Community Media: Selected Clippings – 08/22/07

Columbia Access Television requests funding from council
Supporters of the station appealed to the City Council to include money for it in the budget for 2008.
by Regan McTarsney

With less than $6,000 left to survive on, Columbia Access Television is in dire need of money and could face extinction if the Columbia City Council doesn’t help soon. At Monday’s council meeting, Columbia Access Television supporters who say they are uncertain about continued financial support from local cable provider Mediacom, appealed to the council to include money for their group in the budget for 2008.

Mediacom has provided CAT with $30,000 a year since October 2004. This year, however, it has fallen $10,000 behind. Mediacom was renegotiating its franchise agreement with the city in the spring when the Missouri General Assembly passed legislation giving cable and telephone companies the option to negotiate with the state instead of individual cities. Under Senate Bill 284, cable and telephone providers can also pass on to customers any costs associated with public access channels.

Mediacom announced in May that it would begin negotiating through the state and has since failed to make its scheduled $10,000 contribution, CAT representatives say. Members of the Cable Task Force, appointed by the City Council in December 2003, agree. “They just quit participating when the law allowed them to,” task force chairman Marty Riback said. —>

New feature: YouTube versions of my disaster tips!
By W David Stephenson
Stephenson blogs on homeland security 2.0 et al. (MA)

You may notice something different about this page today: that guy in the YouTube video in the sidebar is none other than your genial host! Here’s why… I got a lot of favorable response a year ago when I created a series of “10 21st-century disaster tips you won’t hear from officials” (more about that “you won’t hear from officials” part below).

Today, trying to practice what I preach about how we need to use a wide range of Web 2.0 apps to spread information regarding disasters (because you won’t know in advance which ones will actually be operable during a disaster), I’m launching a series of YouTube videos that should make the tips more compelling because of the addition of a variety of graphics that show how they might be used in a disaster.

The first two introduce the series and provide details on two tips:
* how to use the free mesh networking software from CUWiN to create an instant neighborhood network when you can’t get internet access.
* how a wiki can help share information before and after a disaster because it allows anyone with a small piece of information about what happened or how to respond, or with a question, to post, and anyone else to provide answers (it also suggests that communities prepare an on-the-shelf disaster wiki that can be dusted off quickly before an on-coming storm so that local folks won’t have to re-invent the wheel).

Over time, all my other tips will be in video form, such as using Twitter to communicate instantly with your family and friends in a disaster, subscribing to the National Hurricane Center’s RSS feeds, or even using cheap walkie-talkies for a neighborhood network if all else fails.

I produced them in association with Jason Daniels and his staff at Medfield TV (”It’s all about access”) –don’t forget that community access TV can be another important way of getting information to your community (especially the elderly and shut-ins) in a disaster. —>

Editorial: Wollangk served city with sense of civic duty, pride
The Northwestern (WI)

It’s right to offer a sincere “Thank you” to Oshkosh City Manager Richard Wollangk….I n 2000, who can forget Wollangk leading Oshkosh Community Access Television news conferences and briefings during a December chemical railcar fire that spewed dangerous gases into the air over southern city neighborhoods, evacuating hundreds.

Wollangk clearly understood that a strong pipeline of frank, top-down communication during such a time of uncertainty and confusion not only keeps order but also keeps fearful citizens calm and confident. Under Wollangk, city emergency responders and staff aimed to be as attentive and helpful as possible to displaced residents looking for housing and insurance help. —>

How to Get a Public Access TV Show video
On the Wilder Side (NY)

Public Access producers Robert Langley and Jean Waters gave a talk at a Babylon Green party gathering on how to have your own Public Access TV Show. the audience included several other public access producers who added their experience. —>

“Solving the Klamath Crisis” Screenings
by Dan Bacher
Indybay (CA)

This superbly done film by the Klamath Media Collective is a must-see. It focuses on the battle by Klamath Basin Indian Tribes, fishermen, farmers and conservationists to bring down four dams owned by PacifiCorp, a company owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Corporation. The following announcement from Friends of the River lists the dates and times that it will be screened on Media Edge and other local public access television cable channels.
Solving the Klamath Crisis Screening (from —>

Collecting MadVideos — Scarlett Johansson promotes WYOU
by Kristian Knutsen
The Daily Page (WI)

“Get involved, support your local public access television station with music and in-depth coverage of people, events, and things that matter to you,” urges Scarlett Johansson in the opening to a promotional clip for WYOU, Madison’s non-profit community access television station. The spot started airing on Channel 4 at the end of May in advance of the station’s third annual awards show back on June 1.


