It was a good dream! And actually, we do have a TV station, kind of – Mediacom Public Access Channel 18. But as far as I can tell, there’s not much in the way of regular programming, right? I know that the City Council meetings are televised, and some of the political forums, but today’s (Sunday’s) lineup seems to consist of a constantly repeating notice of Clinton’s 2013 Large Item Pickup (and fyi, if you live on Route 4 – all residences North of and including Main Avenue – collection starts tomorrow, so set your dismantled swing sets and above ground pools out by your curb, but don’t even think of throwing an old refrigerator or giant TV into the pile). Large Item Pickup is important, no doubt – but there is so much more going on in Clinton, and how great would it be if Channel 18 programming was full of weekly segments featuring up to date info on local activities, kids, businesses, recreational opportunities, restaurants, people, volunteer groups, news, opinions … you get the idea.
We are always talking about the need to do a better job of selling Clinton to potential new residents/businesses – a local TV channel offering an ever changing variety of programs about Clinton people, places, activities, etc would be a great showcase for our town! Plus I bet lots of Clintonians would love to watch TV shows featuring people, kids, organizations, and places they know – I sure would! And in a world where almost everyone seems to carry a video camera (aka cell phone) in his/her pocket/purse, acquiring current content shouldn’t be too difficult to arrange. Although I realize that the quality of cell phone video is often less than ideal, so perhaps Ashford or Clinton Community College or our local high schools’ AV teams would all be willing to provide part time access to quality equipment/lighting.
There are so many possible topics for programs! Maybe a bi-weekly 15 minute segment on a different Clinton County business. A weekly local restaurant review. A “shop local” segment featuring a local retail establishment, or a local farm that provides food to local restaurants. A weekly (or daily) short segment on a local Clinton student who deserves recognition for whatever reason. A weekly segment about a local Clinton County person of interest - a “meet your neighbor” kind of thing. How about a weekly segment on “things to do this weekend in Clinton County”? Perhaps a short weekly segment from each (or at least some) of Clinton County’s elected officials answering a specific question or addressing a specific issue? Maybe a weekly segment on one of Clinton’s many volunteer groups – to give these groups some justified recognition but also to encourage more members. A segment on local school and club sports teams/players/coaches/etc would be interesting. A segment on Clinton’s historical buildings/landmarks, featuring a different one each week (lots of possibilities on this Facebook page…) A weekly segment on local music and musicians, and/or one on local artists of all types. A weekly segment on upcoming events for kids and adults at our fabulous public library would be great.
Clinton residents with expertise on a specific topic could volunteer to be in charge of the weekly segment on that specific topic _ e.g., the Teglers could do the weekly segment on local music/musicians (haven’t asked them, just an example – but they’d be great, right?). We could have a Channel 18 Facebook page with current info on programs and schedules, and info on how to get involved, and links to the program segments themselves, and a place to leave feedback. People love to leave feedback!
Someone, or a group of someones, or a specific organization, would have to be in charge, I suppose – in charge of working w/Mediacom, setting up the programming schedule, approving topics, arranging for studio time – maybe CCC or Ashford could help with that (I’d think running this type of project would provide great real world experience for students interested in going into broadcasting and related fields). Since I’m in Des Moines working at the State Capitol about half of the time I’m just not in a position to take the lead on this – but I really want it to happen, and I do want to help! So I’m throwing the idea out into the blogosphere in the sincere hopes that many of my fellow Clintonians will give it some thought, and that maybe those of us who are interested in helping to make something like this happen can all get together sometime in the not too distant future. What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea? An idea that you want to help make happen? My friend Tim Gunn’s on board! (OK, not really, I just find this picture amusing …)