RTM launches DTV Assistance Centers

Today, Reclaim the Media is launching our Digital TV Assistance Center hotline (206.508.1277), for folks in the Seattle area who have questions about the DTV transition, the government's coupon program, where to get a converter box, how to set it up, and how to tune in stations afterwards. In fact, our phone volunteers will do their best to answer any DTV-related questions you can throw at them!

We're also hosting DTV trainings around town, and regular drop-in assistance centers at several community centers in central and south Seattle - targeting neighborhoods with concentrations of low-income, elderly and immigrant households. (For locations and hours, visit our DTV subsite, seattledtv.com.)

The Youngstown Cultural Arts Center and Para Los Ninos/The Leadership Academy are also hosting DTV Assistance Centers; we're all working together, and collaborating with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Educational Fund - they've worked with local groups in seven cities to organize similar assistance centers.

Our work on helping low-income folks, seniors, immigrants and people with disabilities successfully manage the conversion to DTV is a project RTM took on last year in conjunction with our allies in the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net). One of our shared priorities has been to pressure local retailers to stock low-cost ($40) converter boxes, enabling those with government coupons to have a "no-cost box" choice. To date, no local retailers in MAG-Net DTV communities (Seattle, SF Bay, San Antonio, Minneapolis) have responded to the call.

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey