AccessVision has been established to provide the citizens of the community with production equipment, training and support services for the creation of locally produced, non-commercial television programs to be cablecast on access channels 15, 16 and 17. The mission of AccessVision is to empower people to strengthen a sense of community, facilitate civic dialogue, and celebrate local culture by communicating through electronic media.
Public access television is a unique, volunteer-based communications tool, providing an opportunity for individuals, groups and organizations to exercise their First Amendment rights in the electronic information age.
Voice of the people
Access is obviously the mission of AccessVision. With its non-commercial format, AccessVision doesn't have to rely on glitzy effects and worn-out formulas to attract advertising dollars. The stage is set for true innovation. The doors are open to creative concepts by the areas most innovative minds. Watching AccessVision can be a real adventure. AccessVision is also a powerful medium for educating people about issues. Community organizations are able to reach the community regarding their concerns and to help residents better utilize their services. Perhaps most importantly, AccessVision provides a forum for individuals. Alternative perspectives are welcomed and even encouraged, providing a rich and healthy dialogue even a relief valve for discontent. Viewers can explore a wide variety of viewpoints. Presenters can make their case without first amassing the huge sums necessary for commercial television spots. AccessVision is a greenhouse for growing local solutions to local problems.
Where AccessVision gets its funding
In April 1987, the cities of Battle Creek, Springfield, Emmett Township and Newton Township approved a fifteen-year agreement with WestMarc Cable to operate an expanded cable television system. This non-exclusive franchise agreement included a provision requiring WestMarc Cable to designate three of the cable channels for governmental, educational and public access. Under the terms of the agreement, these participating municipalities receive a 5% franchise fee. The governmental units retain 40% of this revenue to monitor and maintain the contract. The remaining 60% of the revenue has been earmarked to support AccessVision. Additional private sector funding in the form of grants and donations is also required for the purchase and maintenance of television production equipment. No tax dollars are used to support the access channels.
AccessVision is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit organization overseen by a board of directors, consisting of appointed representatives from each of the participating municipalities, as well as citizen representatives of diverse backgrounds.