Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/26/07

FCC to Hold Localism Hearing Oct. 31
by John Eggerton
Broadcasting & Cable

Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin has been getting pushback from Capitol Hill on a proposed timetable for completing the media-ownership-rule review, but the FCC Wednesday confirmed that it will hold the last of its localism hearings Oct. 31.  That was one of the planned elements of a timetable that would result in a Dec. 18 vote on revised rules. The commission has to hold that localism hearing, then release a report on the impact of media consolidation on localism in time for public comment, since Martin has pledged that such a report would precede any vote.

The hearing will be at the FCC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., and immediately follow the monthly open meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.  It will include “a presentation by the Media Bureau summarizing the record that the commission has received on the topic of localism, a panel presentation and a period for public comment. ”   —>

Senators threaten to block media ownership plan
by Peter Kaplan

Two U.S. senators on Wednesday threatened to introduce bipartisan legislation that would block the U.S. Federal Communication Commission from acting quickly to ease rules governing media ownership.  Sens. Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, and Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, said they were studying possible legislation that would nullify an FCC decision expected on December 18.  “I would expect those of us who feel strongly that this is the wrong approach will attempt to find a way to block an action that we think is inappropriate,” Dorgan told reporters at a press conference.   —>;_ylt=AkFXvoy8jEOmnqLYf19HcpZxFb8C

Dorgan, Lott Vow to Invalidate Media-Ownership Vote … Again
FCC Chairman Martin Pressured by Senators to Delay Vote on Media-Ownership Rules
by John Eggerton
Broadcasting & Cable

Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.) made it clear Wednesday that they will do whatever they can to try to stop Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin from holding a December vote on media-ownership rule changes.  If Martin does try to “ram through” that vote, Dorgan said, they vowed to use a rarely seen procedural move, a resolution of disapproval, to invalidate it — so rare that the first time it was used was the last time the FCC tried to deregulate ownership.

The Senate voted to approve a similar bill when the FCC passed deregulatory rules back in 2003 — a bill also introduced by Dorgan and Lott. But the Republican-controlled House did not vote on it, and it was superseded anyway by a court’s staying and eventual remand of the rules back to the FCC for better explanation.  It is that review Martin was hoping to vote on by the end of the year after 18 months of review and hearings and comment.

But Dorgan and Lott, at a Capitol Hill press conference Wednesday, said that would be a rush to judgment. They also said they were working on other possible legislative efforts, including requiring the FCC to complete a separate proceeding on the effects of consolidation on broadcast localism.  Dorgan said that they could have that bill done in the next week or so. The resolution disapproving the FCC rules would have to wait for the December FCC vote, if it happens.   —>

Media Briefing: ‘One of radio’s hottest-button issues – consolidation…’
by Bill Baker
Blog Thirteen

One of radio’s hottest-button issues – consolidation – took center stage at the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee’s “Future of Radio” hearing yesterday. Parties representing both sides of each issue had a chance to make their points to Senators who most likely have already made up their minds on the issues. Free Press research director S. Derek Turner called on Congress to “send a message to the FCC to stop its rush toward more consolidation.”

In prepared remarks, Turner said, “Ownership rules exist for a reason: to increase diversity and localism, which in turn produces more diverse speech, more choice for listeners, and more owners who are responsive to their local communities … Our research conclusively demonstrates that more consolidation means less female and minority ownership. The Commission needs to first adequately study the issue of minority ownership before moving forward with any rule changes. It may be hard to believe, but they’ve never even conducted an accurate count of who owns the nation’s radio outlets. How can the FCC conduct any meaningful analysis regarding the effects of its policies if it can’t conduct a basic count of who owns what?”

Flint senior centers staring at a blank screen with no cable TV
by Shantell M. Kirkendoll
The Flint Journal (MI)

No soap operas and no football? It’s no joke for Flint senior citizens and others who’ve lost access to cable TV at city community centers.  “It’s been about a week, and in the afternoon when the women want to watch their stories, there’s nothing,” said Fred Bradley, 63, of Flint, a member of the Hasselbring Senior Center. “I offered to pay the bill for them. I’m retired but I could pay the $50 a month or whatever it is.”

Actually, until now there’s been no bill to pay, said Bob Rosenberger, Flint Parks and Recreation recreation supervisor.  Comcast Cable recently ended its freebie service to government agencies, which the city relied on to provide cable to fire stations, Haskell Community Center, Berston Field House and some police stations, Rosenberger said.    —>

Town enters talks for new cable contract
by Melissa Lattman (NH)

NEWMARKET — Wish something was different about your cable?  Now is the time to let the town know as a new cable access agreement is negotiated. Newmarket is holding a public hearing to hear residents’ views on cable TV and Comcast on Monday at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall Council Chambers. Information gathered will help the Cable Franchise Review Committee in upcoming contract talks with Comcast.  The current 15-year agreement expires in May. The town hopes to negotiate a shorter contract in the three- to five-year range. Technology changes so quickly, longer-term agreements do not make sense, said Town Planner Diane Hardy.   —>

