Archive for September 2007

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/30/07

September 30, 2007

Documenting the success of community radio in India
by Frederick Noronha
EarthTimes.org
09/30/0
7

Years before India opened its policy in late 2006 and allowed community radio stations to be set up, a handful of experimental community radios tried to give space on the airwaves to alternative voices .

‘Other Voices: The Struggle for Community Radio in India’, a book written by two University of Hyderabad scholars — Vinod Pavarala and Kanchan K. Malik, and published by Sage — documents four major community radio initiatives in India that have been a tool for ’empowerment at the grassroots’ for eight years.

Community radio is a type of radio service that caters to the interests of a certain area, broadcasting material that is popular with a local audience but is overlooked by the mainstream media.

These initiatives are the Deccan Development Society (DDS) run by Dalit women and others in Medak in Andhra Pradesh, the Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan in the Kutchi language in Gujarat, the Nammadhwani project in the Kolar district of Karnataka, and the ‘Challa Ho Gaon Mein’ programme in Jharkhand.

In an age where the media trend has been towards mergers, acquisitions and concentration of ownership, these examples show that community-based radio has a future in a diverse country like India, the book suggests.

‘All these people had come up with creative ways to do audio production in the absence of the right to broadcast themselves. Nammadhwani did it with cable radio, sending out image-less radio signals through cable TV, while DDS did it with narrowcasting or distributing recorded tapes,’ Pavarala said.

‘Importantly, these are mainly non-literate rural communities. We also looked at the ways in which their listeners have responded to the programmes,’ Pavarala told IANS.

‘These were communities whose issues and problems rarely got reflected in the mainstream media, and they found these alternative media outlets ideal to highlight their local problems, to articulate local identities, in their own languages,’ adds Pavarala.

He added that in a country ‘where language changes every few kilometres’, the projects they studied showed that radio done by people in their own language could be an effective tool for addressing the problems of development.

‘In Jharkhand, when we asked some listeners why they didn’t listen to All India Radio (AIR), Ranchi, one man said, ‘Woh Hindi humko Angrezi lagta hai’ (Their Hindi sounds as alien as English to us)! It only shows how deep the linguistic identities run in our country,’ said Pavarala.   —>
http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/116203.html
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Civil rights, media activists protest lifting media consolidation ban (IL)
by Stephanie Gadline
Michigan Citizen
09/30/07

CHICAGO (NNPA) — Despite the impassioned and at times virulent testimony of hundreds of media activists, civil rights leaders and public policy experts here, it appears that Kevin Martin, Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), remains poised to lift the 30-year cross-ownership ban, which would allow a new flood of media consolidation to sweep the nation.

About 1,000 people crowded the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition’s headquarters on September 20 for the fifth FCC public hearing before all five commissioners.

“I encourage the FCC to re-examine media rules which have created an environment of unchecked disregard for its minority listener ship and viewer ship,” said Dorothy R. Leavell, publisher of the Crusader Newspaper Group and chairwoman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation. “The FCC’s deregulations have produced zero benefit for the African-American community as a whole. It has impaired our broadcast media–forcing many Black broadcasters into smaller, less profitable markets, or pushing them off the air altogether.”

Invited by Commissioner Jonathan Aldestein, Leavell joined a panel which included representatives from the corporate media, the Illinois Broadcasters Association, WVON and the National Black Media Coalition.

Hip Hop recording artist, KRS-One, in town to promote an album, invited himself on the panel and gave a stirring testimony to the applause of many in the audience. “I represent independent artist who can’t get their records played on this homogenized, corporate-controlled radio,” he said. “Its time we began to shut these stations down. If they won’t play positive music, if they won’t support artists who are trying to uplift the community, then we need to turn them off and shut them down for good.”    —>
http://www.michigancitizen.com/default.asp?
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Hills candidates to face off Thursday
HometownLife.com (MI)
09/30/07

With the Nov. 6 general election on the horizon, the League of Women Voters Oakland Area has scheduled candidate forums for several upcoming races. On Thursday, Oct. 4, candidates for Rochester Hills mayor and City Council will face off at 7 p.m. in the council chamber at Rochester Hills City Hall. The public is invited to attend. The candidates will take questions from a panel of two reporters as well as from the audience. Two separate sessions will be held. Council candidates will appear first, followed by the mayoral candidates. The program will stream live on the city’s Web site, http://www.rochesterhills.org, and air live on the city’s cable access TV channels (Comcast Channel 55, WOW Channel 10). It will then stream daily on the city Web site and be rebroadcast on cable TV at 4 p.m. on the following dates: Oct. 5-7, 11-14, 18-21 and Nov. 1-4.   —>
>
http://www.hometownlife.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070930/NEWS17/709300372/1034/rss11
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Local group to spread the wealth
L.B.: Community Foundation will distribute $500,000.
by Don Jergler
Press Telegram (CA)
09/29/07

—>   Community Media Studio is getting $125,000. The group is a new social enterprise project of the YMCA Youth Institute that will offer products and services in the digital media arts to area companies and noprofits at a competitive price.   —>
http://www.presstelegram.com/news/ci_7041255
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So Sacramento
by Gina Kim
Sacramento Bee (CA)
09/30/07

Ten minutes. A budget of zero. Set in Sacramento.  These are the rules for the 10 short films playing at the Crest Theatre next weekend as part of the eighth annual A Place Called Sacramento Film Festival.

