Thursday, August 13, 2009

Your Help Needed to Reinstate Community TV in Vancouver

Yesterday, I met Sid Chow Tan, who is one of the elders of community media in Vancouver. He told me more about what excellent community TV access Vancouver used to have, and about the many groups that are coalescing to ask to have this service restored. Here's a website and a letter he forwarded to me - I'll also blog his history of the Vancouver community TV:

Dear Friends of community-access TV:

CACTUS needs your help to prepare for the review of the community TV
sector. The hearings are scheduled for Feb. 1st, and the call for
comments is likely to be posted in late September.

We need your help now, to contact and ask support from many
organizations and individuals across the country. We'd like to
familiarize them with CACTUS' position before the call for comments is
published, and are asking for help for members willing to make phone
calls during the last week of August and September.

In a nutshell, CACTUS is asking that:

1) a new production fund be established to which independent community
production groups can apply to set up their own community-access

2) that these channels will be multi-platform access centres that may
hold a radio and television license simultaneously, broadcast over the
air, teach web design and webstream programming, and share resources
with other community organizations that specialize in communications;
for example, community newspapers, libraries, theatres. The idea is
that the community should be able to "one-stop-shop" if they have a
project that they want to get the message out about. We envision that
this model will leverage existing infrastructure, be efficient, is
flexible enough to evolve in the future, and will enhance the
understanding of media literacy in the community. It is becoming more
and more common around the world.

3) We will ask that the programming produced have must-carry status
on cable, Telcos, and any other distributors that serve the area so
that the signal will be truly accessible to all.

Here are some of the groups that we want to contact during the next 6
weeks. If you have a particular interest or already have good
contacts with any of these groups and are willing to spend time on the
phone, please contact Cathy Edwards ASAP:

- video and filmmaking co-operatives, including IFVA, the Independent
Film and Video Alliance
- municipalities and town councils
- university closed circuit television channels
- well-known people who got their start on community TV (e.g. Mike
Meyers, Dan Ackroyd, Tom Green, Guy Madden)
- other organizations that have intervened at recent hearings in
support of community media and diversity; for example, Friends of
Canadian Broadcasting, the Canadian Conference on the Arts, guilds and
professional associations whose members historically received training
at community-access channels.
- MPs
- community service organizations, non-profits, etc. that benefit from
exposure on community TV
- organizations that promote media literacy, equal access to IT,
Internet access, etc.
- others that you can think of

What would help is if you are willing to take on one category to
contact. We will help prepare you with the phone script, sample
letters of support that the contactees might send in, etc. Aside from
helping out the sector now that we've finally got a committed hearing,
it's an opportunity for you to network with like-minded individuals.

If you can help, please call Cathy at (819) 772-2862.

The CACTUS Team.

No comments:

Post a Comment