From a Need to a Necessity

by Stan Olochwoszcz, Coordinator, South Amboy Television

Once upon a time, on the banks of Raritan Bay in Central New Jersey, South Amboy Televison (SATV) was created to keep the residents of the City informed about what was happening in town.  The Government channel was a side-of-the-desk task assigned to Senior Services / Recreation. Initially a bulletin board comprising of white words on a blue background – pretty much the default screen configuration of a Videonics Titlemaker 3000 – and recordings of events such as the City’s well-known St. Patrick’s Day Parade and other events produced by volunteers using personal equipment started to appear sporadically.  The ebb and flow of municipal funding allowed for the progression to more sophisticated equipment. Over twenty or so years ago, the station was automated using a Leightronics Mini-T-Net connected to VCRs and DVD players.  That system required much manual manipulation, such as frequent visits to the station location to change tapes and disks.

Lighting….. The Easiest Part of Creating an Alternative Media Space

by Paul Distefano, Northeast Regional Sales Manager, I Light USA Corp – DeSisti & Coemar USA
A few years ago, while still with a lighting system integration company, my boss introduced a new term to me….. the “Alternative Media Space”.  Basically, this was a place…. an office, a lobby, a conference room, a newsroom, a foyer…… anyplace that could be lit and used to record media.  These were rarely permanent installations.  Crews could come in, set up a couple of chairs, one or two cameras, shoot an interview or some other content, and leave…. closer to an ENG shoot than a studio production.  Given the choice, the one thing that our customers wanted to be somewhat permanent was the lighting.  This made sense.  If there were no need for stands and cabling, the overhead lighting was clean, efficient, and would allow a crew to come in and shoot on battery power and leave without even unspooling a cable.

Beyond Cable: New Ways to Communicate with your Citizens

This session discusses the different media and strategies that municipalities can use to communicate with their citizens. Our panel of experts will delve into social media, over-the-top (OTT) options and platforms beyond Facebook and YouTube. Our panelists include JAG’s Executive Board members who utilize various media and platforms every day to amplify and share municipal information every day.

PEG Stations—Then, Now, and Into the Future

By Dave Ambrosy, Station Manager, East Brunswick

Some of you may remember starting out back in the day and the fun and excitement of creating new local programming. Discovering local talent in town to announce your sports coverage or become reporters and interviewing your neighbors so they can tune in to their cable channel and watch themselves. Convincing your mayor and council that yes, people will watch. Or maybe you remember the frustration of carrying those heavy cameras the size of a microwave and attached to an even heavier tape deck that recorded a whopping twenty minutes of footage on U-matic cassettes. If you were lucky, maybe you had a production assistant watching the audio meter and time remaining. The frustration of working all day on your deck-to-deck edit only to have the boss ask if you can add a section in the middle. Or hear the awful sound of the pinch roller crunching the tape sending the deck into warning. What is a pinch roller anyway???


by George Fairfield, JAG Awards Committee, Chair



December; what a wonderful time of the year; the winter solstice; the music; the lights; the food; and most importantly, everybody gathering together, sharing good tidings, warm embraces, and hunkering down around a video monitor agonizing over what to choose for the JAG Awards.

TWO “Calls To Action”

Last month JAG, the Jersey Access Group, had the distinct pleasure of presenting a special joint session with the League of Municipalities at their annual conference.  It was on the Broadband Grants and Funding opportunities that was created from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which was approved last year by the federal government.

Broadband in New Jersey

by Robert Boyle, Founder and CEO, Planet Networks

This is the second year I attended the New Jersey State League of Municipalities convention.  It is also the second time I have had the honor to speak on the JAG panel on a topic that I am so passionate about and have dedicated the last 29 years of my life to making it a reality with Planet Networks – fast, reliable, and affordable Internet access for all – especially those in chronically underserved areas.