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How to Get on Public Access Television

Get your message to the masses by scoring a slot on your local public access station, which is a channel that is made available to the general public.


  • Step 1: Have an idea for the kind of program you want to make. Anything goes on public TV, as long as it's not pornographic, offensive, obscene, libelous, or commercial.
  • Step 2: Find a station in your area by typing "Global Village CAT" into a search engine. It will take you to a site that links to about 700 public or community access television sites worldwide.
  • TIP: Residency rules vary among stations, so ask about using a station outside your hometown.
  • Step 3: Contact the station for their producer requirements; they all operate a bit differently. In some cases, you'll have to make your show on your own and then apply to air it; other channels have a studio you can use and equipment you can borrow on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • TIP: Stations that lend out their equipment usually require that you train on it before you can borrow it. Some offer classes for a small fee.
  • Step 4: Make your program. Most stations want shows that are about 28 minutes long, leaving two minutes for opening and closing credits.
  • Step 5: Submit your show. It will be aired whenever the station has an available time slot, though most stations will try to accommodate you if you have a specific time in mind. It may also air several times over the course of a month.
  • FACT: Celebrity chef Dave Lieberman started a public access cooking show during college at Yale University.

You Will Need

  • A programming idea
  • A public access television station
  • Proficiency with TV equipment

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