I’m just back from the Alliance for Community Media conference in Chicago, a three-day gathering of Public, Education & Government (PEG) media centers from across the country. You may have heard that Montgomery Community Media walked away with the award for best PEG organization in the country, but for me that wasn’t the highlight of the conference. It was seeing the tremendous work that PEG entities like ours are doing in their communities: making not only excellent and important television programming but also training and mentoring tens of thousands of Americans on the use of media of all kinds to expand their voices and create change. And even during these challenging economic times, PEG’s are expanding beyond TV to take advantage of new social media and other technologies, allowing their communities to engage in ways no one else is facilitating.
And perhaps the biggest conference takeaway of all for me was the fact that Digital Literacy, the understanding of how media and technology impact every facet of our lives, is an absolute requirement to become a fully-contributing citizen in the global community. For seniors, youth and the disadvantaged who don’t have access to these tools and/or know how to effectively use them, whole populations are being left behind as this ‘digital gap’ grows. Our work at MCM can bridge that divide.
Yes, it’s a tremendous honor to be recognized by your peers for having done good work. But it’s even more satisfying to know that what we are doing every day at MCM positively impacts residents, businesses, non-profits, elected officials and our county at large. For me, the Overall Excellence Award is just a milestone to illustrate that we’re on the right track and that much more work is yet to be done. At MCM, we’re not resting on our laurels… we’re looking ahead.