Public domain photo taken in 2015

I’ve taken a first cut at a new tab on our Mass. Indy News spreadsheet listing public access television outlets in Massachusetts that cover local news. It’s linked here and is in the upper right-hand corner of Media Nation and What Works,

A lot of these come down to judgment calls. Virtually every access organization offers live and archived video of city council, school committee, select board and other public meetings. Few people, though, are going to sit down and watch a two-hour video of local officials doing their thing. One of the purposes of community journalism is to sift through such meetings, boil them down and make sense of them in a fair and impartial manner.

The ideal offering would be a weekly or daily newscast, and there are a few listed here. But not many outlets have such a newscast, and I’ve tried to be generous. For instance, I’ve included “SouthCoast Matters,” a talk show in Taunton, Berkley and other communities, because the program often features conversations with elected officials and other newsmakers. (Besides, they’ve had me on a few times, ha ha.)

Other programs I checked out, though, haven’t posted anything new for months. Those didn’t make the cut.

Why a separate tab? Public access is funded through a fee assessed to cable television providers such as Comcast and Verizon, but rather than going directly to the access organizations, it’s administered by local officials. These operations are vitally important part of any city or town’s media ecosystem, but they’re not entirely independent.

If you’re knowledgeable about public access in Massachusetts, I invite you to look this over and get in touch with me about additions or corrections. Just use this form. And share this post widely!

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