Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/21/07

Don’t touch that dial
by John Morgan
Casper Star-Tribune

>>> Several people spoke in favor of changing the agreement to add public access and cited Gillette’s public access channel as a model for Casper to follow.  “It is time for the citizens of Casper to have the opportunity to have their voices heard,” said R.C. Johnson, representing the League of Women Voters. >>>

Madison man tackles social justice
by Darla L. Pickett
Kennebec Journal

MADISON — Other people may travel the world over to fight injustice, but Peter Sirois is using a video camera and his social conscience to crusade closer to home.  Sirois tackles worldly issues on a local or statewide scale as the independent producer of “Maine Social Justice,” a program aired on public access cable television channel 11 and aimed at offering an alternative point of view. >>>

Cable Battle Brewing
by Victoria Langley
Capitol News Service (FL)

>>> But city governments that have been regulating the franchise agreements call the bill (HB 529) a power grab by the phone companies.  The cities say squeezing local government out of the regulatory process could mean worse customer service and a loss of cable companies that customers like.   Several community activists have scheduled a news conference for Thursday saying the measure would also allow new providers to “cherry-pick,” offering their best service in some areas while avoiding minority and low-income neighborhoods altogether.  The bill is up for its first House committee hearing Thursday afternoon.

Disenfranchising of rural America
Niel Ritchie, Executive Director, League of Rural Voters
To the Editor of The Eagle

The Berkshire Eagle’s editorial about Verizon’s head-scratching campaign to repeal consumer protection rules for video and broadband networks (“Cable picture could get even worse,” Feb. 16), overlooked the proposal’s potentially disastrous implications for rural Massachusetts and America, which increasingly rely upon high-speed Internet networks for education, telemedicine and basic economic development.  Existing franchising rules — which the telephone companies want to eliminate — give local officials the tools they need to help ensure that rural America gets a seat at the table of the broadband revolution, a principle that both political parties should champion. >>>

AT&T cable bill holds no promise for state consumers
By Margaret Mahery
The Daily News Journal

NASHVILLE — Like a bad blind date, AT&T’s cable and video service legislation fails to live up to the grand promises and high expectations which preceded its introduction.  The municipal leaders of this state believe the proposal offered by AT&T is bad for consumers and, therefore, is not in the best interests of the constituents they serve. For this reason, the Tennessee Municipal League and its member-municipalities oppose the “Competitive Cable and Video Services Act.” >>>

The Skinny
Tucson Weekly
By Jim Nintzel

Sometimes, we just have to wonder if certain folks figure that people are just plain stupid. How else do you explain the latest Cox Communications ad in the Sunday paper? There was Anne Doris, Southern Arizona vice president of Cox Communications, writing a letter about how the cable company was looking out for us.  “You told us that community access channels are important,” Doris wrote. “So we proposed the maximum number allowable under state law.”  Um, that wouldn’t be the state law that Cox lobbied the Legislature to change last year that reduced the number of public, educational and government channels that a city could ask for? >>>

Senate approves cable bill to ease franchise licensing
By Jason Rosenbaum
Columbia Tribune

>>> The legislation also would require cable companies to register with the PSC when existing contracts expire and also would set new parameters for public-access channels, such as mandating they provide at least 40 hours of original programming weekly. >>>

Fayetteville, AT&T Reach TV deal
By Dug Begley
The Morning News

Tuesday evening, the Fayetteville City Council approved a contract with AT&T to provide Internet-based television service in the city.  City Attorney Kit Williams said the agreement is similar to one the city has with Cox Communications. Williams also noted the contract guarantees AT&T will carry local educational, government and public access channels at its basic level of service.  He said the contract is similar to agreements AT&T has with other cities in Arkansas, such as Little Rock and Maumelle. Fort Smith also contracted with AT&T on Tuesday evening, Williams added.  Cathy Foraker with AT&T said the company will fund all necessary upgrades to deliver local channels via the Internet-based television service. She added competition in the area will benefit consumers. >>>

Supervisors Renew Comcast Cable Agreement
Leesburg Today

Supervisors on Tuesday approved renewing the county’s cable TV franchise agreement with Comcast, which had been granted a transfer of Adelphia’s existing cable franchise in Loudoun last year.  The agreement is similar to one that supervisors granted to Verizon last June and calls for a 5 percent franchise fee that will generate about $1.2 million a year for the county.  The agreement also requires Comcast to pay the county $100,000 up front and $1 per subscriber per month for the 15-year term of the contract. The funds would go toward the support or construction of an institutional network for government use, as well as maintaining Comcast’s current studio and production support for the county’s public, educational and government channels. The county estimates the additional PEG and I-Net funds at $20,000 a month. >>>

Jennifer Harris @ BB: Participatory Democracy
by Jason Crow

There is a new digital policy wonk in Washington, DC and her name is Jennifer Harris of the Center for Digital Democracy. She’ll be joining Drew Clark, Senior Writer at the National Journal, Chuck DeFeo of and Tad Hirsch of the MIT Media Lab on the Participatory Democracy panel.  In addition to being a policy wonk, Jennifer has a long history of working the trenches of the PEG access community as a youth media coordinator, communications policy specialist and media literacy mover-and-shaker at the Grand Rapids Community Media Center and Access Montgomery.  >>>

City council meeting goes into recess again, at Texter’s request
by Daina Klimanis
The York Dispatch

With what has become increasing regularity, portions of York City Council meetings have been pulled from live television as public comment sessions turn combative.  Council meetings are normally broadcast live on public access television station channel 18.  But when Council President Cameron Texter believes members of the public are getting disorderly or abusive, he calls a recess with the stroke of his gavel.  When that happens, the live broadcast is cut, and viewers at home are left to stare at the scrolling community calendar for minutes at a time.  Only when the speaker has abandoned the microphone does the council continue with other business and the broadcast goes back on the air. >>>

All Mick, all the time
Ireland prepping high-tech strategy for mayoral bid
by Scott Condon
Aspen Times

>>> Project West, an Aspen marketing company helping organize Ireland’s campaign, contacted Kaufman to see if he would help create and post the podcasts that could be downloaded and the video that could be streamed onto personal computers from the Internet.  Kaufman said he volunteered to assist Ireland’s campaign. He stressed that his work won’t be on behalf of Access Roaring Fork, a Basalt-based public access television station and nonprofit organization he created. >>>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, community media, municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, user-generated content, video franchising

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