Free Speech in Community Media


Portland Media Center has just announced its participation in Free Speech Week 2018, and will be a co-host for some of the sponsored events (see our post "Free Speech Week...."). One of the things that we do at Portland Media Center is to serve as a platform for the exercise of your right to free speech under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. We offer training, equipment, and facilities to community members wanting to create video content that is aired on our cable channels 2&5 in the Portland, Maine area, as well as on the internet and this website. 

One of the most effective things that we do to support your First Amendment rights is to air several shows that are created especially to explore this topic, and to inform the people through three national television shows: Democracy Now, the Thom Hartmann Show, and the David Pakman show, all syndicated by Free Speech TV, a non profit television network. 

To watch these shows on the PMC website, click on WATCH, and use the search function, or check the schedule. To watch on tv, tune in to your local cable channel 5 in Cumberland County, and/or cable channel 2 in the City of Portland. You can also view our local programming by going to our YouTube channel, ctn5me

Lots of Operational Changes goin' on

 Collaborate Better!

Collaborate Better!

On August 8, PMC staff carried through with threats of announcing lots of big changes to our  M.O. We hosted a very successful meeting with  29 people, including staff, attending.

Members of the staff, Tom Handel, Brian Knoblock, Lesley MacVane, and Arthur Nichols went through a list of changes that will have an impact on each and every Access Volunteer and Access Producer. The list included:

  • A new, keyless system for the front door
  • New lighting capabilities and equipment
  • New audio capabilities and equipment
  • Some new policies and procedures designed to make Access productions work more smoothly
  • A listserve of interested volunteers whom producers can contact to work on their shows

If you are an Access Producer and/or Volunteer, please be advised that if you did not attend this meeting, you MUST make an appointment to review all of the changes with Tom Handel PMC Executive Director, before you will be able to actually work on a project.

If you would like a detailed summary of what transpired, please let staff know!

Collaborate Better!

Major Studio Upgrades

 Peavey FX2 24

Peavey FX2 24


A couple of big changes are coming to the Portland Media Center Control Room and Studio.

The Control Room is getting a major audio upgrade with the arrival of a Peavey FX2 24 Audio Mixer. The new mixer has an additional 8 channels providing more audio inputs for your productions. The new inputs will include dedicated 1/4" jacks for direct connection of amplifiers. There will also be an additional output for a second Floor Monitor speaker. Perhaps the most exciting feature are two built-in Digital Effects Processors so you can add effects, such as Reverb, from within the mixer.

Studio connection to the mixer will be via a new audio snake that will allow connections to Floor Monitors to be made directly to the snake instead of the wall patch panel.

The new mixer will require re-certification for anyone who runs the audio board for studio productions. Training will be a full review of the new mixer and will probably take 60-90 minutes.


 Pro Par LED lamp

Pro Par LED lamp

In the studio, the Red Head lights will be replaced by Blizzard ProPar Z19 lights. As with the backlights installed last year these LED lights can produce any color directly via the panel in the Control Room. The lights also have remote Flood/Spot controls. These lights complete our transition of the main studio lighting to cooler and more versatile LED lights. Training will be required for anyone operating studio lighting but if you are familiar with how the backlights work learning the new lights should go quickly.

Free Speech Week October 22-28, 2018

Save the Dates for two events during Free Speech Week October 22-28!!!


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Portland Media Center along with New England First Amendment Coalition, WMPG, and First Amendment Museum will be hosting an opening event at 4:00 pm on Tuesday, October 23rd, at the First Amendment Museum at the Gannett House in Augusta.

This will be a casual open house and social with four rooms dedicated to key topics; Political Speech, Student Speech, Online Speech and Hate Speech, facilitated by experts on the topics. Light refreshments will be included. A special feature of the event will be Robert Shetterly’s Portraits of Americans Who Tell the Truth.

There will also be a closing event on Saturday, October 27th, beginning at 2:00 pm in Studio 516 at the Portland Media Center. This will be a round table format with audience. The panel will be made up of selected experts on Free Speech and hosted by a moderator.

For more information: or 202-775-2900 ext 201, or follow the link below.


 Greater Portland Landmarks is one of many local Nonprofits who use PMC as their video department.

Greater Portland Landmarks is one of many local Nonprofits who use PMC as their video department.


Nonprofits who become members of PMC enjoy several benefits including Member profiles and Member Highlights, which are news stories, interviews and coverage of speakers. Since May we’ve produced seven Member Highlights for the Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative, Portland Trails, Community Financial Literacy, Maine Voices, Greater Portland Land Trust and the Portland Public Library. If you are one of our nonprofit members, and have a speaker you’d like taped or an event that you’d like to announce or made into a 5-minutes news story, getting it done is as simple as calling or emailing Brian Knoblock at 775-2900 Ext. 210 or

Strategic Planning

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Every three to five years, the PMC Board of Directors develops a strategic plan that sets goals to be achieved at the end of the 3-5 years of the plan. Our last plan was developed in 2014 and implemented in 2015. That plan resulted in some major changes, not least of which, was our new branding as the Portland Media Center, as well as a complete renovation of our front area and hallways. Many of our programmatic goals during this year involved increased local programming, which has been exceeded beyond our wildest expectations.

The PMC Board is now in the process of developing another strategic plan to implement at the end of this year or in the beginning of 2019. The process starts with research, which includes asking you, our stakeholders, to give your input. Please be prepared to give us your feedback as we contact you with questions. We are also more than willing to take any input about what we do, what we shouldn’t be doing, what we could do in the future and what we could do better. If you’d like more information or would like to get involved in this research phase please contact Tom Handel at 75-2900 Ext. 200 or at The research phase will continue throughout the summer. The results of our research will be distributed to the staff and Board of Directors, who will get together for a retreat in September to develop the next strategic plan.