Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/12/07

Banning Saggy Pants is the Wrong Conversation.  Low Power Community Radio is the Right Conversation
by Bruce Dixon
Black Agenda Report

Local lawmakers in Atlanta, Dallas and other cities pretend to address crime and destructive aspects of corporate-delivered youth culture by targeting the appearance of black youth — with local ordinances to file or jail the wearers of sagging pants and exposed thong straps.  But the public airwaves over which commercial youth culture is delivered are owned by the people and regulated by their elected representatives.  If regulators and legislators did their jobs, would the odious fare of BET, MTV and their commercial radio clones be the only messages permitted to reach the ears of young people?

The Low Power Community Radio Act in Congress right now is a real solution to the problem of getting more positive choices and voices on the radio.  So why aren’t black leaders rallying people around it?

“It’s really legislative malpractice, that targets and criminalizes young black males who consume a cultural message conveyed to them by BET, by MTV, by black commercial radio and other corporate for-profit media….”   —>

Public turns out for first county budget hearing
by Suzette Porter
Tampa Bay Newspapers – Pinellas County (FL)

CLEARWATER – A weary Board of County Commissioners listened on Sept. 4 as members of the public expressed their opinions of the tentative budget for fiscal year 2008.  The overall budget totals more than $2 billion dollars and reflects a decrease of more than 1 percent from last year…

Commissioners were greeted by an overflow crowd. Most were there to protest the removal of funding for Access Pinellas and the reduction of funding for the housing trust fund from $10 million to $5 million.   —>

by Dan Harkins
Free Times (OH)

Sounds like a Cincinnati appeals court could care less about Akron resident Rose Wilcher and that stupid Constitution she keeps rambling on about.

Wilcher used to provide Akron-area cable subscribers with about 20 hours of local-access programming weekly, everything from Democracy Now to Army Times. Then, in March 2005, Time Warner and Akron’s Mayor Don Plusquellic pushed for and received a new requirement that all public access producers pay $25 per tape to be aired – ostensibly to clamp down on the random porn offered up to the grateful masses. Wilcher sued, alleging the fee abridged her right to free speech. But on August 16, the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Wilcher’s lawsuit, stating that the new demand was “content neutral” and thereby “cool with us.”

Did we mention that Plusquellic doesn’t have to pay to air any kind of boring drivel he decides the public should see on government access?  “Our illustrious mayor here has access to unlimited airtime, while any opponent would have to pay,” Wilcher says. “That restricts political speech.”

Uncool, says Mark Williamson, Plusquellic’s latest spokesman, who would like to highlight the difference between public access TV and government access, neither of which his boss claims to use for soap-boxing.  Regarding the case, Williamson referred those questions to Bill Jasso, Time Warner’s national PR wonk, who also happened to do the same job for Plusquellic before Williamson.  At least it’s still nice and cozy inside the bubble.

Back and badder than ever
by Jimbo
The Bomb Town News Observer

Tuesday nights in Bomb Town are back to normal! After a summer of blacked-out business held beyond reach of live television in a location as far away from the main town center as possible, the Los Alamos County Council made its triumphant return to live television Tuesday night.

The County has constructed new Council Chambers in the Los Alamos Community Building to replace the chambers that existed in the County’s Crumbling Death Trap of a Municipal Building on the other side of Ashley Pond. The new chambers have a familiar feel, thanks to movement of furniture from the old location. And the new coat of blue paint—a shade you might find in a mental-health facility—is particularly calming despite the madness going on. But even better than the Nut-House paint job, the new television signal is clear as a bell, thanks to a refurbished cable connection by Comcast!

After a summer of having to watch taped replays of meetings held in the White Rock Town Hall that were vastly different than what had been reported in Bomb Town’s remedial local newspaper, it was nice to be able to watch live-action Council business from the privacy of my own home while enjoying a cold beverage and some fine, tasty snacks. For Lame-Os like me, watching live politics is every bit as good as watching Janet Jackson’s pastied boob flop out after a Justin Timberlake mauling during halftime at the Super Bowl. Yeah, it’s pathetic, I know, but I gotta be me.

Thanks to the wonderfully clear television signal broadcast over PAC-8, Bomb Town’s excellent public access channel, viewers were able to clearly see every wrinkle of revulsion in Council Chairman Jim West’s face whenever the public spoke up about a topic in anything less than a conciliatory tone. Previously, such expressions were lost in the snow storm that often dominated the TV signal.

