Evanston Community Television has launched a new program featuring reporters from Evanston news organizations discussing community issues.

The first edition of  “The Reporters,” released this morning, features moderator Bob Seidenberg of the Evanston Review with Jennifer Fisher of Evanston Patch, Shawn Jones of the Evanston RoundTable and Bill Smith of Evanston Now.

The program, taped last Thursday, features discussion of crime in Evanston and controversies over new development projects in the city and on the Northwestern University campus.

The production team for the projected monthly program series includes Ashraf Manji, Dennis King, Gary Brooks and Jim Mizell.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. The baby and the bathwater ?

    Will the quality and depth of community discussions surrounding Evanston mayoral/aldermanic and school board elections be affected by the transition in Evanston community television ?

    While many of us can live without the indulgences of a few on public access television, it’s important to note that coverage of local elections  and public affairs is the purview of public access, not government and education channels. The latter remain relatively financially stable because of their continued funding from the city and district 65 respectively. However, it’s important to note that supervision of local elections is a responsibility of the county, not the city of Evanston or the school boards. 

    As such, coverage of the civic dialogue surrounding elections traditionally has been handled by the community access channels in local communities with the local press, not the government or education channels. It may seem responsible that transparency is being preserved, despite the reduction in funding of community television, by maintaining hour(s) long coverage of city council and school board meetings on the city and education channels.

    The argument can be made, however, that Evanston’s most important civic discourse is conducted every 4 years when grass roots organizations democratically engage their communities by selecting candidates from among their ranks to represent them in the city council and district 65 and 202 boards. It is hoped that “The Reporters,” by coupling the production capabilities of community television with the respected reporting and distribution capabilities of our local publications creates a new paradigm of community communications for filling this void. This is the first election in Evanston where ECTV’s internet streaming and sharing capabilities mesh so well with the growth of local publications, particularly on the internet. I’d argue that it’s a great model for raising the bar on truly useful programming that affects and reaches a wide cross-section of the Evanston community. Let's see how it goes ?

    The reporters on “The Reporters” are to be congratulated for their willingness to participate in this venture. Thanks to Bob Seidenberg, Moderator, City Editor and Reporter, Evanston Review, Jennifer Fisher, Editor of, Shawn Jones, reporter, The Evanston Roundtable and Bill Smith, Publisher of Evanston Now.

  2. Good dialogue

    I thought the show and discussions were terrific.  The reporters had perspectives that added new lights to several topics, including the shifts around the Northwestern relationship and housing developments.  Very helpful insights.

  3. Great discussion. I hope all

    Great discussion. I hope all of you keep this endeavor rolling. I'll certainly spread the word.

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