Archive for August 2007

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 08/31/07

August 31, 2007

Letter: Show Your Support For Public Access
by Howard Troxler
TroxBlog (FL)
08/31/07

Here’s a letter asking for public opposition to the decision by Pinellas County to eliminate public-access cable programming as part of its budget cuts (while keeping the government’s own channel intact, of course):

Pinellas Community Television (PCTV) is declaring Tuesday, September 4 as Freedom of Speech Day in
Pinellas County. We are encouraging everyone who cares about Freedom of Speech to dress in their best  RED WHITE and BLUE  outfits (and/or wear pins, flag ties, flags!) and show up at the Pinellas County Commissioner’s Meeting on the fifth-floor in the Assembly Room of the Pinellas County Courthouse to speak up by showing up to save Access Pinellas at 6:30, Tuesday, September 4.

We must get the word out ! Without a strong showing we feel the cause is lost. It may be already, but we are going to show our colors of freedom and let them know they too should hold precious our freedom of speech avenues of expression . We have given them several alternative plans that will not cost nearly as much money. We just want to keep our station and our access. — Michael Bagby
http://blogs.tampabay.com/troxler/2007/08/letter-show-you.html
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Losing Mass telecast symptomatic of system
Letter to the Editor by Bob Demers
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel (ME)
08/31/07

As a St. Michael parishioner, I, too, regret the loss of the telecast of the Sunday Mass (article, Aug. 24). However, it’s important to understand that Channel 9 is a commercial cable television station operated by Time Warner solely for profit. Pricing community access off the air is, as Time Warner spokesperson Peter Dewitt says, “… a matter … of recouping overtime and production costs…” Unless Time Warner is convinced that it is in their best fiscal interests to televise local events for free, nothing will come of complaining. Altruism is not in their corporate vocabulary.

Eleven years ago, Gardiner had an opportunity to establish a free community access cable television channel as part of its franchise agreement with the cable company. Lack of interest on the part of the community and City Hall lost that opportunity in 1996. That agreement expired more than a year ago and Gardiner has yet to start negotiating a new agreement.

These negotiations provide the mechanism by which free community access television is established. With the informed support of community organizations and area individuals, including St. Michael parishioners, there may yet be an opportunity to make local events freely accessible to our residents via cable TV. In any event, we’ll get what we deserve.

There is much more to this issue than can be communicated in 250 words or less. A close perusal of http://www.catvis.us would be a good place to begin learning more about the cable access situation here in central Maine.
http://kennebecjournal.mainetoday.com/view/letters/4231181.html
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Athens Township: State could take over local cable franchise agreements
by Warren Howeler
Evening Times (PA)
08/30/07

ATHENS TOWNSHIP – The Athens Township Supervisors this week approved a 10 year renewal of the municipality’s franchise agreement with Time Warner Cable and it could end up being the last such agreement that the township has with its local cable company.  That’s because Pennsylvania lawmakers are currently looking at implementing legislation that would bring those local franchises under the control of the commonwealth, according to David Whalen, vice president of Time Warner Cable’s public and government relations.   —>
http://www.eveningtimes.com/articles/2007/08/31/news/news2.txt
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Candidate wants forum on township TV channel
by Kara Fitzpatrick
Bucks County Courier Times (PA)
08/31/07

The debate hasn’t even begun but the candidates for the Northampton board of supervisors already are sparring over whether an upcoming forum should be televised on the township’s public access channel.  The candidates forum, which is sponsored by the Northampton Township Business and Professional Association, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at the township building, 55 Township Road.

Democratic candidate Frank Rothermel, who is running for one of two available seats on the five-member board, said he’d like to see the forum aired on the municipal access channel instead of the minimal exposure it gets on a county-wide public service channel. But, he said, the township supervisors have denied his request, as they did when he ran in 2005.  Incumbent Republican and township Supervisor James Kinney said a political debate doesn’t have a place on a channel that is supposed to be strictly for communication about municipal information.   —>
http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/111-08312007-1400460.html
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Arlington Community Access Television: through Sept. 5
by Bob Sprague
YourArlington.com (MA)
08/31/07

Programs on Arlington Community Access Television through Wednesday, Sept. 5, follow. Channels reported are for Comcast and RCN. Verizon access channels (24, 26 and 31) appear to be ready, and the schedule for those channels is expected after Sept. 5   —>
http://www.yourarlington.com/joomla/content/view/493/2/
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Felicidades! WYCE Celebrates 20+ years of El Mundo Musical
Community Media Center (MI)
08/31/07

This fall, WYCE is celebrating 20 years of programming in our current format. Technically the station first went on the air in 1983. And the first person on the mic was the very same person who is first on the mic today: Oscar Zuniga, six days a week, hosting “El Mundo Musical”, our Spanish-language music show.
http://www.grcmc.org/about/news.php?news_item_id=175
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Nevada County Local and World news brought to you by Grass Valley Television and anchored by Buck Stoval and Randy Hansen (CA)

This Project is also shown on NCTV Public Access Nevada County Channel 11 through Comcast.  Also you can receive podcast through Apple Itunes just search (gvtv news).
http://blip.tv/file/359827
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New Web Sites Aim for TV Experience
by Jake Coyle
SFGate
08/31/07

Watching video online in small, fuzzy boxes is heading the way of rabbit ears.  Some highly anticipated Web sites are being modeled on making the experience of watching video online more like watching television. These sites rely on software that enlarges the interface so that it fills your computer screen — from edge to edge.

This new wave of applications is led by Joost and includes VeohTV and Babelgum. Though all are in beta (testing) phases, the hype has been mounting — leading many to claim the next big advance in online video is imminent.   —>
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/08/30/entertainment/e140130D26.DTL&hw=tv&sn=001&sc=1000
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 08/30/07

August 30, 2007

Candidates get free air time
by Colby Frazier
Daily Sound (CA)
08/30/07

Whether a Santa Barbara City Council candidate is flush with cash or not this year, each of the eight hopefuls will have the opportunity to reach the public with a three-minute spot broadcast on public access television in the lead up to the Nov. 6 election. The cost? Free.

It’s all part of the City Council’s effort to reform municipal elections and take the money card out of the deck. “You’re always trying to take the idea of money out of the campaign,” said Councilman Brian Barnwell, who is up for reelection and filmed his three-minute spot on Tuesday. “You don’t want somebody winning just because they have money.”

All of the spots were filmed in The Santa Barbara Channels studio with an American flag and Santa Barbara City flag as a backdrop. With the camera fixed on the candidates from the shoulders up, each one read their message from cue cards, or in the case of Frank Hotchkiss, had it memorized. The format appeared to be simple, crisp and clear. At least that’s the message Hap Freund, executive director of The Santa Barbara Channels hopes to get across. —>
http://sbdailysound.blogspot.com/2007/08/candidates-get-free-air-time.html
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Athens supervisors renew cable station
by Todd Rogers
Daily Review (PA)
08/30/07

ATHENS TOWNSHIP – After hearing from spokesman Dave Waylan, Athens Township Supervisors approved the renewal of Time Warner Cable’s Head End Station at Roundtop Park for now. Waylan said in the public hearing Wednesday night that whatever the outcome of the vote is, the rights to the cable franchise may become extinct. “We expect within two-years there will be a statewide cable franchise for Pennsylvania and that will circumvent all the local franchising.” —>
http://www.thedailyreview.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18764320&BRD=2276&PAG=461&dept_id=465049&rfi=6
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Board OKs new cable contract
by Patrick Anderson
Daily News (MA)
08/30/07

DEDHAM – Selectmen last night approved a new 10-year cable provider’s license with Comcast, ending a contentious negotiation between the two that began in early 2005. The pact clears the way for the debut of Dedham Public Television, the town’s new independent community programming network. Selectman Marie-Louise Kehoe, who led the town’s negotiating team, said terms of the deal were similar to a contract signed with telecommunications giant Verizon in November, but had required a lot more effort to reach. “I have participated in enough negotiations over the years to learn that two parties can disagree without being disagreeable,” Kehoe said. “Negotiations with Comcast have not been pleasant.”

Kehoe said like Verizon, Comcast had agreed to pay the town 50 cents for each subscriber or no more than 5 percent of the gross annual revenue generated for the company in the town. Comcast has also agreed to pay the town $225,000 to support the Dedham Visionary Access Corp., which runs Dedham Public Television. In Comcast’s previous contract, the company was responsible for running local cable access programming. But after Verizon applied to become the town’s third cable provider last year, Comcast announced it would rather transfer responsibility for programming to the town. —>
http://www.dailynewstranscript.com/homepage/x18200135
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Opening Up 2155-2175 for MuniFi?
Daily Wireless
08/30/07

ArsTechnica notes that a pair of last-minute FCC filings from both Google and the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC) have just weighed in on whether the agency should support M2Z Networks’ plan for nationwide broadband access. < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s_Sv0gngEc >
The Public Interest Spectrum Coalition filing to the FCC says: —>
http://www.dailywireless.org/2007/08/30/opening-up-2155-2175-for-munifi/
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Video ‘Competition’ In Ohio Begins To Spark Complaints
by Andy in Media and Democracy
Uncommon Sense
08/29/07

Seems that some towns in Ohio are starting to receive a number of complaints from residents regarding AT&T’s solicitors. Here is a letter from one Ohio resident to their local municipal officials regarding rude and pushy behavior on the part of AT&T employees:

“On Saturday a representative from AT&T came to my door stating they will be doing fiber optic upgrades to certain homes in the area and it will require their service people have access to my home for 6 to 8 hours. For the inconvenience they will give me a month free access to fiber optic TV. She was insistent as to when they can come in to do this work, as if this is mandatory and I have no say in this matter.

“It seems obvious to me this is a sales pitch to use their TV system while under the guise of updating the telephone system. The rep stated only certain homes would be offered this and seemed to be put out by my questions and that I would get back to her. Does the city sanction this action? This is clearly a scheme to be hooked up to their TV networking while making one believe the phone system requires the updating.” —>
http://www.ustvmedia.org/media-and-democracy/2007/08/29/video-competition-in-ohio-begins-to-spark-complaints/
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AT&T Must Face Justice for Illegal Spying
NSA Surveillance Comes Under Fire Today in Appeals Court Battle
Electronic Frontier Foundation
08/15/07

San Francisco – In a packed San Francisco courtroom today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to allow AT&T customers to continue to fight against illegal spying on their telephone and Internet communications. EFF is representing the plaintiffs in Hepting v. AT&T, a class-action lawsuit brought by AT&T customers accusing the giant telco of violating their rights by illegally assisting the National Security Agency in domestic surveillance. The U.S. government is fighting to get the class-action lawsuit thrown out of court, contending that the litigation jeopardizes state secrets.

“The courts cannot permit the government to evade responsibility for unconstitutional activities with thin claims of ‘state secrets.’ Without judicial review, there is no way to stop abuses of power,” said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. “The courts are well equipped to protect state secrets while determining whether the spying is illegal and if so, to put a stop to it.” “In trying to shut down this case, the government is hoping to avoid accountability for spying on millions of AT&T customers,” said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. “Our system of checks and balances is supposed to thwart abuses of power. The White House is trying to wiggle out of those checks by taking the courts out of the picture.” —>
http://www.eff.org/news/archives/2007_08.php
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Recasting the Web
Information commons to cash cow
by Karen Charman
Fairness and Accuracy in Media
08/30/07

If the Bush administration lets large media conglomerates and local telephone companies have their way, the Internet as we know it—that free-flowing, democratic, uncensored information superhighway—could soon be a thing of the past.

The Internet itself is not going away. Rather, technological advances, changes to the rules governing its use and the continued consolidation of media empires are combining to turn it into a conduit of commerce, booby-trapped with barriers and incentives designed to keep users where dollars can be wrung from them. As a result, a lot of freely accessible information and websites may become difficult or impossible to connect to—hindering the efforts of those posting that information to reach others. —>
http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1116
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A community is only as strong as its ethnic media
by Ray Hanania
Mideast Youth
08/29/07

In the United States, you measure the strength and effectiveness of an ethnic community by the quality and “presence” of its ethnic American newspapers. The more newspapers that exist and the more of them that reflect professional journalism, the stronger the ethnic community. The fewer the newspapers and the more the newspapers reflect divisions and political infighting, the weaker the community.

In the Arab American community, there are about 79 newspapers including 11 magazines. I would say about half are professionally done, created by individuals who have some or extensive experience in professional journalism. Some of the others are “cut-and-paste” products manufactured by business people with no experience in journalism or political activists who file down the essence of journalism principle to advocate their issues. That’s not journalism, but that’s what we often have, folks. Which are the best Arab American newspapers in America? Here are just a few: —>
http://www.mideastyouth.com/2007/08/29/a-community-is-only-as-strong-as-its-ethnic-media/
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http:/peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 08/29/07

August 29, 2007

TV station tour meant to raise awareness of funding woes
by Regan McTarsney
Columbia Missourian
08/28/07

In order to plead their case for funding, Columbia Access Television volunteers gave Columbia City Council members Jerry Wade, Karl Skala and Barbara Hoppe a tour of their facility on Tuesday night. The council is set to vote next week on a drafted ordinance that may determine Columbia Access Television (CAT TV) funding.  Beth Pike, a member of the Columbia Cable Task Force, showed the council members the aging audio and video equipment — some of which dates back as far as the 1950s — and the potential for growth within CAT TV’s spacious Stephens College facilities.

“They really had some foresight when they built this, but unfortunately the equipment is outdated,” Pike told the council members.  Pike said that if CAT TV is able to expand its resources, there could be possibility for growth in partnerships with local schools.  “Before you can develop partnerships you need to update your studio,” councilman Skala said in agreement.

CAT TV has been surviving on $30,000 a year from Mediacom since its inception in 2004. Because CAT TV is still waiting for an installment of $10,000 from May, the station is down to its last $2,000.  “Right now, I figure we can last for about a month, and then I guess we’ll go off,” CAT TV treasurer Steve Hudnell said.   —>
http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2007/08/28/tv-station-tour-meant-raise-awareness-funding-woes/
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Struggling access channel makes plea for help
by T.J. Greaney
Columbia Tribune (MO)
08/29/07

The clock is ticking on public access television in Columbia. Without help from city hall, televisions tuned to Columbia Access Television will go black in October.  Supporters sought to tilt opinion in their favor last night by offering a tour of the studios where they operate free of charge at Stephens College. Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala, Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Wade and Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe took the tour, which was offered to all Columbia City Council members.

The council will hear a first reading Tuesday of an ordinance to increase the cable “franchise fee” from 3 percent to 5 percent. The fee is money paid by cable companies for use of public rights of way. If Mediacom chooses to pass the hike on to customers, it would amount to an extra $1 on a $50.

CAT TV said it needs about $600,000 in startup money and $250,000 annually for maintenance and full-time staff. The increased franchise fee would generate an estimated $334,000 each year. CAT TV also will ask the council for special funding in next year’s budget to stay on the air.

Council members on the tour seemed more interested in offering a helping hand than a constant funding stream. “In essence, this would be seed money so you can get other sponsors interested in this. If you have a successful product and people see there’s interest in the product, people will be more likely to chip in,” Skala said.

The money would be exponentially more than CAT TV now receives from Mediacom each year. The cable giant has fallen behind on its payments, CAT TV personnel said, and still owes $10,000 from May.  “Mediacom really just wanted you to go away, and you didn’t,” Skala said.  A message left for Mediacom yesterday was not returned.

If the franchise fee is approved, though, others have designs on the money. Columbia’s other two public cable channels, for education and government, have both expressed interest.    —>
http://www.columbiatribune.com/2007/Aug/20070829News002.asp
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Local access shows moving
Bright House to put school, government channels on digital tier
by Sylvia Lim
Bradenton Herald (FL)
08/29/07

Come Dec. 11, Bright House Networks basic cable customers won’t be able to catch school board or county commission meetings on TV anymore.  The company decided to move its government access channels to a digital tier, said Joe Durkin, a Bright House spokesman.  That means cable customers have to obtain a digital converter box for $6.95 monthly to view any local government channels, such as Manatee Government Access and Manatee Education Television, Durkin said. MGA can be viewed on Bright House Channel 20 and METV on 21.

Manatee officials are worried Brighthouse’s decision will limit constituents’ knowledge about the workings of local governments.  “I think it’s unfortunate,” said Amy Stein, Manatee County Commission chairman. “I think that the government access TV and education TV are real public service.   —>
http://www.bradenton.com/local/story/132857.html
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A Tale of Two Cities
SavetheInternet,com
08/29/07

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  And when it comes to broadband, Tokyo is a long way from Little Rock.

The Japanese enjoy broadband speeds that are up to 30 times faster than what’s available here at a far lower cost. This faster, cheaper, universal broadband access – according to an excellent article in today’s Washington Post – “is pushing open doors to Internet innovation that are likely to remain closed for years to come in much of the United States.”  To the Japanese, our “high-speed” Internet service doesn’t look much different from dial-up:

“The speed advantage allows the Japanese to watch broadcast-quality, full-screen television over the Internet, an experience that mocks the grainy, wallet-size images Americans endure.  Ultra-high-speed applications are being rolled out for low-cost, high-definition teleconferencing, for telemedicine — which allows urban doctors to diagnose diseases from a distance — and for advanced telecommuting to help Japan meet its goal of doubling the number of people who work from home by 2010.”

Open Secrets – What’s the secret of Japan’s success? Open access.

Less than a decade ago, DSL service in Japan was slower and pricier than in the United States. So the Japanese government mandated open access policies that forced the telephone monopoly to share its wires at wholesale rates with new competitors. The result: a broadband explosion.  Not only did DSL get faster and cheaper in Japan, but the new competition actually forced the creaky old phone monopoly to innovate. As the Post explains: —>
http://www.savetheinternet.com/blog/2007/08/29/a-tale-of-two-cities/
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Burlington Telecom
by Dean Corren
The Prog Blog (MA)
08/29/07

Today was an exciting day. I got to sign up for telecommunications service with my city’s own provider – Burlington Telecom.  My wait had been just under two decades.  What took so long? In 1988, when I was appointed to the Burlington Electric Commission, I had missed the city’s consideration of whether to provide its own cable TV service. While Mayor Bernie Sanders had been clear on the need for local public control, the City Council had been divided and uncertain, and had looked to the electric commission.   —>
http://www.progressiveparty.org/blog/?p=190
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Schenectady City Council Committees Meetings
by Pat Zollinger
pat-zollinger.us (NY)
08/28/07

Last spring the Schenectady City Council voted on legislation that would have moved their committee meetings up to room 209 in City Hall so they could easily be videotaped and broadcast on our public access channel. With Council President Mark Blanchfield absent, the council members voted 3-3 on this legislation, causing it to fail.

The legislation was to be a pilot of sorts, where the summertime council committees meetings would be videotaped and a later decision would be made as to its continuance. Currently members of the community have to go in person to these meetings, to see and hear how our elected city council does its business. But that can be difficult for many of our seniors, for working people because of the time and for the disabled because of the room itself.

But a pilot of sorts did occur over the summer, and will continue as long as necessary so that the people of our community can see these council committees meetings on both SACC-TV 16 and the Internet. I along with Mr. Devin Harrison of Schenectady have provided this through videotaping and Internet accessibility and SACC-TV puts it on the air. The four committees meetings held in July and August have been aired and are on the Internet at Schenectady U-TV at http://sutv.iamdooser.org   —>
http://patzollinger.us/blog/?p=6
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Public Access TV moves
by Kathleen Kirwin
Westford Eagle (MA)
08/29/07

It’s lights, camera, action at Westford Public Access TV’s new home at 487 Groton Road.  The new studio is a welcomed change from the old studio cramped inside Nashoba Valley Technical High School.  “Here there is so much more room and we are more accessible to the public,” said Erica Davidson, member of the Westford public access committee.   —>
http://www.townonline.com/westford/homepage/x1846589386
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Greater Ossining TV Seeks New Home
by Westchester.com (NY)
08/29/07

Greater Ossining Television (GO-TV), the community’s public access TV station, is facing the possibility of becoming homeless in just another four months.  The lease at its current location at Ossining High School is set to expire on December 31, 2007.  An agreement between the school and GO-TV has allowed the station to operate a small studio rent-free for the past 10 years, in exchange for sharing some of its equipment with the school.   —>
http://westchester.com/Westchester_News/Entertainment/Greater_Ossining_TV_Seeks_New_Home_200708298266.html
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A demanding audience: On-demand TV breaking records in state
by Bill Hutchens
The News Tribune (WA)
08/24/07

In this age of instant information and gratification, many businesses understand that if customers can’t immediately get what they want they might move on.  The old “delivery may take six to eight weeks” advisory is almost unthinkable now that even next-day delivery from Amazon can seem to take too long. We want what we want, and we want it now.  So it is with television.

Local cable companies are seeing exponential growth in the usage of their “on-demand” services. Since the introduction of on-demand TV in Washington three years ago, viewers have ordered more than a quarter of a billion programs from Comcast, according to company records.  Included among the nearly 200 million orders of free video entertainment programs provided by the state’s largest cable company are hundreds of popular local features, said Comcast spokeswoman Shauna Causey.

And Mitch Robinson, spokesperson for Click! Network, said the Tacoma-run TV utility is committed to providing free local programming with its Video on Demand service.  Local features are produced by Comcast’s team of videographers in Puyallup and Click!’s community partners. To view them, cable subscribers select the “Get Local” button from the on-demand menu to watch high school sporting events, community festivals, local band spotlights, spelling bees, destruction derbies and more.   —>
http://www.thenewstribune.com/soundlife/story/140194.html
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Worldwide community media, at your local blog
by Bree Bowman
Center for Social Media
08/29/07

The venerable, but never less than edgy, grassroots media organization Deep Dish TV has launched a blog where you can find out about edgy, improbable and grassroots media worldwide: http://www.deepdishwavesofchange.blogspot.com.  Its task: to “celebrate the energy and success of community expression, but also look at problems of sustainability, difficult interactions with political power, stressful lives of volunteers, and the ever-present potential of co-optation by commercial interests. You can read today about South African kids’ comics and Mexican indigenous radio. Tomorrow? Winds of Change’s guru is DeeDee Halleck, author of Hand-Held Visions, a book that serves as a record of a life filled with exuberant grassroots experiments.
http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/blogs/future_of_public_media/worldwide_community_media/
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Media Giraffe – Journalism That Matters 2007: DC
Our Group  “After Action Report”
by Cho
ePluribus Media
08/29/07

After the 7 of us who went to the Media Giraffe Journalism That Matters sessions got home from our DC trip, we did an email round robin of the highlights and the low points of the two days.  Our aim was to grab our impressions for a sort of “After Action Report” for all of you with an eye toward:

* proving background information to any one planning to future events
* articulating the take-aways so that we can, in business speak, make them “actionable” — basically, be able to take some actions with what we learned
* identifying good things to do and bad things to avoid

Ilona Meagher, who has attended all three of the Media Giraffe symposiums, suggested that the vibe of this one was different, most likely because of the sheer number of participants (160 in DC as opposed to 50ish in Memphis).  The email exchange was so rich, with so many intriguing insights, I found it hard to pull together as I didn’t want to leave anything out.  So without further ado, as the cliché goes, here’s my maladroit gleaming from our discussions.   —>
http://scoop.epluribusmedia.org/story/2007/8/27/10182/8682
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Batavia’s broadcaster ready for school year
by Jimmy Gordon
Batavia Republican (IL)
08/29/07

—>   In addition to being a voice for Batavia’s 2nd Ward, Wolff is the voice behind the microphone of Batavia’s private access television production, channels 10 and 17.  “There are so many citizens that think public access television is simply an avenue to record and broadcast the typical monthly board meetings held at various places around town,” he said.  In fact, with enrollment in a 90-minute class citizens are allowed to use the public access channels for just about anything one might want to promote. Though most material is welcome, it is sports that take the top shelf. It’s a great tool for coaches to use while reviewing recent games for errors and future strategies, Wolff said.   —>
http://www.chicagosuburbannews.com/batavia/homepage/x1136425330
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 08/28/07

August 28, 2007

WIMN’s Voices: A Group Blog on Women, Media, AND…
Conversation with an Independent Video Mentor: Part Two
by Stephanie Mackley
WIMN – Women in Media & News
08/28/07

In this conversation, Jeanne and I talk about how independent video and Public Access Television can change our local communities and why women can enjoy a unique freedom in the video world.   —>
http://www.wimnonline.org/WIMNsVoicesBlog/?p=776
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Verizon deal nears for Sherborn
Dover-Sherborn Press (MA)
08/28/07

—>  Sherborn Resident Elliot Taylor asked if Verizon subscribers would also have available to them the same local access cable programming content that Comcast subscribers do.  Solomon said that they would, but maybe not immediately. “The town is requiring that all PEG access channels and programming be provided to subscribers. That’s one of the last substantive issues we’re working on. There may be a time period between the beginning of service and PEG access programming.”   —>
http://www.townonline.com/dover/homepage/x1136424940
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City fleet to switch to ethanol blend [Uniform Video Service Local Franchise Agreement]
by Cathy Nelson Price
OurMidland.com (MI)
08/28/07

—>    The council also approved the mandated Uniform Video Service Local Franchise Agreement (the State of Michigan’s Public Act 480 of 2006), which effectively wipes out the existing franchise arrangement between the City of Midland and Charter Communications. Currently, the city charges Charter a franchise fee of 5 percent of the cable provider’s gross yearly revenues for right of way. Charter up until now also has provided services for public/educational/governmental programming “in kind” — that is, with no money changing hands. Under the new agreement, a monetary value would have to be determined for the “in kind” services, which the city then would pay back to Charter (or Charter would withhold) out of the franchise fee.

Unlike some municipalities for whom cable franchise fees are an integral part of the operating budget, Midland channels its revenues into a separate account assigned to cable programming and services, including cable in the classroom, MPS-TV 17 and the MGTV Message Board.  Negotiations with Charter to determine that value currently are being handled by City Attorney James Branson. A determination is expected by close of business Wednesday, when the act takes effect.
http://www.ourmidland.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18756509&BRD=2289&PAG=461&dept_id=472542&rfi=6
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City disconnecting from Wi-Fi vision
by Jon Van
Chicago Tribune (IL)
08/28/07

Chicago is curtailing its digital dreams, deciding to back away from municipal Wi-Fi service after failing to reach agreement with either of two companies that sought to build a wireless Internet network in the city.   —>
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-tue_nowifi0828aug28,1,5694863.story?ctrack=1&cset=true
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High Def Delivery
by Alexandra Berzon
RedHerring.com
08/2707

It’s only nine years old, but already Akamai has become the crotchety old grandfather of content delivery networks, ferociously trying to bat away younger generations of companies that offer services for storing and sending media around the Internet.  And grandpapa is facing some seriously lofty expectations these days, given the expected growth of online gaming and video in the next few years.

Already, Akamai holds something between 60 and 80 percent of the content delivery market, serving up content for more than 2,500 companies. But it also has a host of younger, cheaper and more nimble CDN companies nipping at its heels, along with oldies like Amazon undercutting the space with less expensive products. Fear of a price war has sent investors into a frenzy, with the stock dropping around 30 percent in the few weeks after Akamai’s second quarter earnings statement. Investors also reacted last week when rival Limelight Networks announced that it–not Akamai–had scored a large-scale cross-licensing deal with Microsoft.

