Public Access TV

August 31, 1998

The debate continues over the issues of access and control of knowledge. As multinational corporations have increasingly gobbled up media outlets, we have seen an explosion of creativity on public access television. Public access enables local people to air their ideas, thoughts and talents pretty much for free at their local cable provider. Cable companies are currently required by law to give airtime to the community. In some cases cable access shows can have larger audiences than network TV.

And now that Westinghouse/CBS, General Electric/NBC, Walt Disney/ABC and others are taking fewer risks to preserve their dwindling audiences, the information we have access to becomes more and more limited.


  • Anthony Riddle, the Executive Director of Manhattan Neighborhood Network.
  • Bunnie Reidel, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Community Media.
  • Fernando Moreno, a producer and organizer with community access TV in Portland. He used to live in New Mexico, where he fought to represent and serve the undocumented workers community through public access television.