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DCTV to continue broadcasting in 2014, while building the foundation for a long term sustainable model

This statement follows the meeting of the members of Dublin Community Television Society on 19 December 19 2013.

The members of DCTV co-op wish to thank our committee of management for their huge efforts in this recent difficult period and congratulate them on bringing our co-op to a position where a plan for continuing transmission is possible. We also wish to thank the staff of DCTV and greatly regret their loss of employment.

DCTV has recently been offered €148,000 by the BAI's Sound & Vision Scheme to produce two community television series. We can muster only a lukewarm welcome for this offer. It is not only too little, too late. The inconsistency of S&V funding, the manner in which it is administered, and the conditions attached to its use have long hampered the BAI's legal obligation to 'develop community broadcasting', and is a major obstacle to building a viable and sustainable model for community television. Nevertheless, during 2014 DCTV will endeavour to make some payments to our creditors as available funds permit in accordance with insolvency rules.

The S&V funding does offer some sustenance to a key decision. On a no cost basis DCTV will try to continue broadcasting after February and on into 2014, by mobilising our membership and volunteer base. DCTV staff have left a structure that can, with almost no funding, continue broadcasting, accept new community programmes, and even support the ongoing volunteer production of new programmes. At the same time, we will during 2014 be building a longer-term foundation for a sustainable future, by drawing on our community support and membership strength, and by lobbying to ensure that the enormous benefits of DCTV are fully recognised, and that the regulations and structures are in place to enable the emergence of a sustainable model into the future.

The Labour Party at its recent conference recognised the value of our work and the need for regulation that can support a viable model for community television. More important, we have enormous support from the people and communities who have over the years worked, and continue to work, with us.

This meeting is calling on our members, volunteers and all supporters of community media to make their voices heard on the value of all those community radio and television stations, production groups and training centres across Ireland that contribute so much to our communities. We ask them to demand that the BAI fundamentally rethink their approach to funding community media, in the context of how the Broadcasting Fund is designed and directed.

Now more than ever we need an independent, community voice. DCTV is proud to be part of the Irish Community Media movement which has taken such an important stand for diversity and plurality in our media, along with media literacy and skills development in our communities. The members hope to work with supporters, volunteers and partners to continue to play a role in this.

On behalf of the DCTV Members and Committee of Management