Philadelphia Student-Run TV Station Gets Fresh Start

PHILADELPHIA—Much like the city’s favorite fictional son Rocky Balboa, the Public School TV Channel (PSTV) in Philadelphia was nearly down for the count before a recent revival. After being practically abandoned in the basement of the School District’s headquarters and with few understanding its full value, PSTV was brought back to life with the help of a team of District officials, as highlighted in a blog post from technical.ly.

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Photo credit: Technical.ly

In 2014, District officials began crafting PSTV into a student-run, student-created channel open to all students in the Philadelphia area. The team was made up of Melanie Harris, chief information officer, Superintendent Dr. William Hite and Philip Ichinaga, the District’s executive director of information technology security. Among the team’s first decision was to bring in Shelly Wolfe, a former executive of community media in Silicon Valley, as PSTV’s new manager.

Thanks to public, education and government franchise fees paid by Comcast and Verizon—which were always available but never previously used—PSTV was able to purchase state-of-the-art equipment. This kind of support will continue, as a new contract between Comcast and Philadelphia was signed in 2015, providing PSTV with $4.5 million over the next 15 years through franchise fees.

Wolfe’s goal for PSTV, according to the article, is to create a completely student-run station that expressed the voices of students from different backgrounds across Philadelphia.

PSTV officially relaunched back in September of 2016 and has worked with organizations like the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, WHYY Media Labs and even the Democratic National Convention when it was in the city last July.

PSTV programming can be found in Philadelphia on Comcast, Verizon, as well as on YouTube and other online resources.

Read the full story on Technical.ly Philly.

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