Verizon & Cable Board Agree on TV Franchise Terms
If Approved, Would Add Choice of Cable Providers
by Judy Silberstein
Larchmont Gazette (NY)

—>   So what’s in it for Larchmont and Mamaroneck?  The community will get 5% of Verizon’s gross revenues from its local television service. “This is consistent with what we are currently getting from Cablevision,” reported Mr. Millstein. It’s also similar to agreements across the country.  In addition, Verizon will be paying substantial sums for public education and government grants – or PEG money – which is what supports LMC-TV’s capital needs. “I think we did well,” said Mr. Millstein, explaining how the grants will play out. There will be an initial grant of $445K, payable in four installments: $200K within 60 days of the contract’s inception; $95K on the first and second anniversaries; and $55K on the fourth anniversary.   —>

Sponsors to get spot on Fargo public access TV
by Andrea Domaskin
The Forum (ND)

TV watchers got an extra helping of meetings, announcements and cooking shows when Fargo added a second public channel to the CableOne lineup in June.  Now they may start seeing sponsors on Access 12 and TV Fargo, the channels that funnel local government and community news to residents.  The city plans to offer space for underwriting when community billboard announcements run on the two channels. Fargo’s Access Channel Board approved the idea Thursday.

“It’s kind of a PBS approach,” said Heather Mitzel, Fargo’s communications manager.  Underwriters receive their own postings when the public access channels run community billboard announcements.  The written announcements can list the name of the product or service and contact information, but they can’t contain prices, promotions or comparisons to other products.  Businesses offering alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs aren’t eligible. Neither are adult book stores, political parties, gambling businesses, manufacturers of firearms or services that provide satellite TV and competitive media.

Prices range between $50 to $190, depending on whether a business chooses one or two channels and a six-month or 12-month agreement.   —>

ACTV has a new executive director
by Phyllis Lehrer
Amherst Bulletin (MA)

Increased service to the community, programs on regional and national issues and more local programming: Those are some of the goals articulated by James Lescault, the new director of ACTV, Amherst Community Television. He was hired earlier this month as the new full-time director at the station, which had been led by a series of interim appointments for the past two years.  Sitting in the conference room at ACTV on College Street, Lescault spoke of his background, plans for the station and protecting the freedom of the air waves.   —>

Denver OpenMedia : 27 minute show (CO)
Network-Centric Advocacy

There are some great overviews in this video. 10,000,000 blog post created everyday. Denver openmedia is thinking of the way public access is getting changed by web2.0. These guys are flipping public access TV to a training people how to use the web and get across the digital divide because then public media is digital. It is a smart plan for public media. They are looking at building the network and community to put the power of the media in the hands of the people.

Advocacy and social change groups need to think about the content form about min 14 to 19. The introduction is interesting but shifting landscape demands we also think about the way to do communication in this media environment. Will our groups eventually be sending out request to volunteers to produce or push 30min shows onto local public access media. You bet.    —>

CHILE:  Breath of Fresh Air for Community Radio Stations?
by Daniela Estrada
Inter Press Service

SANTIAGO (IPS) – After a seven year wait, community radio stations in Chile are celebrating a draft law that would regulate and promote their activities, which the government of President Michelle Bachelet has sent to Congress. But they remain aware of the hurdles that still lie ahead.   —>

The Report ‘2007 South Asian and South East Asian Convergence Market’ Takes an Overall Look at the Digital Media Markets and the Phenomenon of Convergence in These Markets

Research and Markets has announced the addition of 2007 South Asian and South East Asian Convergence Market to their offering.  This annual report offers a wealth of information on the Digital Media and Convergence in South Asia and South East Asia. South Asian countries include:- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. South East Asian countries include:- Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.

Subjects covered include:  Early convergence activity and regulatory issues; Broadband TV (IPTV) where applicable; Video-on-Demand (VoD); Interactive TV (iTV); Triple play networks;  Digital Media developments.   —>

Want Ad for em-PowerArchitecture-ment
by Raquel and Bill
Evolution of the Species

Proficient and diligent companies, developers and users (a community) seek progressive National level leadership to endorse and support community internet-based media development by mobilizing and training youth and youth organizations….

In this context, it is important to emphasize that youth are the primary Internet users in Morocco. The websites visited and consulted however, are usually produced outside of Morocco: 95% of the Moroccan traffic is directed towards international sources,  in other words, to sites which might not reflect Moroccan culture and values.

The Internet is still a tool that is both underutilized and under-explored in the training and informing of youth about issues related to local culture, citizenship, social development and economic productivity. In addition, almost no one is harnessing the potential of youth and their evident interest in the Internet and new technologies to enable them to become producers of local content.

Young Moroccans could quickly move from the status of simple consumers of foreign media to the more enviable position of producers of local content and multimedia, thereby enabling them to express their points of view and share their own experiences actively engaging them in the life of their community.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: ascertainment, citizen media, community radio, FCC, localism, media diversity, media ownership, PEG access TV, public access television, user-generated content, video franchising, Web 2.0, youth media

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