Community Media: Selected Clippings – 06/17/07

Big hang up: Verizon fails to offer users local access
Some subscribers say stations were to be available right away
by Michael Daigle
Daily Record (NJ)

Cable TV subscribers switching to Verizon from their town-licensed provider are losing access to the local, free channel used by the public, educators and local government.  The situation has irked some officials, even though many cable viewers may only occasionally watch the local-only channels.

“We were misled by Verizon,” said Long Hill Mayor George Vitureira. Long Hill has a contract with Patriot Media, which supplies one public access (PEG) channel. But as more township residents sign up for the Verizon service, they do not have a public access channel, he said.

“This is a serious concern,” Vitureira said . “It is our prime outlet for public communication.”  He said the township has posted a notice on the its bulletin board on the “PEG” channel telling residents that the channel will not be available if they subscribe to the Verizon cable service.

Case in point —   When the Passaic River flooded in April, Long Hill officials issued emergency bulletins on the local cable channel to alert residents to the high water and to provide other public safety information. Verizon subscribers never saw them.   —>

Sderot residents tell of living under the threat of Kassem rockets from Gaza (CT)
by Jerry Gordon

My colleagues at Rabbi Rock-the local cable TV access program in Connecticut – filmed an interview Wednesday night at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut with two of the Sderot residents sent to the U.S. under arrangements with the Jewish Agency: Mori Yehudai and Itai Avitan. The Greenwich Connecticut Jewish Federation arranged for them to be heard prior to a talk by featured speaker, Nonie Darwish. They were interviewed at a press conference arranged by the Israel Project in Washington, DC , Friday. Ynet news also has a story out with comments from both of them.

I watched the Rabbi Rock video interview with Mori Yehudai and Itai Avitan and found them credible, arresting and natural, despite the daily horror they have to life through. They and their families have experienced close calls and grieve for friends who were killed by Kassem rockets rained on this community in the Western Negev by Hamas in nearby Beit Hanoun, Gaza.

As Avitan said in the Rabbi Rock interview: Sderot used to be called ‘Israel’s Music Capital’. The rock group Teapack came from there. They competed in the recent Eurovision song festival competition. But as Avitan noted Sderot is now called “the terror infected town’ in Israel. The story of how 21 year old Mori’s home was destroyed after her family escaped to Beersheva on a younger sister’s premonition was most dramatic…

Watch this important video and reach out to support the beleagured citizens of Sderot – families and children – just like your own.  With the Hamas triumph in Gaza just a day following this Rabbi Rock interview, the status of Mori Yehudai and Itai Atilan and thousands of other Sderot residents is further imperiled, as is all of Israel.

I’d like to put in a plug for Rabbi Rock – a tax exempt 501 c3 organization. It needs support for this and other similar programs both with regard to distribution elsewhere in the U.S. and on the Internet. It received limited underwriting support for this riveting production.  If you wish to find out how you can ’sign up’ for Rabbi Rock in your local viewing areas or if you wish to underwrite this and other important programs produced by Rabbi Rock, you may do so by sending inquiries and contributions to:;  rabbirock [at]

Cable station eyes changes
by Nancy Gonter
The Republican (MA)

EASTHAMPTON – The city’s local access cable station is hoping to become a nonprofit organization that is independent of the city.  The City Council’s Rules Subcommittee agreed to support the request from Easthampton Community Access Television to become a nonprofit agency. Last week, the council voted to support the request.

Mayor Michael A. Tautznik said last week he expects he will meet with the board that oversees the local access channels.  While he said he is fine with the agency becoming a non-profit, he said he is concerned about their plans to move the studio out of White Brook Middle School at 200 Park St. into privately owned space because of the cost…

The board hopes to find a location nearer to downtown to allow a broader array of people to access the channels, he said. In the school, the cable station can only be open when the school is open, except when public meetings are televised, he said.

Community Media 2.0
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition

The Spring Issue (Volume 30, Number 1) of Community Media Review is online. The title is “Community Media 2.0” (Download PDF). I’m really looking forward to reading it. Here’s the blurb from the website:

“The ground is shifting beneath us. We are entering a new communications era, an era dubbed by some as ‘web 2.0.’ More content is moving to the internet. ‘On-demand’ media is growing by leaps and bounds. Consumers are spending less time on their couches watching TV and more time on the move with mobile media devices. Anyone with a digital camera can produce and post their own media for a global audience. And, nearly a quarter of the nation’s internet users say they participate in online social networks.

What does all this mean for public access channels and community media centers (CMCs)? This issue of CMR addresses the questions that arise as we shift from our well-worn ‘TV-centric’ (one-to-many) model to a ‘network-centric’ (many-to-many) model of communications and social influence.”


[ On June 14 I clipped a MyDD  post from Matt Stoller questioning comments from FCC Commissioner Adelstein regarding the up-coming 700MHz spectrum auction.  Matt added in an update, “Obsidian Wings has a useful corrective on this post.”  Here’s a clip from that.  – rm ]

Easy There on Adelstein
by publius
Obsidian Wings

Matt Stoller’s heart is in the right place, but I think this attack on FCC Commissioner Adelstein is misplaced. This requires digging into the nitty-gritty of the 700 MHz spectrum auction, so I’ll describe it after the jump for those interested.

As I described earlier, one of the big questions in the upcoming auction is how big the “pie slices” should be. The bigger the blocks are, the better for the big boys. That’s because smaller companies and start-ups can’t afford buying huge chunks of spectrum — largely for the same reason you can’t afford buying huge stretches of beachfront property. I’ll spare you the details, but right now there is one truly massive block being considered by the FCC — the 20 MHz “D” block, which is twice as large as the next largest block being auctioned. (There are other, more complicated proposals that would add 2 more MHz, making it a 22 MHz block.)   —>

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

Explore posts in the same categories: broadband policy, cable vs telco, community media, FCC, media reform, municipal broadband, PEG access TV, public access television, spectrum auction, video franchising

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