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.

Mauro

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