Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/30/07

House passes cable-franchise bill
by Kristi E. Swartz
Palm Beach Post (FL)

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida House of Representatives voted 117-2 today to make it easier for AT&T and any other video providers to get into the cable TV business.  The bill, which passed the Senate last Friday, now heads to the governor’s office. Gov. Charlie Crist said last week he will sign it “if it benefits consumers.”   —>

Cable On Its Way to Governor
St. Petersburg Times (FL)

Next stop for the cable franchising bill: the Governor’s desk.  With little dissent, House members this afternoon signed off on the Senate’s lengthy changes to a bill that gives telephone companies easier access to the cable TV market. Under the compromise bill between telecoms and cable companies, cable companies will be able to opt-out of their contracts with local governments as early as this summer.   —>

Bells’ Franchise Push Getting Tougher
As more communities forge cohesive opposition…
by Karl
Broadband Reports

After quickly pushing through “franchise reform” in a dozen states, it looks like baby bell lobbyists are starting to face some resistance from states concerned that these incumbent-written laws promise a lot, but actually offer consumers little. While the debate over state-level franchising and eminent domain rages on in Illinois, lawmakers in Ohio are also pushing back against the baby bell lobbying push (and PR campaigns). Ohio Senate Bill 117 is facing some stiff opposition from those concerned with the elimination of build-out requirements, public-access, local franchising fees (and authority) and the erosion of eminent domain.   —>

Up the Creek Without a Radio Station
by Hannah Sassaman
Hannah Sassaman – Banned from the NAB Since 2002

>   Tonight I’m especially looking forward to hearing from Gerardo Reyes Chavez, a leader from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (, who will testify on the 2nd official panel of the evening, after 8pm. Gerardo will talk about the importance of not just stopping media consolidation, but fighting for essential growth of local, community-owned media outlets, like low power FM, public access TV, and full power noncommercial community radio.

In his case, lives were saved when Radio Consciencia ( ), the local LPFM station licensed to the Coalition, broadcast warnings in Zapotec, Haitian Creole, Q’anjob’al, to farmworkers stuck in the fields during Hurricane Wilma. As Gerardo will testify tonight, local stations were transmitteng alerts on the impending hurricane, but Radio Consciencia was the only station transmitting information on where to go and what to do in both Spanish and the indigenous languages spoken by thousands in the community.

Community members could go even further — contacting the station to learn more about the current situation and where the evacuation trailers were. They got so many calls that the station mobilized vans and transported over 350 people to shelter that night. After the storm, WCIW-LP (Radio Consciencia), kept the information going on where to find shelter, food, and water, all in the diverse languages of the local community. By that time the County had realized the importance of the station, and loaned the group a generator so the station could keep saving lives.   —>

Cable TV to air update on Conklin
Town, school leaders to discuss flood recovery status
by Connie McKinney
Press & Sun-Bulletin (NY)

CONKLIN — Supervisor Debra Preston will take to the airwaves to keep residents informed about the town’s recovery from last year’s flooding.  “It’s another avenue to let people know what’s going on,” she said.  Preston and Susquehanna Valley school Superintendent Gerardo Tagliaferri will appear Wednesday on Time Warner Cable’s public access channel as part of a “community corner” that spotlights local municipalities….

Plans are also in the works to give Preston her own half-hour show, which would air monthly or every other month, said David Whalen, vice president of public and governmental relations with Time Warner of Binghamton…  Several other local municipal leaders already have shows on the channel. They include state Sen. Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton; Assembly- woman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell; and Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, R-Guilford, Whalen said.

Conduit, not creator
by Lou Danzico
Letter to the Editor – The Times Tribune (PA)

Editor: The controversy over live cablecasting of Scranton City Council meetings moved very quickly during the last month. In the space of only one week, live cablecasting was banned in council chambers and then swiftly restored by council’s majority vote, motivated, no doubt, by public pressure.

Without orchestration, the public rose in a wave of indignation against the elimination of live cablecasting. Protests were heard wherever people gathered and in all media outlets. Objections were carried into the council meeting of March 29 and spilled onto the steps of City Hall with signs and banners supporting live cablecasting. The meeting brought out people who, by their own admission, never before came to a council meeting. As The Times-Tribune said in a March 31 editorial, “The TV genie is out of the bottle and is not going back.”

The March 29 council vote that restored live coverage was a watershed event and a victory for citizens.  First and most importantly, it was a victory of free speech and open government. The right of citizens to speak at public meetings and to seek remedies from their elected officials is basic in a democracy.

Second was the triumph of civility over rudeness and respect over contempt. The meeting demonstrated that an exchange of ideas can occur in an atmosphere of courtesy and deference. And the concept of unedited cablecasting of municipal meeting was compellingly reaffirmed as a right, not a privilege, of citizenship.   —>

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

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

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: