Posts Tagged ‘public access’

PJ’s for Haiti

February 4, 2010

In light of the recent tragic earthquake, it’s been amazing to see so many people from all different walks of life come together to help the people of Haiti as best they could. Community Producer Shirley Douglas and the girls from PJ Talk are also doing their part, and they ask you to join them in their endeavor.

(http://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/ / CC BY 2.0)

Shirley is asking for donations of baby and children’s sized pajamas (new or in good condition) to be given to Haitian kids who were victims of the earthquake. In the lobby of the Pittsburgh Community Television station there is a big green bin in which the pajamas may be dropped off. If you have any pajamas that you can donate, please come by to our building at 1300 Western Avenue in Pittsburgh.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 412-322-7570 or send an email (info@pctv21.org). Thank you in advance for your donation!

Changes in 2010

February 3, 2010

Our Executive Director John Patterson sent an important e-mail to Pittsburgh Community Television producers about the changes to the station and the way the programming will be handled in the next couple of months. Click here to read the entirety of the e-mail. Here are some important excerpts:

1. The Seven Major Changes
2. Programming Diversity
3. Financial Resources
4. Open Meeting

1. The Seven Major Changes

Programming: PCTV will develop and nurture a greater diversity of community oriented programming representative of the diverse needs and interests of Pittsburgh residents.

Facilities and Equipment: PCTV will address vital equipment and facility needs in the areas of field production, editing, and program playback.

Training: PCTV will expand its training programs to encompass new media such as social networking, blogging, and vlogging.

Youth Media: PCTV will develop collaborations that expand opportunities for youth at PCTV.

Financial Resources: PCTV will diversify revenue streams to include sources beyond funds received through the cable franchise.

Organization: PCTV will strengthen organizational accountability and governance through targeted changes and the completion of a strategic plan.

Website: PCTV will complete the phase one conversion of its website to Web 2.0.

2. Programming Diversity

Perhaps the most important goal for the year, and the one that will involve the most change for you as a producer, will be our effort to increase programming diversity. In our talks with the City, this came up again and again as an area of concern. The strength of the traditional public access model is its emphasis on first-come first-served access. In and of itself, however, this approach does not ensure a range of different kinds of programming. In our discussions with the City, it became clear that a new approach is needed.

For many years, PCTV has programmed its channel via series lottery. Producers indicate their time preference and names are drawn at random. Beginning in the second half of the year, this practice will change. Instead, we will divide the programming week into blocks of different types of programming. For example, Monday Nights might be community events and neighborhoods, Tuesdays Youth, Wednesdays Sports and Recreation, Thursday Music and Entertainment, etc. Your programs will be scheduled based on the block that they fit in, rather than a random drawing.

This is a radical change for PCTV and you may wonder why we are taking this step. There are several reasons. Number one, we feel this is the best way to stimulate a diversity of programming. Setting aside a block of hours each week for certain types of programming allows us to identify areas we are weak in and take steps to develop new programs. Second, it helps build viewership by breaking down the schedule into blocks that make it easier for people to find the programs they want to see. Finally, it provides a way for PCTV to generate income through business underwriting (more on this below).

A key part of my vision at PCTV is the development of new programming through partnerships with other organizations and through collaboration with community producers. For example, I’d like to have a block of programming on PCTV that focuses on job training and help for those seeking work. In order to develop that programming, we may partner with an organization that has expertise in that area, or work with a community producer that has an interest in creating that type of programming. Working together in this way, we will begin to diversify programming on PCTV.

3. Financial Resources

To be frank, the funds available via the cable franchise are not going to be sufficient in the long-term. As an organization, PCTV needs to become more entrepreneurial and develop other ways of generating income. Two of the key ways we are going to begin doing that this year are through the launching of an underwriting program for businesses, and the development of a studio rental and production-for-hire program.

4. Open Meeting

In the coming months we will be sharing more information about these and other changes. In order to provide a forum to discuss these changes and address other issues related to community producing, I would like to invite all of you to an open meeting at PCTV on March 29th at 6 pm.

Click here for the entire e-mail.

And as always, if you have any questions, please call 412-322-7570 or send us an e-mail at info@pctv21.org. Let us know your thoughts regarding all of this in the comments section. Thanks!!

Happy 2010!

December 31, 2009

It’s amazing to think about how fast this year–and this decade(!)–has gone by, and how much PCTV has experienced throughout 2009. We had the Cable Advisory Group Meetings, acquired a new Executive Director, mobilized our supporters and went to city council meetings during the final stages of the Verizon cable franchise process, attended outreach events, produced various special projects (including our G-20 show), and conducted our annual fundraising campaign. We accomplished many tasks that will enable us to make positive changes for 2010.

