BEST TV STATION Miami 2004 - Miami-Dade County Cable Television Access Project
Readers' Choice: WSVN-TV (Channel 7)
You won't find localized renditions of The Sopranos or Law & Order on Cable TAP, but you will be inundated with half-hour vignettes about the people and organizations that make this subtropical, multiethnic frying pan their home. A droning commissioner maybe, a cultural lightweight for sure, maybe even a Wayne's World-level egofest. But other times -- most of the time actually -- the station broadcasts way cool shows, often for specific audiences, a much nobler use of the airwaves than lowest-common-denominator commercial TV, which would air executions and sell ads for dirty bombs if they could get away with it. The public-access channel provides time slots for nonprofit groups, government agencies, and educational institutions. These organizations create programs (Haitian Forum, Pasos A La Libertad, Pedacito de Puerto Rico, Ways of Israel) that deliver specific messages to area viewers. Lacking the boring interruptions of conventional TV advertising, TAP makes room for innovative public-service announcements, including a spot that encourages adults to support afterschool programs and another to remind coach potatoes to take care of their colons. Wow, a TV station that can literally save your ass.