autumn's blog

Statement on Local Media from Davis Media Access

By Autumn Labbé-Renault, Executive Director

May 9, 2024

As the Davis Enterprise continues to recede, something has to evolve as a source of community information and news. We think Davis Media Access (DMA) can offer part of the solution.

With journalistic expertise at staff, board and volunteer levels, we’ve been talking internally about Davis’ growing news drought at DMA for months before the Enterprise made its latest cut — the stunning layoff of Bob Dunning, who wrote a column and sports stories for the paper for 55 years.

(You might have noticed another new hole at the Enterprise, by the way — Bruce Gallaudet hasn’t had a story in the paper since April 28, when he wrote “goodbye, all!” at the end of his story that Sunday. This is a big loss for covering local sports.)

Since last fall, DMA has been developing an idea for a Civic Information Hub—not to supplant local news, but to fill in the gaps in our local information ecosystem. I’ve met with dozens of journalists, elected officials, librarians, educators and other community leaders towards that end. You can listen to a very early discussion about the idea on the KDRT program Davisville, although I want to emphasize the word “early.”

Exploring a Civic Information Hub for Yolo County

By Autumn Labbé-Renault, Executive Director, Davis Media Access

Davis Media Access (DMA) is articulating a vision for a project that seeks to bring together an award-winning noncommercial community media center in Davis, CA with other local news and culture resources, all in the service of a community and its citizens’ information needs. This vision originates at a moment when the decline of local news is being addressed nationally but the decline of historical funding in our own noncommercial community media sector is not.  It’s a moment for reinvention.

Pardon Our Dust, It's a Remodel

By Autumn Labbe-Renault
, Executive Director

This column was originally published in The Davis Enterprise

It not only feels like I’ve been writing about the pending remodel at Davis Media Access (DMA) for years, I have actually been writing about it for years. My board and staff have heard me say “0/10  - I don’t recommended trying to start a remodel at the start of a global pandemic.” It’s been complicated, to say the least.

But today (May 1, 2024) as I write, Joe Albertazzi and his crew at Albertazzi Construction have begun demolition work at the media center at 1623 Fifth St. In my book, this is cause for celebration.

How did we get here, and what does it have to do with noncommercial community media?

Mayor Chapman guests on "The City Considers"

Davis Mayor Josh Chapman is the guest on the most recent episode of "The City Considers." The show aims to provide discussion and insight into the people and services behind City government. 

Elected to the Davis City Council in 2020, Chapman began his term as mayor in January of this year. He is the owner and manager of Armadillo Music in Downtown Davis, and has served on a variety of community boards and planning efforts.

Cherry Blossom Fest celebrates hope, art

"In the Studio," host Tim Gaffaney talks with Gregory Wada, founder and executive director of the Davis Cherry Blossom Festiva,l which takes place April 13-14. They discuss what prompted him to start the festival; its conitinuing mission, the cultural role of Taiko and the groups that will perform at the festival. Also discussed: special food and beer, and the makers' fair with over 60 booths offering visual arts and crafts. Although admission is free, each year the festival identifies charities to which they funnel donations that are made at the festival, and new this year, they are accepting in-kind donations. Wtach the episode here, and for more information visit the festival website

Concept Paper: Community Media Meets Public Service Journalism

Community Media Meets Public Service Journalism
Creating a Civic Information Hub for Yolo County
By Autumn Labbé-Renault, Executive Director, Davis Media Access

Updated April 2024

This is a vision for a project that seeks to bring together an award-winning noncommercial community
media center in Davis, CA with other local news and culture resources, including student-run newspapers
and podcasts; a community arts/culture/entertainment newspaper, and a once-robust local newspaper—
all in the service of a community and its citizens’ information needs.

Generally, this would be a new source of community and civic information about Davis/Yolo, drawing on
the strengths and needs of people in the community, and available to all. We don't see this as a
commercial venture; we do see it as a supplement to existing local sources of information. How this
would work or function, or how it would be funded, are questions we hope to answer through our
exploration phase, but we envision a three-year runway to get the project up and running in Davis in Year
1, with expansion to covering other important news in Yolo County beginning in Year 2.

Project Principals

Autumn Labbé-Renault (she/her) began her career as a newspaper reporter and editor; worked in development and public affairs/policy for Planned Parenthood, and has spent the past 20+ years using media tools to build capacity and community in Yolo County. She’s served as DMA’s ED since 2007.

"Open Country' screening to benefit KDRT

What: 'Open Country' film debuts in Davis benefits KDRT

When: 3/10/24

Where: Davis Odd Fellows Hall, 415 Second St., Davis

Tickets online or at the door

Davis residents Glenda and Jesse Drew recently completed a documentary film on the history and politics of country music, an effort that's been a labor of love for the couple for many years. It is a gift, they say, to "community organizations, down-home music venues, alternative film spaces, union halls, and grassroots projects, as a means to spread the word and to help generate some funds and resources to continue doing the good work you do."

