The COVID-19 pandemic has presented Midpen Media with a new set of challenges to serve the community with relevant and valuable media opportunities during these difficult times. These challenges are not unique to Midpen Media; they affect cable access centers across the country. To get through this unprecedented time of declining revenues and empty studios, the Midpen Media board formed an ad hoc committee to study the new ecosystem. This Vision Committee developed ideas and recommendations to help staff navigate these challenges and to make it through the pandemic and beyond.
Studying what other centers are doing
The Vision Committee is looking at what other community access centers are doing. The Alliance for Community Media (ACM) has a wealth of information to sift through. Plus, the board can watch a series of webinars produced by ACM on COVID-19 best practices with presentations from access centers that are not just surviving but thriving.
Be a Midpen Media Center ambassador
A consistent theme is that everyone who loves their access center needs to be an ambassador for it. As much as Midpen Media’s board, staff, and community are able, they need to ask themselves and others, what does the community need from me, and how can I deliver it to them? What can Midpen Media do now to provide high value to the community?
Survey of the communities Midpen Media serves
In August and September, Midpen Media used Survey Monkey to create a survey to gather input from the community at large. The community submitted some great feedback and ideas. Now the Vision Committee is working on an executive summary of observations and findings stemming from the survey and discussions with other media centers. The completed summary should provide strategic guidance toward a long-term sustaining model that puts the community’s media needs first.