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GV Expo News: PEG Channels Offer Hidden Gem Amid Info Flurry

In this age of information, local PEG television can still rise above the noise

DCTV President and CEO Nantz Rickard offered a presentation of Public, Educational and Government TV channels and how they can help those with a message reach a wider audience.

WASHINGTON — With avenues like YouTube, Twitter and other social media and online resources, more and more people are able to put their voices out unto the world. But with everyone able to share their thoughts in this way, it can seems as though there is too much content to choose from. Not only that, but it’s hard for individual voices to find a wider audience.

But there are avenues available to the general public that can help assure that a message gets out.

One of PEG channels’ strengths is its ability to reach the right audience, said Nantz Richard.

DCTV President and CEO Nantz Rickard was on hand at the 2015 Government Video Expo for a presentation of Public, Educational and Government TV channels and how they can help those with a message reach a wider audience.

PEG channels are open to community members who wish to create professional programming and have it air on a local basic cable channel. Rickard explained how PEG channels have kept up with the changing media landscape. “PEG channels have changed a lot over the years. It used to be a very passive medium; it was setup, people would just walk through the door and do their thing. Now they’re really part of a communication strategy and can really be thought of in a really different strategic way.”

But the principle remains the same. With no editorial intervention into the content, programs can be any number of lengths, from 10 minutes to half an hour or broken up into segments. Regardless of what is being produced, PEG channels offer a professional, HD-capable environment for users to create content and to distribute programming.

While YouTube offers similar capabilities, there are thousands of videos uploaded every day to the site, making it hard for videos to truly find their audience. As Rickard described it, TV is a medium where people know where they need look to find certain content. With limited-scheduled slots in a day, there is a better chance that a video will be seen by the proper audience. That limited availability also provides the programming a heightened credibility.

“Everyone knows that only a few people get to program on television,” Rickard said. “There’s that context. It’s not the same thing as, say, on YouTube, where everybody knows that anyone that posts is allowed to post. So there’s a view that there’s been a filtering process of the information that is coming across from television and that filtering process is giving you something special or something important that you’re not necessarily going to be able to get anywhere.

“So it kind of ups your stature, ups your game of your information,” Rickard said. “There isn’t anybody even now with the Internet that disputes the power of television to be able to [get the information out there] very effectively.”

PEG channels are also able to assist in marketing and constituent engagement, strategic integration, and providing media skill training. It also can provide resources that the general public does not have access to, like a green screen, to raise the quality of the production.

With the changing times, PEG channels are not chained to the TV as its only way of reaching the audiences. DCTV, for instance, offers streaming and mobile capabilities so that programming can be accessed anywhere. Rickard explained, however, that PEG channels will fight to stay on basic cable channel packages so that the programming can reach the widest audience possible.

“[PEG is] not entertainment. It’s not advertising,” said Rickard. “It’s a very special niche and it’s channeled and programmed in a way to be in effective in a way to reach the people that are looking for that information.”