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Paul Loofburrow

OPB Announces Debut of The Oregon Channel Providing Legislative Coverage and More

OPB | Jan. 2, 2007 9:36 p.m. | Updated: Dec. 5, 2013 11:14 a.m.

Now that the elections are over, here’s your chance to see your elected officials at work. Gavel-to-gavel television coverage of the Oregon Legislature is set to hit the airwaves on January 8. A pilot project conducted by Oregon Public Broadcasting, the Oregon Legislature and Southern Oregon Public Television will test the concept of a 24/7 “Oregon Channel” to broaden public access to state government and public affairs events.

Additional programming will come from the Oregon University System and the Oregon Public Affairs Network as well as OPB’s own productions.

“It is important that OPB, the most-trusted media resource in the state, step forward with this service that gives citizens more insight into the issues impacting us all,” said Steve Bass, president & CEO of OPB. “This new channel is a perfect example of OPB striving to fulfill our mission of giving voice to the community and connect all Oregonians. ”

“For the first time ever, Oregonians will have a television channel dedicated solely to covering the legislature and state government. This new Oregon Channel will be a good resource for Oregonians to learn more about their government,” said Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem/Gervais/Woodburn).

“The Oregon Channel is one of the only practical means for many Oregonians to actually see what goes on in Salem,” said Karen Minnis (R-Wood Village). “The channel is the next step in Oregon’s history of open government and it will make us more accessible to those we serve.”

The Oregon Channel pilot will launch on January 8, 2007, the Opening Day of the next legislative session. The channel will include unedited, coverage of legislative floor sessions, committee hearings, Capitol news conferences, and other state government and public affairs events. The pilot project will conclude at the end of the legislative session, at which point the channel will be evaluated to determine the feasibility of establishing a permanent Oregon Channel statewide. Similar channels have been successfully launched in other states and the partners are eager to test the concept in Oregon.

The Oregon Channel will be broadcast on a digital television channels available in most of the state’s largest cities served by OPB and SOPTV. Since digital television technology is still in transition, access to the channel during the pilot period will be limited primarily to digital cable subscribers and households equipped with a digital television tuner. Information about how and where to tune in is available on the Oregon Channel Web site at opb.org or www.oregonchannel.org where visitors can access streaming video feeds of the channel, a program schedule and an online survey that will be used to help evaluate the pilot project.

The pilot project will cost approximately $150,000, and will be funded by the Legislative Administration office. All of the project partners are contributing equipment and staff time for the project.  

About OPB

OPB is the state’s most far-reaching and accessible media resource, providing free access to programming for children and adults designed to give voice to community, connect Oregon and its neighbors and illuminate a wider world. Every week, over 1.5 million people tune in to or log on to OPB’s television, radio and Internet delivered services. As the hub of operations for the state’s Emergency Broadcast and Amber Alert services, OPB serves as the backbone for the distribution of critical information to broadcasters and homes throughout Oregon. Oregon Public Broadcasting is a statewide network that includes OPB Television, an affiliate of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and OPB Radio, presenting local news coverage and the programs of National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI) and American Public Media (APM). The OPB Web site is opb.org

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