Will Community TV Make a Come Back?
I remember a time back in the early days of Cable TV, where the first few channels in the line up were dedicated to low quality, poorly produced local, or, community TV.
If you haven’t seen “Between Two Ferns” on Netflix, then check it out here. The comedy show is just how I remember these early community TV shows to be – low quality, embarrassingly awkward and of little value. And unlike Between Two Ferns, they were not deliberately done that way to make you laugh.
How is Tech Enabling Better Community Engagement?
Fast forward a few decades and technology has come on a long way, and so has the ability to engage with the community.
Darren, who has spent much of his career as a professional radio presenter, now works from home running a video production business.
He told me how the current lockdown had such an impact on the small community he lives in, and with his background and technical capability he wanted to see if he could help keep the community together, so set about creating a series of community TV shows.
Darren’s idea was to try to re-create the social engagement and information sharing that the local community was dependent on digitally, rather than in-person word of mouth that Overton, like many villages was built on. Importantly, he wanted to make sure the community were directly involved.
Overton.TV – Crowd Sourced Community TV
Overton.TV the digital community TV channel that Darren created. The channel is available via Facebook, YouTube and the dedicated website.
Adoption across the community was rapid and engagement is high, with lots of locals recording video content on their mobile phones and sharing it either via the website or Facebook.
When I spoke with him, Darren said they already had more than a quarter of the entire village connected via the Facebook group.
How it works.
Anyone in the community can take a video of something that’s important to them and the community and share it with Darren directly from their smartphone.
The image used at the top of the page was taken from a video taken just before the strict lockdowns came into force and shows the unveiling of a student art competition. Post-lockdown, Darren said the amount of content has decreased, conversely, the creativity has increased.
Once Darren has the content, he fires up his video production sweet at home to create almost broadcast quality content that includes the local’s own footage along with zoom video interviews and his own self-recorded material.
Each episode opens with a wonderful local-radio-style “what’s coming up”, my favourite was the episode that featured the local’s lawn mowing antics. (The video below is queued up at the lawnmower segment)