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The Story of Community Access Television

Television. It is a powerful communication medium. Not only does it bring images and sounds from around the world on a variety of subjects into people's homes, but it has the ability to influence events and mold public opinion. Up until recently, television production and programs were centered in large metropolitan areas, concentrating on the community, politics, crime, and events important to those areas. Nearby local communities, under the influence of these large metropolitan cities, were ignored in the metropolitan television broadcasts. Local community events important to local residents had to rely on local newspapers and radio broadcasts. With the development of low cost video equipment production equipment and the advent of cable television, video production has become accessible to local residents and agencies through Community Access Television (CAT).

Community Access Television is not a new concept, but one that has successfully flourished in many cities. Individuals on the local level, through CAT, have the ability to become involved in local television production, producing a wide range of television programs of interest to local viewers. These programs have included local politics, civic events, talk shows, documentaries, local sports, event coverage, school programming, general entertainment, cultural topics, and religion. Once a program is produced, it is then shown on a local CAT cable channel on local cable systems.

The tools used to produce television programming are easily mastered by almost everyone, without years of training or long apprenticeships. Basic training sessions are taught at the CAT studios, and those wishing to use the equipment are cleared for it's use.

CAT allows anyone, from a local citizen to a small group or agency, access to the local television medium and allows them another avenue to communicate their programs and needs to the people in the community. A strong democracy needs a well informed citizenry. The goal of Community Access Television allows local governments, agencies, groups and citizens a vital communications link to effectively help inform citizens about the community around them.

WCAT-5 Overview

"Woodburn's Best Kept Secret"

Woodburn Community Access Television (WCAT-5) is a public-access cable television station located in the City of Woodburn, Oregon. WCAT-5 broadcasts over the Wave Broadband Cable System servicing the Woodburn, Gervais, and Hubbard areas on Channel 5. The WCAT-5 studio is located at 635 Glatt Circle, Suite B, in the Wave Broadband Technical Building.

The station is run by a non-profit organization that manages the facility, offers instruction in television production, broadcasts local and locally sponsored programming, and makes video equipment available to the trained public for checkout.

The studio and control room facility is available most weekdays 9:00AM -10:00 PM and is available for scheduling production and editing activities. Office hours occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays usually between 2PM-5PM.

WCAT-5 does not charge for use of the facilities or equipment. WCAT-5 does ask that it have right of first showing of anything produced in the facility. The only costs to citizen producers are the cost of tapes, props, and sets.

The WCAT-5 access center exchange tapes with other area access centers such as CCTV in Salem and access centers in Tualatin Valley, Gresham, Silverton, Eugene, McMinnville, Canby and others.

WCAT-5 uses DV formats for acquisition and processing and can then dub tapes to VHS, S-VHS, DV, Hi-8 and DVD formats for playback and shuttle.

WCAT-5 is run by volunteers and a small part-time staff. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, attending any of the various traings that are offered, arranging a tour of the facility, or scheduling time for broadcast, please contact the station at: (503) 981-7735.

   

WCAT-5, Woodburn Community Access Television
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