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Local media in a profit-mad world


* Getting Started on a Community Media Centre Business Plan: Pilot ... The establishment of ICT [Information and Communications Technology] ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Local media in a profit-mad world

OLA Superconference Think It, Do it Library
TV Or How to Host a Community Media
Centre Catherine Edwards BA John Savage MLIS
In this workshop we will 1. Answer the
question Why should my public library host a
community media centre? (first hour) 2. Create
a video together. (second hour)
short break 3. Think It, Do it
Start to develop a business plan for a community
media centre (last hour).
Imagine for a moment...
Local Media, Media Literacy, and the Role of
Municipalities and Libraries
1. First, there were newspapers and libraries.
People participated in civic affairs by joining
local organizations and reading newspapers.
People learned to read and write in school.
Municipalities have supported life-long literacy
and access to information through schools and
libraries since the
1800s. Where commercial
incentives cannot sustain
local newspapers, community
newspapers often fill the gap. These
may be not-for-profits, with
contributions by volunteers
as well as
professional journalists.
  • 2. Then, there was radio.
  • Local radio common since early 1900s
  • Where commercial radio unavailable, community
    radio often fills the gap, enabling the
    expression of a wide range of views on local
  • Over 200 community and campus radio channels in
  • Not-for-profits programmed by volunteers
  • Production and listeners use skills
  • learned in school (talking, listening, reading
  • and writing to prepare scripted stories)
  • No need for additional literacy education

  • 3. And then . . . TV
  • A more demanding skillset for video
  • producers and viewers alike
  • reading and writing (like print)
  • audio production (like radio), plus...
  • the capture and manipulation of moving
  • which bypass linguistic and analytical
  • used reading or listening to the radio.

Video and film are widely acknowledged as
the dominant medium of the 20th century
powerful and visceral, with the greatest
potential to manipulate audiences for better or

  • A Famous Case Study Fogo Island
  • The Challenge
  • Small island off Newfoundland dependent on
  • By 1960s, most inhabitants on welfare large
    trawlers taking their catch
  • Before moving islanders to the mainland, NFB
    asked to capture on film what islanders thought.
  • The results
  • For Fogo
  • Islanders insisted on viewing and editing footage
  • They discovered they were articulate
  • They came up with solutions
  • For Canada
  • Process dubbed the mirror machine
  • NFB film crews sent to disadvantaged communities
    across Canada

  • Canadas pioneering community media policy
  • CRTC policy
  • Cable TV introduced in the 1970s
  • Cable companies required to set aside one channel
    for local expression
  • Cable staff expected to provide training
  • More than 300 cable community TV channels in
    Canada by the 1980s

  • Its intent
  • Citizen media literacy in the new medium
  • Training ground for Canada's TV industry
  • Local content, to balance the influx of American
  • A platform for local dialogue... the mirror

But hasnt everything changed since then?Yes
and no.The component media are the same-
print- audio- images Two things have
changed1) flexibility to combine them 2)
platforms for distribution
  • Neither federal policy nor local institutions are
    keeping up with our need for access to
  • 1) Digital media literacy skills to
  • leverage the local mirror machine
  • participate nationally and internationally in
    the digital economy.
  • 2) The platforms to distribute content.

  • 1) Federal Policies Obsolete
  • Media Skills Training
  • gt 130 million annually (close to half
    average library budget, municipality by
    municipality) still collected from cable
    subscribers for community media, but gt ¾ of
    cable community TV channels closed.
  • Few channels remaining, available only to 60
    of Canadians
  • Cable companies have professionalized content
    opportunities to learn and share ideas
  • If training or access offered, traditional TV
    only no new media.
  • Thirty-forty years of audio-visual history
    being indiscriminately put in dumpsters.
  • Access to Platforms
  • Industry Canada's digital strategydoes not
    favour access for municipal and civic
    authorities, community organizations, small
    businesses, or individuals.

  • 2) Local Resources Strained to Keep
    UpDecreasing Local Content
  • Many local papers, radio, TV channels closed
    withintense media ownership concentration.
  • Internet and social media great at linking
  • internationally, but not good at aggregating
    local audiences, especially using video.
  • Some Media Literacy Training, but Ends in
  • Libaries Many hosted Industry Canada-funded
    CAP sites until funding cut in 2012. Most were
    passive Internet portals few taught web and
    digital media production.
  • Schools
  • Grade 11 Language Arts in Ontario includes media
    literacy module.
  • Some schools have full-blown media studios.
  • Most have time to critique ads or caution kids
    about web use, but not to build a comprehensive
    skills set.
  • Skills become obsolete as soon as course ends.

  • This is where CACTUS comes in
  • 1) Help communities establish digital media
    skills training and production centres, to enable
    life-long learning and participation in the
    digital economy
  • develop funding models
  • find locations
  • develop inclusive board
  • set goals
  • (skills traiing, inclusion of
  • marginalized groups,
  • economic development,
  • cultural expression)
  • professional support
  • 2) Facilitate distribution of content on all
    platforms over-the-air, cable and satellite TV
    and radio, Internet, mobile devices.

