Hamilton's leading online journalist is looking to create Canada's first local open journalism outlet that will surpass every expectation of what can be done.
Live Local Journalism, Where and When News Happens
I'm a Hamiltonian who's passionate about my city and journalism. Let's combine those two passions to create Hamilton's 24/7 Live Journalist.
A little about myself:
Born and raised in Hamilton, I've lived in nearly every community in our beautiful city. I loved each one (admittedly, Dewitt Rd was a challenging bicycle ride) and now live Downtown in the Beasley community.
I've been a professional journalist for five years starting my career at Maclean's. I've worked for The Globe and Mail and numerous other newspapers. For the past two years, I've been independently covering Hamilton, often being the only reporter covering local stories. Many of you know me better as @JoeyColeman
It was upon reconnecting to my home community that my passion for journalism was reignited.
You can read more about my journalism achievements and proven experience below.
Why this crowd funding project?
Hamilton needs more local news coverage and we can be the centre of innovation in the new wave of citizen journalism.
To make this happen, we need a minimal amount of funding to get the ball rolling.
$10,000 is what is required to buy the equipment and resources to make this happen.
I'm obviously not in this for the money, as you can see below, every cent is going directly into improving Hamilton news coverage.
There is no shortage of news in our city and most of it happens undocumented. This project will allow more of it be to covered unfiltered and live.
Every City Council meeting, every City Council committee, every City Council sub-committee, School Board meetings, Public meetings, Local Events, Art Crawls, Town Halls.
It won't just be video. There will be a special audio stream available on mobile devices during City Council meetings that happen at 5 p.m.
No matter what you're doing, you'll be able to stay connected and informed. This project will make Hamilton the most innovative media city in Canada.
What the funding will do:
The funding will purchase the equipment needed to make this happen and fund its ongoing use:
Purchase of gear for livestreaming($8250)
- Camera ($3500)
- Sound Equipment ($2000)
- Livestreaming Gear ($750)
- Mobile Data Devices ($750)
- Batteries, Cases, Tripod, Lenses ($1250)
Launching a new Hamilton news website and data portal
- I cover all City Hall public meetings and collect 100s of pages of documents each week.
- My current shared hosting is inadequate for posting all these documents and organizing them. I need to pay for better hosting and server space to better share all this information.
- Think of it as hamilton.ca, but where you can actually find documents.
- The new website will offer an open data API so others can build upon the data I collect
- Here's a preview of the tablet for the new site: http://rockstar.lab.sourcefabric.org/
Funding of operating expenses until January 2013
- Costs of audio and video streaming - approx $350/mth
- Transportation costs to get to stories in the middle of night - approx $40 per story
- Freedom of Information Requests
- A simple request for the Mayor's expense spending costs $200, each Councillor will run about $100. The total cost to find out what elected officials and senior staff expense is easily in the thousands of dollars.
- Office, Equipment, Rent, and other expenses - approx $1000/mth
- The coffee and chocolate bar supply that fuels the cameraman
Town Hall Event
- The funds will support regular "town hall" format discussion events.
- The first, to be held in November, will coincide with the two year mid-term mark of the current Council term.
- The topic: "How is Council doing at the mid-term point and what do they need to do in the next two years"
- The event will bring together experts in front of a live audience to create an informative discussion about our city engaging both the live and online participants. It will be another Hamilton first.
- I've offered many workshops on open data and online map building. I will continue doing so and do even more workshops - including offering free courses to Mohawk journalism students on livestreaming and reporting (open to anyone). There is no shortage of stories and information to be shared, I want to help you share them.
- and more
If successful in raising the needed funds:
- You'll be able to watch all City Hall meetings live, in full replay, or catch the most important highlights at any time, in any place - when you want it, how you want it;
- We'll improve the level of civic engagement and information. No longer will we be reactive, we'll proactively be making a better Hamilton;
- This news service will improve Hamilton's local mediascape as all news outlets will benefit from having access to better civic information;
- We're building a Hamilton solution to our information deficit; and
- We're building a future for local journalism in our city.
Proven Track Record of Local Journalism Excellence
I've covered Hamilton news for two years. During this time, I've achieved many firsts including:
- First (second, third, and fourth) live stream of Hamilton City Council meetings
- First Livestream of a School Board meeting during the school closures votes
- First live poll-by-poll results map of a federal election.
- Only live coverage on Twitter of the Municipal Election results
- Continuous live coverage on Twitter of many breaking news events in Hamilton
- First liveblog of a City Council meeting
- Hamilton's first free open data workshop - teaching how to use web tools and open data to inform our community
This is only the first step.
$10,000 buys the basics to offer a continuing public service and build a non-profit news service in Hamilton focused on improving civic dialogue and engagement.
It proves to foundations, advertisers, and donors that Hamiltonians support better news, non-profit journalism, and that non-profit journalism is viable in Hamilton.
In the long-term, we'll cover Queen's Park and Parliament Hill from Hamilton's viewpoint. We'll be at the provincial and federal budgets, making sure Hamilton's voice is heard in both Toronto and Hamilton.
During the next election, we'll have Hamilton's first livestreaming interactive candidates debates. In 2014, every municipal council candidate will get cover, and their ideas will be heard.
The vision is simple, Hamilton will have a group of local journalists covering local stories as part of Canada's largest non-profit investigative news service.
This is the start of something bigger - it's the start of Hamilton filling our own news void. This will be Hamilton journalism, accountable to Hamiltonians.
Other Ways You Can Help
Financial contributions help, but you can help even more by supporting non-profit journalism in Hamilton by:
- Sign up for the Hamilton Daily Morning Newsletter
- gives you a concise round-up of Hamilton news, links, events, and a preview of what's going to make news that day.
- includes a banner advertising space that assists coverage.
- is delivered to your inbox every morning.
- Tell your friends about this project and how they can get the latest news
- Continue to be awesome
Thanks for your participation and consideration. And please, would you share this crowdsourcing project with your social media friends or email list?
If you do, we'll send you a signed limited edition button designed by Matt Jelly.
Your contribution will go a long way to making non-profit journalism happen in Hamilton!
No matter when or where the news happens, we'll be there.