The Flavors: Citizen Media

Citizen Media is not Public Affairs Programming, although it can be done in the interest of the public. Citizen Media can be raw or highly produced. It is often a blend of authentic and quirky. Within its content, you might notice opinions, ideas, and even aspirations. It can be coverage of an event, one or more people talking, commentary on, or presentation of, local news; the perspective of the producer will always influence what you see and hear. Under the Community Media umbrella, this is the Public Access component.

Public Access and Public Affairs are different. Public Affairs can also be coverage of events. Typically, it is recording a speaker or gavel-to-gavel meetings. It may also be conversation but the people involved are more likely to be following a script and be presenting the perspective of an agency as interpreted by current leadership rather than their own point of view. Within Community TV, this is traditionally Government Access and sometimes Education Access.

In Wallingford, the public library recently expanded its services and invited the media and the public to the opening of its #Collaboratory. Two community media videos were produced from this opening. Each production exemplifies how the same community experience can tell a similar but not identical story exemplifying the intrinsic differences between these two forms of community media.

Same story: Citizen Producer Version    Public Affairs Version
#Collaboratory at WPL

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