Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/10/07

Cable TV bill called a blow to consumer
Critics say proposed law is riddled with problems
by Jeff Richgels
The Capital Times (WI)

Consumers would lose what little protection they have under a proposed statewide cable TV franchising law introduced Thursday, critics of the bill said today.  For example, under current law, the thousands of Madison area customers who lost all Charter Communications services in a huge outage last month were entitled to credit from the company for a day’s worth of service if their service was out for at least four hours.  Under the proposed new law, “There would be no recourse for the subscriber other than to ask very nicely for some money back,” said Barry Orton, a University of Wisconsin professor of telecommunications who advises many communities in their dealings with cable companies.   —>

Takeover language may scuttle Cox pact
by Rob O’Dell
Arizona Daily Star

The up and down negotiations between the city and Cox Communications over its cable franchise look to be heading down again.  Cox sent out a press release Friday accusing the city of having “rejected” a deal tentatively approved March 2. Cox contends the city scuttled the agreement by inserting a new “11th- hour” provision which would allow it to buy the company’s cable franchise when the agreement expires in five years.  Anne Doris, Cox’s vice-president for Southern Arizona, said any deal between the two entities is dead “for as long as the city wants a takeover requirement in it.”  City officials, however, said there’s nothing new about the provision.  —>

Website of the Week —
by Art Chimes
Voice of America

Time again for our Website of the Week, when we showcase interesting and innovative online destinations.  This week, it’s a place where you can get audio and video recordings of some of the smartest people around, talking about politics and technology; religion, science and the arts; and speaking at places like universities, research centers and bookstores.

GRUBER:  “Every day in cities around the world, brilliant ideas are expressed in public discussions. And you can’t have access to it,  until now. We deliver that access to you.”  Brian Gruber is the founder of, a new website devoted to bringing unedited speeches, symposiums and other events right to your computer.  Fora is where you can watch Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus talk about ending global poverty, or former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright discussing the role of religion in American foreign policy. —>  Many of the presentations come from organizations that are already taping and webcasting their events, but if you’ve got a video camera you can contribute, too, and Brian Gruber hopes he’ll get more material from all over the world. —>

Mayor confident with his “Connections”
Volunteers Fuel City’s Public Access Show
by Carol Gorga Williams
Asbury Park Press (NJ)

LONG BRANCH — At most City Council meetings, Mayor Adam Schneider sits silently, as critics attack him for a multitude of what they perceive as his transgressions.  In his chair in a studio at the Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication and Instructional Technology at Monmouth University, as television cameras whir, you can’t shut the veteran politician up.  “It turns out to be a lot of fun and a great way to communicate,” said Schneider who since 2003 has been host of the 30-minute show “Community Connections,” which is produced by the volunteer Long Branch Cable TV Commission.  The commission, headed by Don R. Swanson, chairman of the university’s department of communication, produces about 10 shows a semester. —>

Swanson said in his opinion, the most riveting recent show involved Schneider and Councilman Brian A. Unger, who was elected in November and is positioning himself as an “independent” voice on council.  “I found it very enjoyable,” Unger said. “We talked a lot about public policy and governing. . . . It was actually a lot of fun.”  Schneider does not favor a proposal that council meetings be similarly broadcast on public access, as Unger has suggested. Instead, Schneider and several council members say they would support televising the caucus or workshop portion of the meetings, in which public comment is not allowed because it is in those meetings that the real work of government gets done.

But Schneider said it is also a matter of cost. —>  Unger said the cost for broadcasting meetings could come from Comcast’s licensing fee, which represents about $120,000 a year. That’s how other communities fund it, he said.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

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

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: