December 11, 2019

Facts in Support of Continuing Princeton Community Access TV

To the Editor:

In a federalist system like ours, information about the issues and conflicts faced in local jurisdictions is essential to self-government.

Princeton government has faced budget crunches recently and spinning off the Princeton Community TV and Media Center saves the government money.

Princeton Community Access TV and Media Center, which is funded through regional negotiations with companies like Comcast, serves our  community’s  information needs in the digital age. It is a physical space dedicated to programming created locally and offers residents an outlet to express their views on local issues.

In 2017, former N.J. Governor Thomas Kean asked the state to support public TV after the spectrum auction win. “Public TV network provides critical local news and public affairs programming and also supports New Jersey through community engagement projects.” said Kean, commentary.

In 2018, New Jersey created the Civic Information Consortium, a first-of-its-kind nonprofit with the mission of strengthening local-news coverage and boosting civic engagement in communities across the state. In August 2019 Governor Murphy allocated up to $2 million in funding for the consortium.

Princeton is distinctive. It is home to a renowned University, the Dinky and PCTV, all things that other communities wish they had.

During  this season of giving, perhaps Princeton Government will consider adequate financial support for PCTV while  the station continues developing ways to raise revenue to support its operations through collaborations with local organizations, local business, and grants.

As Woodrow Wilson observed in 1898, “Our local areas are not governed. They act for themselves….The large freedom of action and broad scope of function given to local authorities is the distinguishing characteristic of the American system of government.”

Janet Wolinetz
Bainbridge Street