Thursday Opening Keynote Panel

Re-Emerge… Re-Connect… Re-Envision…

The past two years have challenged PEG Access/Community Media Centers in every possible way. Although their facilities were closed to the public, PEG Access/CMCs played an essential role as providers of vital community information; as technical operations advisors/managers for local governments, schools, and nonprofit organizations; and as a platform for community events.

PEG Access/CMCs have dealt with rapid technical pivots in the way public meeting coverage is accomplished, and have helped elected officials and the public learn how to use Zoom and other technologies. They have distributed critical public health information, served as a virtual town square, and made community events, activities, and celebrations available virtually.

How have PEG Access/CMC services changed as a result of COVID? What have we learned that will be applicable in the future? These and many other topics will be discussed during this keynote session.

Friday Opening Keynote Panel

When Hate Speech Meets Free Speech

With conversations swirling around the media-sphere about the real-life ramifications of the proliferation of misinformation on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media apps, it’s interesting to revisit the concepts underpinning public access. Today CMC’s deliver content on a wide variety of social media platforms not just cable access channels. Does that change our role and the philosophy that guides the policies that govern the community media center? This workshop with explore how community media navigates the questions that arise as communities confront hatred and disinformation campaigns, and discuss the limits of free speech.


Broadening Your Reach: Multi-Platform Content Delivery

PEG Access/Community Media Center operations need to expand the reach of community programming to every possible platform. It’s important that your programming is available to as many audiences and providers as possible. This workshop will discuss what it takes to deliver your signal beyond traditional cable TV to streaming services like Facebook or YouTube and OTT platforms like Roku and Apple TV. Speakers will provide examples of different ways to do it. In addition, hear how some CMCs are starting to get some traction with live online channels, live-streamed shows, and curated VOD showcased by category.


1. Pandemic Pivot: Lessons Learned and Practices to Carry Forward

PEG Access/Community Media Centers have dealt with rapid technical pivots in the way public meeting coverage is accomplished, and have helped elected officials and the public learn how to use Zoom and other technologies. They have distributed critical public health information, served as a virtual town square, and made community events, activities, and celebrations available virtually.

This workshop will serve as an ongoing discussion and debriefing session led by Antoine Haywood as we further explore the discussion started during the opening keynote panel, “Re-Emerge…Re-Connect…Re-Envision…”

2. The Courts, the FCC, and Congress: Will they Finally Catch Up with the Real World in Communications?

What will 2022 hold for PEG Access and community media? What are the ramifications of 2021 court decisions and congressional and presidential actions (or the lack thereof) on the future of PEG Access?

What will be the impact of changes at the FCC?

The Cable Act of 1984 is 38 years old. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is 26 years old. In California, the Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006 (DIVCA) is 16 years old. Obviously, these federal and state laws are woefully out of date. Are legislative overhauls possible in 2022?

Get the latest updates from the people on the front lines at the federal, state, and local levels that are working hard to protect PEG Access and the rights of our communities.

3. Making Your PEG Access/Community Media Center More Inclusive

How can our media centers and organizations be proactive and improve how we address issues centering on equity, race, and ethnicity? How can we create a welcoming culture that is comfortable for all? Is there a difference between who we are as an organization and the content we broadcast and support? How do we develop policies, programs, and outreach to better reflect underserved populations in our communities? These and many other issues will be discussed by a panel of experienced PEG Access/Community Media Center managers and legal experts.

4. Building Back Your Membership and Community Producers, Post COVID

With COVID (hopefully) winding down, many PEG Access/Community Media Center operations report that their membership levels have dropped substantially. This problem is being faced not only by PEG Access centers, but also by the whole community, including nonprofits, libraries, and businesses. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to rebuild membership, reinvigorate community producers, and reemerge from COVID stronger than ever.

5. Expanding the Training Curriculum and Services to Meet Community Needs

As PEG Access TV operations evolve to a broader community media environment, how should our training curriculum and services evolve? Information will be presented regarding community needs and interests related to training and other services, gathered through on-line surveys and focus group meetings conducted in five different locations across the country. Learn what local nonprofit organizations want and how we can better serve their needs. This workshop will provide great training examples (e.g., Media Literacy training), and examine tutorials, internships, and cohort approaches to training (both in-person and online). It will show how media centers can introduce and provide innovative services to meet community needs.