The Council often wonders aloud why more people don’t come to meetings and speak up about things. Here’s a hint, ladies and gentlemen of the Council: watch a re-run of yourselves and you’ll understand. There’s nothing more frustrating to a citizen who takes the time to go to a meeting to speak his or her mind than to have the Council sit there and stare blankly afterward, offering no answers to questions that might have been raised or providing any indication at all that the Council will actually consider, let alone act upon, the concerns expressed.  —>

Health Knowledge Empowers the Public
Patient-Focused Organization Reaches Out to Educate Chicagoans (IL)

CHICAGO — Continuing its efforts to educate, inform and empower the people of Chicago, SAVE THE PATIENT, a not-for-profit patient-focused organization, is hosting its 25-minute live call-in show on the Chicago Access Network (CAN-TV). “Community Health Hotline” will air Monday, September 17, at 6:00 PM on CAN-TV, Channel 21.

Monday’s program will feature a frank discussion on Chiropractic care, featuring Dr. Marshall Dickholtz Sr. In its second year, the goal of the series is to give everyday people the confidence to enact their patient rights, so that they can effectively manage their families’ health encounters.   —>

Filling ‘Second Act’ with energy, discovery
A community TV show produced by volunteers applauds and educates active retired people.
Portland Press Herald (ME)
by Josie Huang

Jeffrey Roberts and Susan Hirsch are cohosts of “Second Act,” a public access television show produced in Portland by and about retirees. “I think it’s also of interest to younger people,” says Roberts.  In theater circles, the second act is often considered the best part. There is none of the plodding exposition at the beginning, or the hurried conclusion. It’s the part where a good playwright fleshes out characters so they transcend stock characters.

That’s akin to the thinking behind “Second Act,” the public access television show written and produced in Portland by and for retirees.  Past guests on the show have been a competitive marathoner, a jazz pianist and in this month’s installment, a tennis pro. All were 70 years and up. None wanted to spend retirement sitting at home.   —>

QuePasa Corporation Launches Beta Version of the New
Latino Online Social Community Adds Advanced New Features To Enhance User Experience
PR Newswire

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz — QuePasa Corporation (the “Company”) , owner of the largest, bicultural, Latino online social community, announced today the beta launch of a new and significantly enhanced version of its existing website.  The new website is part of QuePasa Corporation’s vision to “Make it Happen!” for its members — offering a compelling and user-friendly experience to its large and growing Latino audience…

The social network is adding important online features for its members, including multiple photo albums with automatic slide shows, tagging, commenting and drag and drop sorting, and a chat function that automatically adds users’ friends to their personal chat lists and tells users whether they are available to chat at any given time. The site’s new instant messenger offers easy, immediate access to friends as well as to fully functioning, free e-mail.

Other advanced features of the new include easy uploading, playback, and sharing of videos and music, improved blogging, English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English translators, search powered by Google, and invitations. There is also an array of helpful services for daily life, including a U.S. jobs channel, calendar, dictionary, loan calculators, daily lottery updates, horoscopes, and games.

In addition to the revitalized, QuePasa Corporation is introducing QuePasa News Network. is the first bilingual, Latino-focused, online multi-media news network. Fueled by video contributions from QuePasa’s “citizen journalists,” empowers Latinos to upload reports covering human interest, breaking news, politics, sports, and entertainment.

“Our members are eager to participate actively in their communities,” continued Stearns. “ provides a real-time opportunity for our members to report and comment on current events and issues that impact their everyday lives. This stronger presence in the Latino multimedia market provides advertisers with additional, targeted access to our fast growing and increasingly affluent audience.”   —>

Widget Gives Customized Public Videocam Feeds
TrafficLand’s Web site offers live views from more than 4,000 traffic cameras worldwide.
by K.C. Jones

Can’t stand trying to navigate the traffic jams in your neighborhood? Want to see if that always-late friend is really stuck in traffic?  TrafficLand may have a tool for you. The company, which boasts its position as the largest authorized aggregator of live traffic video, introduced a free traffic camera widget Wednesday.

The widget, available through TrafficLand’s Web site, can be customized to show live views from more than 4,000 traffic cameras worldwide. The widgets can be placed on home pages, blogs, and personal Web sites, where visitors and creators can view changing road conditions live.

“The TrafficLand Widget gives users and developers a way to personalize real-time traffic camera images and incorporate them into their online world,” Lawrence Nelson, president of TrafficLand, said in a prepared statement. “It’s a great way for people to stay informed about changing traffic conditions on the local level, avoid traffic problems, and make better use of their time.”

TrafficLand’s patent-pending technology allows it to aggregate data from closed circuit television video feeds from official transportation department networks in 57 American and international areas.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: Internet TV, low power FM, LPFM, municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, social media, user-generated content

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