Council provides input on city’s TV channel

Published 6:05 pm Wednesday, August 17, 2016

When it comes to getting the most out of its public, education and government channel, the City of Washington wants City NINE to show videotaped coverage of City Council meetings at the most effective times.

Those times, according to city officials are mid-morning and prime-time hours at night.

Discussion about City NINE’s schedule came up during the council’s Aug. 8 meeting, before which Councilman Doug Mercer and David Carraway, the city’s information-technology director and overseer of City Nine, had a brief talk about where to place City Council coverage on the PEG channel’s schedule. During that talk and the discussion Carraway had with the council, it was determined that the optimum time to show the videotaped council meetings on City Nine would be the mid-morning and prime-time hours.

Mercer believes showing City Council meetings at specific times would help the city do a better job of informing city residents and others about city business. Mercer and Councilman Larry Beeman said showing council meetings later in the evening instead of around 6 p.m. would attract more adult viewers because small children would be in bed later in the evenings.

Carraway noted that Mercer mentioned City NINE showing several continuous hours of downtown Washington, mostly a section of Market Street, during its daily schedule. “That statutes say that I can only show 15 percent of live video or text — live bulletins — within a 24-hour period. So, I’ve got to show video content. What I’ve tried to do is I set up a schedule for the webcam downtown, but we can move it around. I’ve set up a four-hour block. I typically do that at midnight and four in the morning. That gives me my eight hours that I’m required to do every day. Then I can schedule other stuff during the day,” he said.

Carraway acknowledged he could do a better job of scheduling, adding that his IT duties sometimes get in the way of working on scheduling content for City NINE.

Beeman said he would like for City NINE to show the agendas for City Council meetings and inform City NINE viewers at what times those agendas could be viewed. Carraway explained that it takes several hours the day after a council meeting for him to “render down” the video coverage of the meeting before it can be shown on City NINE later that day.

Across North Carolina, there are 52 PEG channels, 17 provided by counties and 35 provided by municipalities, according to Carraway. Five of the PEG providers have two or more channels, he said.

To access the City NINE schedule, go to the city’s website at and click on the City NINE link under the NEWS header on the left of the homepage. The City NINE schedule and other related links will be displayed. Anyone with old photographs related to Washington may contact Carraway at 252-975-9331.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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