Marin Co CA: Don’t touch that dial–Community Media Center goes live in June
by Peter Seidman | Pacific Sun | 04-23-09
Staff and volunteers of the new Community Media Center of Marin have been busy lately, lugging cables, remodeling a new home base and laying the groundwork for a multi-media future. The new executive director of the Media Center, Michael Eisenmenger, says he and his staff are on track to throw the switch on June 15 that will take Marin public access on cable live for Comcast subscribers in most of the county. >>>
Categories: cable franchising, cable vs telco, DIVCA
Long Beach CA: Council Votes To Support Local Television
Grunion Gazette | 04-22-09
At the beginning of the year, public access television in Long Beach went dark. Under the Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006 (DIVCA), cable companies no longer were required to pay for such operational expenses as facility maintenance, rent and staffing at public access studios, according to Curtis Tani, technology services director for the city of Long Beach. On Jan. 2, Charter Communications closed its public access studio in Long Beach. By the middle of May, community television could receive a financial boost to help get it back on air.
Categories: broadband policy, cable franchising, telecommunications policy, video franchising
[ posted on behalf of Chuck Sherwood ~ rm ]
Here is a PDF file of the article that I wrote for the most recent issue of NATOA Journal: “In My Opinion: Surviving Language Migration From Telecom to Broadband Policy.” It puts forth the idea that instead of using the traditional FCC classifications of Title I–Information Service, Title II–Telecom Service and Title VI-Cable Service, which have created such funding and regulatory havoc these past five years for PEG Access Centers and Local Franchising Authorities, that Congress should create a new classification of Title VII-Bit Stream Service, that would collect use fees from all Bit Stream Providers for the use of Public Rights of Way and Public Spectrum to deliver voice, video and data services regardless of whether they use wireline or wireless infrastructure to deliver those services. Check it out! Read the rest of this post »
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government September 17th Hearing on PEG Access TV, in YouTube ClipsPosted September 21, 2008 by Rob McCausland
Categories: cable franchising, cable regulation, cable vs telco, channel slamming, educational access, FCC, government access, HDTV, IPTV, localism, MB 05-311, media diversity, PEG access TV, public access television, U-Verse, video franchising, VOD
We thank the House staff and the staff of DCTV for their work in making this footage available. Persons interested in cablecasting this hearing on their communities’ PEG access channels may obtain a copy by contacting the Alliance for Community Media at 202-393-2650 x 12. Also, the whole hearing is available for viewing in one online file at http://blip.tv/file/1278920/ .
01: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) Opening Statement (pdf)
In his opening statement Chairman Serrano expressed support for PEG access, explaining the purpose of the 1984 federal law that gave local franchising entities the authority to require PEG access channels. “By granting this authority,” Serrano said, “Congress recognized that PEG programming is in the public interest and essential to our communties as an outlet for free speech, local information and opinions, and emergency communications. PEG supports our democratic ideals by helping to develop a well-informed and educated society. It benefits all of us to support and encourage PEG programming.”
Chairman Serrano also explicitly took AT&T to task for declining to attend the hearing. “AT&T’s recent action relating to PEG channels goes to the heart of many of the concerns that will be raised today. Let the record show that I consider their decision not to send a witness to be indicative of the company’s apparent disregard of the importance of PEG to local communities.”
02: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R) Opening Statement
In the absence of the Subcommittee Ranking Member Ralph Regula (OH-R), Rep. Mark Kirk (IL-R) made the opening statement for the minority. He strongly reinforced the Chairman’s comments on AT&T, and the importance of PEG access. “If there was any thought by AT&T that the Republican member here at the hearing would help them out, let me disabuse them now,” Kirk said.
Kirk continued, “I think this committee should take some action on this. It does appear that AT&T is in direct violation of Illinois law, and so, whether it is in Springfield or in Washington, we should fix this to make sure that there is a very convenient place, especially for our seniors, to find what’s happening in their local community… I breeze through local access cable like everyone else does, except when we’re doing a zoning or other issue related to my neighborhood, and then we are locked on this like everyone else.”
