About the Siskiyou Media Council
Who we are…
Successful participation in Siskiyou County life depends on reliable and comprehensive communication across challenging geographic and cultural divides. Siskiyou Media Council (SMC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization that seeks to address those challenges, enabling people across the county to stay informed about the issues that affect their quality of life, economic success, and community vitality.
To that end, SMC provides communication tools and public access to media production and broadcast for all Siskiyou County residents.
Siskiyou Media Council is governed by By-laws reviewed annually by its Board of Directors. Parameters for volunteer participation and for use of the communication tools and studio facilities managed and operated by SMC have been established in the organization’s Operating Rules and Procedures.
Regular Board Meetings are held six times every year on the second Wednesday of the month. Most meetings are held in the Community Television Studio on the College of the Siskiyous’ Weed campus in the Learning Resource Center, Bldg. #2. However, the organization is currently designing a meeting location rotation that will allow members of the public from all around our county community to participate more easily. Please call the SMC office at 530.938.5282 to confirm the location of a specific meeting.
2014 board meetings are scheduled for February 11, April 9, June 11, August 13, October 8, and December 10.
Board meetings start at 9am and generally last 2 hours. These meetings are open to the public. All public SMC records are available at the COS studio for inspection, by prior arrangement. Board meeting minutes are available on this website.
Currently, SMC is managed by a part-time Executive Director who also manages additional staff, interns, and volunteers.
Siskiyou Media Council’s tax identification number is 68-0472204.
A brief history…
Public access cable channel Mountain Community Television 15 (MCTV15) was founded in 1998 by a group of south Siskiyou County residents dedicated to “encouraging and supporting the use of media for sharing thoughts, opinions and events by and for the people of Siskiyou County.” The earliest programs were broadcast live on the street with a camera and microphone dangling from Northland Cable’s system in Mount Shasta’s City Hall.
Over time, as the group acquired equipment and studio space, MCTV15 content began to feature both in-studio and field productions in addition to the government meetings broadcast from the cities of Mount Shasta, Weed, and Dunsmuir. MCTV15 was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 2002.
In 2007 the organization was restructured and renamed Siskiyou Media Council (SMC), with a broader vision that addressed emerging communication needs in Siskiyou County. Siskiyou Media Council continues to manage and operate MCTV15 on the south county’s Northland cable television system as one of its projects.
Where we are now…
Siskiyou Media Council contracted with the City of Yreka in April 2012 to manage and operate the north Siskiyou County public access cable channel, Yreka Community Television (YCTV4). YCTV4 is one of the oldest community channels in the United States; the YCTV4 video library includes programming dating from as early as the 1940s.
Thanks to a generous Shasta Regional Community Foundation equipment grant, funded through The McConnell Foundation, Siskiyou Media Council was able to develop a broadcast and online streaming system that brought the YCTV4 broadcast capability up to current industry standard. We were also able to begin refurbishing the broadcast studio in Weed. Remaining funds were used to purchase equipment for a small studio facility in Yreka.
The new broadcast system links both local stations’ streaming capacity such that MCTV15 and YCTV4 programming/Video-on-Demand, the All-County Electronic Bulletin Board, and the All-County Community Calendar stream online via a single website – siskiyoumediacouncil.org.
Services and Projects…
Since only about 20% of our operating budget is funded by city contract revenue, SMC has developed several sets of services designed to enhance the community’s ability to stay connected and informed, while generating revenue to sustain the organization.
Low-cost Non-Profit and Business Memberships provide member access to equipment and studio facilities, annual Public Service Announcement production and video underwriting spots for broadcast on our system, reduced fees for “Turn-Key” studio productions requiring paid production staff, and reduced fees for both underwriting and sponsorship support. These services aim to allow businesses and non-profits to “get the word out” about who they are, where they are, and what they offer.
The SMC production arm, Siskiyou Video Productions, makes high-quality, low-cost video production available to local businesses, non-profits, and residents. This allows SMC to put skilled local videographers and video editors to work and to make video products financially accessible to more people in the community.
As a first step toward the aspect of our Vision Statement that calls for “Developing partnerships that provide applied experiences in media for Siskiyou County youth,” SMC produced the Weed High School news show, Cougarcast!, from January 2012 until June 2013 in the MCTV15 studio. WHS journalism students worked with their adviser during certain class times and had other class time in the studio for training, show rehearsals, and Cougarcast! productions. This project was been made possible by the generous sponsorship of local businesses: Dignity Health/Mercy Mount Shasta, Tri-Counties Bank, The Hi-Lo Cafe and Garden Party Catering, Scott Valley Bank, and The Weed Store. We look forward to expanding our work with Siskiyou County youth as funding allows.
Where we’re headed…
With the completion of our local industry-standard cable broadcast and online streaming system, Siskiyou County stands at the threshold of a new level of intra-county communication. SMC is committed to working with community leaders and organizations to inform and encourage the public about the new opportunities this system provides locally and about the applications it promises in areas such as tourism, economic development, and engagement in local government.
SMC will move in the coming year toward a weekly Siskiyou County news program that covers the issues and events about which the community cares. Several local journalists – as well as other citizens, schools, municipalities, and organizations – have already expressed interest in this project, and SMC will seek both local underwriting and major grant funding to launch and sustain it.
As stated above, our work with county schools is a focus which SMC will expand to whatever extent community sponsorship support can be generated. Working in a professional media environment imparts both professional skills and media skills that will be of critical importance as our young people move into their careers and adult lives.
Over time SMC will pay close attention to community needs that can be addressed by local media and access to its production. We ask our county community to help us in that effort by contacting us with your ideas, observations, and concerns. Remember… SMC only exists because our community exists – and that community starts with you.