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Monday, November 07, 2016 03:38 PM

All voting-age citizens have a responsibility to educate themselves about the issues and the candidates and thoughtfully cast their vote in a way that best reflects their values and what they perceive to be the best interest of the country.  Voting is a cornerstone of our democracy and having an informed citizenry is essential. 

Wisconsin Community Media members have produced hours of programming to help residents learn about the voting process, the candidates, and the referendum issues before them. In this issue of The Quarterly, we're highlighting the work from several of our media centers that have brought this essential information to voters through their cable access channels, online video-on-demand sites, and low-power radio stations.  If you'd like to print it out, go here.

Vote!Young girl at desk

Community media centers have publicized voter registration information on their websites and cable access channels and some,
like Monona's 98.7 FM radio station, are running PSA's on their LPFM radio stations.  Marshfield Community Television and Wisconsin Rapids Media Center interviewed their city clerks about who can vote, how to register, and where and when to cast your vote. 

A truly charming PSA was created by Padrick Dunn of West Bend Community Television, who visited Holy Angels Grade School and asked the children, "Why do you think it's important to vote?"  Dunn said, "The kids came prepared and after every child was done giving their reason, they all clapped.  It was a great experience."

Putting the election in context

In late October, Janesville's Hedberg Public Library invited Eric Loepp, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, UW-Whitewater to speak on "Approaching the Finish Line" as part of its Local Experts Program Series and JATV was there to record the talk. The professor applied his insights on politics to the Presidential race, the U.S. Senate race, and what we might expect after the race.   JATV also recorded Prof. Loepp talking about the primaries in May. 

Newsdesk, a public access program produced at the Sun Prairie Media Center, specializes in news commentary.  Playing clips from the major networks, Host Jason Miller talks with Dr. David Arfa about the significance of the stories in an impartial way.  For the last six months, about half of each show has been election coverage.  Newsdesk has been picked up by community media centers in Wisconsin and by centers in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Idaho.

Covering the presidential candidates

Bernie Sanders rallySeveral media centers obtained press credentials from the campaigns and stood side by side on press platforms at rallies with national and regional news outlets such as CNN, CSPAN, MSNBC, FOX, and the local affiliates from Madison and Milwaukee. These access centers brought back full coverage of these events to their communities and the rest of the state.  Janesville JATV covered a Donald Trump rally held at the Janesville Conference Center on March 29, 2016 during the primary season.  Stoughton WSTO covered the Bernie Sanders rally in April at the Kohl Center and a Ted Cruz rally on March 30th at the Sheraton Hotel in Madison.  WSTO also covered a Hillary Clinton rally on October 5 at Monona Terrace in Madison with Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Russ Feingold and others.

You can watch the candidate forums now

SueMitchelPartnering variously with the League of Women Voters, the American Association of University Women, and local Chambers of Commerce, our member media centers in Hudson, Janesville, Oshkosh, Algoma, River Falls, Rice Lake, Madison, Watertown, Wausau, Whitewater, and Wisconsin Rapids held candidate forums before live audiences, sometimes accepting questions called in from viewers, or conducted in-studio one-on-one interviews with the candidates.  

If you'd like a last look at the candidates, here's your chance!  We've included links to more than twenty debates and interviews produced by our member media centers and public access producers.  If your center is not included, please visit their website.  To look up one of our member media centers, go to our website at and use our search tool.

Wisconsin Rapids Community Media co-sponsored a forum with the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Rapids.

Janesville JATV covered an October 12 Rock County candidates health forum sponsored by the Rock County Prevention Network.  The evening featured brief presentations on health and addiction issues after which the candidates were invited to share their views. Click here for the forum.

  •  31st Assembly District.  The incumbent, Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R) and Clinton Anderson (D)
  •  43rd Assembly District (open seat). Don Vruwink (D) and Allison Hetz (R).
  •  44th Assembly District.  Rep. Deb Kolste (D) an incumbent running unopposed.
  •  45th Assembly District.  Rep. Mark Spreitzer (D), an incumbent running unopposed.

Whitewater Community TV also covered a League of Women Voters candidate forum. 

Oshkosh Media and the League of Women Voters co-sponsored a live forum on October 6.  The program was cablecast and streamed live and simulcast on 101.9 FM radio, Oshkosh Media's low-power FM radio channel.  To see the following debates look for the graphic "Candidates Forums" when you get to the site linked below.

The public access program, Eye on Oshkosh, a regular hour-long series on Life TV, Oshkosh Media's public access channel, also talked to the candidates.

Watertown TV produced two American Association of University Women AAUWMeet the Candidates programs. Note:  To view the shows, select "Specials" in the list of choices or search for "AAUW."

Hudson-North Hudson Community Television, "The River Channel," produced separate interviews with the candidates on its long-running series program Western Wisconsin Journal.

Marshfield Community Television produced four episodes of Meet the Candidates hosted by Don Nystrom, who interviewed each candidate separately.

Wausau Area Access Channels featured a debate organized by Jeffrey Bergstrom's ninth-grade government class at D. C. Everest Junior High School.  WAAC also covered a Congressional debate held at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau.

I hope you've enjoyed this sampling of election coverage.  We invite you to check out your community media center to see if there's election coverage you'd be interested in!  And of course, if you haven't done so already....VOTE!

Live election coverage Tuesday night

Four of our member media centers are carrying LIVE coverage of the election Tuesday night. 

