It is critically important that we maintain and expand PCTV as a regional media center. We don’t have a WHYY, and The Times is but a shadow of the old Trenton Times. Without public access paid for by cable TV users, we are limiting our options to be well-informed.
PCTV’s free public access is not just a communication media, it is an economic center, and that seems to be the rub. There seems to be a concern by Princeton Council that surrounding towns are not paying their fair share. That Princeton is subsidizing the surrounding municipalities and their viewers.
Let’s look at this more carefully. First, PCTV is a nonprofit that is run almost entirely by volunteers from Princeton and the surrounding townships — all the hosts and guests volunteer to create programming. It could be argued that Princeton residents are the primary gainers. Maybe Princeton owes the surrounding townships compensation for these volunteers? The fact is that while these volunteers are working in Princeton, they also spend money — pick up some lunch, stop to buy a wedding gift, or tie in a visit to a doctor, all services from local business people who pay taxes. Princeton’s role as a regional economic center is a good thing and PCTV is part of that — financed as it has been by cable TV fees — not by Princeton property taxes, but by cable TV fees. more