Dear OurMedia friends,
A group of us here in Australia have stepped-up the campaign for
community digital television. Last year we organised a symposium and
have recently put together a discussion paper of the issues. Our next
step is to organise a larger, nation-wide conference on the issues and
to get the support of civil society organisations, Indigenous producers,
the education sector, local governments/agencies and cultural
If anyone is interested in reading the discussion paper, please email
me at [log in to unmask] and I will send the attachment. I have pasted
the 1 page summary below. It may be of use to those facing similar
issues in the transition to digital television.
A Vision for the Community Use
of Digital Television Spectrum
Community television bridges difference, taking grassroots stories and
issues to a wide audience and ensuring that our diverse communities are
visible and accessible.
Digital free-to-air television will do more. It will deliver niche
programming, educational resources, local information and access to
cultural heritage. For these services to emerge, a full digital channel
must be made available for community use.
A full 7MHz digital channel
Australia's commercial and national broadcasters commenced digital
television transmission in 2001 using spectrum provided free of charge.
Despite a longstanding commitment, the government is yet to allocate a
channel for community television services.
A full digital channel for community use will connect Australia's
communities, education sector, cultural institutions and independent
producers with new audiences and stimulate programming innovation:
- Dedicated channels for specific communities, for instance an
- Local programs, entertainment and information
- A space for independent digital media production, both professional
- On-demand information relating to group activities (membership,
donation forms, fact sheets), building a multiplatform presence for
civil society organisations
- Educational courseware with related content
- An entry-point to cultural archives and collections
- Access to government information and local issues, including programs
that allow for citizen input into national debate.
Community broadcasting plays an important role in Australia's
creative economy. Community television is already the major training
ground for the television industry, preparing talent and production crew
for the commercial and national broadcasters. Digital community
television will provide up-to-date industry experience, boosting
Australia's creative workforce and encouraging content innovation.
The Community Spectrum Taskforce will hold a CTV Digital Television
Summit in June 2006, out of which will come a comprehensive strategy for
digital community television. We invite all existing and potential
users, audience members, producers, trainers and partners to participate
in this process.
Dr Ellie Rennie
Institute for Social Research
ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
+61 3 9214 5303
0404 808 900
Education is only the beginning.
Let's get on with it.
Swinburne University of Technology
CRICOS Provider Code: 00111D
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