Westchester Co. residents get the picture
- By Brian Robinson
- Jan 13, 2002
The Westchester County, N.Y., government has added video to the news content
carried on its Web site, as part of an effort to flesh out the information
services it offers to its otherwise locally media-poor citizens.
Because the county is considered part of the metropolitan New York area,
the local paper is, by default, the New York Times, which devotes little
space to county news. The county also lacks a truly local television station.
So the county is trying to fill that gap with video snippets of area
events and items of interest to the increasingly extensive text-based news
it already carries on the site.
"One of the most popular things on the site for years has been the streaming
video of the county executive's presentation of the yearly budget," said
Norm Jacknis, Westchester's chief information officer. "We thought that
now would be good time to extend that to video news reports also, particularly
given the kind of broadband access people in the county have."
Westchester has laid down more than 500 miles of fiber as part of a
broadband network backbone for the county, Jacknis said, and he expects
the majority of residents will have broadband access within the next two
The government has a dedicated video communications staff, which up
to now has focused mainly on producing items for public Cable TV access
channels, but Jacknis said much of that effort will be switched over to
producing Web news.
In addition to the clip on the budget, recent one-to-two minute video
news segments — available in English and Spanish — have regarded newly
opened branches of Westchester Community College, programs for the Hispanic
community, a new child-oriented training program for emergency workers,
and a new water quality initiative.
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.