CUNY TV should be geared more toward student content
CUNY TV has been broadcasting to homes in the New York metropolitan area since 1985. In its three-decade history, it has won 20 Emmy awards and now reaches 7.3 million households in the city, making it the largest public university station in the United States, according to its official website. The network features dramas, insightful talks and lectures and programming with experts from the fields of science, business, arts and public affairs. The channel clearly provides a wealth of knowledge to not only students but anyone with an internet connection. So why do so few people know about it?
CUNY TV’s lack of recognition certainly is not due to uninteresting content. Earlier this year, the network received a record 14 New York Emmy nominations and won two. Its Black America web series episode featuring La Sonya Gunter, make-up supervisor for the musical Kinky Boots, won the award in the Entertainment category as a Program Feature. Barcelona-born artist Gemma Gené’s feature on Nueva York won in the Arts category as a Program Feature. There are many unique stories being told by programs on CUNY TV featuring the university’s faculty and leadership.
While the content of CUNY TV is strong, it’s not perfectly suited for a college student audience. All of the CUNY schools are represented in some way by CUNY TV, though at first glance most of the programming appears to highlight the ideas of faculty members or special guests rather than students. Engaging the student body as viewers could be easier with more student representation in the programming.
There’s much to learn from the discussions with all of the CUNY valedictorians and the education specials that pertain directly to students, though there is a clear focus on featuring administrators and New York government officials on the channel. While there is value to be found in listening to these voices, more student ones would be encouraging and relatable on the CUNY TV platform.
On Baruch College’s campus, one might be hard-pressed to find advertisements for CUNY TV. Declining use of cable television among young people also doesn’t help in engaging a student audience though Baruch can do more to make CUNY TV’s resources more easily available and recognizable among its students. Doing so will only strengthen its commitment to its mission.