Douglas to discontinue community access channels
With slightly more than six out of 100 county residents even watching Douglas County’s community access channels, the county plans to stop paying for them as of June 1.
Douglas County recently completed a communications assessment survey to receive feedback on ways that the county can improve communications with the public.
Based on public feedback, it was determined that Douglas County’s residents rely on a combination of social media, local media resources (mainly The Record-Courier) and the County website for information. More than 70 percent of participants were not aware of the Community Access Channels and over 35 percent identified Community Access Channels as “not important at all.” Just over 6 percent of participants noted that they watch the channels.
Based on public feedback, it is believed that an opportunity exists to connect with the County’s residents about the issues directly impacting them through alternative methods. Therefore, effective June 1, Douglas County will no longer spend public funds to maintain these Community Access Channels.
“We will be further reviewing the data from Douglas County’s communications assessment and the citizen survey to further prioritize communication channels and prioritize the most effective way to continue to provide timely, and accurate information to the public,” said Community Relations Manager and Public Information Officer Melissa Blosser.
Community access channels were common features in cable franchise agreements across the country in an effort to encourage local programming, including government meetings. With the advent of social media, streaming and other means of connecting through Internet and alternative television sources, viewership has dropped significantly.
Anyone with questions on the decision to discontinue the Douglas County Community Access Channels can contact the County Manager’s office by calling 775-782-9821 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.