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Benefits of Membership Tom and Deb at the Spring Conference

2018 Benefits of Membership

Wisconsin Community Media offers Member Stations (and Associates), Independent Producer Members, Friends, and Emeritus Members the following benefits:

  • Monthly eNewsletters.  WCM’s Member Update features stories about WCM activities and Wisconsin PEG stations, and provides updates on the latest local, state and national news about community television and telecommunications.  The Member Update is designed to keep Wisconsin community media professionals informed, inspired, and in touch.

  • Program sharing.  WCM’s program sharing system went digital in Fall 2014 with the use of MediaFire.  Station Members and Independent Producer Members are heavily using the service to upload and download programming for play on channels all around the state. 

  • Lobbying.  In the 2017-2018 session, WCM is lobbying on the state level for reinstatement of rights cities have under federal law that were lost in 2007.  Among these rights is the ability to assess a dedicated PEG fee to support PEG stations.  Our other two priorities are to have our channels carried by cable companies in the same format as broadcast stations (HD) and to have community programming be listed on the Electronic Program Guide.

  • Outreach and Promotional Opportunities.  The publication, WCM Quarterly, features stories about our WCM member media centers and producers.  The Quarterly is distributed in print format to state legislators and digitally to our large database of contacts.  WCM also manages an active Facebook page and began using Twitter in 2017.

  • Workshops and Conferences. WCM holds a two-day conference each spring at and a one-day workshop each fall at a community television station. Members attend at the discounted member rate.  In 2018, the Spring Conference, Best of the Midwest Media Fest Banquet and Show and Exhibitor Fair will be held on May 10 and 11 at the Oshkosh Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel & Convention Center.

  • Best of the Midwest Media Fest.  Our annual Media Fest gives professional and amateur community television and radio producers a chance to showcase their programs and receive valuable feedback.  For the last five years, the Fest has been open to producers in a nine-state area:  Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska.  Producers are rewarded with trophies, plaques, and certificates.  Community television centers and Low-Power FM radio stations use the Fest awards to promote their work, as well as to reward producers.  The Fest is open to non-members, but members receive a discount.  As a WCM “station member,” all programming produced and/or distributed through your station may be entered at the member rate.  Deadline to enter is January 23, 2018. 
    Fees are due no later than January 30.

  • Information and referral.  Do you have a question?  Our Executive Director, Mary Cardona, will answer your PEG-related questions, connect you with another member who can, or refer you to an outside source.  Mary has worked professionally in the field of community television for nearly 30 years, as a producer, community media center manager and a telecommunications consultant to cities.

  • Media Center Public Search Tool.  WCM believes one of the best ways to support our member media centers is to promote their use.  The public can use our home page search tool to find and contact a member media center near them.  WCM also lists some information about non-member media centers.  Members have access to the full database of information we have on media centers. 

  • Member Surveys.  WCM now has an ongoing survey in the form of member station profiles.  These profiles contain all the basic information you might want to know about other community media centers in the state.  Targeted surveys gauge member interest in conference topics and WCM also conducts salary surveys.

  • Member Forums and Interest Groups.  Members can reach the entire membership with a single e-mail uploaded to the Forum.  Members talk about technical and management issues, sell equipment, and promote uploaded programs.  Smaller communication groups have been organized around our five Regions (Fox Valley, Dane County, Milwaukee Area, Northern, and Southern), Low-power Radio, and our committees.  More can be formed at the request of members.  Groups can easily communicate via email with each other and access an archive of emailed messages and files.   

  • Member Library.  Members have access to our online library, which contains various legal, regulatory, and management materials.  WCM also regularly records and archives our conference sessions for review by members.

  • Connections to national community television organizations.  WCM enjoys close relationships with the national and Midwest Region of the Alliance for Community Media, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, and American Community Television.

  • Collaboration.  Through WCM, our 53 member stations act together to protect and grow community television. As a member of WCM, you will be first to know when a situation is developing and you will be a valuable part of the group that takes action together. 

  • Building a strong local media.  While this list details how you as a producer and your media center will benefit, the best benefit may be knowing you are helping to build a strong local media network that serves everyone.

Types of WCM Members

Station Members
are PEG media centers and LPFM radio stations operating in Wisconsin.  Memberships include all people related to your organization.  Member Stations designate a “primary contact” and everyone else is called an “Associate Member.”  Associate Members include all media center staff (volunteer and paid), commission members, city and school officials, and producers who pay a membership fee to the station.  Station Membership fees are on a sliding scale based on the station budget and range from $205 to $310 per year.)  LPFM stations join at a discounted rate the first two years of membership.  Any Station or Associate Member may be elected to the 11-member board of directors for a three-year term.  Each Station Member gets one vote in board elections and matters that come before a membership meeting.

Independent Producers join WCM in order to distribute their programs easily to community media centers across the state and to collaborate easily on projects with others through WCM’s MediaFire account.  Independent Producers have access to all member benefits and may be appointed to committees.  The annual membership fee is $45. 

Emeritus Members are named by media centers or WCM to honor the career of a community television professional now retiring from the field.  Because of their experience, Emeritus Members have the privilege of being able to be elected to the board of directors for one-year terms and have one vote at annual membership meetings if they are in good standing.  To be in good standing after the first year of election, Emeritus Members pay dues of $35.

Friend Members are people who would like to support community television and receive the benefits of membership, including being appointed to committees.  The annual membership fee is $15.

General Mailing List  Anyone can sign up for our mailing list on our website’s home page and receive occasional mailings about our events and significant news at no charge.