Tag Archives: Public Access


I certainly would not like to see the Worcester Telegram & Gazette be diminished in any way. Media convergence is happening everywhere and it is NOT in the best interest of local communities. What I see is an increase of corporate agenda and government propaganda. These pose serious threats to media democracy and democracy itself.

Internet, Wireless, and Cable giants are also merging and also forming spin offs that would literally redraw the map of cable services nationwide and again, not necessarily for the best interest of our communities or consumers. With less competition, comes less information,and less points of views, and the potential to influence your brain and spending, voting, and thoughts will be now in control of a very small few and WE ALL will have much less a “soapbox” to speak and share our point of view or to even hear any dissenting view or opinion.

While there are a lot of complicated layers to what is happening in these industries, and along with the added recent mergers and FCC rulings, the key concerns are the likely loss of competitiveness, and more importantly, the degradation of fair and unbiased access to venues to support the free and opened flow of news and information, the obvious decline of true media democracy, loss of local ability to influence higher spheres of society, a widening of the digital divide.

The last thing we need is for our voices and our community media programs to be muted. What would be left? Same high bills, same high taxes, and plenty of corporate and government propaganda to influence our thinking.

Who will be accountable for that?

Mauro DePasquale


One reason, out of many, why WCCA TV 13 matters

WCCA TV 13 Programs connects the world with Worcester while making meaningful impact toward peace and non-violent solutions. Congratulations to TV 13 community television producer Virgina Swain for giving us another example why public access television matters.

Enjoy the following article which was written by Melissa McKeon of the Worcester Telegram found in today’s T&G:

January 09. 2013 12:36PM

Cable show offers children worldwide forum

By Melissa McKeon CORRESPONDENT, Worcester Telegram

Virginia Swain will offer children across the world a forum on her cable TV show “Imagine Worcester and the World.”

WORCESTER.  Ten-year-old Xinyan of China is a lot like other 10-year-olds the world over. She loves her stuffed animals and has her favorite subjects in school (art, calligraphy) and the ones she dislikes (physical education), and she dislikes having too much homework.

But Xinyan will soon join a growing group of children whose voices, if Worcester’s Virginia Swain has her way, will reach across the world on all sorts of topics.

Ms. Swain, the host of the WCCA-TV 13 cable show “Imagine Worcester and the World,” will be giving children the world over the chance to participate in the show and give their opinions on subjects most of us hear about only from the so-called experts.

“For a couple of years now, I’ve been feeling that they’re missing from the public discourse,” Ms. Swain said.

Ms. Swain’s idea to make children part of her show probably has its roots in Ms. Swain’s past experience, teaching children while in the Peace Corps in Liberia. She taught fourth- and sixth-graders and later taught kindergartners.

In recent years, Ms. Swain has worked with the United Nations and has championed world peace causes through the U.N. while operating her own mediation and reconciliation service in Worcester. Hosting her local cable show gives her a forum.

It’s not the first time she’s given children a chance to air their unique viewpoints, either.

Several years ago, Ms. Swain produced a show with Nelson Place School third-graders discussing climate change with former U.N. Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury and his wife.

The students heard about climate change from experts, created images of what climate change did and how it could be changed, and created action plans for the future.

Their imaginings — and the energy they put into it — were powerful, Ms. Swain recalled.

“They were graphing their electric bills, they started to think about doing more bike riding instead of driving, all these paradigm shifts,” she said. “Naturally they affected their families.”

That experience gave Ms. Swain a template for what she’ll be doing with children on “Imagine Worcester” in the next few weeks: using those young imaginations to open a new vision of the world to her audience.

When the children in the Nelson Place School program brought the ideas they brainstormed home to their parents, they changed their own little piece of the world.

Something else Ms. Swain hopes will change is having children speak without the prompting from adults and let their original, unedited ideas find an audience.

In Ms. Swain, they’ll find a receptive audience.

“I don’t have the need for the kids to adopt my view,” she said. “My need is to allow them a voice.”

Ms. Swain plans the program to highlight children older than 7 and to also have a forum for the children who are shy and less able to speak in public. For those children, she plans an imaging project in which the artwork they produce will speak for them.

Paramount for Ms. Swain and foremost in the concerns of many parents is that the children in the program find a safe place, and a safe way to express themselves, in a world that hasn’t always been successful at protecting them. The privacy of the children in the shows will be protected.

The first children’s show will be broadcast in February, Ms. Swain said, and will be accessible to all, not just on Channel 13 in Worcester but also online at http://www.wccatv.com.