03: Monica Desai, FCC Media Bureau Chief, Testimony (pdf)
05: Howard Symons, National Cable Television Assoc., Testimony (pdf)
06: Michael Max Knobbe, BronxNet, Testimony (pdf)
07: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions – Territories
08: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions
09: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R); Questions
Rep. Kirk asked Monica Desai, “What are your plans to implement your testimony from the Commission, to make sure that AT&T is forced to bring PEG back to the basic – so that they have a channel, somewhere between 1 and 100, on the basic service tier, and are not exiled to on-demand?” Desai replied, “I would be anxious to place this issue in front of the Commissioners for them to decide, with our view that this would be a violation of the statute. But what we would need is to have a specific and formal complaint filed in front of us. We would need something to act on.”
10: Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI-D); Questions
Rep. Kilpatrick made mention of the Michigan law suit enjoining Comcast from channel slamming, then said, “I don’t want to see PEG relegated to some substandard something. It ought to be right up there with the other major channels. And whatever we have to do to get it there — it sounds like it’s a regulatory something, as well as a people something — and if we have to mobilize America to educate them to what it is, I think we have to do that.”
11: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY-D); Questions
Rep. Hinchey asked about possibly establishing minimum levels of support for PEG access. “I have a public access station back in my district, in the city of Binghamton,” Hinchey said, “that unfortunately is not provided with the facilities and training by its cable service providers. So I’m wondering what you think could be done so that the Federal Communications Commission would have the authority to enforce perhaps a federal minimum of financial support that could be provided by cable service providers, so that rural areas generally have the same capability for public access as do larger cities?”
12: Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN-D); Questions
Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN-D) asked questions of Howard Symons about the cable industry’s commitment to community service. In response to a question about Comcast’s closing of studios following passage of Indiana’s statewide video franchising law, Symons said: “You know, Congressman, the cable industry didn’t ask the state legislatures to change the law.” Visclosky instantly replied, “Oh, don’t say that! Don’t say that! I would suggest that that is not a correct statement — to be polite.”
13: Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-D); Questions
Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-D) questioned Ms. Desai’s mention of the FCC’s requiring a formal complaint
“I’m surprised that it really requires that. I would think if you have an oversight responsibility in this area, and you see major companies who are not complying with the statute, that you have the authority on your own to take action, to communicate with the companies that this does not meet the requirements of the statute.”
14: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions, Round 2
15: Michael Max Knobbe Answers Chairman Serrano
16: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R); Questions, Round 2
Rep. Kirk asked Ms. Desai if a joint letter from the Committee would help the FCC expedite an inquiry into these matters. “I would be willing to sign a letter, with the Chairman, to you, saying, ‘Hey, get on the case here.’ Is that enough for you to get rolling?”
Ms. Desai answered, “I’m sure a letter from you and Chairman Serrano would be taken… act on it post haste.”
17: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY-D); Questions, Round 2
18: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) Closing Statement
“We stay committed to the commitment I made before to Mr. Kirk and the Committee that the issues that have been discussed here will be placed by this Committee officially in a formal fashion before the FCC, to make sure that we begin to look at the whole issue and how best we can stick to the intent of the law, notwithstanding some changes that have taken along the way.”
compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
Alliance for Community Media’s Statement for the Platform Committees of the Democratic & Republican National CommitteesPosted July 15, 2008 by Rob McCausland
Categories: cable franchising, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising
The Alliance for Community Media today is asking the Platform Committees of the Democratic and Republican National Committees to embrace policies protecting local cable franchising authorities’ ability to require PEG access channels and adequate mechanisms for supporting them within their franchise agreements. From the Alliance’s Platform Statement:
In summary, the ACM proposes a national policy of “community reinvestment” through Public, Educational, and Government access organizations which includes funds and bandwidth and/or spectrum that will be used for public purposes by:
• Allowing the local community which owns the public right-of-way to franchise and determine the best use of the community’s property. This principle must be protected by Federal law.
• Dedicating ten percent of the public airwaves and capacity on communication facilities that occupy public rights-of-way to PEG use for free speech, diverse points of view, local programs, community based education and political speech.
