Why we’re publishing public meetings

Last month, we began publishing public meetings information here on the Flyer. And by “public meetings” I mean city council meetings, ward meetings, planning commission meetings, etc.

So far, we’ve published 35 days worth of public meeting information but we still haven’t gotten a whole lot of traffic on those posts. They’re certainly not the most exciting things to read, I know. But despite that and the small amount of pageviews they’ve gotten, I’m still convinced there’s value in publishing them.


But why?

Because we’ve created a place on the Flyer where citizens can be guaranteed to find out what our city’s governments are meeting about, where they’re meeting and when the meetings take place.

Isn’t this information available on the Internet already?

Yes. The City of Fayetteville publishes this info at calendar.accessfayetteville.org.

So what’s the point?

Convenience. We provide links to the places where the meetings are taking place. We try to link straight to Local540 which features a phone number, a map and in some cases, a photo of the building. Plus, we try to link to Agendas, Bids, RFPs, RFQs and other relevant documents.

Don’t the newspapers already publish that stuff?

Yes and no. The newspapers provide the basics both on and offline, but they don’t provide links, maps, or phone numbers. Plus, now that both papers are merging and putting their content behind a paywall, you may have to be a subscriber to view it.

Who cares about public meeting information?

People who are interested in knowing about or attending public meetings.

That’s not me, dude.

No big deal. Don’t worry about it. But believe it or not, many of the decisions that are made in public meetings can actually affect you whether you realize it or not. You can stand up and be heard. Trust me, sometimes that part takes hours. Plus, things get kinda exciting sometimes. For real.

So what do you think? Is this a waste of time? Got any suggestions?