|Posted by Victor J. Walter on October 12, 2013 at 6:05 AM|
The Eye On Access project has been one of which I've been wanting to create for quite sometime, over 10 years in fact. I've always felt that Producers of Public Access programming deserved a little something 'more' to show for the work they've put into their show. Over the years, I've been privileged to experience some really impressive ideas come to life through the coming together of many programs. I've also felt that PEG Cable Access itself also deserved more than it was being given.
When I began my career with PEG Cable access, the cable company was a small, community-involved operation. Not only did it have a well-equipped Public Access facility, but their Local Origination (L/O) programming channel had a fully staffed crew creating content, covering events 'here at home' and even had our very own local County newscast, "Star Channel 3". However, it seemed that as time progressed, so did the growth of Corporate-takeovers of the cable company. You'd think that bigger meant better, but that wasn't the case. From my perspective, the larger the company's name grew, the less it cared about the non-revenue generating faces it had within the community, which meant PEG Cable Access and even the L/O programming. Budgets and considerations for improvements on PEG dropped exceedingly and L/O programming was merged to a central location for the entire region, which, in reality, took what was the "Local" for our area, out of the loop.
It seems all over the nation, PEG Centers that were ran and operated by the growing corporate cable companies have all similar situations. In many cases, the cable giants have been able to talk communities out of supporting PEG Cable Access completely and have been successful at being rid of the ‘financial burden’. In other cases, they were able to shirk the responsibility of operating these channels and studios onto the communities themselves.
Ultimately, PEG Cable Access IS a requirement mandated by FCC laws, but without a demand from the communities, there isn’t a reason for them to thrive. This is where we draw the mission and purpose for this Eye On Access program. It’s an opportunity to show, share and explore the fantastic possibilities that Public Access offers to its communities.