City Opposes deregulating Comcast
by Roger DeWitt
Tuscaloosa News (AL)

The city of Tuscaloosa is opposing an attempt by Comcast Cable to end city regulation of basic cable rates. Tuesday the Tuscaloosa City Council voted unanimously to authorize the city’s legal departments to file comments with the Federal Communications Commission opposing Comcast’s request for relief from regulation.

… Comcast is claiming that it should be granted relief because satellite television companies are providing it with “effective competition,” Nunnally said. “We believe there’s a factual and legal basis to challenge the assertions that Comcast is making to the FCC,” Nunnally said. —>

Why We Need A Neutral Internet

—> At a Lollapalooza show in Chicago earlier this month, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder exercised his creative political license in a performance of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” He inserted the lyrics, “George Bush! Leave this world alone!” and “George Bush! Find yourself another home!” On AT&T’s live music streaming website, Blue Room, fans discovered that those lines had been edited out.

… Marguerite Reardon at went deeper into the past ”handful of cases” that I’ve emphasized.

“But then reported Friday that it had received an e-mail stating that Webcasts from the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in June had also been edited. Specifically, comments made during the John Butler Trio show when a band member remarked on the government’s lack of response during Hurricane Katrina were deleted, as were comments from the group Flaming Lips about George Bush screwing up. also reported Monday that Pearl Jam’s publicist was notified that a fan watching the Bonnaroo concert also claims that comments made by Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine had also been edited. —>

An Open Letter to AT&T
Our response to claims of political censorship during AT&T’s webcast of an August 5th live performance by the band Pearl Jam
Trillium Assest Management
August 2007

Mr. Randall Stephenson
Chair and CEO, AT&T Inc.

Dear Mr. Stephenson:

Trillium Asset Management Corporation (Trillium) is a leading socially responsible investment firm with over $1 billion in assets under management, including over 200,000 shares of AT&T Inc. common stock. We are writing as citizens and as shareholders concerned about claims of political censorship during AT&T’s webcast of an August 5th live performance by the band Pearl Jam. —>

Portland Grassroots Media Camp
August 24 through 26th, 2007
Portland Independent Media Center (OR)

Schedule available (pdf)

The Portland Grassroots Media Camp (PGMC) is a weekend long event of skills trainings and workshops designed to make media creation and production more accessible to organizers, activists, and all community members. Workshops will take place across Portland at such sites as PCC Cascade Campus, the Musicians Union, St. Francis Church, KBOO, Laughing Horse Books, Liberty Hall, and the Center for Intercultural Organizing.

The weekend will be an opportunity for community members, organizers, and activists, especially from immigrant communities in and around Portland, to learn new skills, get connected with local alternative media resources, and network with other immigrant, community, and media organizations. Workshops will two hours long focusing on one specific skill through the use of hands on activities. All skill levels are welcome. All workshops are FREE and open to the general public.

Participating organizations include: the Bolivarian Media Exchange, PCASC, Portland Freeskool, PCC Multimedia Department, KBOO, Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, Street Roots, TK Artist Collective, Sisters of the Road, Write Around Portland, PCUN/KPCN, Theater for Change/Teatro por un Cambio, the Independent Black Producers Organization, Sisters in Action for Power, Portland Alliance, Jobs with Justice, Oregon Oaxaca Solidarity, IPRC, and Portland Community Media —>

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

Explore posts in the same categories: Emergency communications, internet censorship, media diversity, media justice, media reform, net neutrality, PEG access TV, public access television, social media, video franchising, Web 2.0

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