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September 06, 1990 - Image 44

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-06

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Page 2-The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition - Thursday, September 6, 1990



Access TV

allows for free speech

by Sarah Schweitzer
Daily Staff Writer
Ann Arbor residents have never
been afraid of expressing their views
or making their opinions known.
The vast number of speeches and
rallies which take place in Ann Ar-
bor and the panoply of books and ar-
ticles which flow out of the city at-
test to this fact.
In this long standing tradition of
vocalizing their opinions, Commu-
nity Access television is the newest
medium of expression Ann Arbor
residents have at their disposal.
The sole purpose of operating a
Community Access television sta-
tion is to allow people to express
their First Amendment right to free
speech according Head Program Di-
rector Lucy Visovatti.
Visovatti describes Community
Access television as a "window to
Ann Arbor" because it allows so
many citizens' views to be freely
All residents of Ann Arbor may
request that a program of their choice
be aired on Community Access. No
requests, other than those for X-rated
material, are turned down.
Community Access television
will provide any Ann Arbor resident
interested in producing an original
television show with all the neces-
sary equipment provided the resident

fulfills two basic requirements.
The resident must become certi-
fied in video production by partici-
pating in an orientation session then
attending a workshop in a specialty
area of their choice. Options included
editing, producing, or operating a
video camera recorder.
. Residents must also agree to air
on Community Access television
any shows produced with Commu-
nity Access equipment.
Community Access television
stations are not unique to Ann Ar-

also involve themselves by working*
as an intern at the station.
Community Access accepts a to-
tal of fifteen interns each term. In-
terns work three, four-hour shifts per
"We couldn't survive without our
interns... Interns are a vital part of
the Community Access channel and
are relied upon heavily by full time
staffers," said Visovatti.
Interns are responsible for run-
ning programs, doing voiceovers -
telling listeners what will air next,

'Interns are a vital part of the Community
Access channel and are relied upon heavily
by full time staffers'
- Lucy Visovatti
Community Access station director e

Control Central
Dan Schlichting, a volunteer director at Community Access Television, sits in the studio control room. Students
often volunteer, or intern at Community Access.

bor. While Ann Arbor's 17 year old
Community Access television sta-
tions, channels 8, 9 and 10, are
some of the oldest in the country, in
the past few years Community Ac-
cess stations have sprung up all over
the United States.
While Community Access tele-
vision is a public service, it is not
funded by tax dollars. Instead, cities
such as Ann Arbor may choose to
devote to Community Access televi-
sion stations a percentage of the
profits they receive from allowing
cable companies to operate within
their borders.
Visovatti said that the city's de-
cision to devote to Community Ac-
cess 100 percent of the revenues it
receives from Columbia Cable
Company demonstrates the "mayor
and the city council's belief in the
concept of free speech."
In addition to producing programs
and having them aired on Commu-
nity Access, University students can

and performing various administra-
tive jobs.-
Past intern LSA Junior Amanda
Neuman called her internship experi-
ence "enriching."
"It helped me to get a clearer idea
of my goals for my future career,"
said Neuman.
Neuman warned, however, that.
interns quickly learn that television
production is not always the glam-
orous job it is often perceived to be.
Furthermore, Neuman said that
prospective interns should understand
that the internship is not one in
television production, but rather
aims to teach an intern how to help
run a public access television sta-
Both Visovatti and Neuman said*
of the internship experience, "You
get out of it what you put into it."
Two programs that originate
from Community Access are B-side
and MSTV. Both are shows are stu-
dent run.

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