Public, Educational, and Governmental Access Media: Providing Contactless Community in a Pandemic

Public access cable channels have rarely been considered essential—that is until the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted every facet of public life.

by Patricia Aufderheide, Antoine Haywood and Mariana Sánchez Santos on Social Science Research Council

Often lampooned or ignored, these channels suddenly offered informational lifelines to more than 3,000 US communities desperate for local news, high school graduations, religious services, entertainment, and education. Their crisis performance underscores the potential for hyperlocal media, as well as the need for regulatory structures that bolster open society.


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Banner image: Michelle Clark and PhillyCAM.