Monday, September 8, 2008

"Dare To Dance" DVD

CommuniTV videotaped the recent "Dare To Dance" event & benefit for the Kidney Foundation and the Partnership for Families and Children, held at The Mill on Saturday, September 6, 2008. The DVD of the dances (featuring local personalities and celebrities) will be available for purchase on the CommuniTV online store for $20 (including shipping), with a portion of the proceeds going to the Kidney Foundation and the Partnership for Families and Children; the DVDs will be sent out within the next 2 weeks.

Monday, August 25, 2008

MuzArDanZ captured!

CommuniTV recorded the performances at the first MuzArDanZ Variety Showcase on August 24, 2008. Over a dozen different performers were featured at the event, and these musicians and dancers and performers will be available soon in online videos as well as a complete DVD of the event.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Nightfall: Ogya

Chattanooga band OGYA performed at Nightfall recently, and CommuniTV recorded their show. Here's an excerpt:

Saturday, July 5, 2008

YouTube Group for CommuniTV

There is now a YouTube Group created for CommuniTV videos at This is a form of distribution for short videos (YouTube has a 10-minute maximum length restriction) created for, by, and about the people of Chattanooga.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Chattanooga Dulcimer Festival: Pinball Wizard

CommuniTV provided video support to the Chattanooga Dulcimer Festival over the weekend (June 20-22, 2008), as another example of capturing community content. The Festival was held at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Auditorium in downtown Chattanooga -- including workshops, classes, vendors, and the nightly concerts in the Community Theater. A round of applause for Dan & Angie Landrum, their festival staff, Dulcimer Players News, Everything Dulcimer, TAPA, the Memorial Auditorium staff, Phillip Jones on audio, and the great musicians. Here's an excerpt from the Saturday night show:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Event DVD: Dance Recital May 2008

CommuniTV is happy to encourage the preservation of community memories and events. In that vein, the DVD for the Chattanooga Theatre Centre's May 2008 Dance Recital is now ready for purchase! For a limited time (through the end of July), DVDs can be bought in person at the CTC's Box Office (during regular business hours) for $10.

As another option, DVDs can also be ordered online, using the CommuniTV online store. Note that it's $3 more to order online, for a total of $13. Please allow 2 weeks for shipping.

For more information, email us at

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Denver Open Media's Stunning Approach

Ok, so maybe your main frame of reference for "public access TV" is that "3 a.m. show about dressing up oranges and bananas as celebrities" or "that 4:15 pm program with that screaming guy with the crazy eyes". Or perhaps you just dismiss it as "stuff that wasn't good enough for public television," or "coverage of city government so excruciatingly boring that it makes C-SPAN look like ESPN." Well, it may be all that and more (or less), depending on where you live.

This, then, is something that will shock you. I strongly, STRONGLY recommend you watch the video presentation at Denver Open Media's website. I'll wait here while you go watch...

Ok, welcome back. As you've seen, what they've doing at DOM is combining the virtues of "Web 2.0" with easily-accessible cablecasting. (Once again, a similar approach to Current TV and WYBE-TV.) Are you starting to see the pattern here? As well, these people in Denver are thinking beyond their community, to how public access nodes on the national map can work together, distributing and filtering and promoting content on a national (if not global) scale. Good stuff, Denver. Great work.

Public TV in Bite-Size Chunks

WYBE-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is migrating from its conventional television schedule of public television programs to a Current TV-style mix of five-minute videos, according to a recent article at (the online arm of the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper).

If you're not familiar with the nationwide cable channel Current TV, check it out. Basically, Current encourages people to create their own short nonfiction videos and upload them to the Current website, where visitors to the website vote on the best videos. The "video essays" with the best scores end up being broadcast on the Current cable channel in rotation with other short pieces. Think "MTV fed by YouTube content" with a professional edge (and even magazines are flirting with this approach). Here's how Current describes themselves:
Since its inception in 2005, Emmy award-winning Current TV has been the world's leading peer-to-peer news and information network. Current is the only 24/7 cable and satellite television network and Internet site produced and programmed in collaboration with its audience. Current connects young adults with what is going on in their world, from their perspective, in their own voices.

With the launch of, the first fully integrated web and TV platform users can participate in shaping an ongoing stream of news and information that is compelling, authentic and relevant to them.

Current pioneered the television industry's leading model of interactive viewer created content (VC2). Comprising roughly one-third of Current's on-air broadcast, this content is submitted via short-form, non-fiction video "pods". Viewer Created Ad Messages (VCAMs) are also open to viewer's participation.

Current's programming ranges from daily pop culture coverage to political satire in "SuperNews," unprecedented music journalism in "The Current Fix," and unique insights into global stories through Vanguard and Citizen Journalism.

