South Carolina ETV (SCETV) received an award for Excellence in COVID-19 Response from the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) during last week’s Public Media Awards gala, held during the 2022 NETA Conference and CPB Public Media Thought Leader Forum.
NETA presents the Public Media Awards annually as a way to honor the highest caliber of work among public media stations in the areas of programming, education, marketing and engagement. SCETV was recognized for its innovation and statewide support during the pandemic. NETA President, Eric Hyppa, expressed his excitement about each of the PMA finalists, stating, “So very many compelling stories – all terrific – all hard to choose. These stations stepped up their game over the last year and how proud I am to be a part of the PBS family.”
A key part of SCETV’s COVID-19 response has been its support of educational initiatives and efforts to increase access to learning materials in the state’s most rural and underserved areas. An example is the innovative use of the network’s current tower infrastructure to support instructional delivery through datacasting. Datacasting provides the transmission of information to families with limited or zero Internet access. As the 2020-21 school year began, SCETV launched datacasting pilot programs in five school districts. Efforts continue this school year to enhance the service and onboard additional districts to utilize this service.
To further close the digital divide, SCETV collaborated with the S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) and multiple other partners to launch the Allendale Broadband Pilot Project. In addition to this project, through a partnership with Sprint, SCETV has created more than 490 wireless hotspots at after-school and early learning sites across the state.
SCETV’s pandemic response also included news coverage and the dissemination of important information. Utilizing its television, radio and digital platforms, the network’s news team has escalated activities to keep citizens better informed. Throughout the pandemic, SCETV has elevated existing initiatives and services, such as Telehealth, which aims to promote the use of virtual medical services in communities where access to healthcare can be a challenge.
All of these resources, as well as additional up-to-date guidance from federal and state health officials, are available via scetv.org/coronavirus – a one-stop shop for all pandemic-related news and information.
A full overview of NETA’s Public Media Award winners can be found here. For more information on SCETV, visit www.scetv.org.
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