Media Centers Learn to “Be More” at the ACM Conference

By Eva Barrows

The Alliance for Community Media (ACM) 2018 National Conference was held in Baltimore July 11-13. This year’s theme “Be More” encourages media centers across the country to maximize their impact at the local level to change lives and strengthen community. Two Midpen Media Center representatives – Board President, Sue Purdy Pelosi and Youth and Community Engagement Manager, Jesse Norfleet traveled to Baltimore to take part in the conference.

Media centers have the opportunity to share their accomplishments and ongoing projects with other stations. Tips and advice on areas of programming, community outreach, technology advances and media education are swapped through panel discussions and face to face networking. Norfleet notes that BRICTV in New York has a local journalism program outputting four major campaigns a year. BRICTV brings together community members to design the campaigns that feature community leaders and the citizens affected by each issue.

Important community news is becoming harder to access as local newspapers fold and commercial news broadcasts depend more on national news services to provide content. Media centers have the opportunity to provide necessary local news to keep communities informed and strengthen awareness through local reporting. Norfleet notes that stations need to balance local news journalism, community storytelling, and entertainment media for dynamic programming.
The overall vibe of the conference was uplifting and celebratory as dedicated public access, and community media advocates mingled. Pelosi says, “There is a very strong desire to share content all the way across the country, and Midpen Media Center has a real opportunity to participate.” She also notes that Midpen Media Center has a great reputation and is seen as a leader in the access world.

Hometown Awards and other accolades honoring outstanding community programing and individuals were given out during the conference. For information on attending next year’s conference and how to nominate or enter your Midpen Media Center produced show to the Hometown contest visit ACM’s website.

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