Open Government Lives!

I have a great (part-time) job. I run my town’s PEG (Public, Education, Government) cable TV station. After struggling to stay on the air with antiquated equipment and no money as a volunteer for the last four years, I was able to completely rebuild our station here in Ringwood, NJ this year as a contractor. Using funds from the grant we received from Cablevision for signing a new franchise agreement and a bond passed by our town council, I created a broadcast facility with a file server that schedules our programming, provides wonderful slide show and emergency messaging features. I also have remote cameras run with a superb new studio appliance to air council meetings without having to beg for volunteers.

Our cable TV provider has been less than enthusiastic about supporting us and they have thwarted many of our attempts at improving our facilities through sponsorships. They keep whittling away at the channels they provide to their subscribers while continuing to raise rates. Last year, they switched Ringwood TV Channel 77 from the analog to the digital tier without much warning, leaving many of our viewers unable to see this important source of local information. We have been trying to get the word out, but it hasn’t been easy.

This summer, with a lot of work and testing and tweaking, I found a way to use a free streaming web site to simulcast our signal to the internet. If you want to see it, go to http://www.livestream.com/ringwoodtv

Now anyone with broadband anywhere in the world can see Ringwood TV, featuring council meetings, freeholders meetings, school broadcasts, town events and our bulletin board. Our local public library enables anyone with a library card to enjoy this functionality for free!

If you’re interested in learning more about what I do and how I do it, I welcome you to visit my Examiner blog. I’m not a politician, but I feel strongly that people should be able to see what’s going on in their home towns and form their own opinions. And it’s a privilege to be able to do this!

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Amanda Blount

Oh the dedication to something like this – especially when all seems lost and everyone is against you diserves a huge KUDOS! This shows the type of person you are. Most people would have said…”forget it, I am otta here!” 🙂
Terrific job!