The Last Week of Summer & The Community Media Directory Project

This is the last week of the summer – at least for this Minnesotan.  We’d always mark the end of the summer with Labor Day and the end of the Minnesota State Fair. I know there will be some among you who will want to claim 9/22 and the Autumnal Equinox, but this is the last week of SUMMER in my book.

It’s also the last week of our collecting data in the Community Media Directory project this summer.  Antoine Haywood and I have been scouring the country for updated information on PEG stations operating in all 50 states, and to date we have records for a little less than 1550 organizations operating channels.   

Antoine will be sharing some observations from the project soon – but here’s some of what I’ve learned:

Because of the local nature of operations, and the many different communities involved, there are many different approaches to service even within the PEG universe – local governments, non-profit organizations, quasi-governmental bodies, community colleges, school districts, volunteer associations, cable companies and private LLCs all run channels throughout the country. And when you look at the services they provide, it’s hard to classify organizations by the channel type – the differences between P, E and G are more than a little blurry when you look at what people are actually doing in communities.

PEG operations may not self-identify with the methods they are using to reach people with meaningful content – for a school district, the operation may be one of five or six methodologies to reach residents and students.  This makes our work of defending channels and operations harder in some respects, but understanding this is essential to our organizing efforts.

And speaking of organizing, we have some work to do.  When you look at the map, there are huge regions of the country where there are few ACM members – and there are lots of operations still producing media for their communities.

Antoine will be returning to grad school this coming week, so this year’s collection effort will end. But ACM will maintain the list to ensure that we are connecting people and organizations that care about connecting communities through media.

You can look at your state (and even tell us to update the information about your operations!) here. 

Alan Bushong's Last Day of Service

I believe this is also Alan Bushong’s last day of service at the Executive Director of Capital Community Media in Salem, OR – he’s retiring after 30 years at the helm of the organization!  My congratulations to him for the successful run and to our colleague Jasmine White who will be leading the organization starting tomorrow!  Raise a symbolic glass and let’s say a toast to both of them!

sEptember's public policy call

This month’s Public Policy Call for ACM Members takes place on Thursday, September 3 at 4 pm ET.  If you are on the invite list, you’ll be getting a separate reminder from me this week. If you aren’t on the list, let me know and we can add you or other people from your organization to the briefing call.   

Mike Wassenaar
President & CEO
The Alliance for Community Media