Community Media Online

It's just possible that in the near future technology and politics will combine to create the ultimate in community media. Imagine a computer network where anyone in Australia had access, and where you could swap ideas, sounds, pictures and video with either a few friends, or with the whole country. Make it easy and cheap - now that would make a creative nation.

Meanwhile, in 1994, efforts are underway to get community media online in Australia. As part of this, a new internet discussion area called has been set up for discussion within Australia about community TV. A community radio area may be set up soon too.

This should hopefully mean more discussion between groups in different cities, as computer networks can make this long distance stuff much cheaper. Policies can be developed online - I've seen this in other online areas for the latest round of government investigations into computer networking. A report is made public so people can grab it, and cut and paste the bits they don't like into a response.

Online databases for exchange of TV and radio programs are an exciting possibility - something that could be extended globally. When working at their best, online discussion groups can form a kind of collective wisdom. Questions can be canvassed by a wide range of people, and information disseminated quickly and easily.

Pegasus has been adopted as the national computer network provider for the CBAA's radio members, and they'll be at the conference to answer questions about getting online. Or stay tuned to cbx for a more detailed guide to the ways and whys of computer networking in the next issue.

If you're online already, you might want to check out the internet newsgroup, where we've been getting up to date reports from around the country as community TV groups begin full time broadcasting. Or e-mail me to join the community TV e-mail mailing list, or just if you have any questions about the net.

You can contact the CBAA by e-mail on

Matthew Arnison

Community Access TV - Sydney