Why libraries? Public libraries' core mandate
is to promote media literacy. Public
libraries keep the cultural record of the
community. There's a public library in almost
every municipality.
Innisfil Public Library ideaLAB
What's In It for My Library? Increased
visibility and effectiveness of existing
programs - televising/streaming library
events, speakers, exhibitions so more clients
benefit (live and after the fact effort and
content are 'captured') - advertising upcoming
events New, higher profile role in the
community - vital platform for dialogue (the
mirror machine) - driver for change without
compromising library neutrality - reinforces
free-speech mandate - a player in open
government - re-invent the library as core
service to the municipality - develop talent
for the digital economy Diversified funding
- community media as well as digital skills
Innisfil ideaLAB
CACTUS' Public Library 3.0 Vision is a
next-generation 'maker space'... a
community-focused, multimedia hub for local
content Access CreationDisseminationRetenti
International recognition of the critical role
played by community media in the digital
economy 2003 World Summit on the Information
Society, Geneva The ability for all to access
and contribute information, ideas and knowledge
is essential in an inclusive Information Society
The establishment of ICT Information and
Communications Technology public access points
in places such as post offices, schools,
libraries and archives, can provide effective
means for ensuring universal access to the
infrastructure and services of the Information
Society. The Knight Commission report to the
FCC in October, 2009 Information Needs of
Communities in a Democracy Information is
as vital to the healthy functioning of
communities as clean air, safe streets, good
schools, and public health...Informed communities
can effectively coordinate activities, achieve
public accountability, solveproblems, and create
connections...To achieve the promise of
democracy,it is necessary that the creation,
organization, analysis and transmission of
information include the whole community.
Question Is your library considering
implementing elements of a creative maker space,
particularly audio-visual creation and
distribution? What benefits do you see? Video
Exercise Videographer 1) Frame
head-and-shoulder shot (leave 'head room',
'look space') 2) Mic test. 3) Press Record. Count
down 5-4-3-2-1. Interviewer 1) Sit next to
camera. 2) After you hear 1, ask the
question. 3) Make sure speaker answers in a full
sentence. Speaker Answer question in a full
Think It, Do It How Do I Get from Traditional
Library to Community Media Centre?
  • Misconception 1
  • Audio-visual equipment (cameras, edit suites) are
    hard to operate for library staff and clients.
  • Setting up infrastructure may require specialized
  • Once set up, media tools are more user-friendly
    than ever.

  • Misconception 2
  • It'll be difficult to fund a community media
  • Capital funding relatively easy to bridge the
    digital divide, promote open government or
    train for the digital economy

Misconception 3 I'd need a lot of space for a
community media centre. Not necessarily -
Start small. - Collaborate with organizations
already producing media. - Content can be
collected primarily off site, in the
community. - Existing space can double as
'studio' or teaching space.
Story Hour on Public Library TV in Schreiber
Think It, Do It The main question is
structural Is the community media centre just
another library program? Will it be managed by
a society hosted within the library? Could it
be a partnership with off-site organizations?

Think It, Do It Structure depends on the
degree of implementation, and may evolve - Do
you want... occasional workshops and an edit
suite available on demand (generating web
content posted when available)? - Or a
full-fledged TV (radio, or text) service that
residents actively check for news, events,
debates and culture?

Three Case Studies.../1 What some libraries are
doing now as part of maker spaces or digital
innovation hubs Equipment one or more
cameras and edit suites (costing a few thousand
dollars). A few lights that can be used in
library to simulate 'studio' conditions. Staffing
Interns for particular projects (e.g. oral
history project with set duration, or editing
workshop for local businesses), OR part of job
description of outreach staff. Output A new
video, audio recording, or print story offered
online when project complete.

Three Case Studies.../2 Cable 'community TV
channel' in small town (operating budget 8,000
25,000). Equipment three cameras, edit
suite in small studio with control room, enabling
live edit-less production. Staffing part-time
manager/facilitator/trainer, who is also cable
installer. Offers workshops, recruits local
volunteer crews, and enables their
self-expression. Output 1-3 hours of locally
reflective video content/week, distributed on
cable. Text event listings from community org.s
when no moving video.

Three Case Studies.../3 Cable 'community TV
channel' in a larger centre (operating budget
30,000 to 1,000,000). Equipment Multiple
studios, edit suites, camera kits for loan.
(Initial Capital outlay 50,000 -
1,000,000.) Staffing 3-15 who train and
facilitate 50-500 volunteers. Output 5-50
hours of new content/week, produced for 1/5th to
1/10th the cost of conventional TV or radio.

Three Case Studies.../3 Cable 'community TV
channel' in a larger centre (operating budget
30,000 to 1,000,000). Equipment Multiple
studios, edit suites, camera kits for loan.
(Initial Capital outlay 50,000 -
1,000,000.) Staffing 3-15 who train and
facilitate 50-500 volunteers. Output 5-50
hours of new content/week, produced for 1/5th to
1/10th the cost of conventional TV or radio.

Three Case Studies.../3 Staff
Specialization Program Manager Technician/IT
Support/Playback/Scheduling Trainer/Outreach
Co-ordinator Multiple producer-facilitators
(3-12) - could be specialized by media (video,
audio, print, web) - or topic interest in
community (health, education, arts) - or client
group (First Nations, seniors, children)

Funding Community Media Capital/Startup grants
from similar sources as libraries
access Trillium Foundation and other provincial
and federal programs with social, cultural,
technology mandates. Operating Municipal IT
budget Existing library budget, re-oriented
toward digital media Cable industry (130
million) CACTUS members (may or may not fit
library mandate) - bingo - DVD sales - ads -
redistirbution of TV services such as CBC, APTN,
TVO - user contributions

Getting Started on a Community Media Centre
Business Plan Needs Assessment

Getting Started on a Community Media Centre
Business Plan Resource Assessment

Getting Started on a Community Media Centre
Business Plan Pilot Project

Think It, Do It Pilot Project 1. Survey the
community to identify a 'hot issue'. 2. Invest
in a camcorder, editing software and staff
training. 3. Invite key figures and/or community
at large to a workshop. Include the group
that doesn't usually have a voice. 4. Support
the community to make the content. 5. Invite
community to a screening. Use the media as the
point of departure for a debate. Record the
debate. 6. Adjust the content as needed. Post
to your web site. Enable feedback.


Thank you.

Catherine Edwards (819) 456-2237 cactus.independen
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