I often say that I am at a loss. That is somewhat common due to living here in Ashtabula County. Daily life here is often astounding to external observers. Picture The Archers but in a warped yet dark version and you would pretty much have Ashtabula County lately. I end up questioning the reality of some of the seemingly bonkers scenarios that have happened lately in the community.

It looks like we simply do not have the resource base to stand up streaming. This happens when you’re working out of your home. I don’t have office space to work out of and renting anywhere would be cost-prohibitive.

This doesn’t mean the video news plan is off, though. This means we end up having to switch to the backup plan. We can do video podcasting (vodcasting) out of available resources. We can start with at least reading the zone forecast from the National Weather Service and showing the national surface fronts forecast chart.

A small copy of a national surface fronts chart from the Weather Prediction Center of the National Weather Service. available from here

We’re able to pull the “Ashtabula Lakeshore” zone forecast from https://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/data/forecasts/zone/oh/ohz089.txt to have the material to read out. Reading that out while the surface fronts map are displayed on-screen wouldn’t be all that much but it would be a start compared to the lack of localized material we’re getting from our present media outlets. The “Ashtabula Inland” zone forecast is found at https://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/data/forecasts/zone/oh/ohz014.txt if we wanted to include that as well. We wouldn’t immediately be using the charts found at https://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/fax/Amaster_index.html.

Could we add in local news coverage? Eventually we could do that. Right now we simply do not have the staff resources to pull that off as we would actually need people covering events. There would be interim actions possible to pull in wire content, though. I could tag in newscasts taken from the Defense Visual Information Distribution System among the other video items they have posted that are otherwise public domain content. Eventually I would work in material from Open Newswire and Public News Service. Heck, I could get statewide news from the Ohio News Connection that is run by Public News Service.

This would be an effort that builds incrementally. On Monday our local daily newspaper posted a single local news story. The paper has only been averaging 8-12 broadsheet pages. Even though I can access the Great Lakes Portal for information that doesn’t mean most people locally can do that effectively. Meeting information needs so that people don’t rely on rumor and innuendo spreading on Facebook is a challenge for 2023 that might actually produce some social goods.

Right now it is more important to be putting some content out there than to be focusing on fundraising. Fundraising would come down the road anyhow. It certainly would be easier with a viewership of some sort.