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West Hartford Community Television Wins National Award

WHC-TV's unique "Be the Media" initiative and other unique programming helped the station win a Hometown Media Award for overall excellence.

A long-standing tradition of excellence and great collaboration with the community are just two of the factors that helped earned West Hartford Community Television (WHC-TV) the Alliance for Community Media 2012 Overall Excellence Award for Public Educational and Government (PEG) Access.

Executive Director Jennifer Evans believes that WHC-TV's nearly 31 years of serving the community has created a foundation for some really unique and special moments that highlighted the station's programming in 2011, and made WHC-TV a standout among other community access stations.

This was the third season of WHC-TV's "Be the Media" project. Be the Media – an initiative which embeds citizen journalists in schools and neighborhoods and trains them to create short videos about local news and events – was key to WHC-TV's coverage of the freak October snowstorm. It was also a great example, Evans said, of how the station was able to collaborate with other media, including West Hartford Patch.

"We were able to tell a story both as government television and as community journalists," Evans said.

To earn the award for overall excellence, Evans said they had to provide examples of their best shows. The "Be the Media Marathon" which aired last fall, and the station's collaborative efforts with "Hello! West Hartford," which exhibits the town's great cultural diversity, were two cited as examples. Evans also listed the station's 2011 concert series, which included performances by the , Hall Pops 'n Jazz, and Gifts of Music.

"I think [the award] is a tribute to the entire town and what a great community we are with so many stories to tell," Evans said.

She also thanked her talented team, including Jitu Huntley and Virginia Fisher, for making WHC-TV "a place to nurture storytelling."

Evans will receive the award at the Hometown Media Awards presentation on Wednesday, Aug. 1 at the Alliance for Community Media Conference & Exhibition in Chicago. The Hometown Media Awards honors and promotes "creative programs that address community needs, develop diverse community involvement, challenge commercial television formats and move viewers to experience television in a different way."

“We’re so pleased that the Alliance for Community Media has recognized the hard work, dedication and creativity of our staff, producers, volunteers, members and board,” Roger Goldbeck, president of the WHC-TV Board of Directors, said in a news release.

In October, WHC-TV will celebrate 31 years in community television with a big fundraising event. "It will be the perfect opportunity to look at the future in ways that are really exciting," Evans said.

And she is really excited about the future of WHC-TV. "We're in a period of rapid technological change, and we're looking at new opportunities – like creating a virtual green space – for community television to connect people with their communities."

Carin Buckman June 27, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Congratulations! We know we can always count on you at Beth El Temple and you all are a pleasure to work with. A well deserved honor!
Carol Mersereau June 27, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Jennifer and WHC-TV staff, Congratulations for this prestigious honor. While working with you for a very short time, I found you all very cooperative, polite and knowledgeable Thank you for the good work you do. Carol Mersereau for " Silk and Steel "
Jen June 30, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Thank you! We're thrilled. WHC-TV is celebrating 31 years of community television this year. I feel strongly that it's a tribute to our wonderfully, engaged community on all levels ...support from the town, schools, volunteers, producers, businesses, WHCTV boards with vision and a tradition of leadership have helped us get to this point. Innovation can only happen when people work together. So, a toast to this town for building community through media another reason I love to live and work in West Hartford.

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