Community Media: Selected Clippings – 07/28/07

Bristol considers independent TV channel
by Lori Ingham
Citizen of Laconia (NH)

The Board of Selectmen discussed the possibility of using franchise fees to finance an independent cable access channel for government meetings and other local events.  Currently, the town has an agreement with Metrocast for a cable access station, with the possibility of opening another station if 18 or more hours a week of programming is run. The town now sends its taped meetings to Lakes Region Public Access, which many on the board have had issues with in regard to scheduling of selectmen’s meetings. Some residents have complained of not being sure where they can find meeting channels, officials said.   —>

Public access television is the original YouTube
by Lisa Brown
07/28/07 ?

—>   Citizen media is alive and well in New Hampshire — local high school football games, city council meetings, downtown parades and pontificating local politicians.   —>

Open access essential to media reform
by Senator Bernie Sanders, Common Dreams
Reclaim the Media

Media ownership in this country is facing the largest crisis of ownership since the era of William Randolph Hearst’s yellow journalism. Rupert Murdoch could possibly acquire the Wall Street Journal and expand his North American empire to include a national TV network, national cable news network and a national paper.

Amid all the hubbub, a more nuanced issue is slipping through the cracks. The airwaves that carry UHF in the 700 MHz range will become vacant as the U.S. transitions to Digital Television in 2009. These airwaves could beam wireless all over the country-through mountains, forests and walls-and the auction is scheduled for next January. On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission will set the rules for the auction. Now is the time to support “open access” provisions in these rules. Without “open access” the U.S. runs the risk of handing over the Internet to corporate interests for at least another generation.   —>

Court Ruling Screws Telcos, Boosts Cable
by Dan Frommer (from Silicon Alley)

—>   I covered a few of these negotiations in Smithtown, N.Y. last year, as Verizon went through the motions to sell TV in the Long Island burg. From my article:

It could be the setting for a sitcom. Or perhaps a dramedy. Some 70 residents of Smithtown, N.Y., have jammed themselves into the boardroom of the town hall. They are accompanied by several gray-suited lawyer types, who conspire in hushed tones. There is also a guy in a chicken costume.  Unfortunately for Verizon Communications, this is a reality show, and one it seems doomed to watch over and over again: Verizon has spent many years and billions of dollars gearing up to enter the cable television business. But before it can do that in Smithtown, it will need approval from the town’s 115,000 residents. And it will have to go through the same process every time it wants to set up shop in another municipality.

July 27, 2007 at 10:45 pm

I beg to differ. Consumers benefit by local franchises because their municipalities maintain control over local right of way (notions of public space and rights dating back to the public commons). Communities also benefit through the creation of public, educational and governmental access channels (PEG) – one of the last vestiges of truly local and non-commercial media.

The problem with AT&T and CT is that in every other state AT&T has accepted the classification as a pay-cable provider and has sought state-wide franchises (to circumvent the local franchise process). The company’s notion of public policy is actually in contradiction with itself. The state franchises AT&T has sought (written would be more accurate) are devastating to the public interest. Not only are local control of rights of way run over roughshod, PEG is all but eliminated. And the promise of ‘competition = lower prices” and “consumer choice”? These are only alibis for the politicians bought off by AT&T lobbyists. In fact, there has been NO price wars after AT&T has offered competing services to cable – something their executives confided to Wall Street analysts long ago. What has happened is that local phone rates rise – an element of deregulation AT&T builds into these state franchise bills. Worse still, once a competing cable provider enters a market, the FCC lifts the authority of local municipalities to control basic cable rates, so prices rise across the board. This was the last vestige of regulation left after the deregulatory Telecom Act of 96.   —>

Police TV spot hopes to protect area cyclists from irate drivers
by Niki Doyle
Huntsville Times (AL)

Riders say people in cars try to run them off the road.  Police Sgt. Dan Dean is taking to the screen to help protect local cyclists.  Dean, supervisor of the Huntsville Police Department’s Bike Unit, went on camera Thursday to tape a public service announcement addressing bicycling safety.  The department took on the project after local cyclists expressed concerns about their safety on the road.

“One of the bike clubs contacted us, and they had a few problems with people running them off the roads, throwing things at them, coming up behind them and honking horns,” said Dean.  The 40- to 60-second piece will air within a week on the city’s government access channel, said Blake Hudson, a videographer for the city. For Comcast subscribers, that’s channel 16; Knology subscribers can tune to channel 42.

Aloha Lisacast

Join me tomorrow at 10 am PST (or download the podcast later) for Evern Williams and Dr. Lynette Cruz, broadcasting with me live on Williams is the community media manager at Olelo television in Honolulu, HI and Dr. Cruz is a cultural anthropology professor and public access activist.   —->


Lisa Padilla has been talking the talk and influencing success in Silicon Valley (and other technology capitals from Hollywood to Hong Kong and Seoul) for over a decade. Now she’ll be talking to guests from all over the world on her weekly talk show. Whether a well-known blogger, an emerging technology leader, or a citizen journalist with a great story, Lisa welcomes your calls to add worthy input to the conversation.   —>

Media Dialectic

Justin writes…
“HILARIOUS! Can someone explain’s logic to me?

NEW YORK (AP) – Liberal activists are stepping up their campaign against Fox News Channel by pressuring advertisers not to patronize the network. is campaigning against Fox because it says the network characterizes itself as a fair news network when it consistently favors a conservative point of view, said Adam Green, the organization’s spokesman.  “We’re not trying to silence anybody,” Green said. “Rush Limbaugh has a right to be on the air – he admits his point of view. Fox doesn’t.” (Emphasis mine)”

and goes on to state..

“If the American consumer doesn’t like the show, they’ll change the station or channel. Period. Clearly, MoveOn doesn’t think American are capable of that, so they need to be “guided” by the enlightened sages of the Left.”

Well, I’m an argumentative bastard, as anyone who knows me will attest, so here’s my attempt at an answer (which sadly will not fit in a facebook response).

Apparently the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, and other ‘think tanks’ established and funded by coalitions of wealthy Goldwater (style) ‘conservatives’ (in fact radical neoliberals) to pre-empt the evolution of popular workers rights movements in the United States, also failed to realise that the American ‘consumer’ (citizen surely?) was superhumanly immune to the implicit messages of their media landscape, as they worked systematically to repeal the fairness doctrine ( which between 1949 and 1987 enforced the ‘ridiculous legislative demand that would have radio talk show programs provide “equal” attention to divergent political points of view’. Or maybe they knew something you’re not willing to admit about the power of a partisan media?

Broadcast and news-print media are de facto corporate monopolies, and the extent to which the Post differs from the Times, differs from the Journal, is delimited by assumptions rooted in Fukuyama’s absurdly ethnocentric presumption of an ‘end of history’. The ‘choice’ offered to the ‘consumer’ is no true choice, but an act of preference between competing psychocultural narratives which differ little in their fundamental assumptions. Subversive narratives are  of course articulated outside the mainstream media, but both the content and nature of such critiques are ruthlessly undermined to maintain the illusion of rational consensus.

“Lowell Telecommunications Corporation – Lowell, MA” Waymark

Lowell Telecommunications Corporation – Lowell, MA
in Television & Cable Broadcasting Stations
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Team Farkle 7
N 42° 38.679 W 071° 18.699
19T E 310494 N 4723945
Quick Description: Public Access Television at it’s best
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 7/27/2007 11:30:31 PM
Waymark Code: WM1XJ8

compiled by Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Service
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: PEG access TV, public access television

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