Better Together: The Media Factory and our community
Reflecting back on 2018, one phrase continually comes to mind - better together. RETN, and our partners at VCAM, intentionally decided that we are better together when we rebranded our shared space at 208 Flynn Avenue in Burlington the Media Factory, and for the first time in our long collaborative history, embarked on a shared strategic planning process.
RETN and VCAM recently adopted a new joint plan and we’re pretty excited about it! The plan will not only guide our work together on shared projects like WBTV-LP FM, it will also help us align and strengthen our services to the community, enable us to build deeper collaborations with our nonprofit partners like CCTV/Channel 17, and with the primary goal of sustainability, ensure that the Media Factory remains an essential community resource well into the future.
In addition to crafting a new strategic plan, with your help in 2018 we were able to:
- Combine forces with VCAM and WBTV-LP volunteers to provide more video production, audio-making, and editing classes than ever before
- Support and train local programmers for the Media Factory’s low power FM radio station WBTV-LP - resulting in 37 local radio shows on the schedule
- Greatly increase school board meeting viewership and engagement with live meetings on Facebook
- Go to space with students from Charlotte Central School*
With your support, we will build on these accomplishments in 2019 and launch our new Media Factory plans. We’ll continue to work hard with the dedicated group of WBTV-LP community volunteers to build the radio station’s audience and sustainability. We’re also pretty excited about new educational opportunities, and a Media Factory-wide course catalog, that will feature offerings from VCAM, RETN and WBTV-LP. Our goal is to make it easier than ever for community members to access the skills and equipment to tell their stories. Your contribution allows us to continue offer these classes and services for free or by donation.
In 2019 we will also face an unprecedented threat to our funding as the Federal Communications Commission considers new cable rules that could eliminate funding for community media centers across the nation. This would be a disaster for free speech, civic engagement and government transparency provided by these organizations and Vermont’s 25 access centers.
We hope we can count on you in this fight because we can’t do it alone. Better together is bigger than our work at RETN, VCAM, WBTV-LP and the Media Factory - we believe we’re better together as a community when we join together to share our stories and connect around ideas and learning. We are honored to play our part and are so grateful for your continued support.
*Seriously, we went to space! Watch the video here: https://www.retn.org/show/mission-learn-charlotte-central-school-and-retn