Merlyn on Media

Merlyn Reineke is Executive Director of Montgomery Community Media, which provides media training and community-based content by-and-for the residents of Montgomery County. Merlyn’s blog focuses on all-things media, with an emphasis on how community-based media can make our county a better place to live, work and play.

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MCM Launches in HD on Comcast and RCN


Like the transition from Black & White to Color Television, the move from Standard Definition programming to High Definition TV has long since been the new standard television. I know I don’t watch those lower channels on my cable any longer, preferring to use my HD Television to its full effect. I bet you’re the […]

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George Lucas and the Leadership Lessons of STAR WARS

PHOTO| "Star Wars" Official Twitter

The extraordinary vision of STAR WARS was from the mind of its creator, George Lucas. Lucas personally directed the first film in 1977, handed over the reins in the next two films, then reentered the director’s chair for the next three movies in the series. Although those last films were huge commercial successes, they were […]

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Challenges Thailand Faces to Launch Community Media

Thailand collage

Even halfway around the world, the issues around community media are largely the same. Following five days of meetings, presentation and conversations in Thailand about how to set up Community TV channels across their country, I’m struck as how we have the very same challenges in the U.S.: how to build the right governing structure; […]

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Mindset is More Important than Money (PHOTOS)

Photo with Supinya sized 2

“Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.” That line, written 2500 years ago by Confucius, is one of my favorite quotes… and was my opening slide during the third and final day of Thailand’s first public conference on Community Media. While Confucius didn’t know […]

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Thailand Community Media in the Year 2561 (PHOTO)


Imagine this future: the year is 2561, and your country has switched off all analog transmitters, leaving only digital over-the-air broadcast services. You’re a resident of an area of roughly one million people who has never run a community media center before, but you have a great passion about the region in which you live […]

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Community Media in Thailand (PHOTOS)


In a country that’s suffered through 19 coups d’état, the latest one just last year, you may expect the future leaders of Thailand’s community media movement to be nervous about including politicians in their television programs. And that’s exactly where they focused their questioning of me during day one of Thailand’s first three-day public conference […]

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Brainstorming Community Media in Thailand (PHOTOS)


So what am I doing in Thailand, besides trying to avoid the REALLY spicy Thai food? I’m here for the next five days advising that country’s version of the Federal Communications Commission (it’s called the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission) to figure out the ins and outs of setting up Community Media across Thailand. Specifically, […]

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Community Media: Here at Home and On The Other Side of the World

Monty Awards 2015 trophy with screen in background

This past Sunday, we celebrated MCM’s community media contributors with our annual Monty Awards. It was an event that attracted nearly 200 volunteers, community producers & technicians along with MCM staff and board members to recognize the wonderful work of those from across Montgomery County who create TV programs and other media content. The vast […]

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9.11 and the Rise of Social Media


Where were you on 9.11? Like generations before who asked “Where were you when Pearl Harbor was attacked”, or “…JFK was shot”, September 11, 2001 is that date when many of us pose that same question. And like generations before, it is a tragic day when everything changed. 9.11 is also a day that changed […]

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Act Now to Insist FCC Ensure Cable Operators Support Local PEGs


This could be the biggest threat to public access in history. The cable television industry is facing huge competition, not just from the likes of DirecTV but from rapidly-deploying new technologies that threaten to suck customers away in droves. Subscribers are ‘cutting the cord’, dumping their cable TV packages and looking for other news & […]

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