Friday, 09 December 2022

TV8 offers opportunities for locally produced video

Recently, one of the members of our TV8 Public Access Advisory Committee asked me if I thought getting the manager of another PEG Channel to talk to our group would be “inspiring.” I was amused. Although we don’t have a fancy setup (yet), it is “us” that would be an inspiration for public access advocates elsewhere.


Many of the well-funded citizen media organizations, such as Santa Rosa’s, are so bureaucratic that it is only theoretically possible for a citizen to get a program broadcast on their cable system in their lifetime.


About one-third of California’s cable TV contracts have no provision for public access. It is not mandated. Typically, local government franchisers have a public access provision buried somewhere in a densely worded cable contract. But they or the cable franchisees are either indifferent or hostile about making this bandwidth available to the public.


Up until a couple of years ago, the powers of darkness in Clearlake denied the public their contractual rights. Lakeport and the county never even bothered to insert a public access clause, but they got whatever Clearlake got since it was all the same broadcast system.


This has all changed. There are no barriers for Lake County residents to put their locally produced videos on TV8. You don’t believe me? Go ahead, take a video down to Clearlake City Hall and try it.


Jack Barker, a video production company owner, who is a fan of public access, pops in once a week as TV8’s manager to enter a stack of submissions for the scrolling TV8 bulletin board, programs residents’ videos, fixes equipment, orders new equipment with greater capability, and has opened up communication with the technogeeks at Yuba College and Konocti School District. They were a resource previously snubbed by the old guard.


Unlike most single channel organizations TV8 has its own Web site, www.laketv8.com, and message phone number, 994-8201, Ext. 109.


People in Lake County don’t know how good they’ve got it. Most of the broadcast time for programs on our lone public access channel remains unused. The openness of our cable access would be envied in San Jose where I am from.


San Jose is the 10th largest city and the third richest metropolitan area in the country. But they have only one channel on paper that is open to the public, and it’s dysfunctional. It is officially managed by their cable company, which does everything in its power to make sure few people know about the channel and even fewer use it. I had to make a research project out of hunting it down.


For people who are constantly whining about there not being anything to do in Lake County I might suggest video production for cable public access.


Today, video is cheap to shoot, editing is easy to learn, and you are living in one of the few places where no one is in a position to stop you.


Pick up your submission forms and drop off your completed production for broadcast at the County’s public access point, Clearlake City Hall.


Dante DeAmicis is a videographer and member of the TV8 Public Access Advisory Committee.

 

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