Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/04/07

Pinellas, Hillsborough TV stations scramble to retain funds
by Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Evening News Tuesday (FL)

[ Listen ]

Tonight in Clearwater, producers and supporters of public access are going before the Pinellas County Commission to urge the Board not to cut funding for the television station.  Tonight is the first of two public budget hearings, but advocates say this may be their only real chance to persuade a majority of Commissioners not to accept the recommendation of the Pinellas County Communications Department to completely eliminate funding for the channel. (Full funding for the Education and Government Channels would be preserved.)

Meanwhile, a similar scenario will take place tomorrow night in Tampa, as supporters of the Tampa Bay Community Network, also known as Speak Up Tampa Bay, go before Hillsborough County Commissioners to save the $355,000 in funding that station could lose.In addition, the Education Channel, is also facing the possibility of its budget being completely cut from county funds.   —>

FCC Leaves Public in the Dark
by John Dunbar, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s odd for an agency that has the word “communications” as its middle name, but the Federal Communications Commission routinely leaves the public in the dark about how it makes critical policy decisions.  That secrecy was on display during the recent debate over how the government should auction off the rights to billions of dollars worth of publicly owned airwaves.

For three weeks, potential bidders such as AT&T Inc. and Google Inc. and a coalition of public interest groups waged a war through the media over proposed rules, prepared under FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, that would guide the auction.  The debate advanced largely on rumor and speculation, because Martin’s draft, as required by agency rules, was never made public. In fact, even when commissioners approved the auction rules at an open meeting on July 31, they still hadn’t been made public.  That didn’t happen until 10 days later, after the FCC staff had a chance to proofread and fine-tune the language.

The auction rules experience is not unique. It is how the agency has conducted the public’s business for at least a decade, some observers say. —>

Broadband access spreads
by Michael Reagan
Times Record (ME)

ARROWSIC — The cartons of documents that sit on the floor of Bret Gilliam’s office testify to his lack of high-speed Internet service. He receives papers and CDs of files through the mail because it takes too long to download them through e-mail on a dial-up connection… “It’s no longer even an option for a business. You have to have access to high-speed Internet,” he said.  That access is uneven or nonexistent in Arrowsic, Bowdoinham and other rural areas of Maine, although two an-nouncements last month about expanding Internet service could help decrease the number of people lacking fast connections.   —>

Community Benefits Live Television Auction!
WCTV Journal (IN)

WCTV is once again partnering with Indiana University East SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) to sponsor the Community Benefits Live Television Auction.  The event will be held Friday, November 2nd, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on WCTV Channel 21.   —>

Hillsboro football on TV
Times Gazette (OH)

Each Hillsboro football game played at Richards Memorial Field will be aired on Hillsboro Community Television the following Saturday morning at 9 a.m.  Last weekend the first of five games was aired with the game against Western Brown being shown on the channel.   —>

RMU vs Dayton Rebroadcast
Colonials Corner (OH)

The Robert Morris versus Dayton football game will be broadcast on Wednesday, September 5th at 11am, 4pm, and 9pm on Moon Community Access Television, channel 14 in the Moon Township Area.  I will let you know as soon as I do when you can find it on Comcast On-Demand and when to see it again on RMU-TV.

Episcopal TV ready to launch
Admiral of Morality

The Episcopal Church will debut a new television program called “Episcopal Life Focus,” later this month, with the first broadcasts looking at the ongoing recovery in New Orleans, and previewing the upcoming meeting of the House of Bishops, who are hosting the Archbishop of Canterbury September 20-25 in New Orleans.  The program, a monthly half-hour video “multicast” featuring church mission, ministries and news, debuts on Thursday, September 13, at 8 p.m. EDT on Episcopal Life Online.

It will remain available online for on-demand viewing, and for placement on local community access cable stations that make air time available free of charge, said Canon Robert Williams, director of the Episcopal Church’s Communication Office, which is providing the new resource…  Episcopal Life has the full story –

August 2007: Randy Russell
by DHuber
Max Rexroad, Yolo County Supervisor (CA)

Caledonian Club Vice Chief, Randy Russell, is recipient of the August 2007 Woodlander of the Month award, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the community.  Russell was honored for his long-time community service, including his ten years with the Caledonian Club’s Scottish Games, and Woodland’s public access television station, WAVE, channel 21.  Russell has been a volunteer at the WAVE for over 14 years and is currently on its board of directors as Technical Advisor.   —>–Randy-Russell.aspx

Volunteers keep airways full of diversity
by Raymond Rendleman
The Portland Observer (OR)

“Anyone in town can get us” is one of the first things you’ll hear from most volunteers behind the scenes in Portland’s nonprofit media outlets.  They don’t say this in defense of the fact that public-access cable and independent radio have fewer listeners or viewers than most else on the airwaves. It’s said more to validate their selfless commitment to making a variety of interesting programs.

In a city with several studios that will allow people to walk in off the street and soon get on the air, Jonathan Little is a prime example of someone who has taken this “it’s what you make of it” attitude to heart.  Even as he spends his days fixing up houses, Little is thinking about how he can inspire the community through his weekly “Urban Vibe” show. Portland Community Media broadcasts it three times on cable-access channels available to 400,000 people in the area, and he knows that all these potential viewers are hungry for programming with some local meat.

“We try to cover all the community bases,” he says. “There are a lot of interesting stories out there, and somebody just needs to put in the effort to get them noticed.”  Spotlights on the N-word and Katrina, a discussion with Mayor Tom Potter and coverage of summer festivals are some of the recent additions to the more than 200 “Vibes” that Little has produced in the past five years.   —>

Akaku searches for applicants
Honolulu Advertiser (HI)

Akaku: Maui Community Television is seeking a Maui County resident for a seat on its board of directors that represents the public.  According to officials at the public-access station, candidates must support Akaku’s mission “to empower our community’s voice through access to the media.”  Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume and biography by 5 p.m. Sept. 14. Documents may be e-mailed to, or mailed to the station at 333 Dairy Road, Kahului, HI 96732.   —>

Lenexa to Host Meeting of National Technology, Communications Leaders
Business & FinanceITC steering committee to work on policy issues affecting cities nationwide
Kansas City InfoZine

Lenexa, KS – The City of Lenexa will host the Information Technology and Communications steering committee of the National League of Cities Sept. 6-8. The steering committee will work on issues that are vital to finalizing national policies and resolutions on telecommunications and information systems at the NLC conference this November.

The ITC steering committee, which consists of elected city officials from across the United States with expertise in technology and communications, has jurisdiction over issues related to telecommunications and information systems including public access, cable TV, phone services, privacy and spectrum issues, communication tower sites, universal service, broadcasting, and rights-of-way.   —>

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

Explore posts in the same categories: broadband policy, FCC, high school television, municipal broadband, PEG access TV, public access television, rural broadband, spectrum auction, U-Verse, video franchising

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