UW-Whitewater-TV's coverage begins at 9 pm. You can watch it on campus on channel 100.1, on cable access channel 989 in the Whitewater area or streamed live. Eight student anchors will talk to guests and update viewers every 20 minutes on the races for President, Senate, House Districts 1 - 8, State Assembly Districts 33 and 43, and two local school referendums. 




Trempealeau County Community Television's live election Hosts of live election coveragecoverage on TCC Channel 18 (in HD!) will be provided by (left to right) Dave Anderson, Chair of the Trempealeau County Republican Party, Rob Grover (Host), Steve Boe, District Coordinator for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, and Daniel Bahr, Government Affairs Director for the Wisconsin Counties Association (not pictured).   They'll be reporting up-to-the-minute results straight from the county clerks' offices and discuss the political strategy behind the local races. The group is also hoping to talk with some candidates during the evening.  All four are "looking forward to the show from 8 'til 11!"

Marshfield Community Television and the Sun Prairie Media Center are also providing live coverage!

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Monday, August 08, 2016 04:21 PM

UW-Whitewater broadcast students learn football and the craft of live television production

Pregame with Connor Moore and Adam Reed.
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Monday, August 08, 2016 04:10 PM

Significant Community Program
Viewers Voice showcases local and national entertainers for more than 25 years

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Monday, August 08, 2016 04:03 PM

Cities begin monthly show on the issues

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Monday, August 08, 2016 03:33 PM

Three media access centers collaborate to cover state high school rugby tourney

The Oregon-Stoughton High School Rugby Club struggles for the ball in this photograph from the state tournament held in Cottage Grove.
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Sunday, April 24, 2016 01:49 PM

WCM recognizes Olin Fimreite’s lifelong dedication to Trempealeau County

Olin Fimreite interviewing Northwoods Brew Pub founder and owner Jerry Bechard
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Monday, April 25, 2016 09:25 AM

WCM thanks legislators for supporting the PEG television bill

When the State of Wisconsin took over responsibility for local cable franchising in 2008, it eliminated much of the support local governments were getting from cable companies to produce local programming. 

SB 783/AB 1007 introduced this session by Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D - Alma) and Rep. Gary Hebl (D - Sun Prairie), restores the ability of local governments to decide whether they would like this support and once again asks cable companies to take on more responsibility for supporting access channels. 

WCM would like to thank the following 21 sponsors of the "Restoring Wisconsin PEG Channels bill:"  Senators Vinehout, Mark Miller (D - Monona), Chris Larson (D - Milwaukee), Julie Lassa (D - Stevens Point), Bob Wirch (D - Kenosha), Fred Risser (D - Madison), Representatives Hebl, Robb Kahl (D - Monona), Andy Jorgensen (D - Milton), Dana Wachs (D - Eau Claire), Chris Danou (D - Trempealeau), Katrina Shankland (D - Stevens Point),

LaTonya Johnson (D - Milwaukee), Evan Goyke (D - Milwaukee), Chris Sinicki (D - Milwaukee), Terese Berceau (D - Madison), Debra Kolste (D - Janesville) and JoCasta Zamarripa (D - Milwaukee).  To see their pictures, go to this article on our website.

Among the remedies, the bill empowers local governments to assess a dedicated PEG fee on cable subscribers to pay for production equipment and facilities.  The legislation requires operators to carry channels without "material degradation" and to list PEG channel programming in the Electronic Program Guide so viewers can find, record and view shows later. Expenses that the current law has shifted to local governments would be shifted back to cable operators such as paying for the cost of transmission equipment.  The bill also enables many cities to request a PEG channel from their cable service provider even if they did not have one in 2008.

Sen. Vinehout and Rep. Hebl plan to reintroduce PEG legislation next session.  WCM will be working hard to see such a bill pass with the help of bi-partisan support.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016 02:42 PM

Dan Kummer elected to WCM Hall of Fame

Wisconsin Community Media has elected Dan Kummer, Director of Marshfield Community Television, to the WCM Hall of Fame.  This honor is being awarded posthumously to Dan, who passed away earlier this year.  

Dan began managing Marshfield Community TV for the City of Marshfield in 1991 with his small business, Vidcom, a production company he formed with a partner, Jay Holbrook.  Dan wasn’t always a professional videographer.  Until 1985, Dan worked as a physician assistant.  According to his wife, Juanita, he “always had a passion for photography and videography” and finally decided to make a career change.  His work as the media director at Faith Christian/Believer’s Church and as the producer of the Word of Life television programs put him in contact with public access television and led to the position he is best known for today, Director of Marshfield Community TV. 

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Sunday, April 24, 2016 02:32 PM

Significant Community Program

“Mock Crash” helps students tell the story behind preventable accidents

Merrill Area High School student actors in the show, Mock Crash

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Thursday, January 28, 2016 12:24 PM

WWBIC logo

WWBIC partners with Kenosha Community Media to make business dreams come true

By Heather Lux
Regional Project Director, Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation

WWBIC is a statewide economic development corporation that has been “Putting Dreams to Work” since 1987.   As a non-profit often our biggest challenge is just getting people to know we are here and that we can help them make their dream of starting or expanding a business come true.  Partnering with Kenosha Community Media has had a big impact on our ability to reach the people we want to reach – that’s pretty much everyone with a business dream, particularly underserved populations.  

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Thursday, January 28, 2016 11:26 AM

Nystrom & Markwardt: Providing information accurately and from reliable sources

Dean Markwardt
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