Staying Relevant in a Fragmented World – Access Sacramento has submitted our annual grant request to the Sacramento Metropolitan Cable Television Commission. We are requesting status quo funding for Operations and for the purchase or lease of new equipment. This mid-year 2012 report, marks an important benchmark in our successful efforts to build a network of “Neighborhood News Bureaus” in South Sacramento and in the coming years, expand to multiple sites throughout Sacramento County. We will continue our existing programs and services working with hundreds of volunteers and nonprofit organizations. If SMCTC agrees to our grant request, here are five key initiatives we hope to launch in the coming fiscal year:
·      “LIVE” Event Television on Channel 17 — Our coverage of countywide community events and high school sports will take a big step with “LIVE” coverage of at least twenty Hometown-TV and Game-of-the-Week productions in the coming year. Advances in using bundled cell phone bandwidth now permits “live” television signals to be carried back to the Coloma Center for cable channel and Internet transmission.
·      Expansion of “Neighborhood News” Countywide — The launch of AccessLocal.tv and the “Neighborhood News Bureaus ” (NNB) projects will continue to grow within South Sacramento and beyond. Our two-year NNB efforts launching new equipment and training, has been most successful and instructive. This report outlines exciting plans to gradually expand services Countywide with assistance from key community organizations including: The California Endowment, The Sacramento Public Library, The Nonprofit Resource Center, Asian Resources, Inc., City of Sacramento Neighborhood Services, several local neighborhood associations and others.
·      Countywide Communications Needs Assessment — New initiatives will also include implementation of a Knight Foundation “Community Information Tool Kit”. The “Tool Kit” is a communications needs assessment to “help community leaders harness the power of information to advance their goals for a better community” … by providing … “a simple, easy-to-use set of online tools to help you take stock of your community’s news and information flow and take steps to improve it.” (from their web site: www.infotoolkit.org). Access Sacramento, working with other groups in workshop settings and using Knight designed online research tools, will achieve an overall goal of “building a stronger community through information exchange”. The Knight Foundation program has been beta-tested in Macon, Georgia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and San Jose, California. It includes an analysis of all media in the area – commercial radio, television, community nonprofit media, and newer forms of social media.
·      LP-FM Community Radio FCC Application — Our community radio volunteers are working hard to complete an application for a Low Power FM radio license (LP-FM). It has been a decade since the last LP-FM, 100 watt, community radio frequency was permitted by the Federal Communications Commission in the Sacramento Region. The application window has been opened again and our twenty years of community radio on the cable system will be documented in our application. If successful, “The Voice of Sacramento” will reach a diameter of 6 miles from the transmission source and be able to cover the majority of Downtown and Mid-town Sacramento. We should know the outcome by the Fall of 2012.
·      Coordination of Major PEG Access Conference — The 2012 Alliance for Community Media Western States Regional Conference will be held in downtown and Old Sacramento on October 18-20, 2012. This six-State event shall invite hundreds of public, education, and government access and community radio leaders to discuss and plan best practices for their communities. This prestigious gathering is being coordinated by management and staff from Access Sacramento, Davis Media Access, the Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium, KVIE (PBS), and the Sacramento Metropolitan Cable Television Commission Metro 14.