Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/06/07


[ed. Post title revised per readers’ suggestions]


“Toward a Federal Data Agenda for Communications Policymaking.”

by Rik Panganiban (email)

Social Science Research Council



“The SSRC-sponsored Data Consortium for Media and Communications Policy has prepared a paper entitled “Toward a Federal Data Agenda for Communications Policymaking.” The paper outlines some of the key challenges surrounding data collection, access and analysis for media and communications policy in the United States , and makes a number of recommendations for how to address some of the most salient problems in this area. Prepared by Dr. Phil Napoli of the McGannon Center and Joe Karaganis of the SSRC, the paper is the product of several months of consultations and discussions with a wide range of media policy researchers, advocates and policy-makers.” The full paper can be accessed on the web at this link (PDF) file):




Telecom bill tunes out customers’ needs

by J. Scott Christianson

Columbia Daily Tribune (commentary)



The Missouri Senate is considering one of the best-written pieces of legislation to come before it in some time: Senate Bill 284, the Missouri Video Franchise Bill. It should be a good bill, considering how much money AT&T spent to write it. The video franchise bill has something in it for every large telecommunications company: reducing public oversight, eliminating local control, cherry-picking high-profit customers and protection from prying public auditors. It would be wonderful – if it weren’t such a complete betrayal of the public trust. —>




Living history: Waterloo African-American leaders look back

by Pat Kinney

WCF Courier



—> But Lowe and his wife, Joy, were a couple of the “I’s” that made up the “we” who fought for racial justice in Waterloo for nearly 30 years. He was one of a number of people selected for a series of videotaped oral histories by the board of directors of the African-American Historical and Cultural Museum of Waterloo. The interviews, conducted by David Jackson of Cedar Falls, visiting assistant professor of African-American studies at the University of Iowa and an adjunct professor at Hawkeye Community College, are airing on public access cable television channels in Waterloo and Cedar Falls this month. They were produced by the electronic media division of the communication studies department at UNI. —>




The battle to save public access TV in Hawaii moves to the legislature … and it could use your help

Disappeared News



Not only can you help, but your help is needed to save Hawaii’s public access television channels. As you know, there’s a move afoot to replace the current public access television providers. The administration plans to do this by opening the contracts to competitive bidding, while disadvantaging the current providers from ever winning a contract. Mainstream media doesn’t cover other media, so this story may never see print until the contracts go to some Mainland organization or special interest. Then you’ll read the headline, “State public access contract won by Fox News subsidiary” or the like. It will be too late. —>




Cable Cutters

What the cable companies don’t want you to know about radical television in Canada

by Michael Lithgow

The Dominion



There’s a big little story in Canada about radical possibilities for television that cable companies don’t want you to know. It’s a story worth close to a billion dollars — money that should have been spent on creating community access television in every neighbourhood where cable companies sell cable. A few communities have claimed some of their share, but in most of Canada, the money goes into the pockets of the cable companies. What would happen if more communities demanded the community access funding that is their right under federal regulations? —>




Durbin/Obama Request Chicago FCC Hearing

by Katie Yocum, Media and Democracy Coalition (email)

ACM-Midwest Listserv



“Don’t know if you guys have seen this, so I thought I’d pass it along.

IL Senators sent a letter (attached) to the FCC to request an official

FCC hearing in Chicago.”

Durbin-Obama FCC Letter




Public-Access TV: Dead air

Philadelphia Inquirer (editorial)



More than three years ago, Mayor Street endorsed moving ahead on the long-delayed promise of a citizen-run cable television station for Philadelphia – still the largest American city without a TV outlet for amateur programming. Not much happened until last summer, when there was another flurry of interest in the idea. City Councilman Darrell L. Clarke, a Street ally, predicted that a public-access cable station could become a reality soon. So it’s hard to fathom how the Street administration can be entering its final 11 months without an amateur-TV deal in place. In fact, the reason for the delay is unclear, other than inertia. —>




Verizon moves to expand network

by Rebekah Metzler

The Daily News Tribune



BOSTON – Local officials are upset by proposed legislation that eliminates their power to grant licenses to cable television companies. Verizon has proposed such legislation to lawmakers claiming that increased competition will result in lower cable costs for consumers. The new legislation would allow cable companies to skip time-consuming negotiations with specific municipalities that currently issue the licenses for cable providers. Verizon has negotiated individually with 34 towns and cities in the Bay State.


Community television directors such as Kelly worry the proposed law will result in reduced public, educational and government (PEG) programming. “People want us to exist, but Verizon is trying to get around negotiating franchise fees,” Kelly said. “This law would be good for them (Verizon), but not good for consumers.” The new legislation would require municipalities to run a minimum of eight hours of nonrepeated local programming per day or the town would lose its right to the channel. —>



The Press, the TV, and the Internet, a Brave New world?

by Simon Barrett

Blogger News Network



I have read three books recently that deal with completely different core subjects, the Blogosphere, The Freedom of Information Act, and the incestuous relationship between the FCC and the Big Media, yet they all have one common theme. The accepted old media (Newspapers, TV, and Radio), and the brave new world of the online media, are both ineffectual in reaching their audience and offering little in the way of substantive news. They are helping to create George Orwell’s 1984 world of controlled information, and controlled citizens. —>




Lowell cable bares it all

by David Parry

Lowell Sun


LOWELL — Fans of a late-night Lowell Telecommunications Corp. show apparently got more than they bargained for Friday, when, according to one viewer, two young women did more than dance during a prerecorded music video on Channel 8. —>




compiled by

Rob McCausland

Director of Information & Organizing Services

Alliance for Community Media


Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, FCC, Internet TV, media reform, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising

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