Publication Date

2003

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to examine the use of Brattleboro Community Television, Inc. (BCTV) by community organizations in the Brattleboro area of Vermont. In a survey containing both quantitative and qualitative questions, 25 organizations addressed the main question, “How do community organizations use BCTV as a tool to communicate with people in the Brattleboro area?” Four subtopics explored: 1) background information on the organizations and their experiences with BCTV; 2) impact of the organizations’ involvement with BCTV on the local community; 3) barriers they faced and/or believed other organizations faced in using BCTV; and 4) suggestions for addressing barriers and getting new groups involved. Some conclusions drawn from the research are: BCTV is an important communication tool for a wide variety of community organizations to publicize events, inform the public about services they provide, cablecast meetings and events, and recruit volunteers. Lack of staff, time, funding, and awareness of BCTV’s services are common barriers indicated by organizations regarding involvement with BCTV. More publicity about services, combined with joint fundraising efforts to pay for production crew, were suggested as possible solutions. This research is valuable for BCTV and the organizations involved in the survey; community organizations, especially in the Brattleboro area, not yet involved with PEG (public, educational, and government) access television; other PEG television stations; and regional and national media organizations, such as the Alliance for Community Media, that advocate for legislation protecting PEG access and provide information on resource materials concerning this form of media.

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