What can be gained by listening to children talk? Ms. Swain hopes it will help foster some intergenerational understanding and discussion, but in a way, it’s the children who will be setting the goals here.

For Xinyan, the goal is simple: “If we can talk more, countries will be closer.”

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WCCA TV’s BANDEdge Holiday Special part 2

WCCA TV’s BANDEdge Holiday Special part 2

WCCA TV 13 BandEdge Holiday Special part 2 ( aka Bandedge #39 2012 Holiday Music Festival, part 2) has been posted on the WCCA website for your enjoyment and convenience at
John Marderasian, Paul and Delores, Mauro DePasquale are featured in the spirited episode. If you are looking for a great holiday music gift to give for that music lover special friend, this double DVD set of BandEdge is the perfect gift idea and it can be available as WCCA TV’s gift to you for your donation of $32.00 to the station. Your donation check should be made payable to WCCA TV , 415 Main Street , Worcester, MA. 01608 ( Be sure to mention BandEdge holiday special 2012 in the check memo. Enjoy and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

My Op Ed piece in today’s Telegram

Many people have told me that they recognize WCCA as a community anchor institution that is democracy in action every day. It really is.

My OpEd piece published in today’s telegram may help explain why that is a fact.

Thank you for your support and friendship and please enjoy the holidays.

CANDIDATE DEBATE ON WCCA TV 13 For the Democratic Primary State Representative Worcester 15th District

The Democratic Debate 2012 has been posted on the WCCA website

The Democratic Primary Debate 2012 for the 15th District State Rep race.
moderated by City Council members, Phil Palmieri and Sarai Rivera and
WCCA TV Executive Director, Mauro DePasquale, the participating candidates include
Kate Toomey, Diana Biancheria, Mary Keefe and Ralph Perez. Frank Beshai, also a candidate, chose not to attend.

The program is a part of WCCA TV 13’s VOTER EDUCATION programing.

VOTE ON SEPTEMBER 6th (Note the odd date a Thursday ).
Learn Create Connect at WCCA TV 13 “The People’s Channel”

George Stoney, a key founder of the public access television movement, passes away

George Stoney considered by many to be the Father of Public Access television has passed away. He died Thursday evening, July 12th, 2012 surrounded by his family. Village Voice Obit and also more here from his home town paper.

During one of my first years in Public Access, I had the honor of meeting him many many years ago at an Regional gathering of community cable television associates. (The ACM had a different name back them.) He left an indelible impression on me that continues to inspire me throughout my career in the public access television movement.

It didn’t take long for me, through the few conversions I had with him over time, to realize the depth of his commitment to truth.

George’s life time career is epitomizes a soulful and tenacious focus on community, media, inclusiveness and justice. He was a visionary who understood the true potential of broadband which transcends the commercial wasteland that corporate politics and rogue capitalism tends to produce. Taking his students through the streets of NYC teaching the idea that each individual has a meaningful perspective, is important, and can provide a valuable contribution to building his/her own community. I understood that he knew the incredible empowering potential Public Access television, and, in fact, he has seen it flourish through the thousands of public access centers through the USA including WCCA TV. Many of his students are leaders in the public access movement today. He also developed unique documentary methods that people continue to use today, and he did not limit his knowledge and methods to his personal students only, he encouraged the public access movement to remove the mystery from the production process, to empower others and to push community media boundaries without apology because it was the right thing to do.

He was a creator, an advocate for the disenfranchised, a film maker, a teacher, a founder of public access, a consultant when needed, a man loved and respected by many.

My mere words can not express the profound impact George has had on our public access community or to me personally.

He will be missed, but his legacy will continue on.

On behalf of all of us at WCCA TV, we extend our deepest sympathy to his family and friends, along with sincere thanks for ALL his has done to stand tall for communities everywhere and for Public Access. THANK YOU GEORGE.

Mauro DePasquale, WCCA TV 13 “The People’s Channel” +

Say NO to H.4216 This bill would strip exisiting consumer protections from Telephone landline Customers and prohibit State from implementing future protections for wireless consumers

Say NO to MA H.4216 Here is why you want to save consumer protections for wireless users.

Public Access and PBS are both important

Recently WCCA made an appeal for increased funding. This appeal was made on behalf of YOU Worcester, our community members, and those members include anyone that resides, works or is a student in Worcester.

