TVW is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation, not a government agency. It is governed by an independent board of directors. TVW receives more than $7 million per year in the form of in-kind contributions of channel space from Washington’s cable television industry. The majority of TVW’s operating cash – approximately $2 million per year – comes from the Legislature via a contract-for-service through the Secretary of State, and pays for gavel-to-gavel coverage. Private underwriters pay for TVW’s reporting and produced programs to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars per year.
TVW’s Founding and Guiding Principles
TVW was founded in 1993 and went on air in 1995 offering unedited coverage of Washington state government, politics and public policy. TVW was started and continues to operate on several founding principles:
Open government: Government belongs to the people of Washington, who deserve complete access to the workings of their state government.
In-depth, nonpartisan coverage: Both with its unedited “gavel-to-gavel” coverage and its news reporting TVW seeks to go beyond the soundbites; tell stories in elected officials’ own voices; stay meticulously nonpartisan; and let viewers make their own decisions about the issues.
Civics education: They work to educate Washingtonians of all ages about their state government, and invite them to engage and participate.
Unedited, “Gavel-to-Gavel” Coverage
TVW made history with the first-ever televised state court proceeding when it went on the air April 10, 1995, televising a death penalty case being heard by the Washington State Supreme Court. Facts and figures about TVW programming:
From the start TVW has covered all three branches of state government – legislative, executive, and judicial.
TVW covers ALL House and Senate committee hearings and floor debates at the State Capitol.
TVW covers ALL WA State Supreme Court oral arguments, both inside and outside Olympia.
TVW offers comprehensive coverage of state elections – the nine statewide elected offices, key legislative races, and ballot measures.
TVW provides unedited coverage of state agencies, boards and commissions – examples include the Transportation Commission and Fish & Wildlife Commission.
Besides covering the State Capitol, TVW travels throughout the state to cover hearings and public policy events in Seattle, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Bellingham, Vancouver, and many other locations.
Through its award-winning produced programs, TVW gives the public compelling, balanced, nonpartisan reporting on current public policy topics. TVW’s produced programs include:
– In-depth interviews with state leaders, hosted by Austin Jenkins.
– A weekly news show covering key decisions at the State Capitol and how they impact you; hosted by Mike McClanahan.
– During the legislative session, a daily summary of legislative highlights; hosted by Dave Martinson.
TVW at Large
– TVW travels around the state for on-the-ground reports on hot public policy topics.
– Coming soon, TVW’s legal show will offer fascinating discussions on WA Supreme Court decisions.
– TVW has won multiple Emmy Awards for its in-depth political documentaries.