We are two longtime Arlington residents deeply concerned about the decline of local news and its detrimental effects on civic life and society. In 2023, we formed a non-profit, Nano Media, with the mission to revitalize local news in an economically sustainable way. Inside Arlington is our pilot and flagship.
Our initial focus is town governance. We use artificial intelligence (AI) to transcribe and recap committee meetings, which we post on this website and email as newsletters. Inside Arlington is a gateway to primary sources and a companion to information published by the town. Although no automated system is perfect, our testing has found the summaries accurately reflect the discussions. We invite you to listen to the official meetings and compare them – and to let us know if you find an error.
Our posts are records of what happens at meetings few people have time to attend, a tool for residents and journalists alike. We are a source and a resource, trying to fill a void with searchable texts about everyday governance.
We could not do this without the dedicated staff and volunteers of Arlington Community Media Inc (ACMi), the town’s official access channel, who attend, record and post the meetings on YouTube.
This is just the beginning. We need your feedback to improve and evolve Inside Arlington. In the future, we want to help other towns create their own web sites like this and help small news outlets use these tools to augment their reporting. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Winston Chen and David Trilling