In an announcement today from the International Academy of Web Television (IAWTV), the group has decided to open up its membership to anyone in the online entertainment world who is interested in joining.
The decision came after some debate amongst members as to what requirements should be in place for membership, an issue the group had a hard time finding consensus on. Instead the move to open up membership is being pitched as a way of mirroring the internet’s open environment.
“Digital media professionals are so diverse, determining an IAWTV member profile and IAWTV membership requirements has been a widely debated topic among the current membership,” said IAWTV Membership Chair Kathleen Grace. “After much deliberation, we came to realize that the IAWTV needs to be as diverse as the industry it represents. Based on the feedback we received from our members and from the industry, we decided to open Academy access to all interested parties.”
The announcement also kicks off a new membership application drive—an online application is up through the end of the year. While membership is technically open to anyone, there do seem to be some base level of industry expereince that must be demonstrated. “In order to become a member,” the announcement read, “they must prove interest in the industry through work experience, contributions made to the industry, or by agreeing to uphold the values and policies of the IAWTV.”
The current annual member dues of $90 are remaining the same, and all new members will have to pay upon being accepted. The member drive is also part of the group’s broader plan to build up its financial base so that it can move towards hiring full time staffers.