Thursday, January 29, 2015

Set Your DVR’s for next week’s ‘live’ Journalist Roundtable program!

You’re going to want to watch next weeks Journalist Roundtable and at the end of this article I’ll show you just how easy it is to set your Digital Video Recorder (DVR) to do so—even a week in advance.

On Thursday night, February 5th from 6 pm to 7 pm on KOCT’s channel 18 we’ll have a ‘live’ JRT featuring an interesting and informative series of guests:

  • Donna Gilmore who founded the website and organization San Onofre Safety will talk about the recent decision to approve long-term storage of spent fuel waste on the site of decommissioned San Onofre power plant.
  • Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall will share with us the Carlsbad council’s short and long-term plans and projects for 2015.
  • Tom Missett will discuss his Digital Sign proposal and provide his reflections on the death of Melba Bishop.
  • Alice Jacobson, Publisher of the Seaside Courier, will talk about her monthly newspaper that serves our coastal communities.  This segment is a continuation of our ongoing series about the many local on-line and traditional papers that are filling the community news void that has occurred because of the demise of the North County Times.
JRT with former Carlsbad Mayor Bud Lewis

How to record KOCT shows using Cox’s Digital Video Recorder. A) - tune to KOCT channel 18. B) - push the red RECord button. C) - a menu will pop on your screen—click “Create a manual recording…” D) - using the white circular arrow buttons slide over to Day(s) and scroll down to Thu. 2/5. E) - scroll over to start time- 6 pm and stop time 7 pm. F) - finally click the Yellow Triangle ‘Accept’ and you’re done!

Another way to watch is to go to KOCT.ORG and click on Video On Demand and scroll down to the Journalist Roundtable box. We post each new show by the following Monday (in this case Feb. 9th) so you can watch on your computer, tablet or smart phone. 

Oceanside Council

Oceanside Council approx 1987

BREAKING NEWS: Beginning with our March 5th Journalist Roundtable our Video On Demand program will be in High-Definition!! That means our on-line version will be of higher quality than our Cox Cable version. (Cox does not provide their high-definition service for any PEG (public, education, government) channels.)

If you can stream or connect your computer or have a smart television with an internet connection you will be amazed at the quality of our signal and the new technology that makes this possible. Bob Bowditch, the WWII veteran and retiree that helped found KOCT, would be amazed at the advances we have made. Our first mobile studio was a small trailer parked in the back of the old civic center and we could not provide live coverage of those meetings: Instead we would have to edit a two-hour ‘best of’ (don’t laugh) city council meeting program. We would then have to hand deliver those ¾” U-matic tapes to the cable companies head –end for them to replay. We’ve made a lot of progress so take advantage of this new technology and watch a KOCT program on your home computer today.

Bob Bowditch and 1988 City Council Camera Crew

And don’t forget to watch next week’s Journalist Roundtable on Thursday, Feb. 5th at 6 pm-it local programming at its best.

JRT Hosts Kent Davy, Alison St John and Logan Jenkins

Thursday, January 22, 2015


KOCT’s major project, to convert our mobile studio to a hi-definition production facility moved closer to completion today with the ordering of two additional hi-definition cameras. Thanks to Station Manager Jacob Rush and Chief Engineer Bill Peters for the extensive research and efforts on this important KOCT production tool.

KOCT is producing many more Newsbriefs on a variety of topics that you can look forward to seeing in the coming weeks with Editor Shawn Lennon, creating a new hi-definition opening. Editor and Producer Angela Wong has begun working on her most recent Newsbriefs: “El Corazon Recycling Center” and “Oceanside Museum of Art new Marketing Director and Artist”. Editor and Producer Peter Bonscher recently completed another Newsbrief on local sustainable grocer “Frazier Farms” and is currently working on a Newsbrief about an Adult Music program at the Museum of Making Music while also producing a Newsbrief on Oceanside’s LGBTQ Town Hall meeting on January 30th, 2015. Thanks to this talented production team for helping to shoot, edit and share the many community events occurring in our North County community.