And the amateur filmmakers came through with shots of the American River, Old Sacramento, the Tower Bridge, Cesar Chavez Plaza, Oak Park … the list goes on. But more than the background, the films display the spirit of Sacramento, says Ron Cooper, executive director of the nonprofit community TV channel Access Sacramento and creator of the event.

“It shows why people choose to live in Sacramento,” he says. “It’s not because it’s two hours from the ocean or skiing. … They live here because it feels good; they live here because they like the people.”

The 10 films range from the magical properties of a cologne called “The Sac Effect” to a historical visit by Susan B. Anthony. They describe a transgender woman named Lisa and the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on a young local family.  —>
http://www.sacbee.com/107/story/402996.html
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Some thoughts on “5 P’s” of Social Media…
by Sean O’Driscoll
Community Group Therapy
09/30/07

I’ve been doing a number of presentations as of late on social media and I thought I’d share a slide I’ve been using that I call the “5 P’s of Social Media.”  I figured posting here might be a good place to get some feedback to make this even better.  The marketers out there will remember the 4 P’s of marketing popularized by E. Jerome McCarthy:  Product, Pricing, Promotion and Placement.

In the 2001 book High Intensity Marketing by Idris Mootee, the author proposed a new set of 4 P’s for the Internet age: Personalization, Participation, Peer-to-Peer, and Predictive Modeling.  Overall, I like this model and had never seen it before doing some research in prep for writing this blog post (I’ll have to get the book).  While social media has matured a great deal in the 6 years since this book came out, I think the model applies very well.

What I was looking for was a prescriptive and informative model for describing the various forms of social media as well as the underlying components required for describing a social media strategy.  Here’s what I came up with:   —>
http://communitygrouptherapy.com/2007/09/30/some-thoughts-on-5-ps-of-social-media/
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Keep Access Pinellas Alive

September 30, 2007

PSA by Jennifer Sloane, producer

Pinellas County, Florida

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/29/07

September 29, 2007

Freedom of Speech and Publc Access
by Jennifer Sloane, Producer
Access Pinellas
09/28/07

A PSA on Freedom of Speech and Public Access Television featuring Civil Rights Attorney, Luke Lirot.
http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1214037828
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We Interrupt This Broadcast
by Qwertz
WoPRc.net
09/28/07

—> There was a campaign here in Key Midwestern Swing State to “open the doors to cable competition.” There was a bill. It passed and was signed by our new Governor, Liberal Democrat. Large National Telephone Company was the primary lobbying force behind the bill. The bill abolished all municipal cable franchise agreements.

“How wonderful!” I can hear you exclaim. “Key Midwestern Swing State has taken a great step towards a true laissez-faire cable television market!”

But alas, this is not the case. The bill did away with municipal franchise agreements by creating a State franchise agreement! Instead of local tyrants dictating the terms on which customers may purchase cable television and Internet services, State tyrants will get to do it. And have done it. And have prices dropped? No. Because the bill didn’t actually open the doors to cable competition. It just made it so that the telephone company can get it’s “fair share” of the public pie. Are there new choices? No. The choice is still “cable or DSL,” not “which cable company?” Actually, when the bill was signed, my cable bill went up by four and a half dollars a month. And now the service is getting shitty.

Tyrants are everywhere and they’re not going away. What amazes me most is that people are so confused about what tyranny is that they’ll embrace a bigger tyrant who comes along to “save” them from the petty ones.
http://wopsr.net/archives/50
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Where Mentors Guide Young Filmmakers
by Joseph P. Fried
New York Times (NY)
09/30/07

James Duarte, 16, says his plan to become a film director and screenwriter can be traced to when he was 9 years old and persuaded his father to buy him a camcorder. These days, Mr. Duarte is conceiving, shooting and editing short films in a two-year after-school and weekend program run by the Downtown Community Television Center, a 35-year-old nonprofit production and training organization in Manhattan. The center’s professional filmmakers produce television documentaries (15 of which have won Emmy Awards), and its trainees include high school students, some of whom are bent on pursuing film-related careers.

