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Benefits of Membership  Tom and Deb at the Spring Conference

Benefits of Membership

Wisconsin Community Media offers Member Media Centers (and Associates), Independent Producer Members, Friends, and Emeritus Members the following benefits:

  • Monthly eNewsletters. WCM’s Member Update features stories about WCM activities and Wisconsin Media Center, and provides updates on the latest local, state and national news about community media and telecommunications.  The Member Update is designed to keep Wisconsin community media professionals informed, inspired, and in touch.
  • Program sharing. WCM’s program sharing system went digital in Fall 2014 with the use of MediaFire.  Media Center Members and Independent Producer Members are heavily using the service to upload and download programming for play on channels all around the state.
  • Lobbying. In the 2017-2018 session, WCM will be lobbying on the state level for reinstatement of rights cities have under federal law that were lost in 2007.  Among these rights is the ability to assess a dedicated PEG fee to support PEG stations.  On the federal level, WCM supports the CAP Act.  The Community Access Preservation Act would also enable Wisconsin cities to once again require dedicated support for community television from video providers as federal law allows. 
  • Outreach and Promotional Opportunities.  The publication, WCM Quarterly, features stories about our WCM member media centers and producers.; The Quarterly is distributed in print format to state legislators and digitally to our large database of contacts.  WCM also manages an active Facebook page as well as a Twitter account.
  • Workshops and Conferences. WCM holds a two-day conference each spring at a conference center and a one-day workshop each fall at a community television station. Members attend at the discounted member rate.  In 2017, the Spring Conference, Media Festival and Exhibitor Fair will be held at the Holiday Inn Milwaukee Riverfront on April 6 & 7.
  • Best of the Midwest Media Fest. Our annual Media Fest gives professional and amateur community media and radio producers a chance to showcase their programs and receive valuable feedback.  For years, the Fest has been open to producers in a nine-state area:  Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska.  Producers are rewarded with trophies, plaques, and certificates.  Community Media centers including Low-Power FM radio stations use the Fest awards to promote their work, as well as to reward producers.  The Fest is open to non-members, but members receive a discount.  As a WCM “station member,” all programming produced and/or distributed through your station may be entered at the member rate.  Deadline to enter is January 10, 2017.
  • Information and referral. Do you have a question? Our Executive Director, Mary Cardona, will answer your community media questions, connect you with another member who can, or refer you to an outside source. Mary has worked professionally in the field of community media for nearly 30 years, as a producer, community media center manager and a telecommunications consultant to cities.
  • Media Center Public Search Tool. WCM believes one of the best ways to support our member media centers is to promote their use. The public can use our home page search tool to find and contact a member media center near them. The list and the information provided on each center is much more extensive for members than for non-member media centers, which we also have extensive information on in our library.
  • Member Surveys. WCM now has an ongoing survey in the form of member station profiles.  These profiles will contain all the basic information you might want to know about other community media centers in the state.  Targeted surveys gauge member interest in conference topics and every 3 years WCM conducts a salary survey.
  • Member Forums and Interest Circles. Members can reach the entire membership with a single e-mail uploaded to the Forum.  Members talk about technical and management issues, sell equipment, and promote uploaded programs.  Circles, smaller communication groups based on one of our five Regions (Fox Valley, Dane County, Milwaukee Area, Northern, and Southern) or topic (like low-power radio), are also available to members who would like to interact with a selected number of people.
  • Member Library. Members have access to our online library.
  • Connections to national community television organizations. WCM enjoys close relationships with the national and Midwest Region of the Alliance for Community Media, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, and American Community Television.
  • Collaboration. Through WCM, our 53 member stations act together to protect and grow community media. As a member of WCM, you will be first to know when a situation is developing and you will be a valuable part of the group that takes action together.
  • The knowledge that you are supporting community media. While this list details how you and your station will benefit, the best benefit may be knowing you are supporting community media.

Types of WCM Members

Media Center Members include all people related to your community media center or LPFM station who come along under your membership fee as “Associate Members.”  Associate Members include all media center staff (volunteer and paid), commission members, city and school officials, and producers who pay a membership fee to the media center. Media Center Members designate one person as the Primary Contact. Media Center Membership fees are on a sliding scale based on the station budget and range from $205 to $310 per year.) LPFM centers join at a discounted rate the first two years of membership.

Independent Producers join WCM in order to distribute their programs easily to community media centers across the state and to collaborate easily on projects with others through WCM’s MediaFire account.  Independent Producers have access to all member benefits and may serve on committees.  The annual membership fee is $45. 

Emeritus Members are named by media centers or WCM to honor the career of a community media professional now retiring from the field. Because of their experience, Emeritus Members have the privilege of being able to be elected to the Board of Directors and have one vote at annual membership meetings (like Station Members do) if they are in good standing.  To be in good standing after the first year of election, Emeritus Members pay dues of $35.

Friend Members are people who would like to support community media and receive the benefits of membership. The annual membership fee is $15.

General Mailing List. Anyone can sign up for our mailing list on our website’s home page and receive occasional mailings about our events and significant news at no charge.