In response, Akamai is trying to distinguish itself by touting its technology’s ability to deliver larger and higher quality video files, particularly high definition content. It claims it has the only content delivery network capable of meeting the technical requirements of HD.  Red Herring recently sat down with John Healy, Akamai’s director of digital media, to discuss high definition, competing with the newbies, and what’s next in digital media.   —>
http://www.redherring.com/Home/22658
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Optimum Lightpath Launches Broadcast Video Transport Over Metro Ethernet
Newest Addition to Optimum Lightpath’s Metro Ethernet Intelligent Transport Services Built Specifically For Broadcast Quality Video Supporting a Variety of Media Applications
PR Newswire
08/28/07

Optimum Lightpath, the next- generation business broadband service provider of Cablevision Systems Corporation , today announced the launch and availability of Broadcast Video Transport (BVT), the newest addition to Optimum Lightpath’s award-winning Metro Ethernet Intelligent Transport Services portfolio.

Optimum Lightpath’s BVT addresses the needs of the media sectors, including production facilities, broadcasters, television stations, content distributors and enterprises that have high-resolution broadcast quality video requirements. The service supports compressed, uncompressed, analog, digital, and high-definition video applications that require “Broadcast Quality,” given its sensitivity to packet loss, transit delay and jitter.   —>
http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/prnewswire/NETU04528082007-1.htm
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Google Expert Says TV Is Dying
by Chuck Huckaby
Work at Home Business Opportunities
08/28/07

—>   This Google expert says traditional TV is about dead.  I think he’s living in his own little cyber world however because what he says presumes the easy access to high speed internet. You can’t download video or audio quickly on dial up!

Given what’s on network TV, it seems to be killing itself without the internet’s help. I routinely select DVD’s for our family to watch. Most shows are just too brainless.  This raises the question, having a limited channels with comparatively high ad revenue financed the creation of shows requiring high tech special effects and “stars”. Will the “democratization” of TV entertainment mean we’re only watching stuff that’s the entertainment equivalent of what people already post to You Tube?   —>
http://work-at-home.business-opportunities.biz/2007/08/28/google-expert-says-tv-is-dying/
~

Television: Our Emotional Second Life
by Michael Kokernak
Online Video Insider
08/28/07

OUR INDUSTRY — HAVING been blinded by the bright lights and public relations spin of multiple companies such as Google, eBay and Joost — is at a crossroads. Today it seems we look no further than the Internet to solve the structural issues of the television platform (which had found its birth within a treasured natural resource called the spectrum). Recently we have heard rumbling that Google has also wished to have wholesale access to the spectrum for any intended service. Thankfully, this idea was shelved — for now — by the Federal Communications Commission.

Are we capable of risking more of the same from these newly minted media companies by streaming more Internet over our treasured resource? Bashing Google has become a popular sport, but it is not really about Google’s strength. Rather, it is that Google has become the poster child for what is the most visible representative of an increasingly vanilla flavor — and the world is again about to change. With the Feb. 17, 2009 digital conversion approaching, could the valuable open spectrum ultimately be used to turbo-charge digital television? Who’s to say? But we should pause to recognize the influence television continues to play in our lives and the ways it can continue to shape technology.

The television platform is looked at by uncultured Internet interlopers as a dumb box in need of proper burial — a technology that is missing that dot-com sizzle. Last I checked, us Americans love our dumb box. Internet folks prophesize that the time is coming for TV to drop into the La Brea Tar Pits, yet if you look closely at it, you see our old friend, the “dinosaur,” changing and adapting to its new environment.   —>
http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=66517
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Global Findings Show Decline of TV as Primary Media Device
by Jack Loechner
Center for Media Research
08/28/07

A new IBM online consumer study, a component of the upcoming report “The end of advertising as we know it” planned for the fall, shows that among consumer respondents, 19 percent stated spending six hours or more per day on personal Internet usage, versus nine percent of respondents who reported the same levels of TV viewing. 66 percent reported viewing between one to four hours of TV per day, versus 60 percent who reported the same levels of personal Internet usage.

When it comes to mobile and Internet entertainment, consumers are seeking consolidated, trustworthy content, recognition and community. Despite natural lags among marketers, advertising revenues will follow consumers’ habits, concludes the report.  To effectively respond to this power shift, the study sees:

* Advertising agencies going beyond traditional creative roles to become brokers of consumer insights
* Cable companies evolving to home media portals
* roadcasters and publishers racing toward new media formats
* Marketers forced to experiment and make advertising more compelling  —>
http://blogs.mediapost.com/research_brief/?p=1509
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 08/27/07

August 27, 2007

Time short for Pinellas public access TV advocates
by Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Evening News (FL)
08/27/07

Pinellas County public access television could be forced off the air next month, perhaps forever.  There are only two public hearings left for advocates for the channel to persuade Pinellas County Commissioners not to cut the entire $331,930 budget.

Producers and their supporters are putting everything on having as many people attend a public hearing on the budget on Sept. 4.  Candi Jovan hosts a show on political issues, called Democracy For America. She said she and others are looking at legal remedies to save their station.

Like every other municipal government in Florida, Pinellas needs to cuts its fiscal year budget next year as dictated by legislation signed into law earlier this year… As it stands now, Pinellas, intends only to dismantle the Public Access Channel, one of the three channels that are funded by cable franchise fees. The government and education channels are not being affected.   —>
http://www.wmnf.org/news_stories/show/4648
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Grant public access to television channel
Letter to the Editor by Bob Fulford
Tallahassee.com (FL)
08/27/07

Some of Stephen Beasley’s remarks in support of WCOT surprise me.  To get his news about Tallahassee from a wholly-owned propaganda machine doesn’t strike me as the way a newspaper does its job. While you sometimes – often, even – get helpful information from WCOT, most of their stuff is fluff and much of it misinforms and dissuades.

The station’s production values are excellent and they regularly garner praise from their peers. They look good and their ratings are high. The staff is approachable and congenial but a citizen can not get an opposing view on their programing.

But several groups, several times, have attempted to get the city to give over to an appropriate entity the right to use the public-access channel, but no group or group of groups, or even a specially incorporated citizen group, has ever come close.

I would acquiesce that the city has the right to a channel, but adamantly support the right that the public should have access also.
http://www.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070827/OPINION02/708270310/1006/RSS16
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Reader views: Cable TV legislation
AT&T, cable firms shirk public benefits
by Mary Cardona
Wisconsin State Journal
08/27/07

The true driver behind Senate Bill 107 is not jobs, competition or lower rates. It ‘s not even “new ” technology. The core issue is that the cable industry and AT&T do not want to pay for the public benefits that local franchise contracts typically contain.

The public loses throughout this legislation: no free cable television service in public schools; no requirement to provide cable service to every neighborhood; no dedicated fees to support local public, education and government-access channels; no tools to enforce consumer protection — and that ‘s just the beginning of the list.

The cable industry and AT&T want to shift their expenses to the public ‘s purse, but they want consumers to swallow the fantasy that this bill is all about more jobs and lower rates. Don ‘t believe it. It hasn ‘t happened anywhere else.

