Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/28/07

by Sam Mayfield
Sam Land

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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.

[Thanks to Beth Kanter for including this in Beth’s Blog today – rm ]

Liberia: Journalists to Address Community Media Forum in U.S.
The NEWS (Monrovia)

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. —>

Cable limits debate
by Thurm Ferree – The Times (IN)

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. —>

Council Against Moving Channels
by Ellen Gedalius
Tampa Tribune (FL)

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. —>

Self Licking Ice Cream Cones
by Bunnie Riedel
Telecommunications Consulting

—> 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. —>

[ 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 ]

Off-road group rides on
Advocates of controversial hobby just getting started
by Matt Farley
Reno Gazette-Journal (NV)

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, or to watch PNMTA’s public access television show. —>

East, Mid and West: Community Colleges Across U.S. Teach Digital Media
by Janet Nagel
Animation World Magazine

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. —>

Washington votes to review quality of cable services
Will hold off purchasing its own video equipment
by Cheryl Ciske
Romeo Observer (MI)

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. —>

Plan District Six From Outer Space
by Scott Key
‘Burque Babble (NM)

—> 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. —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: community media, government access, municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising

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