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Michigan Radio introduces Minutes, a local public meeting tracker

Michigan Radio is introducing Minutes, a new way for the public to stay informed about local government. The project is designed to provide greater access to happenings in local government, especially in areas that are underserved by local news media.

Minutes from Michigan Radio automatically downloads city council meeting videos as they’re posted. The video file is then converted to audio and available in an easy to find podcast format. The audio from these public meetings is unedited and ad free.

The free Minutes podcasts can be found on the Michigan Radio website here and are available on favorite podcast platforms including Apple, Google and Spotify. People can subscribe to podcasts from their local community to get updated meeting audio as it becomes available.

These public meeting Minutes podcasts are currently available in more than 40 cities across Michigan, with more to be added. Cities currently available include Ann Arbor, Dearborn Heights, Eastpointe, Ferndale, Garden City, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Lincoln Park, Livonia, Madison Heights, Monroe, Mount Clemens, Oak Park, Romulus, Royal Oak, Sterling Heights, Troy, Wayne, Westland and Wixom in southeast Michigan. Also included are Albion, Alma, Alpena, Bay City, Cedar Springs, Ferrysburg, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Lowell, Midland, Mt. Pleasant, Norway, Port Huron, Saginaw, South Lyon and St. Clair. You can find the complete list here.

An additional element of the Minutes project will provide a new data-driven approach in covering local government and help make the content of public meetings more accessible. It will create a new tool that Michigan Radio, and eventually a variety of news organizations, can use to cover those meetings and allow the user to follow trends, as well as find sources and audio files on numerous topics.

"Helping inform people in Michigan about their community is at the core of what we do at Michigan Radio.” said Dustin Dwyer, West Michigan Bureau Chief at Michigan Radio and co-creator of the Minutes project. “With Minutes, we're making it easier than ever for people to tune in to local government meetings. And we're giving our own reporters a new tool to track these meetings in every corner of the state."

Minutes from Michigan Radio is funded through Google News Initiative (GNI). The Google News Initiative is a global effort to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in a digital age.

Suzanne Belanger is a Marketing Associate at Michigan Public, coordinating community and media partnerships, public relations, special events, and more. She started working in radio when she was 14 years old at her hometown station in Delphos, Ohio. Throughout her radio career, she’s worked at a number of stations in Ohio, Florida and Michigan.
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