Submissions/WikiTV: the Open Media Project

From Wikimania 2010 • Gdańsk, Poland • July 9-11, 2010


This is an open submission for Wikimania 2010.

Title of the submission
WikiTV: The Open Media Project
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Tony Shawcross
E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
The Open Media Foundation
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)
Inspired by the successful distributed participatory model of wikipedia, The Open Media Foundation set out in 2005 to launch a TV station in Denver with a similar model. OMF built open-source tools designed to give the people of Denver total control over the production, scheduling, and management of three Cable TV channels. With funding for Public Access TV shrinking across the Nation, in 2008, the Knight Foundation funded a beta-test to expand this Open Media Project to 6 additional stations across the country. With the recent addition of San Francisco, a number of cities are working to prove that the wiki model can be used to create a public TV network that can make PBS as defunct as Wikpedia made Brittanica.
As multimedia production tools become more ubiquitous, video and multimedia are replacing the written word as the primary form of social communication. The Open Media Project is an effort to democratize the creation and distribution of video and multimedia, piggybacking on Wikipedia's efforts to make information accessible to all. With over a dozen TV stations, and more joining every year, we are working to transform outdated Public Access TV operations into integrated community media institutions, leveraging the wiki model to engage their communities on a level never before possible.
Open Media Project partners not only provide web and TV distribution platforms, but training and equipment necessary to ensure that disadvantaged communities are not left-out of the social awareness that is built through media and the internet. We no longer need centralized institutions to serve as the gatekeepers for public information, but even in community media, many organizations are unwilling to let-go of their traditional ways of operating, squandering the potential that exists to re-build a public media network that truly represents the community because it is managed by the community.
As Public Access TV stations become more and more outdated, corporate media and local governments are shutting them down. With over two dozen Cable-run Access centers closed in southern California in the past two years since DIVCA, now is the time for us to re-organize and re-build Public Access TV into what it could be. Cities like Denver and San Francisco have demonstrated that this crowdsourced approach to community media can be a success without the high costs of traditional media institutions. The wisdom of wiki can be extended beyond the internet to TV, Radio, and more, transforming our public discourse from one that is driven by commercial interests into one that is driven by the people.
Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
Knowledge and Collaboration
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
This panel would include representatives from cities at different stages of engagement.
  • Denver, CO: Denver's Open Media Project began in 2005 when the City of Denver and Comcast withdrew all funding for Public Access operations, leaving only capital support, which instead of being used to purchase equipment or facilities, was invested in the development of open-source software that could empower the community to manage three new TV channels.
  • San Francisco: In 2008-09, the city of San Francisco drastically cut operating support for Public Access TV. The Bay Area Video Coalition stepped-in with a proposal that would leverage the Open Media Project software to re-launch the community TV channels and production facilities under a new distributed-participatory design.
  • Austin, TX: The City of Austin is facing a similar fate to Denver and San Francisco in 2011. With the prospect of having much or all of their $600K+ budget revoked for Channel Austin, their Public Access station participated in a 2009 beta-test of the Open Media Project, and is slowly transitioning to a more distributed design.
  • Other participants may include Boston, New York, Davis, CA, and more

Interested attendees

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  1. --Ravidreams 07:11, 20 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  2. LA2 11:39, 20 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Eloquence 02:37, 21 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Kocio 23:33, 3 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]