There is “local” and there is “hyper-local”. Marblehead TV (MHTV) is the 2nd variety – laser-focused on our small community of approximately 8000 households. The COVID-19 pandemic left everyone struggling for guidance. Marbleheaders could turn to Boston media outlets, but they needed information that pertained directly to them, to their schools, their businesses, and their block. With the local weekly newspaper on “life support”, MHTV was the only truly local media resource in town.
On March 4, 2020, Marblehead schools shut down. On March 8, town offices closed to the public. On March 13, 2020 – Friday the 13th, we closed our studio, prepared to work from home, and re-invented our media and our message. At that moment, our intrepid staff of 4, MHTV shifted from public access to public service.
We pivoted to a multi-platform organization, delivering daily – sometimes hourly – video and online updates, as needed in the quickly-changing world of COVID rules & regulations. We documented the heroic actions of residents throughout the Town. We did whatever we could to encourage residents to support our creative, cultural, non-profit, and business communities. We kept a running list of “What you need to know…Now” links on our website. We even held an online auction, raising over $1000 to support the Marblehead Food Pantry.
In 2021, we continued to grow these efforts. We returned to our studio. Marbleheaders cautiously emerged from their houses. Businesses were reviving. Projects resumed. Celebrations took place. Having gone through a year of COVID, a “new normal” helped re-define our meaning of “community”. COVID is not over, but MHTV is still here – on TV and online. Truly local…and relevant!