Yolo election results: So far, Davis schools tax is winning by a few dozen votes

By Bill Buchanan for Davis Media Access

Posted 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 6

Measure N, the latest school parcel tax to go before Davis school district voters, is winning — but not by much.

The results won’t be final until the Yolo Elections Office counts all ballots, including ones that voters mailed on or before March 5 but don’t arrive for a few days after. The office explains the process in “Why it can take time to certify an election.”

As of this morning (March 6), the measure to impose a $768 tax per parcel of property in the Davis Joint Unified School District has received 7,194 yes votes, or 66.91 percent of the total counted so far, against 3,557 no votes, or 33.09 percent.

The measure needs two-thirds approval to pass, and has cleared that hurdle by less than one-third of 1 percent so far. For now, that margin of victory works out to about three dozen votes.

In other words, the outcome is too close to call as of March 6. Measure N supporters quoted in a story today by Monica Stark of the Davis Enterprise were hopeful. A story by David Greenwald in the Davis Vanguard called it a nailbiter.

Other Yolo results

Candidate, position statements available

Each election season, DMA produces candidate and position statements for contested local races. This season's lineup includes 17 candidates running for: Congressional 4th, Senate 3rd; Yolo County Supervisor Districts 3,4,5; Superior Court Judge Dept 14; and position statements for Measure N in Davis. DMA's coverage is nonpartisan and a free service for candidates and the community; we take no position and make no endorsements.

Amplifying Nonprofits' Work: I-80 Teach In

Few nonprofits have a media arm, so it makes sense that many in Yolo County turn to Davis Media Access (DMA) for help in documenting important community events. Helping others amplify their work is a big part of our work! We were happy to assist the Davis Futures Forum (a project of Cool Davis) with its  I-80 Teach-In on Dec. 7.  #nonprofits #DavisCA  #climateaction #communitymedia

Davis Picks It Up "In the Studio"

DMA Intern Kristin Trent interviews Cathie Bullis, co-founder of Davis Picks It Up (DPIU), a local non-profit that eliminates litter locally to prevent impacts on land and ocean ecosystems. Bullis discusses the litter-to-ocean pipeline, crime solving on the job, found treasures, and her favorite things about DPIU.

For more information email Youc an watch the episode here


KDRT & youth both come of age at DMA

On Sept. 24, KDRT 95.7FM — the radio station based here at community media center Davis Media Access — turned 19.

DMA was the first public-access community media center in the nation to launch a Low-Power FM (LPFM) station. Since then, many have followed, and just recently the Federal Communications Commission opened a rare window for applications to open frequencies on this non-commercial educational radio spectrum.

DMA’s Jeff Shaw was recently a featured speaker at a regional meeting for potential applicants put on by the Alliance for Community Media.  Since KDRT was started during the first licensing period, Jeff is often called upon to offer a long-term perspective on many topics involving the facets of operating an all-volunteer community LPFM radio station.

From its inception, KDRT has been more than a low-power community station, more than a project of DMA, and more than a place to just play music or talk. It’s been a volunteer-fueled community, one that connects to our larger community both by running live broadcasts from community events, and each and every week in front of the mics and the sound board in the KDRT studio.

Gratitude to Our Supporters 2023-24

Each year, Davis Media Access (DMA) appeals to our community for support for our programs and services. Direct support helps us provide local election coverage, support youth media training and mentoring, and provide critical operating support for KDRT.

For the period beginning July 1, 2023 and ending June 30, 2024, we are grateful to the following supporters:

$1,000 and above

Craig & Darien Blomberg

Heidi & Brian Laurenson, Via a Car Donation

Julie A. Young

Anonymous, In support of civic engagement work


Alison Borkowska

Clyde Bowman

Rich Bradley

Nancy Flagg

Frank Fox

Sharon Hale & Dawn Student

John & Katherine Hess

Interview2Work/Lorraine Beaman

Jessica Kelly, Via American Giving Fund Volunteer Match

Abby & P.T. Koenig

Lorenzo Kristov & Robin Kozloff

Timothy Kuhn Via a Car Donation

Karen Leyse

Brandon Milton

Pieter & Jeanne Pastoor

Peter Peterson

jesikah maria ross

Don & Julie Saylor

John Stegall

Katie Tenerelli

Brian & Karen Vikstrom

Bill Wagman In Memory of Peter Schiffman

Tim Williamson In Honor of A Twang Thang

Cullen Wise, Via a Car Donation