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Sean McLaughlin is an educator, media access advocate and non-profit executive. In July 2006, McLaughlin became the first executive director for Access Humboldt a community media organization providing local access channels, broadband network connections, digital media production resources, training and support for local governments, tribes, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and all residents of Humboldt County, California USA.
McLaughlin is a policy wonk – serving on the public policy work group for the Alliance for Community Media as a Board member for the Alliance for Communications Democracy, and an active member of the Media and Democracy Coalition, Rural Broadband Policy Group, and the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors. A ZFellow with ZeroDivide, he has published articles, provided expert testimony before legislative and regulatory agencies, and participated in international conferences around the world – including India, Egypt, Sri Lanka, and Australia.
Previously, McLaughlin was the first chief executive officer for Akaku: Maui Community Television, providing media access for the Hawaiian islands of Maui, Moloka'i and Lana'i. During his tenure, Akaku grew to include five cable TV channels, low power FM radio and online media services. After serving as vice chair of Maui County's Charter Commission, McLaughlin was named Maui's outstanding non-profit executive director for 2004. He founded and serves as spokesperson for Hawaii Consumers.
Educated at Dartmouth College, McLaughlin taught "Politics of Media" in the 1980’s at the University of Hawaii (UH-Manoa) and served on the University of Hawaii’s Broadcast Communications Authority as vice chair. McLaughlin started a successful broadcast media design, production, and consulting firm based in Honolulu. He also served as director of telecommunications for the Honolulu City Council. He also developed projects as an international news consultant for Hawaii Public Television and the Hawaii based co-production (with NHK-Japan and KCTS-Seattle) Asia Now.
Many of McLaughlin’s media projects have received national recognition, including: ACE Awards for Cable Excellence; Broadcast Media Awards; an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties - NACo; and, numerous other awards and festival showings.