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Text of my address to Council, video posted on my wall.

Mr. Chairman, Council, thank you once again for your indulgence in hearing my views with respect to item no. 15 of the thirty second report of the Finance and Administration Committee.

I have carefully read the Committees recommendation with regards to recording Council and Committee meetings.

The Corporation of the City of Oshawa holds an economic stake in a variety of endeavors, including every essential service this community enjoys.  Ideally, it derives profit from these activities which it reinvests directly in the community for the sustenance and improvement of these endeavors and services, as well as their perpetuity.

I see the business of communications no differently than any other business activity this city conducts.

Communications is the most important, and most essential Government device and service… Other than its perpetuity.

Reliance on commercial print and broadcast media outlets to assure the reliable communication to the public of government activities is akin to privatizing the corporation itself. 

Surely each of us here in this room knows all too well the pitfalls of using press to convey our message, as well as its power.

We’ve all used the press to play against each other…

what if we couldn’t?

We would have to play *with* each other.

***

This Council is entering into the business of producing and broadcasting media. 

Please let us explore the implications.

The Corporation will be creating intellectual property. 

This property, belongs to the citizens of Oshawa Ontario, and as such, must be managed like any other resource within our boundaries.

The information age expands those boundaries, as well as our opportunities, exponentially.

In practical terms…

ALL Council and standing committee meetings, including in camera sessions should be video recorded and archived as soon as possible;

ALL Open council and standing committee meetings should be streamed via www.oshawa.ca;

Staff should be working on a plan to license the use of this property to users, both commercial and private;

Staff should be making determinations on the terms under which this property can be used, in addition to a proposal for fees to be charged for these defined uses;

Staff should be studying the possibility of exploiting the value of the traffic this content will draw to its website.

I propose you a business case…

Your worship mentioned at Finance and Administration the graciousness of Rogers Television coming in to film and broadcast Council Meetings.  Would his grace be surprised to learn that Rogers Television would have nothing to broadcast were it not the case?

A sponsorship on Rogers costs $2500 per month.  For their dollars, sponsors are afforded a series of 33 X 15 second spot commercials.  This amounts to 8.25 minutes in the presence of Rogers audience, which according to their website, reaches 140,000  households in Durham, and approximately 300,000 viewers, on one type of appliance.

Rogers does not provide statistical or qualitative reports as to the impact of sponsors message on its audience.

Even if we discount the price of the sponsorship to account for the novelty of internet advertising and audience, we are still able to offer a superior advertising product for both ourselves, and any potential clientele the City undertakes to pursue.

Were the city to offer advertising clients webcast sponsorships at $1000 per month, it would only need to engage 7 clients a month for the rest of the year (from June, when it begins broadcasting, to December) in order to make back the $46K from the MBA’s, plus $3000.

I am right now broadcasting my comments live over the internet.  I currently have _____ viewers.

My audience have enjoyed direct interaction with me since the beginning of this meeting.

I am now able to report not only on their sex, age, and location, but they have been interacting with me in a quantifiable and qualifiable manner the whole time….  in conversation.

Corporate media stand in the way of this conversation between the Corporation of the City of Oshawa, and it’s people.

Conversations Oshawa must have if it is to effectively govern, thrive, and amaze.

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