Dublin Community Television

Dublin Community Television is a community access TV Station on UPC Ireland channel 802, broadcasting programmes made by, about and for Dublin communities, DCTV is Ireland's only democratically-controlled and only advertising-free TV channel.

It launched on 16 July, 2008, and is available to over 200,000 households across Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway and Waterford.

Programmes for DCTV are created and produced by a variety of sources:

  • DCTV itself.
  • Not-for-profit TV production companies, such as NEAR TV Productions in Coolock.
  • Other DCTV member organisations, such as Aontas (adult education), Cultivate (sustainable living), Project (arts); NALA (adult literacy).
  • Individual members of DCTV.

DCTV assists members and member organisations to secure funding from the Sound and Vision "Community in a Studio" fund, which is generated from the TV licence fee and administered by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI). The Sound and Vision fund is a grant scheme designed to support the production of new television and radio programmes in the areas of Irish culture, heritage and experience and adult literacy

Many programmes are shot on HDDV, a cost-effective and non-intrusive camera that can be operated by a DV director. In such cases, the director and sound operator constitute the entire crew.


Dublin Community Television (DCTV) is a new Irish TV broadcaster, which secured a 10-year Community Licence from the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI). It is also Ireland's only TV station run by a and Dublin's only community TV station. With offices in the Digital Hub, DCTV has plans to base small-scale production facilities around the city, making video and television production and transmission as accessible as possible. Using new, low-cost, all-digital technology, DCTV is part of a global growth in alternative, community-focused media. The organisation itself is a member's cooperative, with schedules, programme commissioning and all other decisions being taken by members of the cooperative. There is no standard advertising: instead the channel has a number of innovative revenue models supporting the very low-cost operation of the station.

Community in a Studio is a joint proposal between Dublin City Television (DCTV), Province 5 Television (P5TV), Cork Community TV (CCTV) and training partner Community Television Association (CTA). The programme series provides 12 community groups with the opportunity to explore what community television means to them and their organisations.

Special Schemes are initiatives which fall outside the regular funding rounds and have a distinct focus on partnerships and the fostering of industry development. While content will deal with the core themes of BCI Sound & Vision, the Special Scheme takes a holistic view of the programme making process, from development to production according to the BCI.

Co-operative Information

DCTV is a member's cooperative, with schedules, programme commissioning and all other decisions being taken by members of the cooperative. There is no standard advertising: instead the channel has a number of innovative revenue models supporting the very low-cost operation of the station.

DCTV is funded by membership fees and a variety of other sources: Dublin City Council, other Dublin councils and the Dublin Community Forum. Many of the programmes made for DCTV are funded by the BCI's Sound and Vision fund, which is generated from the Irish TV licence fee.

Membership costs €25 a year (€15 for unwaged), giving the member a say in running the station and choosing programming and gives you access to the means to make programmes for DCTV.

Purpose of the Channel

DCTV provides members with affordable access to transmission, training, basic production equipment and facilities for a broad range of individuals, community groups and activists broadcasting a wealth of innovative, creative, educational and entertaining programmes that focus on real people and communities in all their diversity.



Dublin Community Television was switched on on July 16th 2008, launched by Minister Eamon Ryan, Department of Communiations, Energy & Natural Resources.

Home produced programmes

Dancing Dublin - Produced by DCTV member Bill Tyson:

Can Dubliners dance? This five-part series explores the capital’s burgeoning dance culture and aims to discover if the city's inhabitants can really dance. Dancing Dublin challenged beginners to learn five dance styles – salsa, tango, ballroom, hip-hop, and Irish set dancing. Their progress is tracked over five episodes as participants struggle to learn their steps and to integrate into the thriving scenes that have grown up around each genre.

The Document - Produced by DCTV volunteer member Barry Hamilton:

An ongoing series of provocative, revealing and often controversial reportage programmes produced and directed entirely by DCTV volunteer members. Situated firmly in the tradition of radical video reporting and activist filmmaking that have flourished since the anti-globalisation protests in Seattle in 1999, these reports by young Dublin video activists document events and currents that often fall under the radar of mainstream news coverage. Early installments include coverage of a recent public meeting in Dublin on 'Garda Accountability', which was packed to capacity but escaped mainstream reporting, and related coverage of the Justice for Terence Wheelock Campaign.

