Are community makerspaces like public access television stations?

It seems to me that community makerspaces, like IG, offer similar value that public access tv stations did in the 1970s. As video came on the scene, making moving pictures became accessible to your average person. (cost of tech went down and ease of use went up - sound familiar?)

Thus, the gov’t issued a mandate to provide public access tv stations to teach the public how to use equipment with the hope they’d develop content that could then be distributed through the public station.

How might IG do the same thing with manufacturing? Train people on the tools, encourage them to develop products or content, then distribute products through makerspace channels.

And what type of gov’t support would that require. And how would gov’t justify that investment?

response from a fave media theorist (reposted from email):

Well, in the case of public access, it was the government getting a concession from the cable companies, who were winning monopolies in municipalities. If there were a zillion dollar company, like Amazon, asking for exclusive 3d printing rights in various towns, you can bet the local governments would demand public maker education spaces.

And, sadly, they’d probably end up about as used as public access TV, which is considered a failure. The internet is the realization of the old public TV dream (which is what NYU’s ITP is about, really).

If you want to do classes, I say just do them. The community spaces exist, like yours, already. And there are companies like MakersRow who may or may not have the funding to help something like this happen. There are also examples of public schools doing maker after school programs. Those look pretty successful.

But the public access story is a bit less idealistic than it might be remembered.