Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/14/07

Black Lawmakers Digitally Redline African American Neighborhoods
by Bruce Dixon
Black Agenda Report

Last year Big Cable and Big Telephone interests teamed up to propose national cable franchise laws that would have killed network neutrality, privatized the Internet and allowed providers a free hand to redline broadband deployment in black, poor, rural and urban neighborhoods nationwide. Stopped in the U.S. Senate last fall, they have resurfaced in more than two dozen state legislatures from coast to coast. Prominent among supporters of Big Cable and Big Telephone are the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, thanks to tens of thousands in donations from AT&T, Verizon and Comcast.

“This year AT&T, Comcast and other players are calling in their accumulated chips from years of campaign and charitable contributions to African American state lawmakers…” —>
also picked up by Alexander Cockburn at

Dingell: FCC not a ‘legislative body’
by John Dunbar (AP)
Seattle Post Intelligencer

WASHINGTON — The chairman of a congressional panel that oversees the Federal Communications Commission accused the agency of overstepping its authority in approving an order meant to create more competition in cable television. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., who heads the House Commerce Committee said at a subcommittee meeting Wednesday that “the FCC is not a legislative body – that role resides here in this room with the people’s elected representatives.” —>

House Dems Blast FCC for Cable TV ‘Legislating’
by Katherine Noyes
E-Commerce Times

Congress accused the FCC of overstepping its authority in its recent actions regarding the cable TV industry in a hearing Wednesday. The House Commerce Committee overseeing the FCC reportedly supports competition and lower prices, but noted that “the commission must work entirely within the existing laws to achieve that goal.” —>

Chicago mayor opposes video franchising in Illinois
by Nate Anderson
Ars Technica

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, an Illinois coalition of local leaders that includes Chicago’s powerful Richard Daley, has come out in opposition to a new bill introduced to the Illinois General Assembly that would allow cable and telecommunications companies to bypass the local video franchising process. —>

Alcoa hangs up on AT&T: City officials oppose company’s video franchise bill
by Mark Boxley
Knoxville Daily Times

Had it been a movie, the audience would have seen a couple guys standing toe to toe Tuesday. And after a few minutes of sizing each other up, the shorter of the two would have taken off his glove and used it to smack the other square in the face. But it wasn’t a movie as the Alcoa City Commission unanimously passed a pair of resolutions — one officially inviting AT&T to enter into cable television negotiations with the city, and the other citing the city’s opposition to the “Competitive Cable Video Services Act,” which is currently being considered in the Tennessee legislature. —>

AT&T, cable fight plays out in television ads
by Andy Sher
Chatanooga Times Free Press

AT&T and an ally, TV4US, recently ran television ads urging lawmakers to pass a bill that would create a statewide cable franchising agreement. They contend the bill would provide competition to the cable industry and result in lower prices. But the Tennessee Cable Telecommunications Association, whose members include Comcast, is running ads that counter AT&T’s assertions, stating, “Don’t let AT&T’s shortcut shortchange Tennesseans.” “There’s a fair amount of misinformation out there,” said Stacey Briggs, cable association executive director. The group wants to “clear up some of that (misinformation) and to also let the public know what we believe AT&T’s true intent is, and that is to get an exception to the rules.” —>

Local TV show aims to get kids ready to act under David Turner’s tutelage
by Jeanne Huff
Idaho Statesman

Lights! Camera! Action! For a group of about 15 kids, these words really mean something, especially when David Turner hollers them out. Turner is the idea man and executive director behind “Bits and Pieces,” a local kids’ television show. It began about six years ago as one of Treasure Valley Community Television’s anchor shows on the public access Channel 11. At 10 a.m. Saturday, “Bits and Pieces” will get a larger audience as it premieres on KNIN Channel 9. It will begin appearing at 10 a.m. every Saturday starting April 7. —>

Your Community Television
Methuen Councilor Kathleen Corey Rahme
The Valley Patriot (MA)

When the crew from Methuen Community Television’s Call to Serve formed back in the winter of 2003 to create a show about the oral histories of local veterans,no one could have imagined that it would still be going strong in 2007. We are about to record our 50th show! If you are ever wondering about the value of, or the impact of, local access television, just ask the crew. Or better yet, ask the fifty, veteran guests and their families about what the experience has meant to them. —>

Local man videotapes township, county meetings for community television station
by LeAnn R. Ralph
Dunn County News (WI)

Ken Lestrud wants to add to the public record. That’s why he has begun taping public meetings to be shown on Chippewa Valley Community Television’s Channel 11. Lestrud, who lives on 690th Street, directly across from the first hill that would be opened if the Proppant Specialists proposed sand mine is approved, is specifically interested in taping meetings in the Town of Tainter, the Town of Red Cedar and meetings on the county level related to the sand mine. The videotapes “will add to the public record or complete the public record,” said Lestrud, a Vietnam war veteran whose family has lived in the area near the Hoffman Hills Recreation Area for several generations. —>

I want my E-TV
by Richard Valenty
Colorado Daily

City of Boulder cable subscribers could have channels representing all three letters in the “PEG” programming acronym by early this summer, and east Boulder County residents might benefit from the “E.” Tony Perri, executive director of the nonprofit organization Boulder Community Media (BCM), said Tuesday that BCM is shooting for a June 12 launch date for a new Educational Access station that will be found on Comcast Cable Channel 22. Perri also runs Boulder’s “P” (Public) channel, Boulder Television (BTV-54), while the city-operated Municipal Channel 8 is the “G” (Government) station.

The city is entitled to at least three Comcast channels for PEG programming, but it does not yet have possession of Ch. 22. The city’s franchise agreement with Comcast says Comcast has up to 60 days to relinquish control of the station after it receives a written request from the Boulder City Manager’s office, and Deputy City Manager Kevin Burke said Tuesday that the letter is in a draft form but hasn’t been sent to Comcast yet. —>

Disc Golf show for your local access station
by Joe Wander

Just a reminder to folks who have community or public access TV stations that Disc Golf Live video magazine is available for broadcast. Copies of my DVDs are free to broadcast partners who submit the show locally for broadcast. New shows come out every two months and each runs one hour. The 17th show is now in production. Find details at —>,com_joomlaboard/Itemid,1/func,view/id,1732/catid,5/

Statewide Video Franchises vs. Universal Service: Grasping the Total Picture
Midwest Business

CHICAGO – While there are a lot of pros and cons on statewide franchise agreements for AT&T’s Project Lightspeed, what about universal service? The controversy over HB 1500 in the State of Illinois is well-founded. Sometimes, though, people don’t grasp the total picture. As the famous line in the film “Cool Hand Luke” states: “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” There are many people who are becoming overnight pseudo experts on this issue. It really needs to be viewed in a less emotional light and more from a pragmatic, long-term economic development perspective. While there are definitely pros and cons for moving to a statewide agreement, that agreement must be well laid out if the state wants buy-in from the municipalities. —>

Why Cable Rates Have Increased
by Andy in Media and Democracy
Uncommon Sense

Some good insight from Mark Cooper of Stanford University and the Consumer Federation of America, who is a brilliant analyst and activist leading the fight for a public and open internet (i.e. net neutrality) for ages now, and is quite insightful on a number of telecom issues. Here he makes some points in regards to the current talk about local video franchising, and ‘competition’ in the ‘cable’ video world, and some of what is behind the some of the telco-generated blather concerning this important issue… —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

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

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