The future of Public Access TV in Denver is uncertain after the city announced plans to move equipment that has thus far been available to the community, to a city and county building that would significantly limit public access. Currently Denver Open Media provides the Public Access TV services as well as training for the community at its location at 700 Kalamath. (note: KGNU has its Denver studio at 700 Kalamath.)
Tony Shawcross, Executive Director of the Open Media Foundation, which Denver Open Media is a part of, says they won the contract to provide Public Access TV in 2005 and have been providing the services through Denver Open Media since 2006. He says providing access and training for the community to create their own media is crucial. “The goal is making sure that it’s not just corporate interests and corporate media that have access to these airwaves and that powerful ability through the media to change public awareness, shape public awareness and thus shape public policy. In addition to providing the equipment and resources, Denver Open Media provides training for community members to create the media.”
Denver Open Media and the Open Media Foundation have been working on a long-term plan to move Public Access TV into a new facility in downtown Denver that being built by Rocky Mountain PBS (RMPBS). That move won’t happen for another two years, however in the interim Shawcross says the city has decided that the next phase of public access would be to move the equipment that the city provides to DOM into the city and county building and reduce staffing to a single person. That would significantly limit the opportunities for community members to access the facilities.
“We’re concerned that those classes couldn’t happen at the level they’re happening now, we’re concerned that the equipment access and facility access wouldn’t be available for 2 years and we just don’t really see the logic behind interrupting and disrupting the great things that are happening at 700 Kalamath for 2 years while we wait for the new facility to be built.”
Community members of Denver Open Media are holding a meeting with city staff on Tuesday October 2nd at 6.30pm at the Denver Open Media studios at 700 Kalamath. Find more information on the proposed changes here.