Community TV Launch

The inaugural meeting of a new community TV production society in the Mid Island region will take place on Tuesday, September 28, 2010, from 7 to 9 pm in the Pacific Gardens CoHousing Community Dining Hall, 347 Seventh Street, Nanaimo (Dial Entry Phone 100). The purpose of this new organization is to provide programming which covers social justice and environmental issues to the community access cable station, Shaw channel 4 in the Mid Island Region (Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, and Port Alberni).

In 1997 the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) relaxed the rules for community TV and the cable giants fired their volunteer coordinators and told their community programmers and volunteers they were no longer welcome. The cable companies professionalized the stations and used the two percent cable levy (which ads up to $116 million across Canada) as a slush fund to advertise their own services. In 2002, the CRTC reaffirmed the right to public access but the cable companies didn’t invite the community back to take on a producing role. Yet according to CRTC regulations, community members have a right to access the community channel, receive training, and have access to equipment and broadcast time. Community TV production societies can use up to 20 percent of the broadcast time.

Producing community TV requires a community effort and it’s important that the community itself get involved. All kinds of different skills are required. Participants don’t need to know how to do the technical work, but if they do, those skills will be valuable. The Mid Island community TV production society needs people for a board of directors, as well as researchers, writers, on camera talent, camera operators, editing and assistant work (logging footage, transcribing interviews, booking interviews etc.), and fundraisers. The society can create programs by recording speakers who come to town, covering community events, meetings and projects, recording all candidates meetings, etc. There are lots of things that can be covered that are not currently being covered. Our community has access. All we need to do is use it. For more information call Paul Manly at 250-729-1254.