• Mandating funding of five percent of gross revenues from all infrastructure and service providers and spectrum licensees to support PEG equipment, facilities, training and services.
• Making PEG access universally available to any consumer of advanced telecommunications services capable of full-motion video.
The Alliance strongly encourages its members and all other community media advocates to actively engage and insist upon, at every available opportunity, these “Keep Us Connected” policy goals – at every meeting of every appropriate local, state, regional, and national policy-considering body — Democratic, Republican, and otherwise.
Categories: cable franchising, citizen journalism, citizen media, election programming, human rights, PEG access TV, public access television
Seven-Year-Old To Use Cable Show To Protect Sound
by David Funkhouser
Hartford Courant (CT)
[ 4 comments ]
Seven-year-old Daphne Tucker will be hosting a segment of her family’s cable TV show to recruit 100 fellow third-graders to become junior oceanographers and advocates for Long Island Sound. Daphne’s father is naturalist and videographer Scott Tucker, of Haddam, who produces “Expedition New England,” a cable show about nature shown on local access channels in 68 towns. Her family’s project is one of 14 proposals to win grants this week from the Long Island Sound Fund.
A total of $311,000 has been awarded for projects to help preserve and enhance public access to the Sound, including a handicapped-accessible fishing pier on the Niantic River, new hiking trails in Old Saybrook and a study of the genetics of blueback herring. The Tuckers’ share of the grants is $24,450. The money comes from the sale of “Preserve the Sound” license plates, proceeds from a special affinity credit card and private contributions.
Daphne will host “Listening to the Sound,” a segment on her father’s show that will teach children about the importance of protecting the Sound. Tucker said he and his daughter will visit schools and solicit applications on the show’s website from third-graders who want to sign up to serve as junior oceanographers. He, his wife Ava, and Daphne will select the 100. Each child will receive a DVD and a kit so they can test water temperature and salinity, and better understand tides and sea levels, Tucker said.
Public-access channel may face 50 percent funding reduction
Great Falls Tribune (MT)
[ comments invited ]
People don’t need to drive, bike or walk to the Civic Center to watch Great Falls City Commission meetings. They can sit at home and, if they have a Bresnan cable subscription, watch the meetings live on Cable Channel 7. However, the channel’s future is up in the air as the city slashes its budget and its board tries to cope. City officials are planning to cut Channel 7’s budget in half this fiscal year. [ ... ] In contrast, the city of Missoula puts 65 percent of its franchise fees into public-access station Missoula Community Access Television under a contract that runs through 2010. In Great Falls, 65 percent would amount to $400,000, which is more than enough to keep Channel 7 afloat.
For now, franchise dollars are dumped into the general fund, which pays for police and fire services, recreation, public works and other services. Last year, the channel received $44,059 from the city, and this year’s budgeted figure was $46,565. The proposed amount for next budget year is $22,939 — about a 51 percent cut. Five years ago, the city provided Channel 7 with $15,000 annually to cover the costs of broadcasting city meetings. At the time the channel was housed at Montana State University-Great Falls College of Technology, and later at KTGF-TV, but it has no home this summer. “They are residing in a closet,” Cable Channel 7 backer and volunteer John Watts said last week. [ ... ]
A 2006 survey of cities done for the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors showed that more than half of cable franchise money nationwide went into cities’ general funds, while 11 percent went strictly to public-access TV channels and another 17 percent went to both overseeing cable operations and supporting public-access stations.
Recycling old media materials
The Herald (WA)
Question: I buy more music and movies online and my CDs, videos, cassette tapes and even some DVDs are now just taking up space on the shelf. How can I recycle old media materials? —>
Indymedia Access for the DNC in Denver
by Kelli Refer
[ comments invited ]
Coming to Denver for the DNC but need a workspace for your video and audio? Denver Open Media and KGNU studios are opening their doors as a workspace for indymedia journalists. There will be opportunities for live broadcast from the studio, audio streams and radio interviews. This will be a great workstation for all indymedia journalists.
