Community Media: Selected Clippings – 08/07/07

Time aids Qwest video franchise fight
Arvada has 90 days to answer telecom’s video franchise bid
by Andy Vuong
Denver Post (CO)

Arvada, you are on the clock.  Qwest submitted a video franchise application Monday in Arvada under new federal rules that require the city to respond within 90 days.  Under the rules, which went into effect Monday, Arvada has to accept or reject the application – or reach some kind of pact on it – within 90 days, or Qwest’s proposed terms would go into effect. If the city rejects the application, Qwest can appeal the decision in federal court.    —>

Cape Girardeau’s Channel 5 adds 30 hours of programming
by Peg McNichol
Southeast Missourian

Viewers of Cape Girardeau’s Channel 5 will start seeing new shows. Not that the city is trying to compete with the new network seasons.  Michelle Hahn said the city is adding shows to meet a new state-required minimum 40 hours of programming as part of the Video Providers Act. The new law says cable companies can pull the plug on local access channels if they don’t air enough programming.    —>

Verizon awaits Framingham decision on cable TV license
By Greg Turner
Metrowest Daily News (MA)

—>   Verizon has already started rolling out its new FiOS fiber-optic cables in Framingham so as soon as its cable TV franchise license is approved the company will reach about 75 percent of the town’s 26,000 households.  “The only ones we can’t serve immediately are those with underground utilities and people in apartment and condominium complexes,” said Verizon spokesman Phil Santoro, adding that the company has to negotiate deals with owners of multiple dwelling units.

Divver said that during negotiations the committee tried to make sure Verizon’s contract created a “level playing field” with the existing cable TV providers in town. That means Verizon will put 5 percent of gross revenue toward public access, education and government channel services; the entire town will be wired within three years; and the company will open a customer service office in Framingham by October 2008.

Verizon committed to spending $562,000 over the next seven years for capital improvements to Framingham’s public access cable system, Divver said. The company will not set up its own cable studio; instead, it will tap into the existing public access channels created by Comcast through an interconnection agreement negotiated between the companies. Verizon has 120 days to reach a deal with Comcast.   —>

Radio for the People
by Amy Goodman

Rupert Murdoch is looking like the cat that ate the canary with his successful takeover of Dow Jones & Co. and its flagship newspaper, The Wall Street Journal.  Media conglomerates like Murdoch’s News Corp. are among the most powerful corporations on the planet. His papers beat the drums for war while distracting with gossip and glitz.

Yet people are finding innovative ways to fight back, to demand independent, community-based media. One such effort that you can join is the movement to create new, full-power, noncommercial FM radio stations in the U.S.  This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. The Federal Communications Commission will open a one-week window, Oct. 12-19, during which nonprofit community groups in the U.S. can file applications.

Think for a moment what a powerful, noncommercial radio station could do in your community. As the late George Gerbner, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, said, we need a media not run by “corporations that have nothing to tell and everything to sell, that are raising our children today.”

Community radio is the antidote to that small circle of pundits featured on all the networks, who know so little about so much, explaining the world to us and getting it so wrong. On community radio, you can hear your neighbors, you can hear people from your community: the silenced majority, silenced by the corporate media.   —>

Koskelowski faces 2nd fine over tapings
by Elizabeth Benton
New Haven Register (CT)

SEYMOUR — A Freedom of Information Commission hearing officer has recommended First Selectman Robert Koskelowski be fined $500, calling his concern about fire codes “disingenuous.”  If the full commission approves the fine, this will be the second $500 fine triggered by town videotaping restrictions, which were enacted in 2005.

Democratic watchdog Frank Loda complained to the FOI board in 2005 after the Board of Selectmen enacted a policy restricting videotaping to the backs of meeting rooms and required all meetings broadcast on public-access television to be aired in their entirety.  —>

Peace after the battle of Throgs Neck
The Real Deal (NY)

From the August issue: The revolution was only intermittently televised, and then mostly on Bronxnet, a public access television station. But the struggle that ended in 2004 to prevent the construction of further McMansions and rezone Throgs Neck for lower residential density stirred passionate concerns for residents of that Bronx neighborhood. Three years later, locals also credit the downzoning victory with preserving real estate prices. And while the rezoning has mostly, but not entirely, stemmed the tide of new building construction, local brokers credited the changes with safeguarding real estate values and preserving the neighborhood’s suburban character. more By Dorn Townsend and Sushil Cheema

The Reading Lady
CBS6 Albany (NY)

A local reading teacher is now taking her expertise to the television screen. Karen Houghton, also known as The Reading Lady, produces instructional videos to teach young children how to read, and more importantly, that reading can be fun. You can can catch Karen’s program on Schenectady Public Access Saturday mornings at 8:30 and Monday afternoons at 5:30. CBS 6 News Education Reporter Michelle Smith sat down with The Reading Lady to find out more. To learn more about her video series click here.

“Garden Wise Guys”
by Craig Smith
Craig Smith’s Blog (CA)

—> … also not to be missed in that same issue [of Coastal Woman Magazine] is Billy Goodnick, who’s featured in an article about his community access TV show “Garden Wise Guys.” When he’s not wising off in the garden or holding down his day job at city Parks and Recreation, Billy is the drummer in the popular local group “King Bee.”

[ “Clippings” often takes reformatting liberties with some of the pieces we excerpt.  Usually that involves combining the 1-2 sentence long “newspaper-style” paragraphs into something more compact.  Sometimes, as here, we’ll break run-on paragraphs into more bite-size chunks.  Perhaps it’s unfair to call this a run-on,  since it’s cast in the form of a job posting – a form which for some reason seems to have been given a pass in legibility requirements.

Still, it’s worth checking out this link, not least for the comments, which include this from Joe Zekas:  “No one who’s capable of performing this job adequately is likely to listen to $48k a year – not even twice that.  I’d say the quality of the report is even more pre-determined than the content.”  – rm ]

Berkman Center Looking for Media Fellow (MA)
by Dan Gillmor
Center for Citizen Media Blog

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School is seeking a Media Fellow to work on a citizen-media project. Details:

Project: The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is undertaking a project to comprehensively study the new/citizen/social media landscape, including reflection on its reach, implications, impact, and ecosystem, and charting an agenda for research and action moving forward.

In the beginning, the potential of citizen media seemed limitless – finally there would be a way to overrule the gatekeepers, re-establish nuanced and in-depth analysis, escape commercially-driven news, and use the power of the network to fundamentally change the production and dissemination of knowledge and information. Citizen media promised democratized news and maybe even democracy itself, giving everyone with a computer and an internet connection access to not only follow – but also shape – the agenda and our understanding thereof.

But after years of hard work and substantial investment, has citizen media lived up to that hope? Has power really shifted from the center to the edge? Has the conversation become more informed and inspired? Who is participating and how can we measure the impact of this new form of media? How has the dynamic of the media ecosystem changed with respect to interaction between professionals and amateurs, and is it sustainable?

We will perform a critical analysis of where citizen media has fallen short, where it has delivered, and how we as a community can help it to do better.   —>

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

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, citizen journalism, citizen media, community radio, full power FM, municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising

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