Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) Impact Statement
For 30 years, MNN has provided community access to local video production, distribution, and educational services that inform, entertain, and enrich the lives of all New Yorkers. MNN is the largest cablecaster of original video programs in the country and the largest media education institution in the City of New York, offering low and no-cost access to state-of-the-art media production and education services at our two facilities and online.
In 2019 alone, MNN aired for free more than 9,600 hours of original local programming, produced by 549 Manhattan media makers, on seven cable TV channels to more than 500,000 Manhattan households. In addition, MNN programming is carried by our national program partner, Free Speech TV, to more than 20 million households nationwide carrying Dish and Directv satellite TV. MNN Productions works with local individuals and organizations to produce shows for Manhattan cablecast and beyond. Both Sides of the Bars, for example, is a discussion-driven television program tackling issues of the criminal justice system, co-produced by the Fortune Society and airing on 120 stations in 29 states.
MNN’s involvement with local organizations allows us to host events ranging from candidate debates with the League of Women Voters, the Amsterdam News, and the Gotham Gazette, to services like our NYXT.NYC cable and digital platform that partners with more than 125 NYC community-based organizations.
In East Harlem, MNN’s El Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center partners with dozens of community-based organizations such as George Washington High School, Catholic Charities, Union Settlement, and affordable housing group Operation Fightback. We also offer a Summer Youth Employment Program with the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development that has enrolled hundreds of youth high school students over the last five years. The quality of their work is impactful and award-winning.
MNN’s 59th Street facility welcomes 30,000 students, media makers, audience members, and guests every year, with MNN’s El Barrio Firehouse counting over 8,000 more participants. Our professional media education workshop saw more than 1,000 attendees in 2019. Over half (55%) of our students come from zip codes with a median family income of less than $75,000/year with about 10% from zip codes earning less than $36,000.
Once certified, all students can use MNN’s media production facilities across Manhattan for free. Last year, MNN saw a stunning 4,946 shoots by 534 producers in our seven HD production studios that lasted on average 2.5 hours. The commercial value of such HD studio time is more than $18 million a year.
MNN is just one of five community media organizations in NYC producing high-quality local programming for cable TV subscribers and providing unique access to tens of thousands of residents every year. Independently and collectively, these dynamic media centers have become integral parts of their local communities.
MNN by the numbers in 2019:
- 9,600 hours of original local programming produced
- 7 24/7 Cable TV channels
- 125 NYC community organization partners
- 1,000 class attendees
- 4,946 studio shoots by 534 producers
- $18 million of services rendered
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