TVS viewers have appealed to the Prime Minister via video asking for support for the inclusion of Community TV on digital television.
The on-screen appeal was masterminded by Joy Hruby OAM, the host and producer of Joy's World - one of TVS's longest running programs. Twenty-two loyal viewers recorded their pleas in a series of 'vox pops' that were sent to the Prime Minister on DVD. Starting today, these community pleas will be screened on TVS throughout the day in an effort to gain added public support for the channel.
"All the other channels have been given digital spectrum except ours", said Joy Hruby. "We just want TVS to be given the same opportunity as the others".
The Federal Government recently embarked on a campaign to encourage Australian households to switch to digital television. "Yet, while all the other free-to-air stations are broadcasting in both analogue and digital Community Television remains marooned on analogue," said TVS Chief Executive Laurie Patton.
"Every time another household does as the Government asks and buys a new digital TV or a digital set top box they potentially lose the ability to watch their Community channel".
With its predominantly local content Community TV offers a vital source of programs that encourage and support Australian culture, ideas and interests. After just over three years on air forty percent of the programs screened on TVS are produced by community groups and individuals based in Sydney.
Each year Community TV provides a valuable training ground for hundreds of young Australians wanting careers in television and a platform for innovative new programs and emerging talent. People like Rove McManus, Corrine Grant and Hamish and Andy proudly acknowledge their start came on Community TV.
"The availability of high quality low cost digital recording and editing equipment means that local community based groups and individuals are able to create their own programs. All they need is an outlet and this is what Community TV is all about," Mr Patton added.
Despite Government assurances that Community Television will not be left behind as Australians are urged to switch to digital the Community stations are still waiting for the allocation of desperately needed digital spectrum.
"CTV programming is targeted at audience groups that are under-served by the other free-to-air channels. The sector provides access for special interest groups, multicultural communities and social networks that are not well catered for by the mainstream media," Mr Patton said.
Television Sydney (TVS) Limited
Tel: (02) 9852-5000
Fax: (02) 9852-5050
TVS is Sydney's new free TV channel. For more information visit www.tvs.tv
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