Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/28/07

Black groups oppose video bill
by Matthew Little
Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

Representatives of both the Minneapolis NAACP and the Minneapolis Urban League testified before the Minnesota House Telecommunication, Regulations and Infrastructure Committee last Friday, March 23. They spoke in opposition to a bill labeled “The Minnesota Video Competition Act.” —>

Warnings Issued As Lawmakers Consider OK-ing Cable TV Competition
Proposed Bill Creates Statewide Franchise
Channel 3000 (WI)

MADISON, Wis. — A bill is speeding through the state Legislature that might dramatically change the way Wisconsin residents watch TV. —>
VIDEO: Watch The Report

Concerns aired on statewide cable bill
Loss of protections feared; backers tout competition
by Paul Gores
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)

In a packed public hearing that spilled into the hallway outside a Capitol committee room, public officials, lobbyists, industry leaders and even children who produce a cable TV show weighed in on a bill that would eliminate municipal cable franchises and put the approval process in the hands of the state. Many urged the legislators to think twice about doing away with subscription TV franchise agreements that are crafted one-by-one with communities. The proposed law would establish a uniform statewide standard intended to make it more appealing for new companies to enter cable markets in Wisconsin. —>

Vote may be month away to allow phone companies to offer cable TV
River Falls Journal (WI)

A bill to let phone companies offer cable-type TV and do away with locally-negotiated service and rate contracts will come up for a state Assembly vote in about a month. That’s what Speaker Mike Huebsch said after a nine-hour public hearing Tuesday. —>

Shut Down the Plan to End Local Control of Cable Franchises
by Joe Powell
Cup of Joe Powell (TN)

I’m encouraging all readers of this page and residents statewide to voice a loud opposition to a bill before the legislature which drains funds away from cities and counties, removes local control over cable franchise rights, and essentially hands the telephone companies both an unfair advantage and reduces existing standards of service. —>

And if the state does approve the end of locally created franchise agreements, the cities and counties will be looking for new ways to replace that lost income – more taxation. The bills under review are currently headed into committees for debate in early April, but the time to speak out is now, before it’s too late. Taking a cue from this post at KnoxViews, simply send an email to your representative and senator, such as the one below, mentioned at KV. —>

Senate bill would ease burden on companies entering TV market
by Rob Poggenklass
West Branch Times (IA)

A bill passed by the Iowa Senate last week would make it easier for cable TV service providers to enter new markets, by eliminating the companies’ need to negotiate franchise agreements with individual municipalities. … West Branch’s representative in the Iowa Senate, Republican Jim Hahn of Muscatine, was one of six senators to cast a “no” vote on SF 554, along with Democrat Bob Dvorsky of Coralville.

Although the bill passed overwhelmingly in the Iowa Senate, State Rep. Jeff Kaufmann said that it faces an uphill battle in the Iowa House. The League of Cities has pushed for more negotiating room in the legislation, and Kaufmann believes that TV companies will need to compromise for the bill to be accepted by the House Commerce Committee. “I don’t think it’s a slam dunk that it’ll reach the House floor,” said Kaufmann. “Not in its current form.”

Music Stars Back “Rock the Net” Campaign
by The Associated Press
Broadcast Newsroom

As promised, the Future of Music Coalition Tuesday launched a campaign for network neutrality, “Rock the Net,” backed by a host of musicians (almost 150 artists and labels). Those artists, including R.E.M., Barenaked Ladies, Sarah McLachlan and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam, are concerned that independent artists will be marginalized if telecommunications companies are allowed “to charge Internet service providers to have their Websites load faster.” The result, they argue, is that small labels and independent artists could be “frozen out” of another medium… —>

Youth journalists talk about public access TV
Scripps News

The FCC recently announced its recommendations on video franchising, allowing more companies into the cable television market. Its stated goal is to create more competition among companies, and savings per customer. But some people worry that the change could cause public access stations to lose the funding. Youth journalists from Children’s PressLine, a news agency that works with kids ages 8 to 18, spoke to young people involved with producing segments for their local public access stations. —>

Bethany Crews, 16, PeopleTV, Atlanta: “The show that I work on, “Neo Soul,” is a spoken word variety show. I’ve been working on the show for 5 years. It takes two months to produce one show. It’s hard; it’s very hard. You have to invite the guests and schedule how your show is going to run. I’m the producer, the cameraman and the editor. . . It’s real important for me to keep my show. It gives me something to do well and I’m giving out opportunities to other youth who want to come on my show instead of getting into trouble.”

Town develops rules for municipal cable channel
by Kathy Baratta
News Transcript (NJ)

The Manalapan Township Television Network (MTTN) Channel 77 is in the process of finalizing its mandate, complete with rules and regulations that will govern everything that is aired on the cable television municipal access channel.

In a proposed set of guidelines that will be adopted by the Township Committee following a final review by Township Attorney Caroline Casagrande with assistance from Cable Television Advisory Committee (CTAC) members Jan Zachary and Marc Levy, the mission of the MTTN is defined as “allowing for expanded communications from the township governing body to the public to foster better awareness of the operation of the township government.” The MTTN will operate under the direct authority of the township administrator, who will serve as the final arbiter of what would be deemed fit for broadcast in the case of any dispute over the appropriateness of something to be aired on the municipal channel. —>

No decisions on TV issue
A meeting was held to determine possible oversight of public television in York.
by Brent Burkey
Daily Record/Sunday News (PA)

—> The meeting was called in response to public outcry and official debate about the recesses council President Cameron Texter called during council meetings after people raised issues about his personal life. In those cases, television cameras stopped airing the meeting after Texter called the recess. Some council members said it looked like censorship, especially with the city government now owning public television in the city. —>

Channel 61 won’t show council live
by Stacy Brown
Scranton Sun Times (PA)

Public access television cameras will be present when council reconvenes this week, Channel 61 president Louis Danzico said Tuesday. But the station will tape the meeting and broadcast it at a later time instead of showing it live. —>

A larger than usual crowd is expected Thursday because of a controversial decision to abruptly adjourn a meeting two weeks ago and then the sudden cancelation of last week’s meeting. Alleged threats made against two councilwomen and allegations of intimidation has heightened public interest.

Acting on a request made last week by Council President Judy Gatelli, Mayor Chris Doherty ordered the removal of public access television cameras from City Hall. In addition to the alleged threats, Mrs. Gatelli cited increasingly volatile meetings and the lack of decorum and respect as her reasons for removing cameras.


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, net neutrality, PEG access TV, public access television, redlining, user-generated content

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