—> The Colorado Independent Media Center, together with KGNU, Denver Open Media, and MicroBusiness Development, is announcing their plans for media access and services before and during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. [ ... ] Denver Open Media will be opening its channels and webstreaming to the entire community during the DNC. DOM is temporarily waiving annual membership fee is required to cablecast content on Denver’s local access channels, 56, 57, and 219. For the week of the DNC every VOICE can be heard in Denver and throughout the world via the internet!
Denver Open Media will also be broadcasting live from our studios at 700 Kalamath following each day of the convention, from 5-9pm, allowing any independent journalist to drop-in and share photos, video and audio recordings, and in-person accounts of the day live on TV. DOM will also have production, editing, and uploading resources available from 1-10pm for Indymedia producers. —>
“Mass audiences” and citizen journalism
by Sanjana Hattotuwa
ICT for Peacebuilding – ICT4Peace (Sri Lanka)
[ comments invited ]
“Sri Lankan participatory media projects do not yet have mass audiences.”
Burning Bridges makes this statement in a recent post on participatory media’s impact on abductions in Sri Lanka.
I wonder though, should they?
Does it require a “mass audience” to make an impact? I think the answer to this depends on place, context, issue, content quality and other factors but I think that in some (or many?) cases of user generated content / participatory media / citizen journalism the fact is that it has an impact more than what one would associate with mere audience numbers. In other words, perhaps who is aware of CJ / reads it / bases their decisions on it is oftentimes more important than how many have access to and consume CJ?
As an aside, articles on Groundviews are republished regularly on the Daily Mirror, leading to one aspiration of mine to facilitate the creation of and publish citizen journalism of a standard comparable to and even on occasion exceeding mainstream English print media being fulfilled to a degree two years since I introduced the concept to Sri Lanka. Also noteworthy is the fact that blog posts / blogosphere content are increasingly featured in Sri Lanka traditional / mainstream media, oftentimes without prior permission of the original content producer.
But Groundviews is perhaps the wrong example. Many other blogs I read on Sri Lanka aren’t republished in a newspaper to reach hundreds of thousands, but I would argue that many of them have a loyal readership, that this readership often clicks through to links that the post refers to and that is from a large age and location demographic. As Burning Bridges goes on to note in this regard,
They do, however, have the attention of the policy world, and of elites in and diaspora from Sri Lanka. Increasingly, they have strategies to get their work into mass media outlets, whether as columns in newspapers, or as reports about their work. Cumulatively, they have managed to both raise the profile of the issue of abductions, and to help direct resources and energy into better research and monitoring. It remains a question as to whether they’ve managed to affect the political landscape.
That I manage to regularly frustrate, inter alia, the Government’s Peace Secretariat as evinced by their assertion earlier this year that I “provide solace and relief to terrorists” is a good thing keeping in mind the nature of the Rajapakse regime, which is largely and viciously intolerant of competing narratives on war, peace, human rights and governance in Sri Lanka.
CJ also has a long tail. Articles I’ve published two years ago are still being read and have, over the months, accumulated hundreds of thousands of page-views cumulatively. When speaking about affecting the political landscape, it’s important to think of what that actually means. —>
[ One discussion among PEG access providers concerns the pros and cons of placing offender notices on their communities' channels at the request of local authorities. ~ rm ]
MA: Sex offender’s family opposes law on ‘predator free’ zones
Sex Offender Research & News by a Voice of Reason
by J.J. Huggins
[ comments invited ]
Another politican touting a “sounds-good” residency law which statistics proves protect no ones, short of the politican’s votes.
METHUEN — There’s no buffer zone separating Charles and Claudia Bobb from a Level 3 sex offender. In fact, the offender lives in their house. He is Charles Bobb’s 64-year-old father. Howard Bobb is a pedophile who was convicted of molesting four children over a span of 16 years. Now, as Methuen joins a nationwide debate over whether the government should tell sex offenders where they can and cannot go, Charles and Claudia Bobb are speaking out against a proposed law. City Councilor Kenneth Willette wants to ban sex offenders from traveling within 1,000 feet of public schools, parks and the Nevins Memorial Library.