Shawn Lennon

Angela Wong

Peter Bonscher

You might have noticed on our most recent Journalist Roundtable a new graphic addition “Why This Matters”—KOCT will add this brief explanation to many of our programs in order to help you understand why we pick certain subjects, invite specific guests and ‘Why This Matters’.

KOCT could not produce the volume and quality of programs without  the efforts of a our many part-time employees AND our student interns and volunteers:
  • Thanks to volunteer Maya Maravilla who edits our North County Talks program “Faith and the Common Good”. She has done a great job and spends many hours to not only edit this program but provide quality camera work in our studio.
  • Palomar Community College Intern Damian Mickey has been working on our ongoing Archive project. KOCT has produced well over 6,000 programs and many of them are on older, obsolete video formats—S-VHS and U-Matic ¾. We are reviewing our older programs and transferring to digital DV cam and/or DVD.
  • Finally KOCT welcomes our newest volunteer Board of Director Frank Gould who will help our other board members to raise funds, encourage viewers to join our Friends of KOCT and other behind the scenes efforts that have helped make KOCT Your Community Channel. 

Maya Maravilla

Damian Mickey

Thursday, January 15, 2015


This week in pictures:

Journalist Roundtable


Ribbon Cutting Encinitas Community Park



Oceanside Spectrum



Friend of KOCT Recording


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Attention Spans & Community Events

One of my first creative editing projects at KOCT occurred about 27 years ago and is reflective of today’s topic ‘Attention Spans & Community Events’. Matt Beck and I spent an early spring day videotaping the ‘beach opening’ event at the pier band shell, musical groups, jet ski’s, dancing and speeches. I edited a 12 minute highlight program and showed it to my boss, the late founder of KOCT, Bob Bowditch. He said he enjoyed the program but that KOCT normally didn’t spend that much time in the field, editing and not produce a 60 minute program.

Fast forward to the new monthly series of Newsbriefs that KOCT is now producing that average 2 minutes in length. There is a multitude of reasons (and media choices) that explain shorter programs and shorter attention spans including:
  •     People with smartphones/tablets now spend an average of almost 3 hours each day on them
  •     Viewers are watching less live television but spending more time in front of other media screens
  •     On-line video viewing is increasing for all Americans

A article in the Brookings Institution, ‘The Bad News about the News’ stated it well “ Today’s young people skitter around the Internet like ice skaters, exercising their short attention spans by looking for fun and, occasionally, seeking out serious information. Audience taste seems to be changing, with the result that among young people particularly there is a declining appetite for the sort of information packages that great newspaper provided….”

Another article on the increasingly blurred line between advertising and ‘straight news’ puts this dilemma well:  “…audiences only have a fixed amount of attention, and that on the Web they’re only one cluck away from every piece of information on the planet, the challenge was not on  how to compete against other brands, it was how to compete with media-all of it”.*Columbia Journalism Review / Nov-Dec 2014 “The Wolf at the Door”

KOCT has done a good job meeting some of these challenges all of our programs are available as Video On Demand which means viewers can watch any program not just when it is scheduled on KOCT’s television channel 18 & 19 but wherever they are via their smart phone, tablet or computer.

However one dilemma both we the program producer and you the viewer face is the challenge of connecting with local information. Tonight’s Journalist Roundtable is a perfect example we have 4 great guests each of whom will be interviewed for about 12 minutes each, a reasonable amount of time to explore issues such as gang violence, our community hospital or hear what our Mayor believes are the important issues he will address in 2015.  But 12 minutes is about 10 times as long as the ‘average’ cable news interview and far longer than the average funny cat video.

The difference is that community issues do more than amuse, they inform. The topics involve your family, neighbors, co-workers and children. The topics may concern your neighborhood and for example, could affect your commute in the morning. Community issues often require an attention span and a little bit of time to learn about the various sides and issues.

KOCT’s disadvantage is we are in a world-wide-web competition for your attention. Our advantage is we are the only one of those media choices whose sole focus is the issues and events of North San Diego County. KOCT doesn’t expect we are your only choice, but we should be one of them. Because you can stay connected to your community by tuning to KOCT-Your Community Channel.