Illinois just passed a telecommunications bill that protects both the public ‘s interests and the industry ‘s. Why can ‘t Wisconsin do the same?
— Mary Cardona, executive director, Wisconsin Association of Public, Educational and Government Channels
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/forum/reader/207292
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Radio dial has room for more local voices
It’s time for the FCC to license more community-based, noncommercial low-power FM stations.
Op Ed by Jon Bartholomew and Dennis Ross
Portland Press Herald
08/27/07

Jon Bartholomew is national media and democracy organizer for Common Cause. Dennis Ross is president of WJZP-LPFM in Portland.

After hurricanes Katrina and Rita ripped through the Gulf Coast, volunteers from a local radio station trudged through floodwaters, scaled a 130-foot tower and risked their safety to keep WQRZ-LP on the air.  A low-power, noncommercial radio station owned and operated by residents of the community, WQRZ became residents’ only link to the outside world after the storm destroyed the broadcast abilities of most commercial radio stations in the area.  During the long weeks of cleanup, this low-power FM station broadcast essential local advisories, such as points of distribution for food, water and ice, as well as information residents were desperate to hear about missing family and friends.

Now, policymakers in Washington are considering opening up more airwaves in Maine to stations just like WQRZ — low-power, community-run radio stations that air news, information, arts and culture that keep neighbors connected.  However, the National Association of Broadcasters opposes giving communities access to the airwaves. They’re fighting to keep you off the air.   —>
http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=129552&ac=PHedi
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FCC Boss Riles Cable Astroturf Machine
‘A La Carte’ cable dust up…
by Karl
Broadband Reports
08/27/07

As we’ve noted, both cable and phone operators not only make up completely bogus consumer groups to support their political positions, they also frequently donate cash to minority and disability organizations in exchange for vocal political support for policies that often aren’t in constituents’ best interest (or vice versa).

FCC boss Kevin Martin ran into some trouble last week when he criticized some cable industry-backed minority groups who were fighting against his desire to implement “a la carte” (the ability to purchase individual channels) cable programming:

“The grassroots opposition to a la carte is actually a highly sophisticated lobby campaign where seemingly disinterested third parties — like nonprofits and legislators — are spreading the anti-a la carte message using minority programming as the key issue. In fact, rather than being disinterested, these third parties have much to gain.”

Those groups called Martin’s comments “patronizing and insulting,” and forced Martin to apologize. Of course, similar tactics were key in helping Martin and the phone industry push their vision of “franchise reform,” but received no such tongue lashing from the FCC boss — who the cable industry claims gives phone operators preferential treatment.
http://www.broadbandreports.com/shownews/FCC-Boss-Riles-Cable-Astroturf-Machine-86992
~

‘Week in Review’ wins Telly Award
Baltimore Sun
08/26/07

The weekly county TV news program, Anne Arundel County Week In Review, has won a 2007 Bronze Telly Award for outstanding local or regional TV program, the county announced Friday.  Anne Arundel County Week In Review is produced weekly and airs daily on public access channel 98. The 30-minute program uses a news show format to report on Anne Arundel County government and the greater community. Updates from the police, fire and health departments, weekly interviews of special guests by County Executive John R. Leopold and even a sports segment are featured in the show.

“The show has proved to be an effective and entertaining way for us to let county residents know what is happening in local government and their communities,” Leopold said. “We strive to make it informative and enjoyable, so that viewers continue to tune in every week.”   —>
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/annearundel/bal-ar.briefs26aug26002635,0,6291543.story
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Vint Cerf, aka the godfather of the net, predicts the end of TV as we know it
Web guru foresees download revolution
by Bobbie Johnson
The Guardian
08/27/07

Thirty years ago he helped create a technology that has revolutionised millions of lives around the world. But yesterday the man known as the “godfather of the net” laid out his vision of where our online future might be, including a time when we download entire TV series in seconds – and even surf the web from Mars.

Talking at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, Vint Cerf – one of the handful of researchers who helped build the internet in the 1970s – said that the television industry would change rapidly as it approached its “iPod moment”.

The 64-year-old, who is now a vice-president of the web giant Google and chairman of the organisation that administrates the internet, told an audience of media moguls that TV was rapidly approaching the same kind of crunch moment that the music industry faced with the arrival of the MP3 player.   —>
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/aug/27/news.google
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H.264 and AAC support for Flash and Open Source Media Server
Setting Orange, 21st Bureaucracy, 3173.
by General fukami
The Turkey Chase
08/27/07

Tinic Uro, an engineer at Adobe working on the Flash Player, blogged about the announcement that Adobe will support H.264 and AAC with the Flash Player.  Reading the blog post, I was very upset reading this part at the end of the article:

“I am not in a position able to explain to you why we will not allow 3rd party streaming servers to stream H.264 video or AAC audio into the Flash Player. What I can tell you is that we do not allow this without proper licensing. Refer to Adobe’s friendly Flash Media Server sales staff for more information. ”

Someone on the OSFlash mailing list came up with the entry in Wikipedia regarding H.264:   —>
http://fukami.vakuum.net/archives/2007/08/28/h264-and-aac-support-for-flash-and-open-source-media-server/
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Digital Television and Communication in the 21st Century: Part 2
by Nuno Cordeiro
Daily Tech
08/27/07

A commentary on how television has evolved since its inception, part 2, with focus on the future, convergence and social impacts  (Editor’s note — This is final part of a two part series first published last week.)   —>
http://www.dailytech.com/Digital+Television+and+Communication+in+the+21st+Century+Part+2/article8613.htm
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 08/24/07

August 26, 2007

Legislation would restore radio’s community presence
Today’s Topic: Tuning in and out on radio
Editorial: Tennessean
08/23/07

With television and the Internet dominating communication systems these days, the power of radio is often overlooked.  And we’re not talking about the wattage, but the potential to affect people’s lives.

Small, low-power radio stations can serve a variety of roles that larger media cannot, such as keeping the community informed about emergencies and neighborhood school closings. They can also reflect the diversity of their community in ways that corporate-owned radio stations do not.

Yet, low-power FM is locked in a battle for survival. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 led to consolidation of radio stations to such an extent that, in 2000, the Federal Communications Commission told Congress there was too much consolidation and community radio was endangered.

With lawmakers poised to act, corporate radio owners and National Public Radio complained that low-power stations would interfere with their signals. As a result, Congress restricted the FCC to issuing licenses for low-power stations only in rural areas.

The FCC ordered an independent study in 2002, which found that low-power stations would cause no significant signal interference, but the restrictions have been allowed to stand because of the influence of corporate radio. Only 800 licenses, all in rural areas, have been issued since 2000, though thousands of groups have expressed interest.

