A Narrowing of the Public Sphere: Dublin Community TV Forced to Close

ImageToday DCTV announced that due to lack of funding the station will cease to operate. This represents a clear narrowing of discourse in the public sphere as DCTV through shows such as the live register and dole TV represented views and voices not seen or heard in mainstream media. In particular CMR notes that it was DCTV which covered issues of corporate governance, taxation and power in the Irish Financial Sevices Centre (IFSC); a continued blindspot of all mainstream channels. Moreover the station acted as a voice to those who normally only appear on the national airwaves as either negative stereotypes or victims without agency, such as the unemployed or minority groups.  It is particularly sad news as DCTV in recent years had been developing strongly in both its programme making and training roles and it will be severely missed by those of us constantly disappointed by the blindspots, framing and sheer prejudices of Irish mainstream media. We wish all the staff and programme makers of DCTV the very best in the future.

Below is the episode of the live register ‘the city within’ covering issues of power around the IFSC, the first serious effort to cover the issue of financial power on Irish TV:

Come here to me on the dctv closure

The full statement from DCTV is below:

It is with regret that the staff and committee of Dublin Community Television (DCTV) must inform you of the orderly wind down of the station, and the planned cessation of broadcast in February 2014.

On 21 October 2013 the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) made it known that it would not be funding any of DCTVs archiving projectsubmissions. Alongside this decision, BAI support for DCTV projects through the Sound & Vision scheme had dropped. Funding for 2012 wasseven times higher than the funds received in 2013.

DCTV had recognised its dependence on the BAI and tried to generate alternative funding. This year the station secured significant alternative funding. However, the drop in BAI support to less than a sixth of its previous annual average left the station unable to guarantee the ability to meet its obligations in wages, rent and other costs if it continued to operate.This has been a difficult decision, not least because of the belief that the station was approaching a sustainable funding model.

DCTV started broadcasting in 2006. In that time DCTV developed youth shows, history programmes, music, comedy, information services anddocumentaries. These programmes are archived and will be preserved. DCTV also set up a city centre studio. It is hoped that the studio willcontinue to support ongoing training for community organisations and youth centres in Dublin.

There will be a meeting for the DCTV membership shortly to decide on the winding up of the co-op and other matters. DCTV still has four active television shows in production. There is a plan to complete these projects over the next five months. The co-op will examine how best to preserve the community television production capacity built by DCTV while meeting its obligations to creditors.

DCTV will be meeting with all creditors, landlords, show participants and so on to form an orderly wind down which may involve the transfer of contracts and commitments to other bodies. We would like to thank people for their support in this process as we pursue an orderly resolution of the affairs of the co-op.

We hope that the skills, productions and networks that DCTV leaves behind after six years will be a fitting legacy. The staff and committee ofDCTV thank all of the co-ops members and collaborators for their support.

The Committee of Management of Dublin Community Television

 

 

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