Thurston Community Media Wins National Awards


Olympia ─ Thurston Community Television (TCMedia) won two 2020 Hometown Media Awards from the Alliance for Community Media (ACM) Foundation on July 9 of this year. TCMedia helps produce television programs in Thurston County, working with residents, non-profit organizations, schools, and local government agencies. It also runs summer camps on digital media for youth. While the Hometown Media Awards specifically celebrate the excellence of work and diversity of media on community channels that are produced and distributed around the country, ACM is a national, non-profit membership organization that works to provide electronic media access to everyone.

Each year, a panel of judges at ACM considers over a thousand entries for its Hometown Media Awards. The winners are all very creative programs that address community needs, involve the community, challenge conventional commercial television formats, and move viewers to experience television differently.

TCMedia won in the children’s programming student division for its trivia show, “Weirder Stuff,” which was produced by 8 to 11-year-olds under the supervision of staffer Dan Bennett. In addition, TCMedia’s short promotional video was honored in the About Access & Empowerment Professional Division. Produced by staffer Ker Gesulga, this video showcased facilities and services TCMedia offers the community.

As accolades around the country came pouring in for TCMedia in July, CEO Deborah Vincent expressed her gratitude towards her staff and students, some of whom were hard at work in the organization’s summer camps despite the pandemic. TCMedia managed to run three youth camps this summer: "Let's Make a Movie with iPads,” "Animation Fun,” and "Let's Make a TV Show with iPads," according to Vinsel.

Proceeds from the awards program are used exclusively for facilitating, preserving, and promoting education in community media. Vinsel has a clear vision of where her company’s future lies. “The digital media and technology landscape changes rapidly. We're constantly looking forward to seeing how we can enhance our service to the community. I'm sure in 5 years we will be embracing a technology that hasn't been developed yet, whether it's a new production tool or a different distribution platform. We will continue to be community-focused, but our vision of "community media" will be much broader to include more kinds of media, more types of creative tools, and more diverse content.” said Vinsel in an email with the JOLT.

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