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Video clip synopsis – The role of community television in general and its role in training TV personalities.
Year of production - 2005
Duration - 2min 30sec
Tags - broadcasting, communities, culture, media and society, media ownership, television programs, see all tags


Community TV

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About the Video Clip


The interviews with Mac Gudgeon and Corinne Grant were recorded for the website From Wireless to Web produced in 2005.

Mac Gudgeon is a screenwriter and a community television advocate. Corinne Grant is a comic, writer and actor. You can view their full biographies at From Wireless to Web

The website is a selective history of broadcast media in Australia. Decade by decade, from radio and newsreels to TV and the internet, this history shows how the Australian broadcast media developed and shaped the way Australians see themselves.

From Wireless to Web is a Film Australia production in association with Roar Film.

Curriculum Focus


Students will:

  • discuss the purposes of community television with relevance to their own viewing experiences
  • research and draft an informative magazine article for a specific audience
  • write and format a proposal for a new community television program
  • write an imaginative short story
  • create a webpage suitable for a youth television station

Curriculum links
National: The Statements of Learning for English- Year 9

Reading, viewing and interpreting information and argument texts

  • Students read and view texts that entertain, move, parody, investigate,
    analyse, argue and persuade. These texts explore personal, social, cultural
    and political issues of significance to the students’ own lives.
  • Students understand that readers and viewers may need to develop knowledge
    about particular events, issues and contexts to interpret texts.


  • When students write information or argument texts, they make appropriate selections of information from a few sources and attempt to synthesise and organise these in a logical way.
  • Students write imaginative texts in print and electronic mediums that contain personal, social and cultural ideas and issues related to their own lives and communities and their views of their expanding world.

This resource is also relevant to Media Studies- Audiences, Representation, Media Conventions and Media Production.

These are extracts only. Teachers and students should consult their state’s curriculum and learning programs.
Go to The National Curriculum Statements for English

Background Information


In 1989 angry Germans took to the Berlin Wall with pickaxes and the 'old world order’ collapsed. Then the first Gulf War saturated the media, leading a parade of local conflicts from around the world into our homes during the 1990s. Globalisation became the buzzword and millions hooked up to the internet. Australians searched for a place in the 'new world order’. Some embraced it, some turned 'green’ and adopted the slogan, 'think global, act local’. Others simply turned off.

1992 Community TV (CTV)
Channel 31 (Sydney) promotes itself as being ‘free, fresh and for all’. Channel 31 (Melbourne) broadcasts programs for 18 hours every day of the week, and averages the production of 63 hours of first-run locally made programs each week. Channel 31 (Adelaide) states that its mission is 'to present quality programs that educate, entertain and are relevant to the people of Adelaide … to showcase all the wonderfully diverse faces and facets of our city … [and] to bring together the people of Adelaide in real community spirit’.

Community television (CTV) is open-access television for individuals and groups from all areas of the community including educational institutions, filmmakers, multicultural and community groups, sporting bodies and local businesses – indeed, just about anyone of any age who wants to get involved in television.

Community television programming reflects a wide range of communities including language groups, environmental and social justice groups, and gay and lesbian programming, as well as local information, local sport, student productions, Indigenous programs, panel discussions and magazine-style entertainment. This list represents only a small portion of the possible culture groups, taste groups, civil society organisations and local government agencies that might participate in community television.

Community television – allocated to Channel 31 on the UHF band – was launched in 1992. CTV stations are not-for-profit organisations, self-funded mostly through airtime sales and individual and corporate sponsorship. CTV caters to community interests not served by network or pay-TV. However Channel 31 Melbourne also allows a commercial operator, Renaissance TV, to use its transmitter.

CTV has been made possible by new low-cost technologies, especially affordable and relatively portable video recording equipment, and is characterised by low-budget 'niche’ productions. There are six licensed CTV operators in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and Lismore. Current CTV licences run to 2006.

Classroom Activities

  1. Getting started
    As a class, view the interviews with Corinne Grant and Mac Gudgeon then discuss and write notes on the following:
    1. Comment on the purposes and benefits of community television (CTV), in comparison to major network television. (Mac Gudgeon)
    2. Describe how the experience of performing on cheaply-run, cash-strapped community television can be an advantage later to a professional entertainer. (Corinne Grant)
    3. Comment on your own experience of viewing, or even taking part in, community television programs, and whether you believe CTV is a valuable and worthwhile resource for local communities and special interest groups.
  2. Researching and writing a magazine article
    Explore your local Community TV station online at Australian Government Culture and Recreation Portal, Community Television
    Examine the daily program listing, then write an article for a young person’s magazine, in 300–400 words, on the range of programs currently available that aren’t represented on TV networks elsewhere. (If details are difficult to find, your class may have to ask the to provide information.)
  3. Drafting a submission
    Working in pairs, draft a written submission presentation to the Channel outlining your ideas for a weekly 30-minute program you would like to produce and present. It may be ‘live’ in the studio, or video-recorded elsewhere and edited for presentation. It must be produced cheaply, with possible sponsorship from local businesses or groups. Programs may be local sports news and activities, local performance or writing groups, local ethnic group information, or one chosen in consultation with your teacher. Numbered sub-headings and bulleted points may be suitable for this mode of writing.
  4. Writing a story
    Taking into account Corinne Grant’s comments, write a short story about a local youth rock band invited to take part in a ‘live’ community television studio performance and interview.
  5. Creating a home page for a website for a youth community TV station
    View a range of community TV statio websites. View online, Class TV on Melbourne’s CH 31, which is produced weekly by students and which focusses on events and issues of interest to teenagers.
  • Decide what kinds of programs your TV station will feature so that all aspects of youth culture are represented. Go to the home page of RMITV, which is a University Student TV production house for communty TV and critically evaluate the style of the home page; pictures, buttons, thumbnails and hyperlinks.
    Design a logo and visuals to symbolise the main focus of the station.
  • Produce a DVD clip for the homepage that represents some of the main programs.

Further Resources


Go to From Wireless to Web for more about the history of broadcast media in Australia.

Go to Australian Government Culture and Recreation Portal, Community Television

Go to C31 Melbourne

Go to CBOnline

Read Media new ways and meanings 3rd Ed. by Colin Stewart and Adam Kowaltzke. Jacaranda, Milton, QLD, 2008. Go to a sample of chapters online at Jacaranda Books

Read Senior Media Workbook Victoria Giummarra, MacMillan, Victoria 2004. a recommended text for designing and producing webpages and media production.