NEWARK, NJ: Newark Mayor Cory Booker and members of the city's municipal government have launched the Newark Government Access Television Studio to provide programming about city government news and events.
The studio's content are broadcasted on Cablevision channel 78, and available to all of the 70,000 Cablevision subscribers in Newark, New Jersey's largest city. Original programming will begin in July, but in the meantime it is broadcasting bulletins and other information for city residents. Newark's office of communications, approves programming, and has been collecting content, such as footage from city events, for over two years.
It is a government access station rather than a public access station, so only Newark's elected officials, department heads, special committees, and other municipal groups are eligible to use the broadcast space.
“The main focus is for municipal government,” said Desiree Peterkin Bell, director of communications for Mayor Booker. “This is a new medium to continue the discussion with residents and re-engage residents with government.”
Development of the station was under discussion for more than a decade, and Bell said residents and officials have responded positively now that it has become a reality.
“When the mayor was a councilman, he voted to approve the development of a municipal TV station,” she said. “Residents that we've talked to, those that have reached out to the mayor directly are excited that government is evolving [and] redefining the way [it] interacts with people.”