“I definitely want to be in the film industry,” said Megan Rosado, a 17-year-old trainee. “It’s kind of a dream of mine to have my own film company.” Ms. Rosado, a Bronx resident, and Mr. Duarte, also of the Bronx, spoke about their plans recently while editing film they had shot for separate projects.

Each year, 8 to 12 high school freshmen and sophomores are admitted to the program, which began in the mid-1990s and is called Media Fellowship. They receive stipends of $7 an hour for nine hours a week, though the program’s administrators say that most devote more time to the program. —>
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/30/jobs/30homefront.html?_r=1&ref=media&oref=slogin
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Pacifica Community Television
About this channel
USTREAM.TV

This is a live stream from Pacifica Community Television, a public access media organization covering life and event in Pacifca, California. Please visit http://www.pct26.com/ for schedules and further information. —>
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/pacifica-community-television
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5 Reasons Social Media Makes Me Want to Claw YOUR Eyes Out
by Justin Kownacki
Cafe Witness
09/29/07

Once again, I must qualify this post with a disclaimer: I create social media. At times, what I create is quite good, and I enjoy the process. I also enjoy the community aspect of social media. However.

There’s a LOT of fluff and very little substance to social media (so far), and that extends to the way in which we frame our arguments. So, if at all possible, I’d be extremely pleased if I never had to hear the following statements again: —>
http://justinkownacki.blogspot.com/2007/09/5-reasons-social-media-makes-me-want-to.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/28/07

September 28, 2007

CHANNEL 17 CENTER FOR MEDIA AND DEMOCRACY DELEGATION IS GOING TO GHANA!!!
by Sam Mayfield
Sam Land
9/25-26/07

[blip.tv ?posts_id=402720&dest=-1]

We are going to Ghana! Nat and Linda Ayer and myself are going to Ghana in November. We were invited by Coastal Television in Cape Coast Ghana. We will represent Ch.17 Center for Media and Democracy. Coastal Television is the first Community Access television station in Ghana. The advent of this station has revolutionary value for their country. This community resource will build job skills, increase awareness about issues in Southern Ghana, and will build esteem for community members. They are psyched to be on the air! They have been broadcasting since May of 2007.

They have the minimal equipment required to run a television station and would not be bummed to have donations. We hope to raise money and bring new equipment when we visit! Any dollar that you contribute will go DIRECTLY to the purchase of headphones, microphones, tapes and if possible a camera. You can donate by clicking on the ChipIn link on the right side.
http://samville.blogspot.com/

[Thanks to Beth Kanter for including this in Beth’s Blog today – rm ]
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Liberia: Journalists to Address Community Media Forum in U.S.
The NEWS (Monrovia)
AllAfrica.com
09/28/07

Eight Liberian Journalists, including the president of the press union of Liberia George Barpeen are in the United States as part of an exchange program being implemented by the Center for Democracy and Development at the University of Massachusetts in Boston and sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The visiting Liberian journalists will speak at a community forum in Providence, Rhode Island on Saturday on pertinent topical issues impacting the emerging democracy in Liberia, including the contribution of the media to the march towards sustainable democracy and the media environment – and how it has changed and how it could be enhanced. —>
http://allafrica.com/stories/200709281065.html
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Cable limits debate
by Thurm Ferree
NWI.com – The Times (IN)
09/21/07

With mistrust on all sides in the public about government and whether it’s doing its job, we have a further diminishing of representative debate. In a letter to me dated Aug. 28, I am notified that a change allowed in 2006 by the Indiana Legislature no longer requires that Comcast have facilities to produce public, educational or governmental programming.

I was one of those who, after being trained by Comcast and certificated, produced and displayed items on access channels. All that will end Sept. 28. Comcast still will make available channels to show content but no longer will have studios or equipment to create it. This deregulation of cable comes compliments of our Indiana legislators – the same ones who gave big tax breaks to industry forcing our personal property taxes ever higher. —>
http://www.nwitimes.com/articles/2007/09/21/community/lake_county/doc7d67c04c399252488625735c006fc488.txt
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Council Against Moving Channels
by Ellen Gedalius
Tampa Tribune (FL)
09/28/07

TAMPA – City council members told a representative of Bright House Networks that they don’t care for a plan to move government access TV stations higher on the dial. The word “litigation” came up from council members on more than one occasion, and by the end of the meeting, Councilman John Dingfelder asked the city’s legal department to look into filing a motion for injunctive relief to keep the government access channels where they are. “To me, those are extremely important channels the public should have ready access to,” Dingfelder said. —>
http://www.tbo.com/news/metro/MGBMPPX447F.html
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Self Licking Ice Cream Cones
by Bunnie Riedel
Telecommunications Consulting
09/28/07

—> Then you got Indiana. Ah, Comcast sends a letter and that is the end of the story. But as I read it, a one Amy Hansen, poor company dear writes, and I quote:

“While the state statute ensures that channel capacity will be provided for access channels in existence on January 1, 2006, there is no requirement to continue to provide personnel, studios or equipment.”

