Is Community TV an Option for Sunapee

At the January 26 meeting of Sunapee selectmen, community television is on the agenda.

PEG (Public, Education and Government) access TV is negotiated by communities with the local cable provider and is one tool commonly used to provide local programming including government and school events.

In NH, over 100 communities have PEG access TV of some form or another, according to a spokesman for the NH Coalition of Community Media.

Many in town see traditional media for reporting local news and information as limited.

The selectmen on Monday will open up discussion about community television. What’s the interest and the issues? Is it an option for public, government and education news and information sharing in Sunapee?

Community television is not a new issue for Doug Munro, a former member of the Sunapee Electronics Communication Committee. The committee brought to the 2007 Town Meeting a warrant article asking for $10,000 to get community TV up and running in Sunapee. It was voted down leaving Sunapee cable viewers with a blue empty screen.

Munro wrote (in 2007) about the town cable contract and community TV. (Click here to read it in full.)

Munro wrote:

Sunapee has a community channel available, but it is currently unused because the voters of the town failed to authorize minimal funds to buy some start-up equipment….

The Sunapee Electronic Communications Committee had hoped to use the start-up phase as the opportunity to experiment with community-based revenue sources to find ways to minimize the cost impact on subscribers.  Even though it will now be much more difficult to define and build other than minimal community television for Sunapee, the town must address the question:

What will it take to build a true community television operation that provides openness to town government and the opportunity for citizen participation?

Sunapee Selectmen Ask for Input About Community TV – Sunapee News