Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Public Access Television

I was going to talk about some good-weather activities today, but I'm going to skip that topic for today and talk about what I've spent too much of my life doing: watching TV.

Not just watching it, but participating. Youtube has become all the rage because of its egalitarian nature and the ability to reach a wide audience. But before Youtube, lots of us got involved with video through public access television.

Public Access is funded by a combination of user fees, state funds, and support required by the city's charter with the cable company. The fees are very affordable, and PATV allows you use of video equipment, studios, and editing bays provided that you let them broadcast whatever you make, and it isn't commercial material.

Public access is a great resource whether you have your own recording equipment or not. People at PATV have a lot of experience in producing and editing video content. They can also help you get your message out to a good portion of the community that doesn't have internet access, or doesn't use it for video-watching. They can also help you find other people who are interested in helping you complete a project that might be much tougher to tackle on your own.

PATV is a great place to spend a rainy day and "Guidelines," their introductory course, is free. Hop on over and sign up for some courses!

PATV cablecasts on Channel 18 in Mediacom's Iowa City market.

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