Community Media 101

What is Community Media?

Community Media is any form of media that is created and controlled by a community, either a geographic community or a community of identity or interest. Community Media is separate from commercial media, state run media, or public broadcasting.

Community Media (Public Access Television) was developed by Congress in the early 1970s to ensure that local communities would have access to the burgeoning cable networks so they could provide local programming within the global system. Brooklyn residents can apply for free channel time on Brooklyn Free Speech and cablecast shows of their own making to a mass audience— as long as they are non-commercial in nature. In addition, local viewers will be provided with programming created mainly for local residents. In many locales, Public Access Television stations also provide television production training and equipment. 

Cities generally have three kinds of access channels: public access, education, and government or PEG (Public, Education, and Government). Brooklyn Free Speech's four channels are Public Access programming.

What does B-R-I-C stand for?

Great question! BRIC used to stand for Brooklyn Information & Culture. Then we changed our name to BRIC Arts | Media Bklyn. And now our name is just BRIC. So, what does B-R-I-C stand for? Well, it can mean anything you want it to. We anticipated that we would get this very question when we changed our name to BRIC in 2013 so we had a campaign called #WhatDoesBRICMeanToYou. 

It could stand for:

  • Brooklyn: Real Inspiring Creative
  • Breaking Rules Inciting Creativity
  • Bagels Rugelach Icing Cupcakes
  • Batman Robin Ice-cream Catwoman

We encourage you to have fun with it. So Brooklyn Free Speech FAQs reader, what does B-R-I-C mean to you? We know how creative you are, so email us at BFreeBK@BRICartsmedia.org, and let us know what you come up with.

What are the B Free Awards?

Brooklyn Free Speech is proud to present the B FREE AWARDS, an awards show that celebrates excellence in programming on its three Brooklyn Free Speech channels. 

The 4th Annual B FREE AWARDS will take place on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at BRIC Arts | Media House and celebrate the free speech crusaders who every week air over 650 hours of television programming on Brooklyn Free Speech television. We’re rolling out the red carpet for the dedicated producers who share their programs with the community.

Have a question about B FREE AWARDS 2017? Email us at BFreeAwards@BRICartsmedia.org.

B FREE AWARDS 2016  |  B FREE AWARDS 2015  |  B FREE AWARDS 2014

When and where will the 2017 B Free Awards be held?

The 4th Annual B FREE AWARDS will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at BRIC Arts | Media House.

What is Brooklyn Free Speech?

BRIC was designated the Community Access Organization for the Borough of Brooklyn in 1988. A development plan for creation of a full-scale, community-based media outlet for the entire borough was devised. The result is the BRIC community media program known today as Brooklyn Free Speech 

Brooklyn Free Speech includes:

  • The New York Emmy-nominated Brooklyn Free Speech which empowers you to air your thoughts, dreams, hopes, and aspirations through the dynamic medium of television. The community television network displays programs that reflect the borough's diversity of thought and culture;
  • Brooklyn Free Speech Radio, the borough's first community podcast network with content produced and edited by New York City's most diverse audio makers;
  • A public media education program which gives you television, film, and podcast production skills through free and low-cost, high-quality courses so that you can create your own show on the New York Emmy-nominated Brooklyn Free Speech, and;
  • The Media Center which gives Brooklynites the tools and know-how to professionally create and cablecast their own television programs on Brooklyn Free Speech television.

Hey, but didn't your name used to be "BCAT TV Network?"

Yes, you're absolutely right! Our network channels were called BCAT but we changed our name from BCAT TV Network to Brooklyn Free Speech in 2013.

Why did you change your name?
While we love the name BCAT—and it still holds a special place in our hearts—we wanted a name that effectively communicated our expanding community media channels as a network that spotlights the work of talented artists and media makers across the borough.

How are the services that The Media Center provides paid for?

Any business that uses a public "right of way"—streets, roads, and airwaves—negotiates a rental agreement with the local government for its use. The rent paid by a cable company comes in the form of franchise fees. In New York City, a portion of those fees are used to provide capital and operating budgets for the City's access channels and the Public Access television facilities located in each borough. 

Brooklyn Free Speech turned 25 in 2013. Past, Present, Home, and Away!

Brooklyn Free Speech celebrated its 25th anniversary as the Public Access television station for Brooklyn, New York in 2013 and we celebrated in a big way. 

Check out the special blog post we wrote to commemorate the special event:
Past, Present, Home, and Away: Brooklyn Free Speech Celebrating 25 Years.

Now that I know more about Brooklyn Free Speech, where can I watch?

B Real. B Cool. B Free. B You with Brooklyn Free Speech!

Comprised of three channels, Brooklyn Free Speech features programming produced and 
curated by YOU. Tune in to watch Brooklyn Free Speech on Verizon FiOS in all five boroughs 
and exclusively in Brooklyn on Optimum, Spectrum, and RCN.

