One of Capital Community Television's production vehicles with the organization's new name and logo. (Courtesy/Capital Community Television)
Salem residents hungry for local information have new options starting Aug. 4.
Capital Community Television (CCTV) will introduce Apple TV and Roku live programs and streaming on demand. CCTV will also begin streaming more live broadcasts on the organization's website.
A new name, Capital Community Media, will encompass these changes.
Capital Community Media was founded in 1989 to close a news gap. Salem has no local affiliate station, and yet the community holds important meetings that are critical to residents.
Capital Community Media focused on broadcasting those meetings, starting with the Salem City Council in November 1990.
Channels 21, 22/322 and 23, all available through Comcast Cable in Salem, delivered the programming. Those channels will remain available, but now, even people without a Comcast connection can get robust information.
"This will give us a much wider distribution area and visibility in the community. It's been a long time coming, and we're really excited about it," said Kirimi Flitter, programming and promotion coordinator for Capital Community Media.
This isn't the first time the organization has added services.
In 2003, the community operation live-streamed a Salem City Council meeting via social media. And in 2019, the team entered a partnership with Spanish-language broadcaster Mano a Mano.
The two organizations share FM station 98.3, with Capital Community Media broadcasts happening between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. each day.
"We're far beyond just television at this point," Flitter said.
"Our mission is to empower people and to provide community information through media. And half of that is what we do as a staff, reporting community events, gavel-to-gavel coverage of meetings, candidate forums, emergency information, school music, sports events, and nonprofit coverage," Flitter said. "The other half is that we provide media training."
Lucy Carballo Hernandez, producer and host of the Spanish-language series “Sin Limites” that airs on Capital Community Television. (Courtesy/Capital Community Television)
Two professional-grade television studios are available for rent at headquarters, located at 575 Trade St. S.E. in Salem. More studios being constructed, Flitter said, and they may be open by January or February of 2021.
Capital Community Media also keeps a large library of media equipment for rent. Salem residents pay no fees for these services.
Training is also available for a small fee. Most classes are held virtually via Zoom, Flitter said. But if pandemic concerns continue to ease, more live options will become available.
Even people with powerful cell phones and some media savvy could benefit from a connection with Capital Community Media, Flitter said.
"You might have a smartphone that you can record something with, but if you want to do an interview with someone, you might not have the tools to get high-quality sound or a really well-lit interview," Flitter said. "We have a wider platform, too. You might record something with your phone and upload it to your Facebook page or your YouTube channel, but sharing that content with CCTV means a wider distribution."
Flitter said many people she talks to in Salem aren't aware of the depth and breadth of the organization's services. The new name and added exposure are designed to change that, she said.
"The main thing that we want people to know is that everything we do is centered on freedom of speech," she said. "We're looking at different perspectives, empowering people to communicate, and making media accessible for everyone."
Rolling out new services and branding is time-consuming, Flitter said. And the timing isn't ideal. While her team is engaged in this work, they'll also be livestreaming all nine graduation ceremonies happening in Salem.
She estimates that the team will be live on the Capital Community Media website for approximately 70 to 80 hours during the first week of August.
The team is also planning the annual 45th Parallel Film Fest. Entries are open until Aug. 15, and interested parties can submit an entry online.
"We don't know what it's going to look like this year, but we're still pushing forward. It may become an entirely virtual ceremony in October," she said. "We don't know, but we're going to keep pushing forward with it."
CORRECTION: Broadcasts on FM radio station 98.3 are from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. each day. CCTV will broadcast nine graduation ceremonies, not eight. A source provided incorrect information used in an earlier version.
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