Community Media Day is an annual celebration of voices that bring awareness to the importance of free speech and accessible media for all individuals to have their voices heard. Community media encourages local dialogue, increases discourse around policy issues, fosters an understanding of local cultures, and shares information to improve our lives.
Norfolk Community Television is proud to be a creator and facilitator of free speech through digital media for the people of Norfolk, Massachusetts. Community Media Day intentionally falls during Free Speech Week, which aims to raise public awareness of the importance of free speech in our democracy- and to celebrate that freedom. If you're from the area, but not very familiar with NCTV, we hope you'll stay a minute to learn about everything we have to offer.
What we do...
1. Free training
We offer TV & video production training FREE of charge to any resident who would like to learn. We welcome community members of all ages and experience levels to utilize us as a resource for learning and sharing ideas. From teaching video production basics to running workshops on advanced topics, NCTV, its staff & our state-of-the-art production equipment are here to assist you in creating media that matters. If you are interested in learning something new, fine-tuning your skills, or need assistance with anything related to video production… we are here to help. Contact us to receive free, personalized training!
2. Free membership & equipment usage
Anyone is welcome to become a member! Membership gives you the benefit of being able to use and borrow our equipment (training on equipment is required before borrowing), as well as supporting a local nonprofit television station. Membership also includes the right to vote on our board of directors members and help shape the future of NCTV.
3. Local government coverage
We serve as a resource to help our community find and share information about our local government. NCTV serves as a conduit for information to residents and does not take a stance on any political or governmental issues. NCTV offers nonpartisan coverage of government meetings as a service to the town.
4. Support local nonprofits
Are you looking to get the word out about a nonprofit event, cause, group, or government function? We offer a number of promotional opportunities to nonprofits/government agencies in our area! All events or groups must be not-for-profit and no laws may be infringed upon (copyright, libel and slander, advertisements, etc.).
5. Free speech
NCTV is dedicated to protecting your First Amendment right to free speech. We provide training and access to production equipment so residents can exercise free speech through the medium of digital media. We are strongly against censorship of any kind and will work with you to help you share your message. The views and opinions shared by independent producers do not represent those of NCTV.
NCTV can help. Have you ever thought about creating a show to broadcast on television? Ever wanted to get the message of an important cause out to more people? Just want to practice producing TV in a studio? Norfolk Community Television can help you. We are here and ready to start working with you no matter what stage in planning you are… be it just an idea or a fully scripted show. Or do you just want to learn how to use your cell phone properly or need any technical assistance? Please use us as a resource and spread the word. We're here to help.
** Please note that as of this post's publication our production studio is currently closed. Prioritizing everyone's safety is our number one concern. As we anxiously await the return of in-studio shoots, sign up for our newsletter to be notified of any changes. But we still want to help you share your voice! Here is a video by Katy to show you exactly how to create content from home. Please contact us if you need anything! **
What is NCTV? (PEG Station)
NCTV is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community access television station established in 1986. We are a volunteer-based organization and depend heavily on the help of the community to cover events.
All of our services are FREE of charge including membership, use of equipment (both in-studio and portable equipment), workshops, as well as individualized training. We welcome individual members, nonprofits, and businesses alike! Minors are also welcome with parental consent/supervision.
We are part of the PEG system which means we broadcast public, education, and government channels on both Comcast and Verizon. The Federal Communications act of 1984 allowed the franchising authority (ie. The Town of Norfolk) to strike a deal with the cable companies that allowed use of public way for cable infrastructure (ie. physical cables) in exchange for a percentage of their profits. This percentage is utilized to fund the hyper-local content that is produced here at NCTV. These channels are to be non-commercial, nonprofit organizations that offer local programming. So while we can certainly and do work with local businesses to create content, it is not commercial content that does not emphasize the promotion of a business's products/services.
- Public - Comcast 8, Verizon 41
- Education (rebroadcast from Wrentham) - Comcast 12, Verizon 40
- Government - Comcast 22, Verizon 42
COVID-19 & PEG Stations
While the countless benefits that PEG stations can offer their communities have always been there, prior to the coronavirus few would likely deem them "essential." But when the pandemic hit, throwing every aspect of our lives into chaos... public access stations stepped up to the plate across the country and became communication hubs for their local communities. According to The Center for Media & Social Impact, "In the 2020 pandemic, PEG access media became virtual town halls and public squares. They moved governmental, educational, and community leaders to virtual platforms. They provided essential local news. And they hosted community events, including graduation and holiday celebrations." The 22-page report (view here) notes that in addition to being local communication hubs during the pandemic, they also provided technical operations support for local governments, organizations, and schools... as well as a platform for community events.
There were some hiccups and it was not an overnight transition, but NCTV gained new technological capabilities, hosted virtual political debates, worked with local organizations and schools to host or assist in making their events virtual, among many other services. I personally believe NCTV has forged more partnerships, expanded its audience, and further proved itself to be an incredibly useful public service tool for the community of Norfolk and its surrounding areas.
One of the conclusions drawn in the report states that "The lessons learned about providing reliable, consistent access to information and a platform for community engagement may permanently alter the role of PEG access media in the community... PEG access media showed that public communication resources are essential, and not just in a crisis."
I interviewed NCTV's Executive Director, Katy Jefferson back in May and think she nailed it when she said, "Community TV is one of the last sources of hyper-local information that people have access to. We’re creative problem solvers, researchers, historians, leaders, and teachers. We’re nonpartisan, fly-on-the-wall videographers and documentarian editors."