Public Access Television
REAL Free SpeechTap into the power of community television
Only one media outlet exists for the purpose of giving a voice to all members of the community: public access television. Access is also the only media outlet in which no one -- no government official, no editor, no advertiser -- can tell you what you can say or how to say it.
I first got involved with access in 1993 as a volunteer producer at Shrewsbury Media Connection (formerly Shrewsbury Public Access Connection). Since then, I have spent over 6 years coordinating governmental programming, have produced public access programming on the arts, religion, and political opinion, and volunteered as a crew member for other producers' programs. I am currently a member of SMC's Advisory Board. There isn't another place where I can express myself without being censored, edited, "balanced," or made to measure up in the ratings race. And even if there were, I couldn't afford to utilize it.
Get involved in some way with community television in your community by:
- Being aware. Call or visit the center, see the facility, and talk to members and staff. Your cable company can put you in touch.
- Tuning in. Get a program listing for your access channel(s), and watch. Be aware of what's on.
- Speaking out. Talk up public, educational, and governmental access to your family, friends, neighbors, and community leaders. Write letters to the editor in support of access.
- Helping on other shows. Talk to the people who produce programming for your public access channel and find out how you can qualify to work on their shows.
- Making your own programs. Think about what interests you, and make a program from it. Your access center staff can help you learn what you need to know to get started.
- Contributing. Giving money or volunteering at your local access center is another way of being involved. Most centers will accept both kinds of help.
Remember, access is there for YOU, but it will only work if YOU get involved.
Links to community television organizations, access centers, and information for public access producers:
This page updated on April 14, 2002.
© 1997-2002 Kelly A. Jefferson.