Powerdown - Produced by the Cultivate Centre, Temple Bar:

Powerdown is a series of ten 20-minute programmes, featuring some animation, produced by the Cultivate Centre in Temple Bar. The series will aim to inform individuals and groups in the community that climate change and energy scarcity are the critical issues of our time and that they do affect our lives now. The ten programmes, partly animated, will outline the issues from different perspectives, and will arm viewers with the knowledge to understand the connection between everyday life, climate change and energy scarcity. The programmes will be both entertaining and educational, exploring solutions and encouraging responses at individual, community and national level. The series will subsequently by made available to schools for use in the classroom.

A Taste of Home - Produced by DCTV:

A Taste of Home is a weekly series of six half-hour programmes that aim to break barriers and open doors to the international cuisines and cultures that have made home in Dublin. Each week two neighbouring households must cook for each other. The cook of each house spends the day with his/her opposite number; goes shopping for the ingredients, meets the suppliers and learns how to cook the neighbour’s food. That evening the entire two households sit down to dinner together. The series features Nigerian, Vietnamese, Polish, Estonian, Romanian and Irish people crossing each other’s thresholds and celebrating the diversity that is the average Dublin residential community. The results are mouth-watering.

Roll Up Your Sleeves: The DIY Counterculture - Produced by Project Arts Centre:

The debut film from 21-year-old Dylan Haskins and his friends is a colourful exploration of the 'Do-It- Yourself' counterculture phenomenon, from the starting point of their own local alternative scene. The journey of discovery involves Haskins driving a US folk punk band on a European tour and exploring the relationship between DIY ideology and European autonomous social centres. This is contrasted with the Seomra Spraoi social centre project in Dublin and the problems it faces. Independent music is a thread throughout the film: interviewees include Ian MacKaye of legendary alternative bands Fugazi and Minor Threat; Ellen Lupton, US author of 'DIY: Design it Yourself'; Ellie and Louise MacMamara of young irish band Heathers; and members of veteran Dutch experimental punk band The Ex.

Bunkered: The first Irish program about the growing sport of paintballing. Launched October 2008.

Northside Focus - Produced by NEAR TV, Coolock:

Northside Focus consists of seven magazine programmes that portray Dublin’s northside from the point of view of its inhabitants and in a way that redresses the unbalanced image of the northside presented in the mainstream media. Whether through providing help to dementia sufferers in a daycare centre in Raheny; a club that races Scalextric cars in a shed in Artane; teaching children how to dance in a community centre in Clontarf; a church centre that gives time, space and resources to keep children educated and stimulated in Darndale; or working through intercultural dialogue to help different cultures understand each other better, Northside Focus goes a little deeper into communities to extract the local angle. Near TV Productions was set up in 2005 to complement and further enhance the existing work done over 12 years by the Media Co-op in Coolock, which runs NEAR 90 fm community radio.

Funky Junk-Produced by DCTV committee member Dave Byrne:

Mother-and-daughter team Lucia and Kelly Chisholm devised and feature in this groundbreaking series, which uses the medium of arts and crafts to teach children between the ages of 6 and 12 the importance of recycling. Each of the 13 episodes involves a visit to a different national school and a recycling plant and looks at all of the current recycling initiatives underway in Ireland today. Lucia and Kelly explore everything from the Green Flag initiative within schools to the way in which materials such as paper, aluminium and general waste is recycled. Mainly funded by the BCI and also by Lispopple Studios, Funky Junk created some wonderful arts and crafts. Aimed at tackling the issue of recycling in a child-friendly way in the belief that this will have a knock-on influence on parents, the concept for the series was the brainchild of Lucia Chisholm and was further developed by producer Dave Byrne. Before working on the show, Dave had no idea of the extent of recycling in Dublin. “I started to feel guilty. These children knew more about recycling than I did.”

As well as programmes made by and for DCTV, that channel will air a diverse range of other content:
• Features and shorts (both documentary and drama) selected from independent/non-profit film festivals around the world;
• Cookery programmes;
• Programmes for the deaf;
• Programming from community TV channels in other countries;
• Adult literacy programmes;
• Activist films;
• College films;
• Community Notice-board;
• Films by young/emerging film-makers.

• Studio shows (Autumn 2008);
• Live programmes, incl. news (2009);
• Music programming;
• Sports, with an emphasis on minority sports (e.g. cricket, basketball).

Creative Commons
DCTV promotes the widest possible distribution and use of programmes for non-profit use. Its own productions will be produced under a Creative Commons license that allows non-profit use, subject to recognition of source (see DCTV also promotes sharing with other community channels.

External links


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