Community Media: Selected Clippings – 08/23/07

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

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.   —>

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)

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.   —>

Minority groups blast FCC chair
Martin under fire for recent remarks
by William Triplett

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.   —>

The Promise of Low Power FM
by Michelle Chen
In These Times

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.   —>

There’s something award-winning about seniors’ show
by Bethany Bray
Andover Townsman (MA)

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.   —>

Reel changes at local cable access channel
by Nicole Haley
Daily News Tribune (MA)

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.   —>

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

Explore posts in the same categories: FCC, low power FM, media justice, oss, PEG access TV, public access television

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