Watch the diverse and exciting programming Brooklyn Free Speech has to offer.

  • Verizon FiOS: 42 (channel 1), 43 (channel 2), 44 (channel 3)
  • Optimum: 67 (channel 1), 68 (channel 2), 69 (channel 3)
  • Spectrum: 1995 (channel 1), 1996 (channel 2), 1998 (channel 3)
  • RCN: 82 (channel 1), 83 (channel 2), 84 (channel 3)
  • Online streaming: Watch Brooklyn Free Speech channels 1-3, right here!

Tell me more about Brooklyn Free Speech Television please

How do I air a show on Brooklyn Free Speech?

All programs on Brooklyn Free Speech must have a Brooklyn-based program applicant. The program applicant is the Brooklyn resident (18 years or older) or organization submitting a program for cablecast on Brooklyn Free Speech. The program applicant accepts liability for the content of the program and responsibility for turning in their programs for playback. To apply for a timeslot, you will need to schedule an appointment to have your application processed by either Kareem Bland or Tyrone Gorin in our programming department. 

During your appointment we will validate your identification and Brooklyn resident status as well as explain the process of using our digital upload system to play your program on our channels.

Please note that all programs uploaded into our system MUST be on a DVD or USB flash drive. To schedule an appointment, please call 718.683.5645 and speak with one of our Brooklyn Free Speech team members.

Show Types

What is a series?

A series is a program shown on a regularly scheduled basis that has the same producer and title and a consistent theme or format. There are three types of series:

  1. Weekly Series which is shown once a week for 13 weeks
  2. Bi-weekly Series which is shown twice a month during a 13-week series
  3. Monthly Series which is shown once a month for 3 months.

What is a special?

A special is a single program that is NOT part of a series. A special is a program with only one (1) guaranteed airing with additional air dates given at the sole discretion of Brooklyn Free Speech.

Television / Video / Audio Equipment

What kind of equipment do you have at The Media Center?

  • HD Video Cameras (Panasonic HMC 40 + Panasonic HMC 80 + Panasonic AG-AC90)
  • Shure SM 58 Handheld Microphones
  • Shure SM93 Lavalier Microphones
  • XLR Cables
  • Daiwa, Pearstone, and Manfrotto Tripods
  • Zoom H4N and H1N Audio Recorders
  • Shotgun Microphones + Boom Poles
  • Lowel DP (3 Three-Light) Kits
  • Media Lab with 12 Computers
  • Six Edit Suites

How do I book equipment and studio space?

Great question! You can book equipment and studio space with The Media Center by filling out our Electronic Equipment & Studio Reservation Form.

How do I find crew members to help with my Brooklyn Free Speech show(s)?

You can find crew for your Brooklyn Free Speech show(s) by clicking here.

What editing software do you use?

We teach Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. Adobe Premiere CS6 can be found on the computers in our edit suites and on the 12 computers in our media lab.

I'm new to tapeless and don't have an SD card, which one should I buy?

You should purchase a Class 10 Card. As far as card size (8GB vs 32GB and everything in between), that all depends on what you'll be recording. Please feel free to contact a Brooklyn Free Speech public equipment team member at 718.683.5645 or pe@BRICartsmedia.org for size recommendations.

Do I need a hard drive?

You will need an external hard drive to save and edit footage at The Media Center. We also recommend that you get one for home use when working with video, so as to not fill up your computer's hard drive space. 

Important Note
Not all hard drives connect to all computers so please feel free to contact a Brooklyn Free Speech public equipment team member at 718.683.5645 or pe@BRICartsmedia.org for recommendations and computer compatibility.

Tell me more about Brooklyn Free Speech Radio please

What is Brooklyn Free Speech Radio?

Brooklyn Free Speech Radio is the borough's first community podcast network with content produced and edited by you!

How do I get involved?

Easy! Take an Orientation and then a podcast certification class. After that, you'll have access to free equipment at Brooklyn Free Speech and distribution on our network!

What is Podcasting?

A podcast is like a radio show that is created for subscribers to download or stream.

What kind of equipment will I have access to?

We have Zoom audio recorders, handheld mics, editing stations, and a podcast studio available for free!

Do I need experience?

Not at all! Even if you have basic computer skills, you're ready to get started.

Do I need to be on-air talent? I think my voice sounds funny.

We all think our voices sound funny! But no worries, there are a variety of formats for podcast shows and not all producers act as hosts for their shows.

Where does content go?

All content ends up on our Brooklyn Free Speech Radio SoundCloud page and is distributed on our television channels. In 2017, Brooklyn Free Speech will also be presenting its podcast shows via iTunes.

B Free Awards

What are the B Free Awards?