Current is now viewed in the U.S. and U.K. in more than 51 million households through distribution partners Comcast (Channel 107 nationwide), Time Warner (nationwide), DirecTV (channel 366 nationwide), Dish Network (channel 196 nationwide), Sky (channel 193) and Virgin Media Cable (channel 155)., May 27, 2008

Which brings us back to WYBE's new direction. Now, instead of dedicating large chunks of their television (and webcast) time to long-form programming (in a redefinition of long-form to mean "longer than 5 - 15 minutes"), WYBE is implementing a way to broadcast 5-minute-long videos created by the community, independent producers, other organizations, and WYBE itself. What sets it apart from Current is how WYBE is concentrating on its local Philadelpha audience and wrapping these "short-form bites" around other traditional public television programming (such as PBS shows and other distributed programs).

"The new model is risky for WYBE," but appealing to viewers raised on iPods and YouTube, [Sylvia] Strobel added. If it works, "I expect it will be adopted by public television stations across the country."

The early version of the new lineup - available at, a Web site for the station's nonprofit parent, Independence Public Media of Philadelphia Inc. - is a grab-bag of museum-exhibit tours and Christian rappers, tattooed performance artists, and a green-building primer by local corporate landlord Liberty Property Trust.

These programs supplement, and will partly replace, WYBE's current broadcast lineup of PBS, foreign and locally produced programs, though some of the most popular - including BBC news reports and Korean soap operas - will continue. WYBE says its audience is too small to measure through Nielsen's and other rating services; it estimates the highest-rated shows draw a few thousand viewers.

Once the station has collected enough five-minute segments, Blumenthal says, a majority of WYBE's current programming, including local music and documentary and travel shows, will end or migrate into five-minute segments.

The station is aiming for a marriage of the often-frustrated community-TV ideal of locally produced original programming and the convenience and short-attention-span exuberance of free digital media-on-demand.

"We want people who are new to media-making to feel comfortable making a five-minute program to start out," said WYBE project manager Kimberly Kunda.
-Philly Now, April 28, 2008

Will this short-video focus lead to schedule (and attention) fragmentation, or will it make the variety of information easier to digest? Here's what Howard Blumenthal, CEO of Mind (short for "Media INDependence") TV, said on his blog:

About fifteen years ago, I started wondering why there was no Sesame Street for grown-ups: a safe place to learn, a television format filled with all sorts of ideas.

In the pre-YouTube, pre-Current TV era of 2005, Philadelphia’s independent public TV station, WYBE, was in search of a new business model. We began to research the potential of short-form programs, the wisdom of viewer-generated content, and the potential of combining television with the internet.

So what, exactly, are we doing? Locally and globally, we’re using television and media as a way to share ideas, to learn from one another, and to make the world a better place.

Time will tell how well WYBE fares with their revolutionary approach: focusing on the community by using content created by its consumers. The length of time to tell that story, however, may be a five-minute video -- with more viewers and more community impact than a traditional hour-long show.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Durango's Community Access Television

Why would a relatively small community like Durango (a town with around 30,000 people in Colorado) have its own Community Access Television?

A recent article in the Durango Herald explains:

[Executive Director Chris Hall] emphasized that "public access" isn't just a slogan for DCAT.

"We don't say no," he said. "We're the soapbox. You create the message. Tell stories from our community. The only restriction is that it's not commercial. Our purpose is to provide equipment and access to the community. This is bottom up."

-TDH, May 23, 2008

It would appear that DCAT (Durango Community Access Television), then, is a conduit: helping the members of its community reach out to the other people around them. Why would little Durango have DCAT? Evidently, that community values actually having a true community that strives to share information with itself.

Lockport's Community TV

As featured in a recent edition of the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, the people who have signed up to have their own television show seem to have something to say.

Bartoo, 74, wrote and directed a play at the Studio Arena Theatre that was produced for the Vietnam Veterans Convention in 1969.

“I want to do technical work and haven’t got the background,” said Bartoo, who signed up for four classes. He wants to be able to do the editing for putting stage plays on video.

“I’ve got a lot of ideas for making a TV program eventually, but I don’t know anything technical. I hope to be producing eventually, with some of the ideas I’ve got.”

The Faith Community Nazarene Church in Sanborn put a group together to learn production procedures. “We want to get something going in the church for film worship service and Bible study,” said Gary Kephart. “We’re all going to take all the classes.”

Charlene Kephart, Tim Filer and Forrest Milligan have no background in TV production work. Filer, a machinist welder, said, “It’s a new experience. We’re pretty much greenhorns here.”

The group hopes to put together programs for the Alcohol Victorious meetings on Thursday nights.

Debrah Cole of Lockport has some experience working with Brian Dana’s cable show “Green Room.” Cole is the president of the Amherst Players and has her own company, Those Working Actors.

“I have an idea for my own show,” she said at orientation. “I love the station. It’s a lovely resource for the community.”

-LUS&J, May 25, 2008

The mere fact of their newspaper's name (which I'm assuming is the result of multiple mergers of their local newspapers) might have resulted in fewer avenues for expression in the past. For now, however, regular everyday citizens are able to share their view of life, in a forum that's accessible and public, in Lockport, New York.

(The name of the newspaper is even more convoluted than I'd imagined, by the way.)

CommuniTV: community + TV

CommuniTV is an effort to improve how our community communicates, using video and television as a useful tool. CommuniTV is part of the Community Communication Project, helping us learn, create, and share.