Friday, January 16, 2015

Stories of Giving from Don Pollock

I have lived in Claremont for 18 years. I have taught at the University of La Verne for 24 years. I have been involved in community media since 1991. The difference between community media and mainstream media is that the goal of community media is to empower individuals by giving them the tools and an outlet to create and show media about the neighborhoods in which they live, while the major focus of mainstream media is about making money. As the station manager for LVTV in La Verne since 1994 and KWST in San Dimas since 2009 our interest has been in providing coverage of our local communities. We regularly videotape elementary, middle school and high school concerts, University of La Verne sports: football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball and softball. We also cover high school sports, little league, concerts in the park and other community concerts, plays, and political candidates’ forums. Students at the University of La Verne produce an award winning video magazine program “Spotlight” that looks at people, places and events in and around La Verne and San Dimas. Foothill Community News is a bi-weekly program, produced by students that covers news in La Verne, San Dimas and at the University of La Verne. These programs, as well as a host of other student and some community-produced videos are the only TV coverage of La Verne, San Dimas and surrounding communities. The TV stations also provide a community bulletin board where local, non-profit agencies can publicize their events at no cost. Both stations also stream their signals so people outside the service coverage area can watch programming produced by LVTV and KWST. Some videos are also uploaded to Vimeo and You Tube so viewers can access the programming on demand. But the main thrust of our efforts is to fill our TV channels with local programming so people in the communities we serve have a place they can go to see themselves and their neighbors on television. I get paid for my efforts to manage the TV stations. The pay is minimal is and is not my main source of income, but I continue to serve as station manager because I believe showing these communities on television empowers residents. Their images and voices are on TV as loud and clear as the sitcoms on the major networks or as the news from Los Angeles. I also enjoy being out in the community and interacting with residents, local government officials, businesses and non-profit agencies. We videotaped a sheriff’s candidate debate in San Dimas earlier in 2014. This was the only debate by the candidate’s east of the 605 freeway. Politicians and residents from all over the area attended the forum. It struck me that night that LVTV and KWST are more than just local TV stations—we are regional stations providing a service to a broader audience, as the debate played on a dozen community media outlets throughout the region. I also had a chance, that night, to talk to some of Claremont’s city council members on the power of community television and my feeling that shutting down Claremont’s community TV channel a number of year’s back was a terrible loss to our local community. I was encouraged by our council’s response—one of being open to the idea of bringing community media back to Claremont. Don Pollock

No comments:

Post a Comment