Ergo…Comcast will shut down any studios and Public access operations beginning September 28 to the towns of Hammond, Portage and Mishawaka, Indiana.

Not so fast Cowboys…here’s the text of the law…

(2) requires a provider described in section 21(a) of this chapter to provide PEG channel capacity, facilities, or financial support under a local franchise issued to the provider by the unit before July 1, 2006, regardless of whether the provider elects to:
(A) continue the local franchise under section 21(b)(1) of this chapter; or
(B) terminate the local franchise under section 21(b)(2) of this chapter and continue providing video service in the unit under a certificate issued under this chapter.

Boy howdy, Amy, go back to yer bosses because I think indeed you do need to provide personnel, studios or equipment, if it was in that franchise, which it probably were and I’m thinking like in Brookline Massachusetts, Comcast just walking away from this obligation doesn’t negate the obligation. Yee Haw!

At least Comcast, unlike Hillsborough County or Al Gore, wasn’t trying to divert Public access support to non-existent amateur sports teams or multi-national hotel chains for HDTV set ups or claim they invented democratic discourse on television. Comcast is just trying to weasel out wherever they can, especially in those small jurisdictions who may not know any better and especially in Indiana where the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission is completely Ignoramus Non-Gratis on video franchising. Even now…two years into the game. —>
http://riedelcommunications.blogspot.com/2007/09/self-licking-ice-cream-cones.html

[ This is just a small slice – be sure to catch the whole pie at Bunnie’s blog. Thanks to Free Press for including this on their site today – rm ]
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Off-road group rides on
Advocates of controversial hobby just getting started
by Matt Farley
Reno Gazette-Journal (NV)
09/28/07

Since 1998, the Pine Nut Mountains Trail Association has practiced what many outside the group consider an odd blend of land stewardship and potentially destructive off-road recreation. The group, which focuses on the 350,000-acre Pine Nut mountain range east of the Carson and Eagle valleys, supports its calls for increased recreational access to public lands with a maintenance effort that has so far cleared thousands of yards of trash and dozens of abandoned vehicles from the region.

… The Pine Nut Mountains Trail Association holds meetings the first Thursday of each month at the Round Table Pizza off Topsy Lane. For more information, visit http://www.nv-trails.org, or www.nvtrails.bactv.org to watch PNMTA’s public access television show. —>
http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070928/DOUGLAS/709280368/1144/NEWS
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East, Mid and West: Community Colleges Across U.S. Teach Digital Media
by Janet Nagel
Animation World Magazine
09/28/07

Ten years ago, Santa Monica College, in California, started a special animation program in a new facility that was set up just for this newfangled thing called “digital animation.” With the establishment of the Academy of Entertainment & Technology, SMC became the first community college in California to offer this specialized curriculum.

Many types of schools now teach animation and digital media. They range from vocational schools, to private specialty schools, to major universities, and community colleges are among the leaders in this discipline. —>
http://mag.awn.com/index.php?ltype=pageone&article_no=3410
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Washington votes to review quality of cable services
Will hold off purchasing its own video equipment
by Cheryl Ciske
Romeo Observer (MI)
09/26/07

For the next six months, Washington Township officials will review the quality of services they are receiving from WBRW cable Channel 6 before deciding whether to purchase video equipment of their own. At the Sept. 19 meeting of the Washington Township Board of Trustees, officials unanimously voted to table purchasing a video camera, tripod, laptop computer and lighting equipment to be able to cover various township events such as board meetings and programs at the senior citizen center. —>
http://www.romeoobserver.com/story.asp?storyid=10478
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Plan District Six From Outer Space
by Scott Key
‘Burque Babble (NM)
09/28/07

—> To say the “production values” of last night’s forum were low would be an understatement. I happened across the show a minute or so in, and the first thing I saw was a giant, full-screen head shot of Kevin Wilson. And I mean full-screen. If it wasn’t for the god-awful lighting I could have performed a dermatological exam on Mr. Wilson from that extreme close-up.

