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Help SYN Save Community TV



On the 30th of June, 2020, the Federal Government intends to switch off Community TV in Australia for good. There are no plans to replace Community TV, with at least five years of white noise as the proposed substitute. With just two community stations still standing, Melbourne’s C31 and Adelaide’s C44, SYN is joining the fight to keep Community TV alive.

1700 is Melbourne’s only independent youth-produced music TV show, currently airing Wednesdays and Fridays on C31 Melbourne (digital 44) from 5 – 6pm. Previously, 1700 ran on C31 five nights a week, with new hosts, crew and artists each broadcast season. The show features all the latest and best music videos from local and independent artists, plus interviews and performances with local artists. 

Since 2006, 1700 has been providing an essential platform to local artists and young emerging media makers. Through 1700’s partnership with C31, hundreds of young people have accessed a safe space to gain hands-on industry skills and have their voices heard. SYNers have benefited enormously from stepping out of the radio studio and onto the TV set, as pathways to gaining practical media experience become harder to come by for young people.

This year, 1700 moved from the C31 live studios to RMIT University’s CBD-based Media Collective, where SYN joined forces with RMITV to create a brand new co-production. Here, 1700 volunteers have access to state-of-the-art television studios to create cutting-edge youth content. 

In 2020 alone, more than 30 young creatives – producers, crew, hosts, graphic designers, editors – have assembled to continue championing local music, adapting 1700 to an online content model. However, the critical role of Community TV plays in fostering skill-building, employability, connection and purpose is apparent in the words of our volunteers, staff and alumni.

“Few platforms can compare to the role Channel 31 plays in paving the way for new talent, stories and experience for media makers in Australia. A completely independent Australian platform accessible to local community members is a service that we all benefit from, whether you realise it or not. Young people need opportunities now, more than ever, to get accessible hands on experience in a television studio and to tell the stories that matter to them. Without Channel 31 this diversity and opportunity to share those voices in the Australian media will be hugely impacted.” – Evrim Şen (General Manager, SYN Media)

“…I’m thankful that I’ve continued to have a career in media and I thank 1700 and SYN for all of those opportunities that they gave me.” – Cassie Walker (1700 host; Digital Music Lead, Triple M)

“Channel 31 is just so important, because it’s providing people like me [with] the opportunity to get hands-on media experience where I wouldn’t get it anywhere else. It needs to continue so that our media landscape continues to be diverse, and create lots of opportunities and jobs for other people.” – Aimee Craig (1700 host; Street Team & Promotions, NOVA Entertainment)

“I was involved in 1700 for about four years, and it gave me so much in the ways of experience, connections and friends, and I don’t think I’d be working in the job that I’m in at the moment if it wasn’t for that. There are a lot of people I know who could say the exact same thing.” – Grace Cunningham (1700 Executive Producer 2016; Sport Production Coordinator, KOJO)

“Many people who currently work in the media industry got their start in community television, including me. If C31 is taken off air, I fear that future media students won’t have the same valuable opportunities on a platform that helps build up  their skills and confidence .” – Erica Lewis (1700 host & crew, Nine Network)

“…Please keep Community TV open and 1700… because it brings us culture, it brings us arts, music, training grounds and employment.” – Elly Vex (1700 artist; Audio, Channel 10)

“Community TV gives marginalised communities a voice. Enabling the community to have the platform to create, share and connect for themselves is essential.” – Molly George (SYN Media Learning Manager)

“…I really hope that in the future Community TV can come back in some capacity, maybe even better than what it is now.” – Frazer Chen (Artist, 1700 host)

“1700 and Community television is important to me because it gave me new found purpose in life.” – Luca Guglielmino (Student, 1700 crew)

“Community media means everything to me. Without it, I wouldn’t have met some of the people I’m so fortunate to have in my life today. I wouldn’t be the person I am without community media.” – Erin Dick (SYN Content Coordinator)

Despite the overwhelming importance of Community TV to young people, the Minister for Communications, Paul Fletcher, has re-confirmed his intention to switch Community TV off by the 30th of June. 

On the 10th of June, Senators Wong, Marielle Smith and Kitching will present a motion in the Australian Senate to keep Community TV stations on air. The motion is backed by the majority of the house, although this alone will not secure an extension to the licence.

SYN is committed to amplifying the voices of young people, but we cannot achieve this mission without Community TV. To help us Keep Local TV on TV, you can:

  • Write to your local MP or to Minister Fletcher, telling them why Community TV matters to you,
  • Sign this petition to grant community broadcasters free-to-air broadcast license extensions,
  • Show your support online for Community TV, by using the hashtag #KeepLocalTV.

Video Producer: Erica Lewis 

Editor: Justin Yoong

Coordinator: Lauren Dobson


— ENDS —

Further inquiries: Erin Dick via [email protected]

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