Since inception, the core of TVW's mission has been to "provide unfiltered, unbiased, gavel-to-gavel coverage of Washington state government." TVW broadcasts all three branches of state government, legislative, executive, and judicial, and numerous public policy events of statewide significance - over 2,000 hours of original programming each year. For many citizens, especially those in rural communities, or those who are physically or financially unable to come to Olympia, TVW's programming is their most comprehensive link to state government and the public policy debate.
While most of TVW's programming is unedited, gavel-to-gavel coverage of state government and public policy events, TVW does also create several award-winning produced programs designed to better inform citizens about issues, provide insight into the positions of elected officials or enhance their understanding of the public policy process.
Not only can TVW's live television broadcast be viewed online, but all of the events covered by TVW, back to 1995, are available in streaming video and/or audio on TVW's website, TVW.org, which attracted over 2 million visitors in 2007. TVW's fully searchable online archives now date back to events broadcast in 1995 and include over 55,000 hours of programming - all available free of charge. In addition, TVW streams live broadcasts of all legislative committee hearings and floor debate on TVW.org and offers RSS feeds for many areas of programming.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In November 2008 TVW launched Teach with TVW, a dynamic and interactive resource for teachers that transforms civics education in Washington by connecting each and every school classroom directly to the legislative process. TeachWithTVW.org is available in every Washington classroom over the K-20 network, a high-speed, high-capacity network that links K-12 school districts, libraries, colleges and universities across 476 locations in Washington. Teach with TVW supports educators in civics instruction. It offers short clips of TVW programming, organized by teaching topics, along with classroom discussion points linked to Washington's civics standards.
In 2007 TVW concluded a capital campaign called Campaign to Expand Access. The campaign enabled TVW to build a fully digital facility that has expanded public access to the inner workings of our state government. These improvements not only have provided greater opportunities for citizen involvement but also have paved the way for a stronger democracy for the citizens of Washington. In order to ensure that citizens continue to have direct access to the public policy process on a variety of platforms through TVW, ongoing financial support is sought to help finance keeping TVW's broadcasting, production, web and archiving technology up-to-date. We hope to generate sustained annual financial support into a technology account to finance lifecycling and equipment replacement at TVW. In addition to this technology account TVW seeks financial support for its produced programming through program sponsorship and for its civic education resource, Teach with TVW.