While in the process of writing a report based on a Zoom meeting on Community Media Partnerships I viewed last week, it occurred to me that our community Media Center (ONTV) at least matched what BRIC TV (Brooklyn, NY) and SPNN TV (St. Paul, Minn.) did for their communities during the crises. In many ways, I believe ONTV exceeded their efforts.
I contacted Ian Locke, ONTV executive director, for a pandemic-related update on what they did. His response to my inquiry follows:
• ONTV helped out local governments, our local schools and our residents.
• They converted TV message board, government channel programming and social media posts to disseminate accurate and official information from our local, county, state and federal agencies.
• They worked directly with Supervisor Chris Barnett, former LOCS Superintendent Marion Ginopolis and business organizations that handle emergency resources like free food pickups, food and sanitation donation locations, cleaning, PPE tips, virtual schooling information, metal health assistance, religious resources, etc.
• Provided daily video updates from Supervisor Barnett to their cable TV viewers. They also converted and broadcast several news conferences from Governor Gretchen Whitmer and streamed videos of those conferences on Facebook.
• Retooled their weekly “ONTV News” show to a video podcast based live weekly program. They utilized webcams, smart phones, Zoom and GoToMeeting applications, which allowed ONTV to interview community officials, non-profits and business organizations.
• Government and school board meetings were retooled to accommodate streaming applications so these important programs would continue to be aired to our residents.
• In conjunction with the Lake Orion Downtown Development Authority, they planned and produced a live 60-minute program to promote local business. The “Virtual Flower Fair” was a huge success and demonstrated that ONTV can and will deliver information to our community under virtually any circumstance.
• Produced a PSA series for the North Oakland Community Coalition. The series discussed efforts to curb addiction and offer resources to those experiencing mental health issues. Both the NOCC’s and ONTV’s staff produced this program virtually from their homes.
We are indeed fortunate to have an asset such as ONTV and their staff living and working in our Orion community.
Orion Community Cable Communication Commission
Editor’s Note: Orion Neighborhood Television (ONTV) is the non-profit corporation that the Orion Community Cable Communication Commission (OCCCC) has contracted with to manage the public, education and government access channels and the public access facility and equipment.