March 19, 2021 – Yesterday on a cloudy day in Boston, representatives of MassAccess were finally able to present an in-person award that was long overdue. At the 2021 Mass Creator Awards, the MassAccess Board announced that they were bucking the trend of presenting a “Legislator of the Year” award in favor of a new honor, the “Outstanding Contributor of the Year”, presented to The Massachusetts House of Representatives House Broadcast Services (HBS). For years, HBS has been uploading hearings and sessions from the state house on the Mass Media eXchange (MMX) so that community media stations across the Commonwealth can download and retransmit these proceedings to their audiences – providing a vital content to Massachusetts residents while promoting governmental transparency. 2020 was different in a lot of ways – there may have been fewer sessions for HBS to cover, but they never lost a beat when they were needed and took on the added responsibility of uploading Governor Charlie Baker’s almost daily press conferences for re-air on PEG access channels.
“Anyone running one of our stations knows that these updates have been vital during the 2020 pandemic” said Michael Lynch, Vice President of MassAccess when presenting the award during the MassAccess Annual Meeting on January 28. Lynch went on to illustrate the impact of the contributions by HBS, noting that HBS had uploaded over 250 videos to the MassAccess server in 2020 and those videos were downloaded over 6,000 times. The potential audience for the updates and proceedings provided by HBS is enormous.
“Older adults in Massachusetts are greatly affected by the pandemic, as we all know.” said David Gauthier, President of MassAccess. “These residents make up a huge part of the traditional cable audience – especially local cable. Without the efforts of House Broadcast Services, those residents may be without vital information they so sorely need.” In a world of on-demand programming and streaming video, over 350,000 residents of Massachusetts still subscribe to cable television services. Most Massachusetts community media centers also have an online presence for programming, meaning the potential reach of these stations is unlimited.
“…thanks to all the MassAccess stations that broadcast our content. You have expanded our reach and purpose.” says Donald Coleman, Director of House Broadcast Services. “I’m equally as humbled by the gesture, as I’m gratified that our team’s efforts have been recognized. We marvel at how other groups and organizations have adapted, innovated and delivered during this crisis, so we appreciate being acknowledged as an outstanding contributor.”
MassAccess would like to thank Don, as well as his outstanding team – Jeff Hnatio, Angel Nunez, Monica Carney & Lisa Nargi for their years of service to the residents of Massachusetts.