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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Vision for Community Media -Part One

Most of us are familiar with community television in one-way or another. Mostly we skip by the PEG channels on our way to more entertaining fare. However, if the city council is considering action that would affect us directly then the “G” channel becomes important. If I am an English learner and I pass by an educational program called “Entering English” I would want to ring that “E” doorbell. And, if I were a veteran and came by a public access program with valuable information for veterans I would stand and salute.

Most of the time the PEG channels are like somebody else’s hometown newspaper and so we keep clicking.

And so we land at our entertainment destination whatever it is. We watch our program and move on to something else. But, if you have stopped by a PEG channel then you were able to see television presented as a utility and not necessarily as entertainment.

Now I am not going to harp on the vast potential of PEG television, or even whine about the less than vast actions of our local governments regarding PEG. I just want to think with you as a citizen. Look at your cable bill from Comcast. Near the bottom there is a .71 fee for PEG.

That’s it. You pay 71¢ a month for your PEG channels. That fee will be there until 2021. The purpose of this blog is to help make sure you get your money’s worth.

Please subscribe to this blog, make comments and participate in the growing of community media in Contra Costa County.


  1. So this must be adding up to a lot of money. CAn that money be used by local producers?

  2. Not directly. The money is for capital expenditures only. This includes equipment that can be checked out, Studio furnishing and lighting instruments and playback equipment such as servers.

    Producers are responsible for their own programs. There are ways of earning some income from access television, but they are not easy. The most common rules for these come from PBS. Here are their funding guidelines:

    Keep track of this blog as there are some developments pending this week that move closer to having a public access presence in Contra Costa County that works.