Community Media: Selected Clippings – 05/23/07

Save Access

The state video legislation in your state is moving fast, please take a moment to take action!
There are a couple of actions people can take (Wisconsin residents only).

1) Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-362-9472 and register AGAINST the Video Competition Act (Assembly Bill 207/Senate Bill 107). Tell them you support PEG access.

2) Sign the petition at:

The bill has been amended but not enough to protect PEG and to save taxpayers the cost of creating a new (and largely toothless) system of handling consumer complaints. AT&T is lobbying aggressively and deceptively for this “astroturf” legislation.

Please forward this widely!

Organizations to Contact:
Save Access Wisconsin; Wisconsin Association of PEG Channels

AT&T cable bill clears Senate Commerce Committee
by R. Neal
KnoxViews (TN)

> There was some drama involving e-mails, high-profile lobbyists, and an exchange between an AT&T lobbyist and Sen. Tim Burchett (R-Knoxville), who objected to being called an “obstructionist.” He voted against the bill in the committee.

One amendment would establish a new cable control board with representatives from local governments in addition to state officials. The original proposal would have put cable franchises under control of the Tennessee Regulatory Agency.

The bill cleared the committee by a vote of 6-3. Voting for the bill were Senators Beavers, Bunch, Crutchfield, Southerland, Stanley, and Wilder. Voting against were Senators Burchett, Burks, and Tate. The House Commerce Committee deferred action again. It has previously cleared the House Utilities, Banking, and Small Business sub-committee.

The KNS has another editorial today with what sounds like a lukewarm endorsement of the AT&T proposal in order to promote more broadband access. We agree with the KNS on expanding broadband access. We wonder if this bill will actually do that (see links below for background). —>

Cable bill passes committee
Burchett fires back over attacks on him; votes no
by Tom Humphrey
Knox News (TN)

NASHVILLE – After months of debate, legislation to authorize statewide cable television franchises in Tennessee cleared a major committee hurdle Tuesday in the state Senate without a compromise amendment pushed in the House.

The Senate Commerce Committee approved the Competitive Cable and Video Services Act on a 6-3 vote at the end of a meeting that began with Sen. Tim Burchett, R-Knoxville, berating proponents for what he characterized as unfair attacks on him. Burchett was one of the three no votes, though he said he had been reconsidering his opposition to the bill until criticized last week by FreedomWorks and its chairman, former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey. —>,1406,KNS_376_5550121,00.html

MASSACHUSETTS ALERT: 10 To Do’s in 10 Days
Save Access

Mobilizing Your Community Against the Verizon Bill
In Time for the June 5th Hearing at the State House
Massachusetts Senate Bill No. 1975, House Bill No. 3385…

May 24
Get in touch with your local elected officials and urge them to
vocally oppose Verizon’s statewide franchising bill and pass a
resolution opposing it! Fax the attached handout called “Top 10
Reasons to Oppose the Verizon Bill” to your local elected officials, and
then follow up with a phone call. Get them to pass a resolution at their
next meeting opposing the Verizon bill. For sample resolutions, go to and click on the “Locals Take Action”
link at the top of the page. Finally, ask your local elected officials if
they will come to the June 5th Public Hearing and speak out against
the bill.

May 25
Write letters of opposition to the editors of your local newspaper
and to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Worcester Telegram,
and other regional newspapers, and cc: your state legislators.
If you need help crafting your letter, sample letters are available at the link listed under May 24th.

May 26-28
Relax and enjoy the Memorial Day weekend! Save up your
energy for the big push during the final full week before the
Public Hearing. —>
Al Gore: Net Neutrality the Key to a Better Democracy
by Tim Karr
Save the Internet

Former Vice President Al Gore extols the virtues of Net Neutrality in his newly released book “The Assault on Reason,” writing “neutrality should be the central tenet that will set us on a path toward an open, democratic Internet where free speech and free markets are encouraged.”

Gore applauds the grassroots efforts of the Coalition, whose many supporters used the Internet to save the Internet: “When the first skirmishes over net neutrality were fought in 2006, many in the Internet community who agree with the point of view I share mobilized and used the tools they had available on the Internet to defend its independence.” —>

Four experts to discuss how changes in news affects community on May 24 at Springfield library
Submitted by Bill Densmore
New England News Forum

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Sweeping changes in the technology and economics of news that create new opportunities for building community are the topic when the New England News Forum holds first Western New England “Civic News Library Listening Series” event Thurs., May 24 at the Springfield City Library, 220 State Street.

The 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. event is free and public and will include a Q&A session during which the audience can share ideas and initiatives at local community building. The session is entitled: “Restoring Media Trust: The News Revolution — What Does It Mean to Your Community?”

Among expert speakers will be James Boylan, founding editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, Heather Brandon, author of the “Urban Compass” blog that highlights Springfield, Pulitzer Prize-winner writer Madeleine Blais of the UMass Amherst journalism program and Larry McDermott, publisher of The Republican, Springfield’s daily newspaper.

“Our Civic News Library Listening Series puts media experts together with active citizens for directed discussion and informal dialogue,” says Bill Densmore, director of the News Forum. “With blogging, citizens news gathers and the emergence of simple video and audio tools, the lines between commercial journalism and citizen activism are blurring. We’re helping define the new relationships.” The Civic News Library Listening Series, which begins with a similar event May 17 at the Boston Public Library, is supported by a grant from the Massachusetts Foundation on the Humanities. The New England News Forum is supported by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. —>

Local TV producer receives honor
by David Laurell
Burbank Leader

Peter Musurlian, who serves as the station manager and senior producer of BTV6, Burbank’s government access channel, was honored Friday night by the Burbank Chapter of the Armenian National Committee for his leadership and support of the Armenian community.

Vicky Marashlian chaired the event that also honored Burbank Police Chief Tom Hoefel and adventurist Garo Hovassapian, who recently climbed to the summit of Mt. Ararat. Staged at the La Bella Banquet Hall, the evening served as an opportunity for the Burbank Armenian National Committee to honor their supporters, review the work they have done over the past year and lay out their agenda for the future.

Musurlian, one of the most recognizable faces in our community due largely to his role as the affable host of the award-winning program “Burbank Magazine,” provided two years of leadership as the chairmanship of the Burbank committee before passing on the gavel to Arbi Ohanian in 2006.

For his service, Musurlian was presented with the organization’s Vahan Cardashian Award that is given in honor of the man who established the American Committee for an Independent Armenia, the predecessor of the ANC.

While it is BTV6 that has given Musurlian his celebrity status in Burbank, residents may be surprised to know of his multi-faceted life that reaches far beyond the editing rooms of Channel 6. —>

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

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, citizen journalism, net neutrality, PEG access TV, public access television, Uncategorized, video franchising

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