Viewers were then whipped rollercoaster-style between the candidates, all of whom looked defiantly unsophisticated as they sat around a $19 Aaron Rents coffee table. Directorial decisions and camera angles seemed to be based on theories of either 1920s German Expressionist cinema or some drunk guys shooting video of girls in beads at Mardi Gras. —>
http://frannyzoo.blogspot.com/2007/09/plan-district-six-from-outer-space.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/27/07

September 27, 2007

Call for content – Cape Town Community TV
ScreenAfrica.com
09/27/07

Cape Town Community Television plans to launch a free-to-air channel in February 2007. The organisation was launched in September 2006 by over 200 non-profit organisations in the greater Cape Town metropolitan area and is applying to ICASA for a one-year community TV license.  CTCTV is committed to providing the community access to television. This will enable the people of Cape Town to fulfil their communication needs in this medium and to express their cultural and entertainment interests in their own languages.

CTCTV is calling for programming from filmmakers, NGOs, educational institutions (e.g. student productions), distributors and international partners.   —>
http://www.screenafrica.com/news/television/592600.htm
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Brighthouse realignment riles Tampa City council
by Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Evening News Thursday (FL)
09/27/07

A representative from Brighthouse Networks received a somewhat combative reaction at today’s Tampa City Council meeting. It was in response to a proposal the cable service is about to unveil that could potentially decrease viewership of the Council’s own meetings.  Come December, analog subscribers to Brighthouse in the Tampa bay area will have the PEG channels removed from their service. And for the majority of viewers watching on digital cable, those channels – representing Public access, education and the Government  will move from its current spot in the lowest channel number slot to a much higher slot…

Nobody appeared more animated about the PEG channels going digital than City Councilman John Dingfelder, who said the whole idea seemed to pop out of nowhere… Dingfelder said that many citizens generally don’t watch all of the City Council meetings live or on their frequent repeats on local Channel 15. But he says they frequently will be flipping their remote, moving from the Fox affiliate , channel 14 in Tampa, and then come upon the meetings for 5 or 10 minutes. He says those stray ‘surfers’ will never have that same opportunity, if the City of Tampa Television station is located on digital cable systems around the 600 channel mark.

City Councilman Charlie Miranda said the debate needed to continue, but cautiously, with litigation potentially pending….   Councilwoman Mary Mulhern upon learning of Brighthouse’s proposal, she was troubled by it…   Mindy Snyder, the city of Tampa’s Cable Television Manager, said a survey was taken independently back in April, and it showed that many people did come across the Tampa Government Channel – also known as CCTV simply by switching channels. —>
http://www.wmnf.org/news_stories/show/4764
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Community radio looking for home
by Clea Simon
Boston Globe (MA)
09/27/07

How does someone start a radio station? And why would anyone want to? These are the questions that community activist Grace Ross and radio journalists David Goodman and John Grebe have been asking themselves since last spring.  Next month along with other colleagues as members of the Grassroots Community Radio Initiative, they’ll be filing papers with the Federal Communications Commission. This is the first step of a lengthy application process, but only the latest development in what has become an ongoing project.

The idea, says Goodman, started at his current radio gig. Since 1995, Goodman has hosted “Radio With a View,” Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon on MIT community station WMBR-FM (88.1). Ross, who ran for governor as the Green Party/Rainbow candidate in 2006, provides commentaries for his show.   —>
http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/articles/2007/09/27/community_radio_looking_for_home/
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White, Comcast near a deal on public access channel
by Lisa Falkenberg
Houston Chronicle (TX)
09/26/07

Maybe Mayor Bill White cares about public access TV after all.  Several months ago, I wrote about how a confluence of forces, including a new state law, threatened to cut off operations funding for Houston MediaSource, the nonprofit that runs the city’s public access station.  The channel — 17 for Comcast subscribers — is one of the few commercial-free programming options on cable TV these days.

For years, the city had negotiated its own franchise agreements in which the cable company volunteered to pay for operations costs. The “volunteer” part is key because, under a silly federal rule, mandated fees aren’t supposed to be used for operations. They should be used for capital costs: bricks, mortar, cameras, etc…

But a 2005 state law replaced the city’s negotiating power with a statewide franchise agreement. It required cable companies to pay cities 1 percent in gross revenue, which was a boon for cities that had been getting less. But because the 1 percent was mandated, it could only be used for capital costs.

This appeared to be a death sentence for Houston MediaSource and some other Texas public access stations, leaving them with money to buy equipment but little money to pay salaries and run the stations. In April, the channel expected to see its operations budget cut from $617,000 per year to $100,000.  Executive Director Fred Fichman was predicting the station would go dark if it couldn’t raise enough private funding…

In my May column, I argued that the mayor could help by restoring funding he had cut from the channel a year earlier, but that he wasn’t willing.  MediaSource’s budget had been cut by a third after a controversy over nudity and profanity on a few public access shows, although the mayor attributed the cut to fiscal discipline.  A day after my column ran, White seemed to have a change of heart. He assured the Chronicle that he would work to find a solution to the cable conundrum. And four months later, it appears that he has — and a very creative solution at that.   —>
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/falkenberg/5167914.html
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Nonprofit takes over local cable station
Cape Ann TV to be managed by four towns
by John Laidler
Boston Globe (MA)
09/27/07

