Last Friday, Annie, Becca, Valerie (our new summer intern) and I attended the Federal Communication Commission’s Media Ownership Workshop held at Dinkelspiel Auditorium at Stanford University. The two-panel forum was open to the public and explored the impact of new media on broadcast stations. The morning session investigated the changing nature of media distribution channels — everything used to be broadcast or come across the threshhold via the paper boy, and now as we all know people get their entertainment and news through a variety of splintered and overlapping sources. Is the Media Center still relevant? In a word. Yes. We cablecast, we youtube it, we livestream, we simulcast, we ondemand it, you name it were going for it. The afternoon portion of the workshop addressed the changing financial and business model for media. In summary, traditional delivery methods are losing money. How can media outlets maintain journalistic integrity and be competitive? That is a problem that all the traditional news providers are grappling with.
During the public comment portion of the morning session, Annie, Becca and I offered comment while Valerie taped us. Each of us shared a different perspective on the role The Media Center and other PEG stations play in our community. We really are at the front line in the battle against media concentration and media exclusivity and media idiocy (opposite of media literacy). Despite marketplace pressures that have driven many of our sister stations out of the marketplace or to reduce greatly their operations, somehow we are not only staying afloat but putting a bit more wind to our sails as we add new programs, new classes and bring on line more co-productions with our community with a tremendous focus on our youth and the schools. We must stay innovative and keep it vocal and local so that the FCC appreciates that PEG stations really are the vanguard of independent media.