Leaning in to our birthright and purpose. Resolution adopted 10.5.2020
WHEREAS, Wallingford Public Access Association, Inc. (WPAA-TV and Community Media Center), a non-profit 501©3 operating in the Town of Wallingford CT as the designated Cable Access Provider since July 28, 1993 [as reaffirmed by the franchising authority in Docket #08-04-09 in accordance with CT. Agencies Regs. §§ 16-331a-1 to -13 Community Access Support – Definitions]; and
WHEREAS, the primary obligation established in CT. Gen. Stat. § 16-331a is stewardship of the resources for meaningful community access; and
WHEREAS, meaningful community access requires the technical, managerial and financial support of citizen media inclusive of production facilities, equipment, and training for the development of content for community TV channels; and
WHEREAS, the franchising authority in Docket No. 99-10-05 codified that Cable Access Providers are the vehicle for these requirements to reach the community served; and
WHEREAS, the organization’s mission envisions empowering people to meet their own communication needs by facilitating creation of media; and
WHEREAS, as a member organization of the Alliance for Community Media we do our work under the guiding principles of promote free speech, expand civic engagement through local media, and ensure the people can seek redress of their grievances; and
WHEREAS, community media advocates c. 1960 pursued First Amendment Rights legislation to provide for a meaningful opportunity for citizens to convey diverse messages with access to the mass media; and
WHEREAS, the subsequent emergence of Internet speech suggests access to mass media is no longer the essential opportunity for preservation of robust and egalitarian debate among diverse voices; and
WHEREAS, the content created for distribution on the designated channel has more reach in the secondary distribution of the Internet and social media; and
WHEREAS, disinformation has always existed but the unprecedented communication power of the Internet and social media, linguistic virility (misinformation spreading quickly from person to person behaving like viral mechanisms) has reached epic proportions; and
WHEREAS, as far back as the 1980s, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) identified the need for the public to be trained to critically evaluate the media and more recently the UNESCO Information Literacy Group (2018) defined Information Literacy as “the ability to think critically and make balanced judgments about any information we find and use. It empowers us as citizens to reach and express informed views and to engage fully with society; and
WHEREAS, digital literacy builds upon media literacy inclusive of practices that allow people to access, critically evaluate credibility, examine, comprehend and create or manipulate media with an understanding of tools such as computers, social media, and the Internet; and
WHEREAS, for our purposes, information literacy is inclusive of digital literacy (the ability to find, evaluate, and compose information on various digital platforms using technology) and media literacy, (the ability to understand the difference between creative expression, reporting, commentary, opinion, analysis, fact and fake); and
WHEREAS, civic engagement by citizen media makers necessitates information literacy training to enable the production of media in an ethical manner (thereby not contributing to threats to the quality of public discourse).
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that WPAA-TV and Community Media Center interprets its charge to provide access to resources and training for development of content for community TV channels that incorporates the principles and tools of information literacy; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that media and information competencies are a means of promoting inclusion, cultural diversity and citizen engagement in areas of justice and equity; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that everyone is a stakeholder in the struggle for better information access, social cohesion, and democracy; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that WPAA will embrace civic initiatives that Engage, Educate, Equip, and Empower citizens to Expose misinformation or Exemplify the values and tenets of professional news gathering and information dissemination
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, WPAA will strive to provide production training equivalency from pre to post-production such that interview techniques, story structure, presentation of data in images, style awareness (news vs. opinion) copyright | fair use and production knowledge, use of a camera, audio, lights, editing are resourced.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, WPAA will strive to increase the number of digitally literate residents in Wallingford, persons who possess a variety of skills, technical and cognitive, required to find, understand, evaluate, create, and communicate digital information in a wide variety of formats, and use these skills to communicate with the general public to actively participate in civic society and contribute to a vibrant, informed, and engaged community.