What is public access television in Walpole?
Public access television is a First Amendment forum. Public Access Television programming on WMC is available to every resident in Walpole to express their opinions, talk to their fellow townspeople about what is happening in the community, introduce others to their beliefs and hobbies and help local organizations and groups disseminate information to the public. Public Access TV is television for the community, produced by the community. This means that its programming can address local news and issues in a way that no large media corporation can or will. WMC is a television studio and training facility located at 275 Common Street, in Walpole High School, and cablecasts on Comcast Channels 8, 12 and 22 or Verizon Channels 31, 29 and 30. The production facility and channels are known as Walpole Media Corporation (WMC) and is managed by a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Classes are offered by WMC so that you can make your own television program. Our technical and administrative staff are here to help you get your show out to the community.
Is it hard to produce a TV show?
TV production is not as complicated as you might think. The skills needed to produce simple, but effective programs are well within the grasp of most people. Access centers across the country have people ages 9 to 90, from every educational or career background doing hands-on TV production. The best way to find out whether television production is for you is to try it! For a tour of our facility, a free Introductory to Community Television workshop and to get answers to all your questions, call WMC at 508-668-7795 or email us at [email protected].
How can I turn an idea into a program?
It all starts, as everything does, with an idea. Let’s say you have a passion for knitting and you want to share that passion by producing a show that will provide instruction on how to knit scarves, sweaters, hats and mittens. Your first decision is whether to shoot on location at your home, place of business or another location or to tape at our studio. There are benefits and drawbacks to both. Set up a meeting with WMC staff and present your idea and we can help you determine which style would best suite your program proposal.
What is an Introductory Workshop?
The Introduction to Community Television Workshop provides background on public access television, nationally and locally, and is a prerequisite to all the workshops at WMC. This workshop goes over the WMC Policies and Procedures and explains the process for getting program idea on the air. The course offers an overview of the television studio and control room operations along with information on basic field production. You learn how to become certified to reserve the studio, cameras and field production equipment and how to use the editing facilities.
Who is a certified Volunteer-Producer?
A Volunteer-Producer is a person or organization that is certified by WMC either through the workshop process, or the proficiency examination process. Once certified, a volunteer-producer can create, produce and broadcast programs in the WMC facilities. Check the Training section for more information on classes and schedules, or call WMC at 508-668-7795.
How do I become a WMC Volunteer-Producer?
To become a certified WMC Volunteer-Producer, you must be at least 18 years of age (or have a parent or guardian sign a release form) and must either be a resident of Walpole, work or attend school in town. Once you are a volunteer, WMC offers a series of workshops designed to train community members to produce their own television programs. Check the Training section for more information on classes and schedules, or call WMC at 508-668-7795.
What if I don’t know how to make a TV program?
No problem. The equipment available is designed to be as easy to operate as possible. We also provide training in basic television production techniques, as well as ongoing technical assistance to producers as they develop ideas into finished productions. The WMC staff will also assist in helping producers find certified crew members to help with your production.
Can I hire WMC to make my program?
No, you must make your own program; however, the WMC staff is available to train you and assist in your journey.
Can I utilize WMC’s equipment for commercial or personal use?
No. We provide facilities and equipment for the non-commercial purposes of programs to be cablecast in the town of Walpole. Anything you choose to produce must fit with in our policies and procedures to be cablecast on our channel.
What equipment is available?
WMC has portable production capabilities, a television studio and editing systems. We have lighting equipment, sound equipment and computer graphics capabilities. All of this equipment is available at no charge to WMC members who are certified.
Do I have to take WMC training courses to check out equipment and reserve the studio?
No. If the Volunteer-Producer passes an equipment proficiency test administered by the WMC staff, those members may reserve the studio, check out field production gear and use the editing suites.
Do I have to take the training courses to put a show on your Channel?
No. Once you have taken the Introduction to Community Television Workshop, you can use your own camera and editing equipment. All you have to do is become a member of WMC, read and sign off on the Policies and Procedures and submit a program proposal. Shows produced outside of the community can be sponsored by WMC members if they sign a statement promising that the content of the program complies with the station’s programming guidelines.
Is it possible to do a live television program at WMC?
Yes, the WMC studio is fully capable of broadcasting a live program.
Is Walpole Media Corporation (WMC) the same as the cable company?
No. WMC is a non-profit organization totally independent of the cable company and contracted by the town of Walpole to provide all local residents with access to the public access channel. Comcast and Verizon are the local companies that carry WMC’s programming.
Who owns WMC?
WMC is an independent non-profit corporation incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Gifts to WMC are fully tax deductible. WMC is governed by a volunteer board of directors representing a cross section of community leadership. Anyone who is a cable subscriber (Comcast or Verizon) is a stakeholder as are our volunteer-producers, technical volunteers and public and private funding sources.
What’s the difference between public access television and regular television?
Public access television is carried on cable, not as a broadcast channel. This means that under the law the government cannot place as many restrictions on content as a broadcaster can. Why? Because the Supreme Court has said, “People ‘ask for’ cable. They invite it into their homes by calling the cable company to sign up, and they pay for it every month.” – Katherine Shurlds, J.D.
Who runs WMC?
A board of directors, composed of volunteers from various segments of the community, sets WMC’s policies and procedures. A professional staff manages the day-to-day operation, helps develop programming and oversees the volunteer training efforts.
Who decides what goes on the channel?
WMC’s executive director reviews program proposals and oversees WMC’s programming.
How can I, or my organization, get a program on WMC?
WMC’s staff will talk with you about your idea and will help you develop a treatment and submit a program proposal. If your proposal is approved, it will be scheduled on WMC.
Are there content restrictions on what I produce?
The First Amendment protects the subject matter and content of your productions. There are, however, areas of programming which are not allowed: programs which are commercial in nature, which contain slander, are obscene or incite violence, which illegally promote gambling or lottery activities, or programs which infringe on copyrights. Please see WMC Policies and Procedures for detailed information regarding content.
Who owns the show I produce?
The producer owns the program and is responsible for all content, releases, licenses and rights for their programs. WMC may request a copy of your show to keep on file for future airings.
Will WMC programs be screened before they are shown on the air?
No. Public debate, free speech and differences of opinions and ideas are what America is all about. WMC encourages producers to exercise responsible expression of their First Amendment right of free speech. WMC will not, and cannot, censor program submissions. However, WMC has carefully developed policies, based on local community standards, which balance First Amendment rights with strict control of potentially objectionable programming.
How do I list my event on the Community Bulletin Board (CBB)?
To list your organization or group’s event on our CBB, just fill out the on-line request form on our website under the Community Bulletin Board link. Bulletin Board announcements run between 12 to 14 hours a day and are a terrific way to publicize your event. The only restrictions are that they announcements can’t make direct appeals for funds; nor can they contain a call to action to purchase a product or service. Also, competitive product/service comparisons are not allowed.
How many people watch your channel?
Although there is no way for us to provide a specific number, such as the “Nielsens” and similar research groups do for network and cable, we can provide the following factual information: Walpole has a population estimated at 5,918 (based on the most recent census data from 2010).