Brooklyn Free Speech is proud to present the B FREE AWARDS, an awards show that celebrates excellence in programming on its three Brooklyn Free Speech channels. 

The 4th Annual B FREE AWARDS will take place on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at BRIC Arts | Media House and celebrate the free speech crusaders who every week air over 650 hours of television programming on Brooklyn Free Speech television. We’re rolling out the red carpet for the dedicated producers who share their programs with the community. 

Have a question about the B FREE AWARDS? Email us at BFreeAwards@BRICartsmedia.org.

B FREE AWARDS 2016  |  B FREE AWARDS 2015  |  B FREE AWARDS 2014

When and where will the 2017 B Free Awards be held?

The 4th Annual B FREE AWARDS will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at BRIC Arts | Media House.

What is the eligibility period for entries for the 2017 B Free Awards?

Films, TV shows, or shorts submitted for air on Brooklyn Free Speech from January 1, 2016 - December 31, 2016 are eligible to be submitted for the 2017 B Free Awards.

What is the submission deadline for B Free Awards 2017?

The submission period for the 2017 B FREE AWARDS is from Tuesday, January 3, 2017 - Tuesday, January 31, 2017.

How do I submit my content for the 2017 B Free Awards?

We're so happy that you're interested in submitting your content. Submissions open on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 and close on Tuesday, January 31, 2017. As a reminder, your film, TV show, or short, MUST have aired on one (or all) of our four Brooklyn Free Speech television channels in order to be eligible for the 2017 B Free Awards. Submit your content here: BRICartsmedia.org/BFreeAwards.

Media Education

What is Brooklyn Free Speech Media Education?

Media Education is Brooklyn's hub for learning how to create compelling and innovative content for the YOU-focused, YOU-centric, YOU-curated Brooklyn Free Speech. We offer many free or low-cost television and film production courses ranging from:

  • Intro to DSLR Filmmaking
  • Intro to Marketing 
  • Television Studio Production
  • Audio Production: Field, Studio & Editing 
  • Fundamentals of Screenwriting
  • Digital Camera Basics
  • We also offer a host of Adobe Creative Suite classes incuding: Premiere (Video Editing with Premiere), After Effects (Motion Graphics with After Effects), Photoshop (Intro to Photoshop & Advanced Photoshop), and Audition (Audio Editing with Audition).

Once you're a Certified Community Producer you'll be able to reserve production equipment (if you don't have your own equipment) so that you can create your own show for air on the New York Emmy-nominated Brooklyn Free Speech.

Media Education @ Brooklyn Public Library

What is Media Education @ Brooklyn Public Library?

In 2012, Brooklyn Free Speech partnered with the Brooklyn Public Library to bring media training to residents in and around the Central (Park Slope), New Lots (East New York), Kings Highway (Midwood), Coney Island (Coney Island), and DeKalb (Bushwick) branches.

This partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library allowed us to expand our reach providing Brooklyn residents with free introductory media courses and low-cost, high-quality media education courses at their neighborhood library branch. Within a year, three of the branches (East New York, Kings Highway, and Coney Island) began providing free equipment checkout for Certified Community Producers.

Highlights
In July 2015 we opened a brand new, state-of-the-art television studio at the Brooklyn Public Library in Coney Island.

In June 2016, we expanded our media training reach even further by offering courses at the Brooklyn Public Library's DeKalb branch in Bushwick. 
 

 

Get Involved!

I am interested in signing up to volunteer on shows that air on Brooklyn Free Speech. How can I do that?

Interested in getting more involved at Brooklyn Free Speech? Volunteering with your fellow Brooklyn Free Speech producers is the perfect networking and media skillset building opportunity. Ready. Set. Volunteer!

I am a certified community producer. How do I find crew for my show?

Need help with finding crew members for your Brooklyn Free Speech productions? Fill out our online Studio Crew Request Form and we'll match you with fellow producers who specialize in your needed area. 

I want to get more involved. Are there volunteer opportunities available with Brooklyn Free Speech?

Yes! We're always looking for great volunteers like you. Fill out our volunteer form to get involved with events like BRIC FLIX, B Scene, and the 4th Annual B Free Awards on Saturday, April 1, 2017. Ready. Set. Volunteer!

Skillbuilding Workshop: The Producers' Think Tank

The Producers' Think Tank is a support system intended to aid Brooklyn Free Speech producers in moving their production projects or show ideas forward. Topics covered in the Think Tank sessions will vary depending on the needs of producers. Some areas that will be covered include: 

  • Networking and building a production team
  • Guidance on facility and equipment usage
  • Assistance with show ideas through group discussion

Interested in participating in The Producers' Think Tank? Learn more here!

Skillbuilding Workshop: Field Production

The Field Production Skill Building Workshop series consists of small group sessions designed to give producers who are certified in field production additional time with field equipment with staff guidance.

