Iowa City’s PEG channel joins nationwide fight to keep public access funding

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Iowa City’s public access channel, PATV Channel 18, has joined the Alliance for Community Media to gain support of Iowa lawmakers for the Community Access Preservation Act, which would restore funding to local stations and prevent operators from discriminating against the channels, PATV executive director Josh Goding tells the Iowa City Press-Citizen. “The history of public, educational and government channels is vague to many people, but these channels are critical because they produce more original local media than all the big networks combined,” Goding said. “The funding structure that grew up around PEGs in the 1980s is now being undermined by profit motive. Big telecoms are dumping millions into state legislatures to buy their way out of their obligations to our cities and our community channels.”

Goding said stations nationwide are at risk of losing funding. “The hundreds of PEG stations struggling to stay viable across the country since 1978 have always been the true sources of free speech, diverse local programs (and) citizen journalism,” Goding said. “We’re trying to stay here.”

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