My personal goal for PCTV in the new year is to expand and enhance our presence on the web through community social media tools. For example, our location is now added on the geolocation (and game!) site Foursquare! We’ll have to think of some fun incentives for people to “check in” during their visits to our building. You can locate us on Foursquare by searching for “Pittsburgh Community Television”. We have a couple other social media ideas up our sleeve as well, but what other social network platforms would you like PCTV to implement? If you work for a non-profit, what tools have worked well for your business or charity?

Thank you for the help you have given PCTV throughout the year. Happy New Year from everyone here at Pittsburgh Community Television!

PCTV’s G-20 Footage

October 7, 2009

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What is the G-20?

G-20: How it Affected Pittsburgh

G-20: Impact on Pittsburgh

G-20 Demonstrations—Highlights

It’s Not Over Yet

September 1, 2009

A HUGE thank you to all of our supporters who were able to make it to the City-County Building for the public hearing!!

Over 90 people registered to speak in front of city council for the hearing that lasted about 4 1/2 hours. Even though a lot of those people had to leave before their names were called, PCTV had a strong presence in the room–about 70 of the registered speakers were PCTV supporters who shared stories about the impact of the station on the community, demanded more funding and resources, and stressed the importance of their 1st Amendment rights and a level playing field to express themselves. The battle, as they say, was certainly a victory for Pittsburgh Community Television but we have not yet won the war. City Council still has to vote yea or nay on the agreement within 30 days, though due to the city government’s preoccupation with the G-20, the vote could be cast as early as next week.

We still need your help in order to influence city council to vote AGAINST the current Verizon Franchise Agreement. We urge you to contact your city council representative and let them know that the provisions in the current agreement are inadequate to meet the needs of Pittsburgh Community Television for the next 10 years.

The turn-out and eloquence of yesterday certainly made an impact on some council members’ thoughts toward our station, but some will need more persuasion to even consider voting against this agreement. Click here (or here) for a list of the city council members and their contact information, and, as always, if you have any questions for PCTV you can reach us at 412-322-7570. The future of Pittsburgh Community Television is in your hands!

Related news articles:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Verizon tells City Council it will open center for FiOS customers
WDUQ: Public Hearing held in City on Verizon Cable Agreement

Community Producers, We Need You!

June 30, 2009

From Gladys Jelks, Acting Director, concerning the franchise renewal process:

ACTION ALERT!

To:  All PCTV Community Producers, Guests, Viewers and Friends
Re:  Franchise Renewal Update:

Q:  When do we need to mobilize on behalf of PCTV and franchise renewal?”
A:  The time is NOW!

We learned late on Friday afternoon that the Mayor’s Office and Verizon had “finalized” the key terms of the franchise agreement with Verizon.  We are VERY concerned that those negotiations may seriously shortchange Pittsburgh nonprofit organizations and residents with regard to public and educational access. While we do not have certainty about the specifics of the “key terms” of the Verizon franchise, preliminary information indicates that franchise may fall short of meeting the public expectations as documented in the Needs Assessment.  We’ve also been told that the City wants to rush this franchise to approval prior to the summer recess.  This could be an enormous long term loss to Pittsburgh nonprofit groups, community producers, and residents!  However, the agreement has not been etched in stone.  Your participation at this critical time is vital in letting the City Council and Mayor’s office know the vision, value and need for community media in Pittsburgh.

How you can help: 

  • Get guests who have appeared on your show to contact the council and mayor as well.  

We have prepared several things to make it easy for you to write your letter/email and have a meeting with the Council members and Mayor.  They include a one-page “Talking Points for Meetings and Letters to City” and a short bulleted document called “Impact of Franchise Agreement between Verizon and the City”.  The Impact document provides a short bullet list of what needs to be included in any franchise between Verizon and the City or between Comcast and the City.

We will also keep you posted if a public hearing is scheduled on the franchise renewal process.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in keeping community media alive in Pittsburgh.

Please act NOW!

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Note: I’ll be adding the “Talking Points for Meetings and Letters to City” in the next blog post, but if you’d like a copy of the “Impact of Franchise Agreement between Verizon and the City”, send an e-mail to christie@pctv21.org.

PCTV is blogging!

June 23, 2009

Welcome to Pittsburgh Community Television’s official blog! Our blog will serve as another aspect of our new internet community along with our Facebook and MySpace pages in order for us to better engage in discussion with our producers, volunteers, and fellow community members. It’s also a great way for us to share different kinds of information and station updates.

What do you think about PCTV having a blog, or starting an internet community in general? Please feel free to comment on here, or visit our Facebook or MySpace page and join the conversation on those platforms. You can also subscribe to this blog and get all new posts sent via e-mail or RSS feed. Our blog address is: https://pittsburghcommunitytv.wordpress.com

How often would you like the official blog to be updated? What kind of information do you hope will be provided? Let us know by leaving a comment.