Broader board, and refined focusBIB is getting down to business as a community 'PEG' station.
June 9, 2008 · Updated 3:32 PM
Bainbridge Island Broadcasting has expanded its board and refined its mission. The local community access station will focus on PEG programming - public access, education and government - director Wendy Johnson says.The acronym means the station will serve a broader cross-section of the community than some stations with larger markets, she said.The 'P' stations are strictly public access; the 'E' stations are run by school districts and the 'G's are government-owned, Johnson said. We will cover all three.New board members include Ken Breiland, Deborah Cheadle, Kathy Horsely, Sarah Lee, Lynn Nordby, Chris Otorowski and Rob Purser, and were approached for their connections to the PEG constituencies. The group held an all-day retreat last week to discuss the organization's future.Johnson cited the station's commitment to the public in PEG in announcing a showcase of 32 island-based nonprofit organizations that receive funding from the Bainbridge Foundation, slated to air in October. Public access also means public participation, Johnson believes.We want live capability,' Johnson said. We say, 'Don't just watch television - make it.'Johnson, who joined BIB in July as director, has already seen the kind of public empowerment she has in mind. Bainbridge students are being trained in TV production by Kit Spier - whose TV background includes years as production manager at King 5 and KNBC in Los Angeles - and other professional volunteers. Public participation is an essential ingredient of BIB success, Johnson says, because the station is a membership organization. Members are eligible to attend training workshops on television production and equipment operation, Johnson said. BIB members will have access to equipment once they complete the training course. Johnson wants trained volunteers to be able to conduct media interviews, and document existing events.BIB Channel 6 is not interested in 'slick,' Johnson said. 'Public access' is not glitzy or glamorous. It is relevant to the community. It may be rough around the edges, and we embrace that.Johnson was pleased that Bainbridge School Board President Breiland joined the board, calling service to the schools paramount to BIB's mission.Johnson wants to develop educational material of all sorts, such as programming on the impact of violence in media. She plans to form a video club for girls to help young women look critically at media portrayals of their gender.The government of PEG is represented on the board with City Administrator Nordby's participation, Johnson said. She would like to implement programming for dialogue about hot issues with the city in a roundtable format. We have substantial activism on the island, so we already have public discussion, she said. We want public conversation. We want the major issues voiced. The call-in live talk show format would be ideal.A former director of Team Winslow, Johnson comes to her job with both an overview of island nonprofits and a background in television that includes a degree in production and several years working at KOMO.BIB didn't even know about my video background when they hired me, she said. My passion is really for community development. It's a delight to have work that justifies my educational background. BIB is poised, she says, between past and future.The 'Fabulous Four' - Kit Spier, Mickey Molnaire, Wini Jones and Merrill Robison - got it going, Johnson said. They demonstrated its value, and that it could be done.Now, after three years of programming every day, we are determining where we are as an organization - and how to sustain that.