Following the KISS principle

Article image - Following the KISS principle Digital Officer, Luke Dart, with BHCC’s remarkably low-tech (but effective) live streaming set up.

Sometimes the simplest solution to a problem just happens to be the best one, and that was the case for Broken Hill City Council (BHCC), when they set about live streaming their monthly Council meetings.

A number of councils have been coming to grips with the prospect of live streaming meetings after it was initially slated as a mandatory requirement in a new draft model code of meeting practice for New South Wales.

BHCC’s Manager Communications, Darrin Manuel, said Council’s communications team were keen to get a head start on live streaming to prepare for any legislative changes, and also provide better engagement with the community.

“There’s been a perception for some time in Broken Hill that Council isn’t transparent and its decisions are made behind closed doors.

“So we wanted to ensure that the decision making process undertaken by councillors each month was able to be easily viewed by all members of the public, and live streaming has allowed us to do that.

“It’s been extremely successful, Broken Hill residents are very passionate about their city, and some of our streams have received over 5,000 views, which we feel is pretty impressive for a city with 18,000 residents.”

Council’s Digital Officer, Luke Dart, said Council’s limited budget resulted in the communications team having to innovate in order to make a live stream available for the community at a small cost.

“We’re not cheap, we’re poor. There’s a definite difference,” he laughed.

“We luckily had an old directional microphone in our inventory, so it was as simple as connecting that to one of our iPhones, mounting the phone on a tripod bracket in the Council chambers, and streaming live via Facebook.

“It allows people to watch decisions as they unfold, and we also archive the videos on our website so the public can watch meetings at their leisure, or revisit previous meetings and listen to debate that unfolded on the night and gain an understanding of how Council reached its decision.”

The total cost for BHHC to implement live streaming was $19.95, which covered the purchase of an audio cable to improve sound quality.