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2011 Alliance for Community Media (ACM) Annual Conference

August 8, 2011

Aloha,

I recently attended the 2011 Alliance for Community Media (ACM) Annual Conference which was held in Tucson, Arizona, July 27-30.  For over 30 years, the ACM has served as the champions for public, educational and governmental (PEG) cable channels, campaigning to preserve and grow access centers nationwide.   The conference addressed current challenges facing PEG facilities as well as shared valuable training to keep pace with new media.  Representatives from access centers across the nation came together at this conference and attended sessions facilitated by experts in community media.

One of the most interesting sessions was a key note speech given by George C. Stoney.  Considered the father of public-access television, Mr. Stoney’s message was that access centers will need to consider broadening their reach beyond “first come, first served” to active community engagement in order to stay relevant.  He encouraged PEGs to exercise “judgment” especially in bringing civil rights issues to the forefront of communities.

Mr. Stoney’s message resonated throughout the conference, as many speakers described their efforts to promote community engagement.  One particular area that several PEGs have pursued is citizen news reporting.  Their communities, not unlike Hawaii, have witnessed the ongoing consolidation of daily newspapers and television news; and have taken it upon themselves to report local news.

Another clear and resounding message was that, like ‘Ōlelo, access centers across the nation face similar funding challenges and must look to increase revenues while reducing operating costs.

Despite the challenging  landscape of PEG access, the conference also presented great opportunities to meet and talk story with supporters and hear of all the amazing and innovative work that goes on at the different centers.  In doing so, I was greatly encouraged to know that ‘Ōlelo and community access on O‘ahu reflects a lot of that innovative thinking, serving our community with our various CMCs across the island.  There will always be challenges, but as one of the largest access centers in the nation, and one looked upon as a leader of PEG access, we are truly blessed to be in a position to help lead PEG access in a firm direction toward relevancy in our society, and effective and innovative communications used for social change.

I invite you to call or e-mail me with questions on the 2011 ACM conference or on any of ‘Ōlelo’s services.  To learn more about the Alliance for Community Media, please visit http://www.allcommunitymedia.org.


Roy K. Amemiya, Jr.

President/CEO

‘Ōlelo Community Media

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