Access (styled ACCESS) is a privately owned educational television channel in the province of Alberta owned by Bell Media. The channel is primarily designated as “satellite-to-cable undertaking” serving the whole of Alberta, and is therefore carried throughout the province on cable, but it also operates two terrestrial transmitters, CJAL-TV (channel 9) in Edmonton, where the channel’s main studios are located, and CIAN-TV (channel 13) in Calgary. Access is also available on the Bell TV satellite service on Channel 267, and on Shaw Direct Channel 351. Access airs a variety of educational and informative programs along with entertainment programs all of which include children’s programs, documentaries, feature films, talk shows, dramas, comedies and more. Since August 2008, Access has aired programming from Bell’s secondary television system A (and additionally modified its branding to more closely resemble A’s), while maintaining its educational mandate. On June 8, 2011, alongside the announcement of additional news programming at CTV’s Edmonton station, it was revealed that Access would be re-launched (as part of Bell Media’s rebranding of the A system as CTV Two in the fall of 2011.
On March 9, 2009, Access began airing a province-wide news and current affairs magazine program called Alberta Primetime, from the CTV/Access studios in Edmonton with resources from CFRN/CTV Edmonton and CFCN/CTV Calgary.
Access also supports NAIT’s Radio and TV Program. NAIT NewsWatch is a half hour news magazine-format produced weekly by the students specializing in television. In addition to television news and sports, students have the opportunity to write and produce public service announcements and commercials to be aired within news program.
NAIT NewsWatch also produces a shorter packaged news-style show developed by second semester TV students. The show is quite unique. NAIT NewsWatchnews and the second’s show are about NAIT and the students interested in NAIT issues. Quality and real-world values are stressed in the production of this news program.
The Access website also has an interesting collection of videos dealing with various aspect of media literacy on their website. Examples include Popular Culture and the Criminal Mind, Cultural Uses of Science Fiction and Psychological Concepts in Television. They showcase their children’s programming in a separate section on the website which they broadcast commercial free.