ACMi Executive Director Norman J. McLeod has announced that plans are underway to create a bi-weekly news program by the Arlington community access cable station, Arlington Community Media, Inc. ACMi, located at 85 Park Avenue, has recently named Sara Alfaro-Franco, former Government Access Coordinator for the station, as its News Director. Alfaro-Franco is currently recruiting Arlington citizen journalists as volunteers for the ACMi news team. Interested individuals may contact Sara@acmi.tv .

Interviewed recently by ACMi Outreach Coordinator Walter Locke, Alfaro-Franco said, “Working with others to create a bi-weekly news program in Arlington links my commitment to Arlington with my interest in current events, community participation, fact-finding multiple viewpoints and storytelling. I had the opportunity to be part of a news team at Watertown Access TV where I worked before coming to ACMi.” She related how much she enjoyed going out into the community, collecting personal and organizational stories that were connected to community related policies, projects, and events. “I like to empower citizens by gathering accurate information about how community decisions are made and giving folks a venue within which to comment on or share with others what is happening in their lives and their community, she added.

Her commitment to community participation and demystifying the process of local government made Sara a perfect choice two years ago as ACMi Government Access Coordinator”, says McLeod. “Now”, he continues, “she is the natural choice as News Director because of her strong interest in informing and educating fellow Arlingtonians and her love of both what is common among them and what is unique.” Alfaro-Franco, as a resident of Arlington, intends that ACMi Public News will foster a public conversation about who we all are as members of the Arlington community and how we all can become better citizens. She concluded her interview by saying, “I am delighted by and grateful for this opportunity.”

Alfaro-Franco is now actively working to build and train a team of experienced journalists as interns and other volunteers as crew. She is developing a system of news workflow and is ordering cameras and other equipment needed to produce a high quality news program. In the long run, she hopes to move from hyper-local to state and regional coverage.

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August 24, 2012