Residents may not have noticed a difference on their screens, but a new era has dawned for the cable TV access station serving Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Rockport.  A regional nonprofit corporation formed by the four Cape Ann communities has taken over the operation of the Gloucester-based station.   —>
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/09/27/nonprofit_takes_over_local_cable_station?mode=PF
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TV-34 undergoes Extreme Makeover
by Erica Zarra
Montclair Times (NJ)
09/26/07

Gone are the days of Montclair’s recycling schedule recycled over and over, inaudible Township Council meetings, the Sewer Utility fee chart fixated for hours, and, at times, a blank screen.  TV-34, the municipality’s public access station, is undergoing a long-awaited makeover via new programs and a new commitment: Concentrating on what the customers want.

“I feel very strongly that a community station should reflect the community and I didn’t feel it was doing that when I came on here,” said Sharon Colucci, TV-34’s new station manager.  Colucci, who held the same position in Old Bridge Township for almost a decade, came to Montclair in March with a vision for the bareboned, low-fi channel.

“There is an eclectic assortment of talent, and I think it can be showcased more with the station,” Colucci told The Times. “Everybody knows where Montclair is. Everybody knows it’s a pocket of art. I just think that the station wasn’t working enough and hopefully we’re on the right track now.”   —>
http://www.montclairtimes.com/page.php?page=15825
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Main Theatre Camera System: Fully Operational
Grand Rapid Community Media Center (MI)
09/27/07

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” – Michael Corleone

Another major upgrade complete!  Wealthy Theatre just finished installation of three remote-controlled, robotic video cameras in the Main Theatre.    The wiring and soldering was a challenge because the user manual was full of errors (you might be surprised how often this is the case.)  So we called in a gentleman by the name of Chuck Peterson, who worked at GRTV as station manager for many years — and who was our interim executive director after the untimely passing of Dirk Koning.   —>
http://www.grcmc.org/about/news.php?news_item_id=200
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Discussing Campus Watch on the TV Show, “Spotlight on the Middle East”
Cinnamon Stillwell (CA)
09/27/07

I’ll be interviewed tonight, September 27th, by historian David Meir-Levy and his co-hosts on the public access Palo Alto-based cable television show, “Spotlight on the Middle East.” We’ll be discussing the work of Campus Watch and, in particular, our focus on Middle East studies academics in California. Fellow guest Sue Maltiel, executive director of Hillel of Silicon Valley, will address the issue from a student level.   —>
http://cinnamonstillwell.blogspot.com/2007/09/discussing-campus-watch-on-tv-show.html
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Caution: Verizon takes issue with NARAL
Peggy, as She Is
09/27/07

This is downright preposterous! Verizon has rejected a request to grant NARAL a “short code” to text message information to members who’ve opted in to NARAL’s messaging program.  They said NARAL is too ‘unsavory’ and ‘controversial’. *rubs eyes* WHO CARES? This isn’t NAMBLA, folks, it’s NARAL. And last I checked, controversial or not, Abortion is LEGAL.  Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL, sent out this email this morning:  “I’ve got some bad news for you: even your cell phone isn’t safe from censorship.”   –>
http://peggys-musings.blogspot.com/2007/09/caution-verizon-takes-issue-with-naral.html
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In Media Res
by Tanner
Gameology.org
09/27/07

Media Commons has an excellent ongoing project called In Media Res wherein media scholars post short videos with introductory statements meant to engage the community in conversation.  It is not only a really interesting twist on academic discussion, but a great way to gain exposure to the various projects people are working, as well as potentially get some preliminary feedback on your own project.   —>
http://www.gameology.org/blog/in_media_res
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Social-media pros: We’re just getting started
by Martin LaMonica
cnet
09/26/07

Social-media sites are visited mainly by early technology adopters and pose thorny privacy problems but are an increasingly viable channel for news distribution for overwhelmed Internet consumers, panelists at the Emerging Technology Conference said on Wednesday.

During the opening session of the conference, founders from three popular Web 2.0 social media sites–Kevin Rose of Digg, Tariq Krim of NetVibes, and Garret Camp of StumbleUpon–predicted a growing role for community-oriented sites in the media industry. The conference, now called EmTech, is put on by the Technology Review and held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.   —>
http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9785239-7.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.channels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/26/07

September 27, 2007

Support for community radio
Letter to the Editor: The Guardian (UK)
09/26/0
7

London Metropolitan University’s Finding and Funding Voices colloquium last week heard evidence from across Europe of the contribution community media is making to social inclusion, community engagement and regeneration. Our own experience confirms that, especially among disaffected young people – from both native and minority communities – involvement in programme-making brings important gains in self- and peer-esteem, as well as highly transferable digital and communication skills. Many other benefits to the community are well documented, as in for example Professor Anthony Everitt’s report on Access Radio (ofcom.org.uk) and the Department for Culture report The Community Radio Sector: Looking to the Future (http://culture.gov.uk).

