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City and County of Denver Updates Model for Delivering Public Access Media Services

Denver’s Community Media Access Program Will Bring Expanded Educational and Workforce Opportunities

The City and County of Denver is modernizing its public access media services model. By building a more sustainable foundation for the delivery of multimedia educational and production opportunities to the community, the city is safeguarding access to tools that help people tell their stories in a rapidly evolving media and technology landscape. With the launch of Denver Community Media, the city is formalizing its efforts to build a new program that offers a permanent home for community media access, as well as expanded partnerships that will bring new educational and workforce opportunities.

This new model ensures that public access media remains relevant and accessible by adapting to rapidly changing media engagement habits, diminishing funding, and the introduction of new content platforms and technologies. Communities across the nation are facing similar public access challenges with decreasing funding, limited access, and old technology. Denver is making this change now for the benefit of our community and to keep “public access” both public and accessible. Denver Community Media will build on the city’s commitment of promoting a local focus, diversity of voice, and independent, non-commercial media content created for and by the people of Denver. 

Denver Community Media is a project created through the terms of the city’s cable franchise agreements. The city oversees the distribution of public, educational, and governmental (PEG) access funds collected by Comcast and CenturyLink that support this project and will help create partnerships to grow the new model, but the project will be managed by a contracted service provider. The city’s Purchasing Division is leading a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process that will result in the determination of a service provider in the first quarter of 2019.

In partnership with Rocky Mountain Public Media, the city is building a permanent home for community access at the new, state-of-the-art Buell Community Media Center being constructed at 21st and Arapahoe streets. Slated to open in spring 2020, the building will feature multimedia production and educational spaces, including dedicated and shared studios for video and audio recordings, edit bays, classrooms, and studio and field production equipment. Denver Community Media is also expanding a partnership with Emily Griffith Technical College/DPStv-Channel 22 to offer robust educational opportunities and a collective vision of creating a media workforce pipeline.

During construction of the new building, Denver Community Media will utilize the city’s Studio D facility, located at 1440 Cherokee Street on the west side of the City and County Building. Community members will have access to studio space and production equipment, editing space and equipment, the ability to check out field production equipment, and access to hands-on, instructional opportunities. Denver Community Media memberships will be available for free through June 30, 2019.

Community media content will continue to air on channels 56, 57, and 881 as it does today and will be programmed from the Denver 8 TV production facility. Community content submissions will follow established public access guidelines and will not be curated by the city.

As the city closes out the end of its existing public access service agreement with Open Media Foundation, it intends to provide the bulk of the production and editing equipment currently housed at the organization to the nonprofit, so its members can continue to produce content for airing on community access channels. The city and Open Media Foundation are working through the details of this grant, which requires City Council approval.

During this transition period, Denver Community Media invites local non-profit organizations to provide content for programming on the cablecast channels and welcomes ideas for partnerships in the evolving community media access model. To contact Denver Community Media, visit www.denvercommunitymedia.org.

Denver Community Media is hosting two informational and studio tour sessions this week. The public is invited to take a tour of Studio D and learn more about the equipment and amenities available during this transition period.
 

What:
Denver Community Media informational and studio tour sessions

When:
Thursday, December 20, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Friday, December 21, 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Where:
1440 Cherokee Street, Denver, CO 80202
 

Denver Marketing and Media Services oversees the City and County of Denver’s brand identity, strategic marketing efforts, websites, social media platforms, multimedia content creation, and the operation of Denver 8 TV, the city’s municipal television station. A division of Denver Technology Services, the department administers Denver’s cable franchise agreements, provides stewardship of public, educational, and government (PEG) access funds, and works to align technologies with marketing and communications practices. For more information, visit www.denvergov.org/marketing