Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/27/07

Call for content – Cape Town Community TV

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.   —>

Brighthouse realignment riles Tampa City council
by Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Evening News Thursday (FL)

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. —>

Community radio looking for home
by Clea Simon
Boston Globe (MA)

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.   —>

White, Comcast near a deal on public access channel
by Lisa Falkenberg
Houston Chronicle (TX)

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.   —>

Nonprofit takes over local cable station
Cape Ann TV to be managed by four towns
by John Laidler
Boston Globe (MA)

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.   —>

TV-34 undergoes Extreme Makeover
by Erica Zarra
Montclair Times (NJ)

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.”   —>

Main Theatre Camera System: Fully Operational
Grand Rapid Community Media Center (MI)

“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.   —>

Discussing Campus Watch on the TV Show, “Spotlight on the Middle East”
Cinnamon Stillwell (CA)

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.   —>

Caution: Verizon takes issue with NARAL
Peggy, as She Is

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.”   –>

In Media Res
by Tanner

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.   —>

Social-media pros: We’re just getting started
by Martin LaMonica

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.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: community radio, full power FM, public access television, social media, video franchising

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