Interested in participating in our Field Production Skill Building workshop? Learn more here!

B Social

How do I find Brooklyn Free Speech on social media?

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  YouTube  |  @BFreeBK

Getting to BRIC Arts | Media House

Address

BRIC
647 Fulton Street
(The Media Center, Second Floor)
Brooklyn, New York 11217-1113

Contact the Brooklyn Free Speech Team

GENERAL INQUIRIES
BFreeBK@BRICartsmedia.org

PUBLIC EQUIPMENT (PE)
718.683.5645 or 718.683.5605
pe@BRICartsmedia.org

COMMUNITY PRODUCER LIAISON
Matthew Allen
718.683.5649 
mallen@BRICartsmedia.org

PROGRAMMING
Kareem Bland, Traffic Coordinator
718.683.5643 
programming@BRICartsmedia.org

Tyrone Gorin, Program Coordinator
718.683.5644
programming@BRICartsmedia.org
 

Public Transportation

SUBWAY
2 3 4 5 to Nevins Street (closest subway station!)
B Q R (D & N, 11PM - 6AM) to Dekalb Avenue 
B D N Q R to Atlantic Avenue—Barclays Center 
A C G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn Street
C to Lafayette Avenue
G to Fulton Street

BUS
B25, B26, B38, B41, B45, B52, B63, B67 
All of the above buses stop within three blocks of The Media Center. 

LONG ISLAND RAILROAD
The Long Island Railroad stops at Atlantic Terminal, approximately 2 ½ blocks away from The Media Center. 

ACCESSIBLE SUBWAY STATIONS
Looking for the full list of MTA accessible subway stations in Brooklyn? Here it is!   

Travel Alert: Please confirm bus and subway service on the MTA website as there are
frequent weeknight and weekend service interruptions.

Access-A-Ride | Uber | Lyft

Tell the driver you're going to 57 Rockwell Place (Between Fulton Street & DeKalb Avenue). It'll be much easier for them to find our building and you'll be dropped off right in front of the door.

Driving Directions

From downtown Manhattan or the FDR Drive
Take the Brooklyn Bridge. Turn left on Tillary Street. Turn right on Flatbush Avenue. Turn left on Fulton Street and drive one block. The Media Center which is housed in BRIC Arts | Media House will be on the left; parking is on the right.

From Manhattan's West Side
Take the West Side Highway to Canal Street. Exit left onto Canal Street. Canal Street feeds straight into the Manhattan Bridge. Across the bridge, continue straight onto Flatbush Avenue. Turn left on Fulton Street and drive one block. The Media Center which is housed in BRIC Arts | Media House will be on the left; parking is on the right.

From the BQE (East or West)
Exit at Tillary Street. At the second light, turn left onto Flatbush Avenue. Turn left on Fulton Street and drive one block. The Media Center which is housed in BRIC Arts | Media House will be on the left; parking is on the right.

Parking

Street Parking
While there are metered and alternate side of the street parking spaces in close proximity to BRIC Arts | Media House, we advise that you take public transportation. If you are planning to drive, we strongly advise that you read all parking signs very carefully. 

For your convenience,  here is a link to the New York City Department of Transportation's website for more information about alternate side parking rules and suspensions.

Parking Garages
For your convenience, here is a list of close to forty parking garages in the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District

Bike Parking

Anthony Riddle Bike Parking Photo

Anthony Riddle Bike Parking Photo Photo: Alease Annan


For your convenience, BRIC provides free, sidewalk bicycle parking directly in front of
BRIC Arts | Media House. 

Please make sure to bring your own lock and please also be sure to lock your bike securely. 

Looking for the New York City Bike Map? Here it is! 

Legal Stuff: Policies & Procedures

Read The Media Center's Policies and Procedures Handbook

Policies & Procedures 
Here you'll find The Media Center's policies and procedures handbook. This booklet provides information about our access program and the services we offer through our state-of-the-art media center.

The programming and operations policies detailed in the following pages govern the use of channel time on Brooklyn Free Speech; training at The Media Center; and use of The Media Center.

It is essential that you read these policies thoroughly before completing and/or submitting any forms or applications as each require that you sign, indicating that you are familiar with our community media center policies and agree to abide by them. 

We encourage you to share this information with friends, family, and other Brooklyn residents and organizations that may be interested in using Brooklyn's community channels to express their views and exchange information about their neighborhoods.

We look forward to working with you to create meaningful community television for you and the Brooklyn community. 

Read The Media Center's Policies and Procedures Handbook

Resources & Film Festivals

Do You Have A Job Board?

Yes, we do! Our goal is to help you succeed. Visit our Student & Producer Resources page by clicking below and let us know what you think.


BRICartsmedia.org/RESOURCES

YOU'RE GONNA LOVE THESE FREE EVENTS