Recently the FCC has also been looking at the way public broadcasting companies such as PBS is funded. While it may be important that Public Broadcasting (the PBS channels), as a non-profits, remain funded to serve a programming path that is not commercially driven or government ( that is any level of government ) controlled or prohibitive to the way the general public can access it. Otherwise, without such a path,  there would be no equal playing field “for all” in television / electronic media. Democracy would be a joke and unreachable dream without this.

As a non-profit WCCA TV ( actually all non-profit public access centers ) serve everyone who avails themselves of public access programming, on an equal basis, thus we believe WCCA TV provides even more of a vital platform for YOUR voice, for free speech and the free flow of local news, education, information, views and opinions,  a sharing of local cultural and social resources, as well as local entertainment than PBS does. As a non-profit Public Access Television center there is much more clarity of mission and freedom which easily and uniquely contributes to encouraging and rendering inclusiveness and community participation in this process without reservation and with minimal legal risk. What are you getting for funding that comes from the Cable company? Free and or very affordable access to the tools, training, studio space, channels ( cable and internet) , and equipment that you need to create create and connect through television technology. WCCA TV empowers all who avail themselves of it. In doing so, we all work together to build community and improve the quality of life in our city.

TV BY FOR and OF the PEOPLE is more than a true ideal at our non-profit Public Access Centers, it’s an active reality. As such these should be FREE FROM POLITICAL WHIM and CORPORATE RETRIBUTION, and it makes good sense for regulatory support to provide life line sustenance for these institutions.  Yes, I would agree that it can be argued that, in light of the work a non-profit Public Access does in providing equal playing field, it may even be deserving of a portion Federal Dollars similar to what Public Broadcasters receive.

It’s also important to note that when looking at local originated television programming, WCCA TV out produces all the network stations, if you look at ALL of the channels on the basic cable tier, WCCA TV out produces ALL of them, additionally, none of these other stations offer as diverse program content and speaks to as diverse a target as well as WCCA. It’s all happening at TV 13, including public service, media sponsorships, providing affordable training, experiential learning opportunities ( especially valuable for those with limited incomes), professional production support, dozens of collaborative initiatives and partnerships, facilitation of important out reach to many non profit organizations, and more, and, as I heard quoted from another non-profit access in Michigan, and this certainly hold true for us,  WCCA does this ALL with an annual budget that couldn’t buy one single :30 sec spot of the Super Bowl.

The cable franchise funding that is intended to serve our Public Access channels come from the gross annual revenues of the cable cable from the prior year. Our annual funding is calculated from a static percentage of the cable companies gross annual revenues. With City Hall acting as the mediator of our funding, it receives about 2million dollars to support the PEG channels, of that WCCA receives about $747,000. This is not money from the City’s general fund. We are grateful that such funding has allowed us to maintain our building, our studio space, our studio and production equipment, and a staff of ten.

WCCA TV is a strategic benefit to Worcester as that $747K represents about 5% of the return of investment our city and it’s communities receives each year in terms of television media services.

The amazing accomplishments is made possible by sustenance provided by the current Telecommunication laws, and mostly by our passionate participating community. None of our success would be possible with the hard work, many long hours, dedication sacrifice and and advocacy of each participating individual staff and volunteer member at TV 13.

There are many things in life I can be proud of, and although one’s work does not define them, I can say that I proud to work at such a place with so many caring and passionate good people.




Father Michael Bafaro Humanitarian Award 2012 – call for nominees

Still time to nominate the person you believe should win the Father Michael Bafaro Humanitarian Award 2012.

Nomination Form

To be considered for the 2012 Fr. Bafaro Lifetime Achievement Award, an official Nomination Form must be completed and submitted by June 15, 2012 as described below.

Nominations must include contact information for both the Nominee and the Nominator, including address and phone number (and email, if applicable)

Nomination Forms can be submitted as a hard copy or by email:

Hard Copy Nominations: can either be delivered personally or by Mail to:
WCCA-TV Fr. Bafaro Award Nominations
c/o WCCA-TV 13
415 Main Street, 1st Floor
Worcester, MA 01608
Electronic Nominations can be submitted to:

All nominations must be received/post-marked by midnight June 15, 2012


In recognition of Father Michael Bafaro and his commitment to justice and equality for all, this award is presented to an individual or organization that has exhibited a long, steadfast, and established allegiance to ensuring that people in Worcester and Central Massachusetts are able to live their lives in a free and open society without discrimination, and they are able to experience the full benefits guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America.

Nomination Form
<a href=”http://www.wccatv.com/NOMINATIONForm.pdf”>Nomination Form</a> Image