Now is the time to act. In June, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., introduced the Local Community Radio Act of 2007, which seeks to remove those restrictions, while keeping in place a grievance process for large radio stations that believe they are harmed by signal interference. If it passes into law, educational groups, churches, nonprofits and municipal governments around the country are hoping to launch new radio stations that serve their local area.   —>
http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070823/OPINION01/708230410
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Local issues shouldn’t be shut out in process
by Ginny Welsh
Tennesean
08/23/07

Do you want to be on the radio? Know a great local band, or a story that Nashville needs to hear? Wish you could interview the famous and infamous alike?  You can be — at Radio Free Nashville (RFN), one of the few community radio stations to sign on under the FCC’s low- power FM (LPFM) radio service. Broadcasting with 100 watts from a hill overlooking Pasquo, Tenn., RFN is what local radio should be.

RFN signed on in April 2005. Since then, we’ve trained more than 150 community programmers, had our student broadcasting course added to the curricula of area high schools, and had original programs syndicated around the country.   —>
http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070823/OPINION01/708230405
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Congress should help unique local stations
by Joseph Torres
Tennesean
08/23/07

You used to be able to drive cross-country and hear different sounds at every stop: classic country in Nashville, soul music in Memphis, zydeco in New Orleans, Tejano in Corpus Christi. Now you can go coast-to-coast and hear the same 15 songs in heavy rotation the whole way. It all sounds the same.

Runaway consolidation has virtually wiped out local music, culture and news on the radio dial. Companies like Clear Channel and Cumulus have swallowed up thousands of stations and piped in cookie-cutter content and canned playlists. Fewer stations employ reporters to cover local news, and fewer local artists are making it on the air.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that we have an opportunity to reclaim a portion of the radio airwaves for local communities.  Congress is now considering legislation — the bipartisan Local Community Radio Act — that would create thousands of new low-power FM (LPFM) stations. These 100-watt stations are operated by nonprofit, church, civic and civil rights groups and broadcast over a radius of three to five miles.   —>
http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070823/OPINION01/708230406/1007/OPINION
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Cable company in regulatory no man’s land, SoCal city charges in lawsuit
by Fred Pilot
Eldo Telecom (CA)
08/24/07

This type of situation may begin to crop up frequently in California, where cable companies can opt to remain under local government franchise agreements or get a statewide franchise from the California Public Utilities Commission under new legislation that took effect this year, the Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the city of Carlsbad believes Time Warner is operating outside the law because it doesn’t have a franchise from the city nor has it received a statewide franchise. Nor has it even applied for one according to the CPUC’s Web site.  Holding up a city franchise with Time Warner is Carlsbad’s insistence on higher fees to fund broadcasts of city council and other government events.

It’s probable there will be other such lawsuits brought by local governments over this and, more likely, when negotiations stall over buildout requirements in which the locals insist cable companies serve their entire communities instead of leaving parts in the dark on the wrong side of the digital divide. The likely targets include telcos and other cable players — like Comcast for example — that have so far not applied for or received statewide franchises.
http://eldotelecom.blogspot.com/2007/08/cable-company-in-regulatory-no-mans.html
~

Berwick warrant article seeks to create local cable station (ME)
by Jennifer Keefe
Foster’s Daily Democrat
08/24/07

BERWICK, Maine — In an effort to create a cable television station for the town, a warrant article will be included on the November ballot about collecting money from cable subscribers for this purpose.  The town recently entered into a new cable contract, and the Board of Selectmen have posed an article asking residents if franchise fees collected through this cable contract can be used to purchase equipment for the development of a local community television station.

The station would broadcast community events and programming, including town meetings. Residents at Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen’s meeting unanimously agreed broadcasting such events would benefit many in the community, especially those who cannot always make it to 6:30 p.m. meetings.  “That was one of the reasons we wanted it,” said Selectmen Thomas Fournier.   —>
http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070824/FOSTERS01/708240066
~

AT&T Building U-Verse
by Pam Dawkins
Connecticut Post
08/23/07

—>   In June 2006, the DPUC ruled AT&T’s Internet Protocol Television is not subject to cable franchising requirements; Blumenthal sued in U.S. District Court for a ruling that it is. In July 2007, the court overturned the DPUC’s decision. Now, AT&T has moved for a reconsideration while Blumenthal has filed an emergency request with the DPUC to force AT&T to apply for a franchise.

Blumenthal puts AT&T’s chances of a reconsideration at “virtually zero,” calling it a “futile attempt” at delaying the inevitable.  “Whatever the rules for cable franchises they should apply to IPTV,” he said Thursday. “It’s the law,” and what the federal courts have decided.

“We’re waiting until court action is finalized,” because it would be imprudent to take action until then, DPUC spokeswoman Beryl Lyons said Thursday. The DPUC’s cable regulating authority is minimal and includes ensuring cable companies meet public, education and government access requirements. —>
http://www.connpost.com/ci_6702965
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Council Meetings Now Viewed on Web
KHNL 8 (HI)
08/23/07

HONOLULU – You now have access to the Honolulu City Council’s meetings, right at your finger tips. A partnership between Olelo Community Television and the city makes it possible for the public to view meetings on the internet.  The web site makes it easy for people to navigate through council agendas.   —>
http://www.khnl.com/Global/story.asp?S=6970634
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PSL TV-20 informs residents
by Hillary Copsey
TCPalm (FL)
08/24/07

Ed Cunningham, public information officer for Port St. Lucie, appears on the PSL TV-20 daily newscast at 5 p.m. in the City Council chambers.  The show is a simple thing — one man reading the news, another controlling the camera and microphone — but it gets the job done.

Port St. Lucie’s first-ever daily newscast gives residents a daily update on their city. It lets people know what roads are being worked on, what buildings are being started and how their tax dollars are being spent.  And, with more and more residents yelling about high taxes, officials say that information is priceless.

“It’s just another way for us to get our information out to residents,” Mayor Patricia Christensen said. “Unfortunately, the regular newscasts that are on everyday only tell little bits of what’s going on in our community.”  The Communications Department, which runs TV-20, the city’s government access channel, began filming the 10-minute daily newscasts in July.   —>
http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2007/aug/24/psl-tv-20-informs-residents/
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Letter to the Editor: The question of hip-hop culture
by Luke Dubois
Portland Press Herald
08/24/07

— Regarding your Aug. 14 editorial:

As a young Caucasian male, I will never fully comprehend what it is to be a black man in America.  As a fan of the hip-hop culture the editorial addresses, I can say that responsibility for the graphic nature of the content in mainstream culture is to be placed on the shoulders of more than just those who produce the music.

The real issue isn’t who produces the music.  It’s who controls broadcasting and promotions to the masses. Follow the paper trail, and it leads to the executive decision.

Media consolidation has run rampant over the past decade, resulting in a music industry that caters to the directions of “mostly white executives.”  They pull the strings. The rappers, producers, DJs and consumers are merely puppets in the game of commercial music.    There exists an abundance of underground hip hop that is 180 degrees from commercial rap. You just won’t find it on major media networks.   —>
http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=129349&ac=PHedi
~

Leveraging the job market
by Bill Reader
Community Journalism Interest Group
08/24/07

I spend a lot of time checking job sites such as Editor & Publisher online, mediabistro.com and journalismjobs.com, not because I’m looking for work, but because I’m looking for hard evidence as to why my J-school should focus its curriculum more on community journalism. Every time I hear a colleague bemoan the layoffs at large media companies, I can dig up scores of job openings at smaller-market media, especially at community newspapers.

