There’s More to Public Broadcasting Than You Think
Navigating Autism. Life After Sandy. Sustainable Princeton. These are just a few of the shows that have been made possible by the efforts of George McCollough, Princeton Community TV’s executive director. Supported by a small but dedicated team, McCollough has run the nonprofit for more than a decade. He’s given Princeton residents and businesses a platform to share important ideas, thoughtful conversation and humor that reaches over 35 million homes. The studio produces more than 600 programs annually.
Doesn’t sound like the small, sleepy operation you might have imagined, does it?
Even in a world of YouTubers and Instagrammers, pockets of public access TV remains steadfast. Most have ingrained themselves into their local business communities and diversified their offerings beyond in-studio production. Princeton Community TV has helped local companies and organizations shoot web-ready promotional videos. They also lend out equipment to members. You can literally borrow thousand-dollar cameras, lighting rigs, mics… whatever your A/V heart desires.
Those are the value-adds McCollough wants his fellow PMA members to know about and take advantage of. He wants folks to come in and say, “I’ve had this idea for a long time, but don’t know how to get it out there.” He wants the community to know that the Princeton Community TV team is there to train you up on both the technical side of TV as well as the softer skills like where to put your hands when you’re talking into the camera.
Another thing McCollough wants you to know about: Princeton Community TV’s Community Partners Project (CPP). The effort will teach documentary video and new media skills to nonprofit organizations throughout the Greater Princeton area. Here’s how it works:
Nonprofits will be encouraged to apply for the CPP. (Hurry! The deadline is May 11!) After two organizations are selected, Princeton TV will hire professional filmmakers to facilitate. The facilitators will meet regularly with the members of the participating organization team and develop the idea for the short, 10-20 minute documentary. They’ll work together to prepare a shooting script, outline a production schedule, provide storytelling guidance, and teach editing techniques. They’ll also help train the organizations on camera use and lighting, new media techniques and more.
Of course, like all of us, there’s more to McCollough than work. He’s a reggae fan. He and his wife grow their own Italian tomatoes. He loves Olives and A&B on warm evenings. He trusts the process even though the Sixers are running out of games against the Celtics. But perhaps above all else, McCollough likes Princeton. “I met my wife here. It’s home.”