Core Values of Community Television

  1. Localism: Supports local viewpoints, perspectives and the interests of local communities. Most mainstream media programming is intended for national audiences and does not reflect the rich diversity of American community life.

  2. Diversity of Viewpoints-Participatory: Local residents and organizations must be able to make and telecast media that reflects local experiences. Our society is founded on a belief in freedom of expression and free speech. Democracy works best when a wide array of voices and opinions can be seen and heard.

  3. Promote Dialogue and Discussion: Community conversations are key to building a vibrant community. The telecasting of programs provides residents, government and non-profit organizations with critical information and creates an opportunity for dialogue around issues and concerns that residents and the community must address. We build community through media.

  4. Media Literacy: A basic tenant of civil society is that the lives of all members of the community are important, and all members of society should be able to represent themselves in the media. In order to represent themselves they need access to the electronic media tools to create content, the training to use the tools, and the mechanism(s) to distribute community content.

  5. Non-commercial: PEG access is an essential component in our public media ‘greenspace’ where, like a public park, we can reflect on who we are without the interference of commercial values.

  6. Civic Engagement: Many of the decisions that most affect our lives are made at the local level by the town’s boards and commissions and elected officials. Community media keeps the public informed about local government elections, about social services, about public housing, and other important local political and economic development activities.

  7. Education: Public, Educational and Government (PEG) access plays an important role in our educational system. It provides a distribution medium for use by schools, libraries and colleges; and it is especially important for education in low income and rural communities.

  8. Public Safety: In many areas PEG access channels provide for emergency information and community alerts.

  9. Electronic Greenspace: The PEG channels are our “electronic public green space,” where democracy is demonstrated through low-cost, televised community dialogue. In exchange for using the public right of way, cable companies share a part of their profits as “rent,” and these funds create an electronic public/private partnership for greater civic participation.