“Beyond Boston” is a monthly television news digest, produced by the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism with collaborators from various community access television stations, which showcases topical news stories and connects viewers from different communities who face similar hardships and issues. Installments typically feature an introductory monologue, clips from partner stations, a studio interview, and a closing policy analysis. Our topic (along with the city/station where we tape) changes with each episode, and in the first 11 months so far we’ve covered: Post-Trump Election Politics / Women’s Marches; Election Ballot Questions (Recreational Cannabis, Charter Schools); Education; Homelessness; Free Speech; Opiate Abuse; Sanctuary Cities and Immigration; Police; Bicycle Safety and Infrastructure; Public Transit.
In our first year, the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism focused on getting our team and operation up and running by producing long form features and columns, and on nurturing relationships with distribution outlets, print and online alike. That’s what we promised our readers and funders, and we delivered even more material than we ever thought possible.
While we’ve continued to produce important written journalism on topics ranging from art to activism, in year two we also pledged to reach people in other ways. Not only through newfangled social media apps and web portals, though there’s that too, but through every conceivable method imaginable by working with various kinds of media makers. That includes one-on-one engagement, podcasts, and good old fashioned public television.
Among the many other ways that BINJ attempts to boost existing media in Massachusetts, we saw an opportunity in the hundreds of cable access stations in the Commonwealth (READ MORE about the importance of and current threat to PEG access from BINJ Network Director Jason Pramas HERE). Teaming up with producers and news makers from stations including Somerville Community Access Television (SCATV), Cambridge Community TV (CCTV), Malden Access TV (MATV), and Brookline Interactive Group (BIG), our monthly digest, “Beyond Boston,” features stories and highlights from our partners, as well as interviews with special guests and analysis from BINJ reporters.
Our second installment featured packages from BIG and Watertown Cable Access Corp, whose News Producer Dan Hogan put the episode together with his WCA-TV crew. One of our goals with the project is to showcase perspectives that are unheard in mainstream news, and to show where various communities connect on issues. In this outing, we took a look at medical and legal marijuana in the context of Massachusetts Ballot Question 4, as well as at the upcoming election in general. Watch it online here, and please support us by tuning in on your local cable access station.