A recent post by Mark Glaser on his Mediashift blog has made note of that very trend, suggesting that even the bigger media that have made recent layoffs are hiring in their online divisions. But not all of the jobs are in “new media” — in Glaser’s post, Dan Rohn of journalismjobs.com said, ““Right now we have 628 newspaper job openings in the U.S., from Alaska to Massachusetts to Florida to Indiana … It’s in small towns, and I think that’s because they’re owned by families or small chains that are successful and not being hit as hard.”   —>
http://comjig.blogspot.com/2007/08/leveraging-job-market.html
~

What’s ‘IPTV’? And Who Owns the Term?
by Mark Sullivan
PC World
08/23/07

A handful of readers have chided us recently for trotting out the term “IPTV” without a properly defining it. In short, IPTV means “Internet Protocol Television.”  But something interesting has happened to the term “IPTV.” The telephone companies, when they decided to sell video services over phone networks, co-opted the term and made it their own. This happened before Joost was even a glimmer in Niklas Zennstrom’s eye.

As such, IPTV usually refers to video delivered over closed, telco-owned fiber optic or hybrid fiber-optic/copper networks using Internet Protocol. IPTV usually does not refer to services like Joost or YouTube, which are delivered over the Public Internet. IPTV reaches the user via a “closed” IP network (also called a Walled Garden) that is separate and distinct from the Public Internet.   —>
http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/005234.html
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 08/23/07

August 23, 2007

Citizens scheme to combat local law enforcement’s attack on dissent
Asheville Indymedia (NC)
08/23/07

It wasn’t your average activist meeting at the West Asheville Library on Tuesday night. A diverse crowd of roughly 60 people showed up to talk about recent abuses of power by local law enforcement and how to restore Constitutional rights in Asheville.

The meeting was focused on three recent events. A Buncombe County Sheriff deputy broke into the house of a West Asheville couple, assaulting and arresting one of them, for flying an upside down American flag; the Southeast Convergence for Climate Action and its direct action at Bank of America attracted unprecedented police surveillance and repression involving helicopters, riot police, and several jurisdictions of law enforcement; and an offer with the Asheville Police Department (APD) arrested an activist for “freeway blogging,” holding a sign while standing on a public sidewalk on a highway overpass.

In addition, at the August 14 City Council meeting, Mayor Terry Bellamy said, “I don’t want [the Climate Convergence action at Bank of America] to be a pattern in the city of Asheville. So I would be supportive of the police to use the force that they have to to not allow that to happen. […] We don’t have to have these types of demonstrations that impact people this way, and I think our community is bigger than that. Let me be clear, […] the thing that I think is deplorable is for them to chain themselves up in private property of Bank of America and then refuse to leave when asked to.” Councilor Carl Mumpower supported Mayor Bellamy’s remarks. Councilor Robin Cape was the only one to go on record strongly disagreeing.

Several independent journalists showed up to cover the meeting, as well as the Mountain Xpress and the local TV news station WLOS. Young and old, people from several different activist groups attended. Groups represented include: Asheville Indymedia, Veterans for Peace, Women in Black, the WNC Peace Coalition, Asheville Rising Tide, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, several shows on WPVM (the Progressive Voice of the Mountains, local community radio station) and on URTV (local public access TV station), among others. Libertarian City Council candidate William Meredith was present, along with unaffiliated candidate Lindsey Simerly. Jonas Phillips, who was arrested for holding the sign last Wednesday, was there. One person even risked his job to show up.   —>
http://asheville.indymedia.org/article/258
~

Dallas council pushes items for 2007-08 budget
Members seek more code enforcers, money for public TV
by Dave Levinthal and Rudolph Bush
Dallas Morning News (TX)
08/22/07

Dickering over what should be funded within Dallas’ municipal budget began in earnest Wednesday, with many City Council members pressing for more code enforcement officers and preservation of public community television funding.   —>
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/082307dnmetdalwrap.3155c7f.html
~

Minority groups blast FCC chair
Martin under fire for recent remarks
by William Triplett
Variety
08/23/07

A coalition of civil rights and minority advocacy groups has blasted Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin J. Martin for “patronizing and insulting” public remarks he recently made alleging that their opposition to a la carte cable subscriptions has been bought and paid for.  “We are deeply disturbed by this unfair and baseless attack and would ask that you clear the record expeditiously with a public apology and an unequivocal retraction,” the groups wrote in a joint letter to Martin that was delivered Wednesday.   —>
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117970671.html?categoryid=18&cs=1
~

The Promise of Low Power FM
by Michelle Chen
In These Times
08/23/07

The movement to develop alternatives to mainstream corporate-owned radio got a boost recently with a bi-partisan congressional bill to expand low-power FM (LPFM), a class of frequencies devoted to non-commercial community groups. Though LPFM stations only broadcast a radius of three-and-a-half miles, they offer the chance to bring seldom-heard voices on the air.

Media activists and reform groups see LPFM as a cheap, accessible medium that counterbalances the formulaic music and news of conglomerates like Clear Channel, while offering ownership and control to underrepresented groups. A recent study by the media-policy think tank Free Press found that women own 6 percent of the country’s full-power commercial radio stations; people of color and ethnic minorities control just 7.7 percent. It can cost as little as $5,000 to launch a no-frills LPFM station. About 800 stations have been established since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began licensing them in 2000.   —>
http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/3306/the_promise_of_low_power_fm/
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There’s something award-winning about seniors’ show
by Bethany Bray
Andover Townsman (MA)
08/23/07

Marty Epstein says he gets recognized around town and at the grocery store all the time, and that’s a good thing.  “That’s how we know people are watching (our show),” agreed Jeanette Barron with a smile.  Epstein, Barron and a group of about a dozen local seniors produce the half-hour show “There’s Something About Andover,” which airs daily on Andover Community Television, Channel 8. The seniors create a new episode each month and take turns producing, editing and spending time on camera, interviewing community members and highlighting “anything that would be interesting,” they said.   —>
http://www.andovertownsman.com/townspeople/local_story_234160630.html?keyword=topstory
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Reel changes at local cable access channel
by Nicole Haley
Daily News Tribune (MA)
08/23/07

When Phil McGrady started working for Waltham’s cable access channel in 1987, the station used clunky three-quarter inch cassette tapes about the size of a textbook.  Today, programs are recorded onto MiniDVs, digital video tapes McGrady can hold in the palm of his hand.  “There have been sweeping changes in terms of just the technology,” said McGrady, program director for the Waltham Community Access Corp.

This month marks 20 years since the station aired its first local television broadcast. McGrady, who hosts and produces the football show “Armchair Quarterback,” has seen more than technological advancements in his two decades at the station.   —>
http://www.dailynewstribune.com/homepage/x1115935748
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org