Charles and Claudia Bobb, both 43, say the law would violate the civil rights of sex offenders and make it tough for them even to bring the ailing Howard Bobb to the doctor. “These guys come up with these rules and laws and initiatives, and they don’t bother, I don’t feel, to do their homework to learn how it’s going to affect people or their families,” Claudia Bobb said.
Willette is not concerned with a sex offender’s right to enjoy a public park or visit the library. “They forfeited their right to travel to these facilities,” he said in a recent interview. Willette wants to place fliers from the state Sex Offender Registry Board, showing the photographs and addresses of Level 3 offenders, in school offices, City Hall, the Quinn Building, on the city’s Web site, and more prominently at Nevins Memorial Library. He also wants to hang signs declaring schools, parks and the library “predator free zones.” His proposal went before the City Council on Monday. It received initial approval and will require one more vote by the City Council to be enacted.
Charles and Claudia Bobb moved to Methuen from San Jose, Calif., in January 2007. They live at 18 Russ St. with their 16-year-old daughter. They brought Howard Bobb into their home in November, after discovering he was living in a crummy apartment in Akron, Ohio, with no food or clean clothes. Howard Bobb was convicted of two counts of indecent assault and battery for molesting two children under age 14 in 1979. He spent 41/2 years in prison. He was released from prison and re-offended, his son said. This time, in 1987, Howard Bobb was imprisoned for 18 months for one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. He was released from prison and re-offended again in 1995. He was convicted of the same charge and spent another 18 months in prison.
“My father was wrong for what he did in the past,” Charles Bobb said. But, he said, the man “did his time” and never committed a crime in Massachusetts. His last conviction was 13 years ago. Howard Bobb, a paranoid schizophrenic, is in a rehabilitation facility in Salem, Mass., suffering from an infection and paralyzed from the waist down. Charles and Claudia Bobb said it will be a few weeks before he’s able to go home. When he does, they say, he will not go anywhere without one of them. Charles Bobb said his father no longer notices children. “He’s not the same person he was back then,” he said.
[ ... ]
Police officers showed up at the Bobbs’ home in April and informed the family that Howard Bobb had to go to the station to register. Fliers soon were created, showing Howard Bobb’s photograph and address, and labeling him a “Level 3 Sex Offender.” They were distributed and aired every 15 minutes on public access television. Charles and Claudia Bobb say they have been shunned since the public learned the elder Bobb is a convicted pedophile. Some people have mistaken the younger Bobb for the sex offender. A man driving by the house honked his horn and flipped the middle finger at Charles Bobb, he said. A jogger cursed at him. Children looked at him and asked if “that was the guy.”
“We know that we wouldn’t have brought him here if there was any danger to anybody,” Claudia Bobb said. Charles Bobb’s parents were divorced when he was 12, after his mother accused his father of molesting a child. His mother moved to California. “My father was in prison and my mother was in California, so I basically lived on the streets until I joined the military,” Charles Bobb said. He joined the Navy at age 17. He didn’t accept that his father was a child molester after the first two times he was accused, “because I couldn’t believe he would do something like that.” After the third accusation, he came to grips with reality. But despite the past, Charles Bobb wants to take care of his father. “He’s my father. I just do what’s right by him, even though he’s done me wrong with his convictions and everything and leaving me abandoned,” he said.
Saving Pointdexter Ep. 9
411 Show (TX)
[ comments invited ]
Episode 9 about the lost dog Pointdexter, and the quest to find him a new home. Pointdexter has a close call with the dog catcher. This clip was for San Antonio Public Access TV. Produced by 411 Productions. Espanol: Salvando al perro perdido Pointdexter, episodio 9.
