How's that for a mission? Yeah, we could tell you how great we are, and how our mission is to promote the production and dissemination of quality television production by and among our members, et cetera, but would you really be the wiser for that?
We'd rather keep it punchy. Robert Townsend once advised,
Work on distilling your statement of objectives. Cato boiled his down to three words (Delenda est Carthago), and by saying them over and over eventually wiped out the competition. That seems sensible enough, and at one word shorter, we ought to be all the stronger, don't you think?
So, we want to beat Comcast. It's a big target. But it also exemplifies a lot of what we think is wrong with the modern American way of broadcasting: it's big, but it's got no soul.
Unlike our mission, we actually have to go on at some length about our values. That's because, as a cooperative, we have certain obligations to our membership and the public at large. (And we also need to mention them in order to satisfy our domain registrar.)
According to the International Co-operative Alliance,
A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.…Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.
How do we do this? By following the ICA's Co-operative Values:
Anyone who wants to help broadcast, or who wants to see what's being broadcast, and is willing to comply with the regulations of the co-op, is welcome to join. Equal opportunity is our law: we do not discriminate on the basis of sex; race; political, religious, or gender orientation; or any of those other traits that you know better than to judge people on.
Every member has one vote in the operations of the co-op. The policies and decisions of the co-op are made by the elected representatives of the membership, and the officers they designate to take on its day-to-day operations. No member can buy additional shares or more votes than another, and the member who joins to watch one show a week has just as much right to vote, with just as much influence, as the producer of five weekly series does.
We are funded by our membership—first and foremost. It is our collected membership dues that finance operations, and it is our collective decision what to do with those finances. A part of our funds goes to support the programming that we broadcast, and a part goes to fund cooperative operations directly, which includes investments in common equipment and resources.
Blueriddle is its own operation. It is autonomous, controlled by its members for their own mutual benefit, and by nobody else. We do not undertake anything that would put us under the control of an outside organization: we serve no master but ourselves alone.
We work to help our members, especially our producing members, to learn more about the process of making broadcast programs. We provide a place to meet and work together, to develop our collective skills, to practice, to teach, to collaborate, to fall down safely, and at last to succeed grandly.
Through our work, we develop the community at large by improving the quality of news, information, and entertainment programming. We provide a place for anyone with a story to tell to come and tell it, and to be paid fairly for the telling. By providing an open platform, we promote free, open, and diverse communication.