ACM West Conference Navigates New Media Horizon


By Eva Barrows

The 2019 ACM West Conference and Trade Show took place Jan 30 – Feb 1st on Long Beach, CA waterfront at the Hotel Maya. The annual conference provides a chance for community access station staff and supporters to network, try the latest in media technology, and share best practices through workshops and panel discussions.

The Midpen Media Center took part in delivering panel discussions to conference attendees. Executive Director Keri Stokstad, moderated the “Live Mobile Productions” session where live stream video technology and methods were explored. Head of Strategic Initiatives, Elliot Margolies shared his insights on the “Marketing Your Channels and Center: Social Media Analytics” panel.

Two panel discussions Margolies attended left him with positive takeaways. At the “Media and Digital Literacy Projects that Build Community” session Metro East Community Media near Portland, OR shared their success story creating a digital inclusion project. MECM went into an underserved neighborhood and trained residents in media production skills on computers they get to keep after the course. An access station in Fresno, CA has started a program in local high schools and colleges, recruiting students to learn how to crew a mobile sports production truck. Students compose shots, sequences and tell visual stories at live school football and basketball games.

ACM CEO Mike Wassenaar facilitated a plenary panel “FCC, Federal and State Issues and Court Cases Impacting Our Future” updating conference attendees on current government actions that may change rules affecting community access station funding. The discussion ended with a list of actions stations can take to work with government representatives to prevent funding loss.

After a day of workshops and panels, attendees were treated to an evening harbor boat cruise. Other opportunities were available to relax back at the resort or explore glittering Long Beach. The conference ended full of anticipation and excitement for the WAVE Awards show. The year’s best community media programming was acknowledged with Midpen Media Center TV shows taking home five wins!

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