Montgomery College Television is more closely aligning programming with the College’s mission to reach everyone in the county, especially underserved populations, with messages that inspire and educate. To that end, several new series have launched this fall and existing programs are now easier to find.
“We are specifically concentrating on producing videos for special populations, such as single parents, speakers of other languages, first-generation college students, immigrants, and veterans, among others,” said Melissa Pace, MCTV Managing Director. “We’re trying to help them find opportunities at the College from career exploration and workforce development, to available support services and even critical resources such as food for the hungry.”
New offerings include Real Students, Real Talk, a series that supports diversity and promotes understanding by bringing together two current MC students from different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, or cultures. Inspirational Parenting is especially useful for single parents. The series touches on family law, credit management, financial literacy, and many more topics covered in MC’s recent single parent conferences.
Last fiscal year, in addition to regular programming, MCTV aired 65 live events and broadcast 185 different videos in languages other than English
Watch hundreds of original, hyper-local programs via the online Livestream channel at montgomerycollege.edu/mctv, or on demand when convenient by browsing various featured series and playlists, or on YouTube. Cable subscribers in Montgomery County can find MCTV on Comcast HD Channel 998 or 10, RCN HD Channel 1059 and Verizon Channel 10.
MCTV is adapting to the different demographics they serve in the county and how each group chooses to consume content. While older residents usually tune in to their television set, the College launched a new website where anyone can watch MCTV on any device, reaching today’s younger viewers who often seek videos on demand. “Instead of only relying on the channel to broadcast these programs, we are also making a special effort to push the programs out online and to bring awareness to the viewing options through social media and other means,” Pace said.
In addition to the new series, MCTV is highlighting content under certain themes to make the search easier for those interested: social justice, guest lectures, multicultural programming, MCTV Sports, and more. New episodes of ongoing shows such as Generación Latina and Mi Escuela es su Escuela are also available. The latter are part of a conscious outreach plan to serve the Spanish speaking community.
Last fiscal year, in addition to regular programming, MCTV aired 65 live events and broadcast 185 different videos in languages other than English. “There’s been tremendous feedback and it shows that there’s a real need,” Pace said, especially for content in Spanish and Amharic. MCTV is the only Montgomery County-specific cable channel that reserves blocks of airtime in high definition dedicated to hyper-local Spanish language programming.
The MCTV website also has information about television and radio-related academic programs at the College. Students collaborate with the professional MCTV team as paid interns and get hands-on experience in the process, Pace said: “They’re very successful in leaving Montgomery College Television and transferring to four year schools, oftentimes reporting back to us that they had more access to the equipment when they were here at MC than they do at their four-year school. So, we know we are giving them meaningful instruction in collaboration with the academic program.”
The MCTV crew will be moving into a renovated studio in the spring of 2019. “We are expanding our capacity to serve students. Our new space will be much more suited to their needs to learn techniques and master equipment,” Pace said. “We look forward to hosting the first advanced broadcast journalism class. Those students will be the first to use the studio and benefit from the state of the art environment.”