Synergies of Fusion

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Dirk Koning
Community Media Center

With the convergence of voice, video and data into a digital bit stream, the value of the integration has yet to be fully realized. What are the true benefits of the fusion, what synergies are inherent, what synergies need to be discovered or flushed out?


The United States has approximately 1200 community television stations, 700 community radio stations and 700 civic networks/ctc's. What are the values for cooperative development? What components of the missions of these groups are similar, what components are different? What are possible synergies created in the fusion of the three? What benefits are there in public policy cooperation, equipment R&D, on line training centers,


The Community Media Center in Grand Rapids, MI ( is one of the first locations in the country that has successfully integrated community televsion, community radio and community computing (plus a research and media literacy center and archive) under one roof.
This integrated voice, video and data center has the simple mission to, "Build Community Through Media". Opened in 1997, the CMC has experienced a wide array of synergistic applications of multi-media. Concentrating on Training, Equipment and Transmission, the CMC has built an interesting model revolving around the newly digital world of Community Media.
The CMC is an independent NPO with the board elected from the membership. Anyone can be a member. Affliates (radio, TV ,CTC, etc.) have autonomy
but work within the cooperative model. Funding is centralized. Key staff are shared. Finances are managed collectively. Training is integrated for voice, video and data. The facility is built on a digital platform. A wireless LAN is being deployed sharing the radio station tower, the TV station engineering and the CTC's skills and NOC and T-1 to the Internet.
Synergies are forming at all levels of the CMC from goverance to training to funding to techinical purchases to grant writing to intern routing to production services.


Damn I wish I could answer this...anyway- more integrated multi-media centers owned and operated by the public with more fusion of voice, video and data to build community would be nice.

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