Black on livestreamed municipal council meetings

Communications and Culture Assoc. Prof. David Black was interviewed by the Times Colonist regarding the online livestreaming of municipal meetings.

Here is an excerpt:

David Black, an associate professor in the School of Communication and Culture at Royal Roads University, said the pandemic could help to redefine what public participation in municipal meetings and hearings looks like.

He said livestreaming is clearly the “gold standard” in terms of allowing people to participate in a meeting when they’re unable to attend in person.

“You are, as much as possible, kind of in the room,” he said. “You have a camera that is panning the whole room. You can see people’s reactions. There’s a richer informational environment than with even video conferencing platforms or, certainly, with regular telephone conference calls.”

Black said councils have been given a lot of latitude before now in terms of defining what an “open” meeting means, and it’s perhaps time for the province to provide more direction. “In this case, I’d like to see councils given some guidance and maybe asked to raise their game with respect to the benefits of livestreaming, relative to these other technological options,” he said.

This story appeared in the Times Colonist.