Portland Community Media hires new Executive Director
Portland Community Media (OR)
The Portland Community Media (PCM) Board of Directors has announced that Sylvia McDaniel will assume the role of PCM Executive Director. McDaniel will start at PCM on July 14. McDaniel, who recently returned to Portland after 10 years, expressed that the PCM Executive Director position was an ideal fit for her. “I am passionate about what community media stands for,” says McDaniel. “At PCM, we connect to communities and value one’s right to be heard,” McDaniel added. —>
CCTV Takes Home Many Awards in Hometown Video Festival
Cambridge Community Television (MA)
CCTV staff attended the annual Alliance for Community Media conference, held this year in Washington DC, from July 10-12. Thursday night featured the Hometown Video Festival, and we had to repeatedly return to the stage to collect CCTV members’ awards: Laura Asherman’s SMI 2007 Documentary, Quentin James and Zach Martin for The Quiet Generation, Amy Mertl for her mini-doc on the CRLS photography program, and two for Max Lewontin for City in Motion and Nobody Knows Us. And then, for the grand finale, CCTV collected the top prize, Overall Excellence in Public Access Programming!
It wasn’t all play though; CCTV staff presented in a number of workshops: Clodagh Rule moderated “Launching a Youth-Focused Media Program at Your PEG Center,” Colin Rhinesmith taught vlogging in “Vlogging 101,” Sean Effel talked about Drupal in “updates in Drupal development for CMC’s,” and Susan Fleischmann sat on the panel “Learning New Technologies to Save Money and Deliver Better PEG Access Services.”
Catch the hot summer at TV3
by Dawn Natalia
Medford Transcript (MA)
[ comments invited ]
Come in from the heat to TV3 Medford and stay cool this July. Our Fathers Day Shout Out was a big hit with the kids from the Medford Family Network, and we are looking forward to planning another event with them soon. Any ideas? Call us at 781-395-5993. The Kids’ Film Club film “He Said, She Said” is now in production. Look out, Kevin Bacon! Our intern James Williams finishes shooting with the girls this month. This film is partially funded by a grant from The Medford Arts Council.
This July TV3 Medford travels to Washington D.C. to accept our three national awards from the Alliance For Community Media. The Hometown Video Awards are presented to creative programs that: 1. Address community needs 2. Develop diverse community involvement 3. Challenge conventional commercial television formats, and 4. Move viewers to experience television in a different way.
Our awards are:
· Overall Excellence in Public Access/ Budget under $200,000: The Overall Excellence award recognizes the access organization with the best overall operational activities and programming efforts for the year 2007.
TV3 submitted answers to questions about our history, special programs such as PSA Days, MACI exhibits, Team Medford (our international award-winning filmmaking team) and student programs. We submitted a reel for 2007 that included clips from everything from reality to sports to PSA to documentary, etc., which showcased our membership and programming.
· Making A Difference — Professional: The Making A Difference award is given to a program created to achieve a specific social, political or community goal. The results, impact or actions resulting had to be documented in the support materials.
We submitted “Wise Boyz,” our 30-minute film about a confused teen who wants to join a gang. This was produced in conjunction with Medford High School and the non-profit Scene:Teens, which mentors teens at moviemaking. Because of the local problem with graffiti and gang violence, we wanted to provide an outlet for the teens to voice their feelings about the subject. The teens were coached by adult volunteers and ad-libbed a narrative film that was picked up by a national film Web site and earned $3,500 for TV3 Medford. But more importantly it provided our Medford teens with a real sense of accomplishment. One mother (in tears) wrote to us about how her special needs kid now has confidence to pursue her dreams.
· Original Teleplay – Professional. The Original Teleplay award is given to the best original comedy or dramatic script written for television. We submitted PC Noir, which was a short film produced through the Columbus School Film program, and partially funded by The Medford Arts Council. This was a politically correct film noir, with a message that all entertaining films need not contain violence or anything age inappropriate.
In all cases the submissions involved many, many people from the Medford community. Congratulations to our members, staff, board and all volunteers who participated in these projects. The Overall Excellence award is the highest honor that TV3 Medford could achieve from our peers, and we are extremely proud of the community as a whole for earning it! —>
Millis: Comcast Pact Renewed
by Calvin Hennick
Boston Globe (MA)
Selectmen last week approved a 10-year extension of the town’s contract with cable-television provider Comcast. Under the deal, the town’s community-access television station will continue to receive 4.5 percent of Comcast’s local revenues. The company also will pay $100,000 to the station for equipment, with $50,000 to be paid within the next two months and $10,000 to be paid each year for the next five years.
compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media