Community Media: Selected Clippings – 05/04/07

State to franchise cable TV; Boca doesn’t like it
Boca Raton News (FL)
by Dale M. King

After spending years working on a master ordinance to regulate cable television franchises, it appears Boca Raton will have to put that law on the shelf. Deputy City Manager George S. Brown told the Federation of Boca Raton Homeowner Associations this week that the House and Senate have both passed a bill that will give the state power to approve cable franchises.

“The city is against it,” said Brown, since it diminishes what the community can do within its own borders – commonly known as “home rule.” Brown said the city actually wants competition among cable TV providers, and hopes the state takeover of franchising will do it. But he said Boca Raton has been trying to woo AT & T (as Bell South) to come into the city’s cable market. “They are interested in going into several parts of the state, but not Boca,” he said. —>

Would AT&T offer consumers low cable rates?
by Dr. E. Faye Williams
Letter to the Editor – Daily News Journal (TN)

Your recent letter “Comcast needs stiff competition from AT&T” (April 2) seemed to give some dubious credibility to the telephone companies’ push for legislation that repeals local franchising rules — the very rules which have ensured the near universal deployment of broadband technologies in Tennessee, from Nashville to Petersburg.

Indeed, both the president and the Democratic congressional leadership have enunciated goals of universal deployment of broadband technologies, goals the civil rights community shares. This is particularly important, given the need for our nation to remain globally competitive, nurture young entrepreneurs, and promote a ladder of opportunity for all.

The local franchise rules are one of America’s only national broadband policies — one which some are now seeking to vilify.

Far from deterring competition, local franchises have fostered competition and easily welcome new entrants, such as phone companies seeking to be the fourth or fifth video provider in most markets. Companies frequently admit to Wall Street that they are “very successful now in getting franchising. So we don’t see that as an issue.”

Finally, don’t hold your breath waiting for dramatic price cuts as a result of telephone entry into a competitive cable marketplace. Bell executives admit — and nearly every expert agrees — that they will not engage in a price war with cable companies. With a policy likely to result in less investment and few price cuts — what is in it for consumers?

Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.
National Chair, National Congress of Black Women
Board Member, Broadband Everywhere

Council agrees to oppose cable regulation bill
by Sam Shawver
Maritta Times (OH)

Following some discussion, Marietta’s City Council on Thursday adopted a resolution opposing a bill in the Ohio Senate that provides for state regulation of local cable franchises. —>

Lawmakers head to Vegas for cable TV conference
by Kurt Erickson
Pantagraph (IL)

SPRINGFIELD — It’s a weekend in Las Vegas for some Illinois lawmakers. With just a month left in the legislative session, an estimated 12 to 14 members of the Illinois House and Senate are spending the next couple of days at a trade show for the cable television industry. The three-day, expenses-paid junket comes as the cable industry is fighting an attempt by telephone giant AT&T to change state law in a high-stakes battle for the eyes and wallets of television viewers. —>

Phone sale meets static
by Mike Gleason
Bennington Banner (VT)

Vermonters voiced dissatisfaction during a Public Service Board hearing about the proposed sale of Verizon’s local telephone and Internet assets to FairPoint Communications… The hearing Thursday night was held through Vermont Interactive Television at 11 locations, including Bennington and Montpelier. —>

No debate: Obama, Edwards, GOP bloggers support free access to footage
by Nate Anderson
Ars Technica

Who knew so many people actually cared about early-stage presidential debates? The Internet has officially graduated from “abuzz” to “atwitter” over the issue as a new group of politicians and bloggers came out in favor of making the debate video available through a Creative Commons attribution license.

The issue caught fire after MSNBC’s debate contract emerged, and the American public learned that the network was prohibiting all Internet redistribution and was also trying to control use of the footage by other television networks. Even before the contract details leaked, however, Lawrence Lessig of Stanford spearheaded a letter campaign directed at the Democratic and Republican National Committees. The goal is to get all the debate footage freely available for linking and remixing under either a Creative Commons license or as a public domain release.

New on the list of supporters is Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), whose letter to the DNC points out that the request does nothing to change copyright law. “The letter does not propose some radical change in copyright law, or an unjustified expansion in ‘fair use’,” says the letter. “Instead, it simply asks that any purported copyright owner of video from the debates waive that copyright.” John Edwards also sent a letter, as did Republican bloggers like Matt Margolis, who heads up “Blogs for Bush.”

Access Sac now streaming
by Sam McManis
Sacramento Bee (CA)

We could’ve begun this posting with a really lame “Wayne’s World” reference, but instead, we’ll just tell you that our local community-access TV station, Access Sacramento, has started streaming its programming online. Check out the programming on Channel 17 here. On the site, you can also get the times for some of Channel 17’s most popular shows -“Live Wire,” “Hometown TV,” “High School and College Game of the Week” and, of course, “Media Edge.”

FCC chairman champions wireless broadband access
Upcoming spectrum auction viewed as opportunity
by Paul Krill
Info World

Broadband has been deemed the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) top priority, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said at Microsoft offices in Mountain View, Calif., on Thursday. Appearing at a meeting of the Churchill Club, Martin touched on subjects ranging from broadband and the upcoming sale of frequencies in the 700MHz spectrum. He also delved into ideas on how to make cable TV more affordable and help spread digital TV.

Martin emphasized wireless broadband as a way to spread Internet access. “I think broadband is the number one priority for the commission and the additional deployment of it,” said Martin. Broadband technology can drive economic growth and impacts areas such as health care delivery and education, he said. The FCC has done work to try to foster additional infrastructure investment and some increased competition in broadband, he said. —>

Community Building and Citizen Journalism Course at UM
by Alex de Carvalhlo
Linked Discussions Connected Thoughts (FL)

I have been asked to prepare a course on Social Media for the University of Miami and have developed the following outline. Enrollment is now open, please let me know if you have any questions or topics you would like to see covered. I may be reached at alex [at] decarvalho [dot] net. If you know someone who would be interested in this class, please let them know about it or contact me.

School of Communication, University of Miami
Course CVJ 596 – Fall Semester 2007
The Web, Take 2: online expression, community building and citizen journalism

Course Description and Purpose

This course covers the implications of new media technologies on communities and on the media. Through the practice of online publishing, the course will explore the social and cultural dimensions of the new media landscape including online expression, social networking, identity management, citizen journalism and community-building.

Communities thrive through the passion and shared interest of their members, and we will learn from case studies and invited speakers, new effective strategies and applications that help foster these interests. Students will critically engage contemporary writings in social, cultural and online studies. Required readings expose students to current readings in cyberspace scholarship, and provide a base from which to explore their own interests. Lectures by the instructor resituate these readings in terms of broader sociological concerns and specific examples and case-studies of emerging technologies and media.

Course Prerequisites

The class is open to students from all schools at UM and there are no prerequisites for this class. Preference will be given to students with an interest in media development.

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

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, citizen journalism, community media, election programming, fair use, FCC, PEG access TV, public access television, redlining, social media, video franchising

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