What we need is a true community access TV channel

Paul Harris, a local business owner and sustainability advocate,  is running for a seat on The City of Red Deer council. In the true spirit of social media Paul is making use of Facebook to seek input from the community. Here’s what I posted on the Paul Harris (For Red Deer City Council) discussion page on local arts and culture:

While at the recent Fiestaval, I was reminded of how diverse Red Deer’s culture is. A yearly event is a great way to share but what we really could benefit from is a community access TV channel which would give all the citizens an opportunity to showcase their activities on a regular basis.

What does the City have to do with a TV station? By using the web and new media technology it wouldn’t be that hard to do and the Public Library would be a likely venue for a true community access TV channel. One way to feature the unique and special qualities of Red Deer is to show the people of the community to the entire world through the magic of the internet.

Don’t forget, Red Deer is the third largest city in Alberta (behind Calgary and Edmonton) but we do not have a broadcast TV station. And with the current trend in Canadian broadcast media moving towards bigger is better, we probably never will.

With new media delivered via the web growing in popularity it only makes sense that we start taking some steps toward supporting local news on a locally owned community TV internet channel. This is being done in other locales, why not here?

(Disclosure: I have some involvement with RDTV.ca, a web based commercial venture through freelance video reporting but feel that a true community access TV channel would not have advertising or professional journalists reporting on events and producing program content.)

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