Community Media: Selected Clippings – 05/20/07

Putting consumers first
Editorial: Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH)

>   SB 117 is now before the Ohio House, whose members should not be shy about debating its remaining flaws. As it now stands, libraries and schools served by video providers could be left without service after 2012. Those are important institutions that reach nearly everyone. They should be protected by the House.

In addition, video service providers must offer services to at least 30 percent of poor households in their area within five years. That may sound like a lot, but under the old system, most communities required every section of their localities to be covered.

A new law that promises to increase cable competition and lower prices shouldn’t leave Ohio’s poorest residents behind. Keeping the digital highway accessible to as many Ohioans as possible may not interest corporations, but it’s clearly in the public interest. The House should remember that.

2 pols who opposed cable bill say their names were misused
by Judith Davidoff
Capital Times (WI)

A couple of lawmakers were surprised to find their names on a list of Wisconsin residents supportive of a video franchise bill when, in fact, both oppose the legislation.  “Apparently I couldn’t convince myself to vote for the bill,” joked state Rep. Joe Parisi, D-Madison. Parisi was one of 28 state representatives who voted against the measure when it easily passed the state Assembly last week.

State Rep. Sondy Pope Roberts, D-Middleton, also found her name included as a bill supporter in a thick binder submitted to state legislators by TV4US, a coalition of groups led by AT&T working to pass the legislation. She said she made the discovery after a constituent called to say her husband’s name was also erroneously included in the binder.

Noting that none of the names are accompanied by signatures, Pope Roberts said she is now skeptical of the entire binder.   —>

TV mavens offer boffo programs
by Fred Contrada
The Republican (MA)

NORTHAMPTON – Coming soon to your local access television channel: Award-winning works by Northampton High School’s budding video makers.  A group of high school students recently took top honors in several categories of a contest sponsored by the New England Sustainable Energy Association.   —>

Encinitas behind the curve in broadcasting, Webcasting
by Adam Kaye
North County Times (CA)

ENCINITAS — Back in January, when the City Council set its goals for the coming year, one of them was to expand the city’s ability to broadcast public meetings.  The one city on the north coast that does not simulcast its City Council meetings, Encinitas council members asked their staff to bring them information about broadcasting live.

They also asked what it would take to “stream” their proceedings onto the Internet.  “There is absolutely no reason not to,” Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan said last week.  The yearly goal-setting meeting is the first forum at which council members identify programs to include in the budget for the coming fiscal year.

Yet as Encinitas’ operating budget heads to the council for a vote Wednesday, not 1 cent of $53.4 million in projected revenue is earmarked for improving broadcasting or launching “Webcasts” of public meetings.

In Oceanside, Carlsbad, Solana Beach and Del Mar, cable television subscribers can watch live broadcasts of council meetings. Some debates bring residents from their TV rooms directly to the council chambers to testify, sometimes in their bedroom slippers.

That’s a good thing, some Encinitas council members said last week. In interviews, they repeated their call for technological improvements to ease residents’ access to their government.   —>

Hollywood movies adapt YouTube look
by Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

>   Everyone’s a citizen videographer now, and when we see footage shot on a cell phone or a digital camera, we tend to believe it in a way we don’t believe expensive-looking footage. George Holliday’s video of the Rodney King beating, Seung-Hui Cho’s video suicide note and half the cute-animal nonsense on YouTube share one trait in common: They affect the way the culture processes its fictional narratives visually.

Slowly but surely, we see effects of this clip culture in terms of aesthetics.

Audiences may not expect or prefer ragged, documentary-style truth or the surface trappings thereof from a conventional franchise blockbuster such as “Spider-Man 3.” But a pretty strange variety of feature films these days are directed, photographed and edited in such a way as to look like what used to be called “the evening news,” and now can be described broadly — very broadly — as something you’d find on YouTube.

In “28 Weeks Later,” Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo captures a bleak zombie menace with frenzied hand-held camerawork and a visceral sense of pure chaos. In “Children of Men,” a commercial flop that created, rightly, a rabid cult following, the Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron blends documentary realism with some astoundingly intricate long takes.

To his excellent film “United 93,” English director Paul Greengrass brought the techniques and immediacy of a documentary shot under the most pressurized circumstances imaginable. The whole thing felt like amateur video capturing a crisis unfolding.   —>,0,1620302.story?coll=mmx-movies_heds

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

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

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