Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/08/07

On the TV’s margins, public access gives immigrants a voice
by Juliana Barbassa (AP)
San Jose Mercury News (CA)

Anyone with something to say, in almost any language, can find a home on public access television, which is why immigrant communities are increasingly using it to educate, entertain—and stoke long-simmering feuds.  The most democratic space on the tube, public access channels are made available by cable companies legally mandated to offer space to amateur broadcasters who can do or say just about anything within the roomy boundaries of libel and obscenity laws.

In some cities, flipping through these channels can feel like traveling around the globe: Iranian film, Chinese news, Polynesian worship, even the ugly side of Afghan community politics.  “They reflect the mosaic that’s out there,” said Andrew Johnson, spokesman with the cable company Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest, which airs immigrant-produced shows around the country on its public access channels.

Although they usually fall beneath the radar of mainstream viewers, the programs attract a niche—and often foreign—audience that can feel marginalized by mainstream programming, said Vibert Cambridge, a professor at Ohio University who has researched immigrant use of broadcast media.  “It’s about identity, authenticity, coming out of the margins, not being silent,” she said. “They’re able to articulate an agenda that is community-oriented, share their aspirations with the wider community, and enter into dialogue with the larger American society, giving texture to a new culture, while reaffirming their heritage.”   —>

Cable change: less control, less revenue?
by Coleen M. Farrell
Messenger Post (NY)

—>   Locally, communities are voicing their concerns to the state. The Monroe County Supervisors’ Association, made up of leaders from the 19 towns in the county, unanimously passed a resolution against the move, said Perinton Supervisor Jim Smith, the group’s president.  The Greece Town Board passed a resolution at its March 20 meeting saying “franchising authority should remain with the localities,” said Kathryn Firkins, the town’s director of constituent services.   —>

FCC chief avoids missteps of predecessor
With media ownership rules again on the table, Martin’s open style defuses controversy.
by Jim Puzzanghera
Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — Kevin J. Martin drank two cups of Starbucks coffee, a 20-ounce bottle of Diet Pepsi and a can of Diet Coke. Maybe it was all that stimulation that enabled the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to do something in February his predecessor rarely did.  He faced the public.

For nearly six hours, a well-caffeinated Martin listened as a parade of critics stepped up to microphones at a Harrisburg, Pa., theater to lambaste him and his fellow commissioners for considering rule changes that would allow media companies to buy more TV and radio stations.  The public clearly was not on board.    —>,1,3101936.story?coll=la-headlines-business&ctrack=2&cset=true

Rogers Intros Video Calling
Canuck PDA
by Jason

Rogers Wireless brought famous Canadian actor William Shatner back to Canada to celebrate a North American first: real-time video calling on compatible Rogers mobile phones.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Dir., Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media

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

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