The Grand Forks Herald will now offer live-streamed videos on its website of city council meetings in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.
The Grand Forks City Council meets almost every Monday at 5:30 p.m. and the East Grand Forks City Council meets almost every Tuesday at 5 p.m.
This week will be an exception, when both councils meet on Tuesday due to Presidents' Day being that Monday.
"This was an idea that originated with our editor, and I think it's one that resonates," said Herald Publisher Korrie Wenzel. "I don't necessarily see it as something that will generate thousands of viewers, but the initial test run had hundreds of viewers with barely any notice about it. That's a success to me."
Both cities already live-stream their meetings on social media, and they provide access to videos afterward via their websites.
"We as a city just realized that, with the world of communication and how people were getting information, we had to get those meetings out on social media," Grand Forks city Communication Specialist Bernstrom said. "So we started streaming them ourselves, and we had good response. It was worth our while."
"What we're trying to do is make it easier for people to view our council meetings," said East Grand Forks City Administrator David Murphy. "So that they're more aware of what's going on, how we operate (and) what's happening in the city."
"Not everyone is interested in going to council meetings, but it's important for people to easily access them when they are interested," Wenzel said. "Of course, it all started with the work by the government entities themselves to install cameras. It's a good example of open government."