6. Building a Bigger Tent: Developing Meaningful Engagement with Diverse Communities

Community Media Centers have the ability to reach many communities often left out of the media system, such as people of color, new immigrants, the disabled, and LGBTQ communities. How can we create meaningful opportunities for our diverse communities? How do we recruit staff from diverse communities? These and many other key issues will be addressed.

7. In the Rearview: Reaffirming Access Roots Today by Looking Back

PEG Access has been around for over 50 years. What are its roots and founding principles? Where did they come from? What was the Alternate Media Center? Guerrilla TV? Videofreex?

Many who work in PEG Access or use PEG Access center have no knowledge of the history of the field. How did things get started and how they have changed? Where does ACM fit into the picture?

Take a walk down memory lane with three people who were involved from the very beginning, are still active in PEG Access, and live in the Western region of ACM. This panel will deal with the roots of PEG Access from a wide range of perspectives (e.g., policy/legal, organic growth, philosophy).

8. AMAT: Ask Me Anything Technical

This workshop is just what it sounds like! We’re here to answer any and all technical questions that you have.

9. Going Beyond Cable Funding: Revenue Development Options, Opportunities, and Success Stories 

In today’s world, it is essential that PEG Access/Community Media Centers identify and implement a variety of revenue streams to supplement decreasing cable company funding.  This is not an immediate or one-size-fits-all endeavor.  What works and what doesn’t work will vary between large and small CMCs, rural, urban, or suburban.  This workshop will explore a variety of different categories of non-cable funding and present success stories in each category.

10. Digital Literacy Projects that Build Community

How can and should Community Media Centers address digital inclusion in today’s world?  This workshop will feature information about several digital literacy projects involving CMCs.  Find out how these projects were initiated and funded, project partners/collaborators, outcomes, and sustainability.  Learn about potential partnerships and funding opportunities available to CMCs that expand their vision for the future beyond cable TV.

11. Closed Captioning Update: Can You Read Me Now?

It’s been a couple years since we’ve been able to meet at a conference like this. In 2020, we heard about advances in closed captioning that were actually affordable for many Community Media Centers. This workshop will focus upon the challenges and successes that several community media centers and local governments have faced as they implemented closed captioning.

12. Developing and Implementing a Mobile App to Build Community Engagement

Is your center considering a mobile app?  What about its own branded mobile app?  A mobile app can help your center get its mission and content out to more people — right on their phones!

Learn about mobile apps that are available and see how some centers have created their own apps.  Find out about the platforms they chose, the features they prioritized and the costs they incurred.

13. Sports Productions and Programming

Sports programming is a compelling way to engage many people in your community. Whether you have a multi-camera set up for live contests, or you’re a single person operation, local sports event productions can attract viewers and often aren’t covered by bigger media.  They are sometimes the definition of local community programming.  Find out successful production methods and ways to attract partners and audience in this session.

14. Online Community Engagement: New Tools and Tactics

In the wake of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to find new ways to build communities and engage audiences (especially youth) on the internet. But staying on top of new technology tools and trends can be challenging. TikTok, a video sharing app, has emerged as one of the fastest growing social media networks, reaching 1 billion users in 2021, 60% of whom are 16-24 years old. TikTok is transforming the definition of media, communication, and production in the evolving media-making landscape. In this workshop, you’ll learn how Community Media Centers are using platforms such as TikTok, Discord, Facebook Groups, and others to keep in touch with their community, encourage discussions, build networks, and share information.

15. Tapping into ARPA and Other New Federal and State Funding

Over the past 16 months, a number of special funds were established to meet new challenges as a result of COVID and rapidly changing communications needs. Some PEG Access/Community Media Centers are in a position to tap into these funds to fulfill needs like closed captioning and emergency communications. This workshop will providing an overview of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and broadband and other communications funding programs. Learn about several PEGs/CMCs that received funding through these programs and how your community may be able to participate.

16. Small Community Media Center Collaboration

The world of Community Media Centers is diverse, with CMC’s operating with budgets that range from zero to several million dollars per year. How do you do all the things that need to be done to serve your community on a very limited budget?

This session will address challenges and provide solutions appropriate to CMCs with small budgets that serve small and/or rural communities. It will feature extensive interaction between speakers and participants, and will provide opportunities for brainstorming and problem solving.