Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/01/07

Public Access TV Group Sues Fla. County
Tampa Non Profit Cites First Amendment in Suit Over Funding Dispute
by Kent Gibbons
Multichannel News

The non-profit corporation that operates a public-access channel called Speak Up Tampa Bay is suing Florida’s Hillsborough County for cutting channel funds, saying the county used budget woes as a pretext to censor constitutionally protected speech.  Speak Up Tampa Bay Public Access Television Inc. said Monday that it filed the lawsuit in federal court (Case No. 8:07-CV-1782) against the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners and Hillsborough County.   —>

Speak Up Tampa Bay doesn’t expect to ride into the sunset quietly
Tampa Bay Business Journal (FL)

The public cable access television company has filed a lawsuit against Hillsborough County Commissioners and the county itself for cutting the organization out of its $2 million government access television budget. The cuts cost the group more than $350,000.  “The vote to terminate Speak Up’s funding was just a pretext for unconstitutional censorship of protected speech,” said David M. Snyder, the legal counsel for Speak Up, in a release.

County Commissioners voted Sept. 20 to end its funding of Speak Up as of Sept. 30. Speak Up officials are asking a court to enjoin the county from terminating the funding.  “Terminating public access funding of $355,443 while maintaining more than $2 million for government access television is the government playing favorites based [on] who is speaking and what they are saying. It’s a violation of the First Amendment,” Snyder said.    —>

Tampa Public Access Organization Files Lawsuit Against Hillsborough County
by Eric Deggans (FL)

I’ve been trying for a while to figure a compelling story on the fight local public access TV producers have been waging in Hillsborough and Pinellas to survive in the face of the decision to end their funding by their respective county governments.  Today, Speak Up Tampa Bay, the Hillsborough-based public access group, made it a whole lot easier, filing a lawsuit against Hillsborough County for its decision to end funding for their program Sept. 20 and bar them from accessing the facility starting last Sunday.   —>

Corporate-funded research designed to influence public policy
by Bruce Kushnick
Nieman Watchdog

Reports by well-known think tanks and individuals funded by telecoms are helping quash competition, increase phone rates and set up a corporate-oriented Internet system. Is there any reason to trust these reports? Or to trust experts who testify before regulators without revealing the sources of their funding?

Whenever I receive new data or a report, the first question I ask is, does it pass the smell test?  It is clear that we are in the age of “stink tanks,” in which corporate-funded think tanks and well-paid, credentialed academics are hired to make corporate arguments and give the appearance of being independent experts.

My field is the telecoms—I’m the chairman of Teletruth, an activist group that often finds itself in opposition to the hired guns of Verizon, AT&T and the cable companies.  In telecommunications, media broadband, wireless and the Internet, think-tank reports have helped quash competition, block municipalities from rewiring their own cities, increase phone rates and obstruct Net neutrality initiatives. This is all done in the name of saving money, creating competition, jobs and economic growth, improving and spreading broadband and helping consumers.   —>

Sangamon County Online
by Will Reynolds
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way (IL)

—>   Dillman’s survey included a question asking if videos of county board meetings should be available online. She also has a website. Its nice to see someone on the board embrace web-based communication.

Showing county board meetings online is a good idea but I would call it an icing on the cake measure when we still don’t have the cake. Showing meetings on public access television would reach more people than those who have high-speed internet access.  Also, it only allows people to view what’s being done after its too late to participate. I don’t think anyone is going to rush out of their house to the county board meeting before it ends to speak up about something they see online.

If the county wants to use the internet to involve people, rather than merely informing them after the fact, they should put the committee meeting agendas, minutes and proposed ordinances online. That will give people an easier way to find out what’s going on before an issue goes to the full county board for a final vote.

Your call, would-be sports journalists
by Hattie Bernstein
Nashua Telegraph (NH)

MILFORD – If you’re 15 or older and have knowledge of sports, you could have a future in sports journalism, either behind the camera or as an announcer or statistician.  That’s the pitch Community Media Director David Kirsch is making in an attempt to beef up coverage of local high school sports for the Public Education Government access channel.  Since late August, when the high school football team opened the season, Kirsch has been recruiting volunteers to videotape the action and explain the plays.

“It’s definitely a fantastic opportunity, and so far, it’s only been a situation covering football,” said high school Athletic Director Marc Maurais, who runs the football program. “I’d like to see if we could generate interest among our fans and parents in those other sports.”  Kirsch, who has offered to teach volunteers how to use a camera, said he is hoping to draw enough interest to provide coverage for girls and boys basketball and wrestling, popular winter sports. Depending on how many volunteers sign up, moreover, the local channel could also cover alpine skiing, swimming and indoor track during the next sports season.   —>

TPWD TV — October Highlights
Passport to Texas (from Texas Parks and Wildlife)

For twenty-two years the Texas Parks and Wildlife television series has aired on PBS stations statewide. This month, series producer, Don Cash helps us kick off the new season… Texas Parks & Wildlife can also be seen on a variety of government, educational and access cable channels in the following communities: Abilene, Allen, Atlanta, Boerne, Collin County Community College, Coppell, Del Mar College, Denton, Flower Mound, Frisco, Garland, Irving, McKinney, North Richland Hills, Plano, Rogers State University, Texarkana College, The Colony, Tyler, Waco and Wichita Falls. Check your local listings for days and times.

CBS Launches “EyeLab” an Editing Studio for Creating CBS-Based Content across Interactive Platforms
All American Patriots

CBS today announced the launch of “EyeLab,” an editing studio dedicated to creating CBS-based promotional content to be distributed across CBS Interactive platforms. The new short-form video content will be produced by fans, next-generation online content editors, and producers of CBS programming and will be tied to content from CBS News, Sports, Entertainment, Late Night and Daytime, as well as CSTV and Showtime. EyeLab clips will be distributed across the CBS Audience Network, including the newly redesigned and CBS Mobile.

EyeLab builds on research demonstrating that short-form clips are among the most viewed videos on the Web. This next-generation studio will be dedicated to creating thousands of original clips that will enable users to easily engage with and sample video tied to CBS’s wide range of content.   —>

Rejuvenate Your Career
You’re successful but you wonder if all your focus on the bottom line has been worth it. Here are six antidotes to existential angst.
by Marty Nemko

—>   4. Take on an exciting avocation. There is more to life than work. Find a new hobby or resurrect an old one, volunteer for a cause you believe in, make a concerted effort to meet Mr. or Ms. Right, host a TV show on public access TV. I, for one, have recently become a play director. My production of Same Time Next Year opens this Friday. Being a part of something beyond yourself can bring clarity and purpose to your life.

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: astroturf, government access, high school television, municipal programming, social media

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