people to cover the news and more opportunity to keep people informed. We have even seen the CBC come to town with their “digital only” venture.

Joey Coleman and The Public Record have become a staple for local civic journalism and a jewel to those who want to know what’s going on down at City Hall.

Sure in the past you could crack open the newspaper or turn on your television and hear what the latest scoop is from 71 Main Street West, but at best you’re getting the bullet points. You’re getting a 30 second recap and a quick soundbyte on stories that get major play. With The Public Record you’re getting raw video of the entire meeting, even the smaller meetings that the city doesn’t even bother to webcast (or even publish agendas).

And what about the smaller stories? The things that may not be important to everyone in the city but are important to you? You’re not likely to see many of these stories in traditional media.

A good example is a committee meeting that will be held next week, the Emergency & Community Services Committee meeting. There is one item on the agenda which interests me which is a delegation request. Among the three delegation requests, five consent items, one presentation, and three discussion items on the agenda, what are the chances that what I want to know about will be covered in The Spec? Will CHCH broadcast it on the Evening News? I doubt it.

But Joey Coleman will be at the meeting and there will be video that I can watch later. I can’t be there but I can count on Joey Coleman to be there.

Now this isn’t meant to knock the major news media outlets in town. These shortcomings aren’t their fault. At the end of the day they have to make the most of their money.

News and journalism can be expensive after all and some news media outlets are fighting for their very lives with the current news landscape. They have to prove that they are profitable (or at the very least not losing money) or they may well fall victim to their corporate parent.

Good journalism that isn’t making money isn’t making good journalism for long.

Joey does a tireless job in covering every corner of City Hall on a daily and weekly basis, both on the website and thru frequent updates over social media. I for one am grateful for his efforts and subsequent push for an open City Hall. He even licenses his video work “Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)” so that others can build off his work with attribution.

This is where Joey Coleman’s Indiegogo campaign comes in.

Coleman’s funding model is a kind of bottom up approach. Instead of relying on huge traffic to generate ad revenue, he instead focuses on something which he calls the 90-9-1 model. 90% of viewers and readers will only consume content, 9% will become patrons to help fund the service, and 1% who will become major patrons.

In the short time since the launch of Coleman’s campaign for The Public Record has funded more than a third of his $5,000 goal.

If you would like to contribute to the Indiegogo campaign you can do so by clicking on the following link or by the embeded counter below.

About Jason Nason
I'm the editor of Hamilton-Today.com and I love the city of Hamilton. From sports to entertainment, local events and the politics of the city, I will try to bring it here to you!

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