Yet the UK’s community-radio sector is running on empty, because there is not the understanding at the highest levels of what this local form of public-service broadcasting involves, nor the political will to place it within agendas dealing with housing, health, crime prevention, employment, education, regeneration and community development – the very areas in which community media have a proven record. 144 community radio licensees are having to make do with a start-up fund originally designed to support 15, and London is in a particularly bad situation, with many communities unserved and many listeners turning to pirate radio to hear what legal stations are not providing.

The prime minister and the mayor of London should adopt an interdepartmental approach that can find and fund the voices that we all need to hear in a multicultural society.

[signed by] Peter Lewis, London Metropolitan University; Jaqui Devereux, Community Media Association; Steve Buckley, Amarc (World Association of Community Broadcasters; and 17 others —>
http://media.guardian.co.uk/radio/comment/0,,2177235,00.html
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Adrian, Michigan Files Complaint Against Comcast
by Jon Kreucher
Blogging Broadband (MI)
09/26/07

It’s been almost nine months since Michigan’s “Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act” became effective. The third complaint under that new law was filed by the City of Adrian, Michigan late last week.

Although anxiety has been building for some time over the positions being taken by Comcast, Adrian’s complaint was the first to be filed under the new law against the nation’s dominant cable company. According to the pleading, Comcast’s actions violated at least two sections of the new statute. First, Comcast allegedly represented to the Michigan Public Service Commission that the City had taken no action on the company’s Uniform Franchise application in the first 30 days, and, therefore, that the Uniform Franchise had been approved by operation of law. According to the City, however, a finding had been made that Comcast’s application was incomplete — Comcast simply ignored the conclusion and represented the matter differently to the MPSC.

Second, Adrian’s lawsuit contends that Comcast should pay some portion of its gross revenues (above the 5% franchise fee) in support of public, education and government access programming. While the new law appears to be clear on the matter (at least as clear as any other section . . .), Comcast has nevertheless taken the position that no support of PEG programming is necessary. The City has requested that “[a]n Order be entered requiring Comcast to pay an appropriate PEG fee as may be determined by the Public Service Commission.” —>
http://www.bloggingbroadband.com/?p=97
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Now is the time to SUPPORT PEG access in Fresno.
When Will Public Access TV Come to Fresno?
by Mike Rhodes
Indybay.com – Central Valley (CA)
09/25/07

Efforts to establish Public, Education, and Government (PEG) programing on the cable network in Fresno have been underway for over six years now. What happens in the next month or two will determine whether or not individuals and community groups will have an opportunity to produce and broadcast programs on Comcast cable.

With a new statewide franchise agreement about to take affect on January 1, 2007, all the City of Fresno would have to do is adopt an ordinance to accept the money from Comcast and PEG access would be guaranteed. With the money from the franchise agreement we could establish a Community Media Center where there would be equipment and studios available for producing Public Access programs. These programs could be about the activities of a community group, a cultural presentation by one of this areas many ethnic groups, a talk show about local politics, or just about anything else you could imagine.

The funding from the state franchise agreement would also pay for a government channel which would broadcast the Fresno City Council meetings. Other possible programs include an interview with the City Manager, an inside look at the planning commission, exploring the exciting world of budget hearings, and anything else that has to do with local government. The government channel will be our spotlight on local government.

The education channel can provide distant learning opportunities, homework help, or a live broadcast from a school sports, music, or cultural event.

Unfortunately, there are forces that do not want the public to have a voice on a public access channel. Jerry Duncan supports the government and the education channels but he is opposed to the public access channel because he believes that if the public wants air time, they should pay for it. Duncan sees no problem with Big Government exercising their free speech rights on the cable network to get their message out but he does not want community groups and individuals to have the same opportunity. —>
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/09/25/18449723.php
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Mattapoisett to Press Comcast to ‘Light Up’ Education Channel
by Ken Souza
The Wanderer (MA)
09/25/07

—> Selectman Andrews also noted that the Tri-Town Public, Education and Government (PEG) Access corporation, ORCTV, has been having trouble getting Comcast to adhere to their contractual obligation to “light up” the tri-town education channel (Channel 18 ED-TV). According to the terms of Comcast’s contract with Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester, the channel was supposed to be activated on September 1, 2007.

