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Guest opinion: The legacy of community media needs new life breathed into it to survive

Original post made on Oct 23, 2022

A handful of staff and volunteers are what's left of the Midpen Media Center. It needs life breathed into it to survive and hopefully thrive again.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, October 23, 2022, 7:32 AM

Comments (3)

Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Oct 23, 2022 at 7:03 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

Very few people besides Steve Jobs and his inner circle envisioned a world where people would rather watch "shows" on Netflix by clicking a button on their phone, thus disinvesting themselves in live television. And nobody predicted "reality shows" would supplant actual live reality going on in their communities via local channels. This article points out that local cable access is going the way of the newspaper. Remember newspapers? Everybody from paperboys to 30+ year career layout pros and typographers and all related taskmasters have lost their jobs to the internet when newspapers died. These weren't just a few relics from the past, these were the actual people who put reading material in your face every day, on paper that you could touch. So if you want local access news to become "YouTubed", then keep doing what you're doing. Keep clicking on the Netflix button for entertainment, and YouTube for some news from somewhere faraway and irrelevant. I don't "zoom" and I don't watch TV but I see where we are headed with these local access channels. Once they are gone all we're left with is very scripted short media bites between ads instead of useful information. I hope we aren't that far gone!

Posted by Tom Upton
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 24, 2022 at 8:08 am

Tom Upton is a registered user.


As long time MidPen Volunteer, I thank you for this. Bravo for writing it and you spoke for so many of us in doing so. It is well written, and you did a great job keeping it observational after all that has happened. I do hope to see the Mid Pen Media Center rally. It is going to require some decisive leadership, creative financing, imagination and daring to counter the short little spans of attention fostered by online media. Not to mention the psychological damage of the pandemic combined with a vacuum of leadership at the top which led us to the now Children's Media Center offering Tik-Tok classes and so forth. [Portion removed.] God Help us! Nevertheless, I would volunteer in a heartbeat if things come around.

Next board meeting will be interesting indeed!


Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2022 at 10:52 am

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

Though I volunteer in other areas, I frequently use and value the work of MidPen. I watch selected videos online of City and PAUSD public meeting items to hear the discussion and decision-making process on issues that matter to me. I'm grateful this useful resource is available.

If you can, please support MidPen's wonderful service to our community. These recordings are important records of public decision-making, and they should be available to all, including those who may not be able to attend the meetings due to disability or time constraints.

Fellow citizens, paying attention to the DETAILS of public process is how we influence government. (Pecking out retorts to ill-informed posts on Twitter, Nextdoor, and the like is not an adult or effective way to participate in shaping solutions to complex problems that we, as the responsible adults should lead on.) If we, the people, do not do that work as citizens, democracy falls apart -- as we all can easily see these days. Get actively involved. MidPen is one way you can help (and have some fun) if you have the technical skills in this area to help make public meeting information broadly available. Another way to help is by volunteering on citizen committees and commissions which is excellent way to learn how government works. Active citizens make democracy work for us all.

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