Open Access for All
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The Possibility

A Nationwide Public Access Network - Public Access TV holds a tremendous opportunity for public participation in the media. Access stations across the U.S. collectively produce tens of thousands of hours of original programming daily, but very little of that is shared. We have an opportunity to create an entirely new kind of television network with the public in the driver's seat.

The Approach

User Automation - In recent years the user automated business model has given small organizations the ability to make an impact exceeding that of any large corporation.  This model has made it possible for organizations like YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo to become the irrefutable industry leaders, often with very small staffs. In this approach, the institution does not generate content. Instead, it develops and maintains the structure in which the public creates, organizes, and shares their ideas. Denver Open Media's model gives people a level of control never before seen in public access. We put the power of media truly into the hands of the community. With advancements in media and internet technology, we can level the playing field. We empower individuals to advance their own agenda and to use media as a tool to educate and mobilize their communities on a level only imagined before.

The Tools

All Digital Content - For voices to be heard in the 21st century, all content must be transferable, visible on the web and easily accessible to both individuals and the Public Access TV community. Denver Open Media's model is entirely digital, enabling producers to upload their content into our broadcast system from any source format and via the web.

Computers: The New TVs

Everything is Web-Accessible - We have developed a $100,000 online software package for managing and automating every aspect of a digital access station. Using Drupal, an open-source, modular platform, we enable public access stations to move into a new realm of service to their community, and a new level of collaboration with their counterparts across the U.S. From equipment reservation to media rating and categorization, this evolving web package provides everything access stations need and is the backbone of the public access revolution.

 

Rating:  Let the Viewers Choose.

Putting the viewers in the driver's seat means they choose what airs. At Denver Open Media, that's exactly what happens. Every show is guaranteed broadcast on our Community Channel and the viewers decide what content airs on our Best Of and HD Channel by voting for their favorite shows. All radio shows are guaranteed broadcast on our radio station and listeners vote to determine which shows get more play on the airwaves. This process is all automated through our software, so our viewers are completely in control of what they listen to and watch.  

Categorization:  If you can find it, you can watch it.

Content must be easy to find to accomplish true public access. With tens of thousands of hours of content produced daily at public access stations across the country, combined with the hundreds of thousands of videos uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo and other sites each day, the choices are endless. Denver Open Media's model simplifies and standardizes the categorization process for users, which follows open standards such as PBCore and MediaRSS. The end result is that Denver Open Media makes it as easy to find content as Google makes it to find a website. 

Licensing:  Out with Traditional Copyright, in with Creative Commons.

Traditional intellectual property restrictions have no place in Public Access TV or the web. Therefore, all content created within the Denver Open Media model is released with a Creative Commons license. Creative Commons provides free, easy to use copyright licenses, giving the public the freedom to share knowledge and creativity. Traditional copyright is for proprietary fossils who care more about the monetary value their content represents to advertisers than they care about its value to their viewers. Our mission is to get your message out. Creative Commons plays a key role in protecting producers from being manipulated by commercial interests, creating a more equitable, accessible and innovative world.

Bandwidth:  Yes, YouTube Really Spends $1 Million Per Month on Bandwidth.

The bandwidth to share media on the web is an extremely valuable commodity. Most public access stations make use of enormous amounts of idle, excess bandwidth in government or educational institutions' resources. Others stations partner with one another or web-based media aggregators such as Archive.org and OurMedia.org for free hosting of media content. This is how public access stations cut costs and make use of resources that would otherwise be wasted.

Closing the Digital Divide

No matter how innovative new technologies are, they are meaningless if people can't use them. That's why access stations are in the business of providing equipment and skills to those who need them. Many low-income communities don't have access to the Internet, and we are here to serve them most of all. When low income and other underrepresented neighborhoods are empowered with new technologies, everyone benefits: stations expand their community of users while community members learn new technologies and gain the tools to make their voices heard. Denver Open Media creates a space for voices that have been pushed out and silenced, reshaping the political and social world to become more just, inclusive and free.