Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/24/07

Cable fight
by David Callender and Judith Davidoff
The Capitol Times (WI)

State Rep. Gary Hebl, D-Sun Prairie, is a fierce defender of his city’s public access cable channel and does not want to see it compromised under a proposed statewide cable TV franchising law.  “We have one of the most active access channels in the state, and as a result of this bill it would really cut the heart out of our operating,” Hebl said Friday.  “All cable access channels will suffer severely if this bill passes,” he added.

Under current law, cable companies enter into agreements with localities and are required to pay franchise fees, which are used by communities to fund their public access channels. Critics say such fees will shrink considerably under the proposed bill.

Hebl is preparing a series of amendments to the bill, including one that would keep providers from cherry-picking markets by only offering service in larger communities that promise greater profits. Hebl is also going to introduce an amendment to ensure there are consumer guarantees in the bill equal to or greater than current law.

For instance, cable customers are entitled to reimbursement if their service is interrupted.  “It would be difficult, if not impossible, to recover that” under the proposed bill, Hebl said.  Hebl also wants any new providers to be required to pay for the transmission costs of programming at public access channels. He said Charter, Sun Prairie’s cable provider, is now required to pay such costs, which amount to about $24,000 at each of the city’s public access channels.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Utilities and Rail and Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities will hold a public hearing on the bill at 10 a.m. Tuesday, in Room 412 East of the State Capitol.   —>

The Top 5 Illusions of Social Media
J. Leroy’s Evolving Web

The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it.  – Edward R. Murrow

Social Media isn’t a silver bullet. Social media isn’t your mom. Social Media isn’t Warren Buffet. And Social Media has never read a book by Jack Welch.  Social Media is a loose collection of tools and design patterns that facilitate teamwork.  Nothing fixes everything. Communication is very difficult.  As we move forward, we are apparently increasing in speed and complexity. Social Media tools allow us to add context to the information we are providing. Context takes a mind boggling number of forms. But it is always in context. Information is very rarely in context and when it is always in context it is usually a truism.

The problem with communication … is the illusion that it has been accomplished.  – George Bernard Shaw —>

Public-access television channel moves into new home
by T. Scott Batchelor
The Daily Reflector (NC)

What proponents call the “freedom-of-speech channel” no longer is a foster child, shunted from home to home.  Greenville-Pitt Public Access Television now has its own digs in an office complex at 300B W. Arlington Blvd., near J.H. Rose High School.  The video equipment operated by the nonprofit, whose programs run on Suddenlink cable television channel 23, was housed at Pitt Community College when it was born in 1992.         —>

“We are looking for videos, but we do not have the facilities or capabilities for (producing) our own,” Schenck said. “What we have is stuff that has accumulated over the … years and playing back old videos until we get programming from various sources within the county.”  Guidelines for video submissions are being revised and should be on a new Web site soon, officials said. In theory, the channel is supposed to provide an outlet for original shows produced locally and for noncommercial material put on by the public, nonprofits and educational groups.   —>

Settlement reached in cable television dispute
by Luke E. Saladin
The Kentucky Post

Five Northern Kentucky cities will no longer have their own programming aired on public access television, though for the foreseeable future residents in those cities will be able to view programs produced by other communities, according to a court settlement reached this week.  The settlement between Insight Communications of New York and The Telecommunications Board of Northern Kentucky, entered in U.S. District Court in Covington, also stipulates that Insight pay the board a one-time fee of $120,000 as well as a settlement payment of $260,000 annually.   —>

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

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

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