The standards have to be a little lighter at first: Not that the bear dances well, but that it dances at all. The fine tuning can come later.
And we’ll have fine turning to suggest to the new Oregon Channel, announced today, including its reach, its choices and grasp of media and its coverage. But enough for the moment to offer a pleased welcome.
Washington state has an excellent institution – private, nonprofit, informal but with high standards – called TVW, which in a loose sense is a Washington state C-SPAN, offering cable TV and online viewing of numerous official state happenings – major speeches, legislative hearings, court proceedings – and also much more, including a book program and roundtable interviews. It is an ongoing, 24/7, graduate course in Washington state public affairs. (We find it endlessly useful.) It was one of the first of its kind, and now a number of states, Oregon included, seem to be treading its path.
TVW did not happen overnight, and we would not expect that of the Oregon Channel either. (Does the difference in the kind of names suggest something of the different characters of the two states?) The OC says it will offer “Floor Sessions/Committees, State Supreme Court hearings, State agency hearings, Boards/Commission hearings, Capitol news conferences and special events” and “Other public affairs, civic and cultural programming, provided by partner organizations.” Many of these things have for some time been captured by internal cameras at the Statehouse (where most major meeting rooms are equipped with them) and elsewhere, and many of these sessions have been streamed on line for a few years. But this is a considerable elevation in spreading the signal, and the content of important sessions.
Those organizations are state organizations, including Oregon Public Broadcasting, Southern Oregon Public Television, the Oregon Legislature, the Oregon University System: This isn’t emerging as an independent nonprofit as TVW (or C-SPAN) did. These partners may, as part of their review process, want to give careful thought to how it will be governed.
Again, matters for another day. Meantime, the OC stands to bring a big state closer to Salem.Share on Facebook