“It may be time for the three Town Administrators to confer with (ORCTV) Executive Director Kim Miot and our attorney, Bill Solomon, who drafted the contract,” Selectman Andrews said. “The only thing holding up Channel 18 from going live is Comcast. The schools are ready to have content go out on Channel 18.”

According to Selectman Andrews, Comcast has alleged that they need to purchase additional equipment to broadcast the channel from either ORR High School or the ORCTV facility in Marion, but they knew for some time they were obligated to activate Channel 18 on September 1. —>
http://www.wanderer.com/blogs/index.php?blog=2&title=mattapoisett_to_press_comcast_to_light_u&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1
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Cobb school board to make TV debut
by Diane R. Stepp
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)
09/26/07

Cobb County school board member Johnny Johnson ran his hand across his balding head, wondering perhaps if a little powder might take the shine off for the board’s live television debut Thursday night on Channel 24. He joshed with Superintendent Fred Sanderson. He indicated that Sanderson, too, might want to glam up his own receding hairline for the debut. Twenty six high-powered lights already installed in the ceiling had board chairman Lindsey Tippins cranking up the air conditioning.

No doubt, board members are up for Thursday night’s live entrance into dens and living rooms across Cobb County. No white shirts or excessive jewelry, district public information officer Jay Dillon reminded board members in an e-mail this week. There’ll even be a pre-board dress rehearsal to go over the new gadgets on the microphones.

Part of the $181,000 boardroom communications upgrade includes some cosmetic tweaking. The dais has been pulled forward a couple of feet to make room for a deep blue velvet curtain backdrop, lending a more upscale look to the setting. It replaces two framed National School of Excellence awards that caused “an awful reflection,” Dillon said.

Four new robotic cameras will catch the action. Gone will be the grainy images and, at times, unintelligible audio on rebroadcast that brought home viewers into the boardroom four days after the board’s monthly meetings were over. Two technicians will be working monitors behind the scenes and a floor manager will make sure microphones get to speakers in the audience. —>
http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/cobb/stories/2007/09/26/cobbtv_0926.html
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Pre-election telecast of accountability team’s meeting faulted
Council foes claim Brown misused cable TV channel
by Brian Meyer
The Buffalo News (NY)
09/26/07

Some Common Council members have long referred to cable Channel 22 as “all Brown, all the time.” A large amount of time, they say, is devoted to programs that showcase Mayor Byron W. Brown. But the criticism escalated Tuesday when some lawmakers accused the mayor’s office of using the channel to malign Council foes.

They specifically point to the meeting of the mayor’s accountability team telecast a week before the primary. It showed the Sept. 7 meeting of Brown and several Cabinet members discussing a Council vote earlier in the year in which three lawmakers voted against releasing $10 million in state efficiency grants, including more than $300,000 for Fire Department safety equipment.

“Wait a second,” Brown said. “Are you saying that three Council members actually voted against safety equipment for our firefighters?” First Deputy Mayor Steven M. Casey then proceeded to name them: South Council Member Michael P. Kearns, Lovejoy Council Member Richard A. Fontana and Delaware Council Member Michael J. LoCurto. The Cabinet members discussed the issue for a few minutes, criticizing those who voted against the grants.

LoCurto was facing a spirited primary challenge from Jessica Maglietto, a mayoral aide who coordinates the accountability panel. Around the time the meeting was aired, LoCurto complained, Maglietto’s campaign mailed a flier that hit on the theme raised at the meeting. —>
http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/story/170848.html
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AT&T’s U-verse IPTV: Getting the Basics Right First
by Anne B. McDonald
PC World
09/25/07

Today I’m attending the IPTV World conference near San Francisco. A good many in the growing IPTV industry are gathered here to talk about ways to improve the IPTV experience for viewers. AT&T’s VP of programming, Amy Friedlander is here to talk about the state of her company’s IPTV product, U-verse TV. Along with Verizon’s FiOS TV, U-verse is the IPTV service you’ve most likely heard about or considered buying.

It was interesting talking to AT&T after I gave U-verse fairly low marks in a review of the service for PC World.com. In the review I complained that U-verse looked and acted like just another cable service. IPTV, we are promised, should be able to do much more in the way of giving us choice and control over our TV watching time. There should also be much more integration of the TV service and all the content that’s available on the public Internet, I argued. —>
http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/005522.html
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Community Technology and Public Access TV
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition (MA)
09/26/07

Back in March, I spoke with Felicia M. Sullivan, Executive Director of Organizers’ Collaborative and former Director of Community Programming at Lowell Telecommunications Corporation about a number of issues related to PEG access TV and the Internet. This short video features an excerpt from our conversation about the early use of networked technology in public access Television.
http://cmediachange.net/blog/2007/09/26/community-technology-and-public-access-tv/
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Comcast Hoses Hoosiers

September 26, 2007

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