Minnesota public-access TV studio for five communities closing soon

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A Minnesota public-access TV studio serving five cities will shut down this month, “an example of accessible, hyper-local television being forced to refocus in an era of instant, free video uploads to YouTube and Facebook,” reports the Star Tribune.  Comcast no longer wants to run the studio, and the Southwest Suburban Cable Commission says  equipment needs updating and the facility produces too few programs for Edina, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Richfield.

“You need a studio that provides gravitas for the cancer survivor, the politician, the minority group,” Jeff Strate, who has produced a show at the studio, told the newspaper. “This is a very inexpensive way for community groups to come in and get stuff out there.”

Technology, changing media habits and cost concerns have forced cities to reevaluate their public-access channels, the Star Tribune noted; many are repurposing public-access service into broader community media resources.

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