Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/29/07

State bills may turn off public access TV
Stations could be forced to close or cut programs
by Annysa Johnson
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (WI)

For 25 years, the West Allis Community Media Center’s public access Channel 14 has been a window on the world of this Milwaukee County city. One can debate the merits of its programming, which these days runs the gamut from polka music and political forums to a manly men’s cooking show that’s gaining a cult following in the state. But Channel 14 has accomplished what federal officials envisioned – a kind of democratization of the airwaves – when they began requiring cable companies to set aside PEG channels, for public, educational and government programming, in the 1970s.

Now, at least 25 stations in Wisconsin could be forced to close or dramatically cut programming – West Allis’ sooner than most – as a result of legislation nearing passage in Madison. —>

Cable bill stirs access concerns
Mentor among cities opposed to Ohio Senate bill that limits rights
for individual towns
by Jenny May
News-Herald (OH)

Each week, Mentor resident Sara Shaner looks forward to watching Channel 12, her city’s local cable-access channel.  There, she finds information on upcoming events and area businesses, and even a little city history she might not have known.  “It’s a wonderful source of information,” Shaner said. “It’s so interesting. I love watching the Video Journal program, and I turn the channel on to watch the City Council meetings. I also want to see events going on and, say, if the trash pickup is pushed back a week for some reason. It’s very valuable.”

Soon, however, Shaner and other Ohioans may find themselves without the local channels they so enjoy. —>

The whole thing stinks
The News Herald (OH)

Imagine for a moment that there’s an emergency at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in North Perry. Officials need to get information out quickly. Aside from news media, safety forces likely would turn to local public access channels on cable television. The message would scrawl across the bottom of television screens, alerting people to a problem. This system also would work in a weather emergency or when other problems arise. These channels also help keep citizens informed about community events.

But a bill in the Ohio Senate is about to make that a little more difficult It stands to hurt municipalities while boosting profits for telecommunications companies. —>

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

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

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