That’s what went on at Community Media Day at our town’s public TV station last Saturday. The Belmont Media Center is a well-equipped production studio financed by our cable providers, Verizon and Comcast, that broadcasts shows day and night on local cable and over the Web. This year’s Media Day theme was Free Speech. Here’s a sample—Belmont resident Wendy Murphy addressing women’s rights in America and how the Equal Rights Amendment introduced in 1972 still could enshrine them in the US Constitution:
The BMC is a fabulous resource with super staff always coming up with new productions, out covering community events, offering media-related courses, and eager to help with members’ media projects. And if you volunteer to help in the studio or on location, they’ll train you.
They teach kids how to collaborate to produce videos and themselves collaborate with other media nonprofits to remake Hollywood films. A good number of seniors produce regular shows. Whenever there’s a town event, BMC is there, meeting, greeting, and taping. You wanna be on TV like me? Just ask them. My daughter and I have worked cameras and sound boards, and took classes together in editing and interviewing. She’s been a jill-of-all-trades as a summer intern there. My wife hosted half-hour episodes interviewing local artists. It’s fun for the whole family.
Anyone who wants to can speak to fellow citizens in Belmont and beyond, like some of us did on Saturday. Everything was set up for us. All we had to do was to walk into Studio A and do our thing.
Besides producing videos, BMC encourages residents to make podcasts and puts them out to the Net. Here’s one being made, a conversation between producer Roger Colton and Jeff Hansell, BMC’s Executive Director, describing BMC’s mission and how it fulfills it with events like Community Media Day (uses Flash):
And here on YouTube is how this year’s Community Media Day came out. Eleven video performances, in one of which I read a poem and hawk a book. Everyone there got free lunch and it didn’t cost us or taxpayers a dime. Now that’s free speech.