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Anti-Static Campaign Underway for MN TV Viewers

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009   

Minneapolis, MN – Minnesotans have been getting messages for months about the change to digital television, but a lot of viewers still aren't ready, and some still may not even be aware of it, although the transition has been postponed once. Amalia Deloney, senior fellow with the Main Street Project, says her group has launched a statewide drive to get the word out. She notes that most efforts are aimed at large TV markets, but the Project is focusing on rural areas, small towns, and Latino neighborhoods.

"We know that the communities that are hardest-hit across Minnesota tend to be folks who are non-English speakers, tend to be immigrant families, folks living in low-income communities, folks who don't have a lot of access to money, and the elderly."

She says the campaign involves getting out information about the transition, details on where to get a government coupon and a no-cost converter box, and how to set it up and keep it updated. She says a good place to start is the group's Web site, www.mainstreetproject.org

Deloney says Minnesota is moving slowly with the transition because of its large rural population and high number of viewers getting over-the-air reception; cable and satellite TV reception aren't affected. She says it's important no one get lost in the static.

"We believe that information and communication is a fundamental human right, and we know that TV provides a really important medium in terms of how people receive news and information."

She notes many residents in the northern Midwest flood areas are relying on television for the latest news on the weather. Some analog channels have already made the transition, so many viewers can't receive them, even though the complete digital switch-over is set for June 12th. It was originally set for February this year but was postponed because so many people weren't ready.


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