Community Media: Selected Clippings – 11/02/07

Senate vote on cable TV bill next week, support thinning
New Richmond News (WI)

Wisconsin senators plan to vote a week from today (Thursday) on the controversial cable TV re-regulation bill.
The Joint Finance Committee endorsed it 13-3 Wednesday. But previous union support for the bill is getting thinner.  The Milwaukee chapter of the Communications Workers of America now opposes the measure, although its national union supports it. Local president George Walls says it won’t add the number of jobs supporters claim.  He says carriers might shy away from rural areas and public access channels could go dark.  —>,Wisconsin%20News&property_id=19&freebie_check&CFID=63796696&CFTOKEN=39289500&jsessionid=8830d872fd8f22773275

Local communications union pulls support of video bill
by Judith Davidoff and David Callende
Capital Times (WI)

Though AT&T says good jobs will go to its workers if the state passes a proposed video franchise bill, the largest union local in its Wisconsin workforce is not buying it.  “We’re very concerned about the future of AT&T jobs in Wisconsin,” George Wells, president of the Communication Workers of America Local 4603, said in an interview Wednesday.

Wells is delivering a letter today to Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, D-Weston, notifying him that the local is pulling its support from the bill.  “While we fully understand the importance of statewide video franchising, the proposed legislation has a significant number of flaws which need to be addressed, especially when compared to the video bill recently passed in the state of Illinois,” Walls wrote in the letter.   —>

Lt. Governor Brings Cable Access Show to WCCA TV
by Tracy Foley

Lt. Governor Timothy Murray, who was featured monthly on WCCA TV’s show Soapbox, now has his very own cable access show, “The Commonwealth Report”.  The subject of the first episode is Veterans’ Services.   —>

Cable TV to tape, air committee meeting
by Patrick Ferrell
Daily Southtown (IL)

New Lenox’s cable TV local access channel plans to tape and air next week’s meeting of a School District 122 board committee, something the volunteer group doesn’t normally do.  At the committee of the whole meeting, the board plans to further discuss a proposed investigation into board member Maureen Broderick for what the superintendent has called “official misconduct with civil and potential criminal implications.”

“I think it would be appropriate for us to inform the public about what happens at the meeting,” said Tom Arthur, the cable channel’s coordinator. “There’s a lot of information I’m hoping to gain from the meeting.”  Channel 6 typically airs the school board’s regular meetings, which occur on the third Wednesday of every month. But it doesn’t typically show the more informal committee meetings that are held on the first Wednesday of the month.   —>,110207nltv.article

Show Me The Money . . . ?
by Donn Swaby
Huffington Post

—>   If we to go a step further and give all candidates equal access to the media via debates televised on public access television, then U.S. citizens may actually be exposed to truly original ideas offered up people they may otherwise not even know about.   —>

Public speaks out on cable contract
Cable committee readies for contract negotiations
by Melissa Lattman (NH)

NEWMARKET — The cable franchise review committee held a public hearing Monday night on Comcast’s performance and the cable-related needs of the community.  The current 15-year franchise agreement expires in May 2008. The committee plans to initiate negotiations with Comcast later this year and submit a proposed franchise agreement for Town Council consideration in March 2008.

From the public, the committee heard about: channel choices, the desire for an additional public access channel, reception of Channel 13, and questions about digital cable boxes.  Dr. Kenneth George said he would like a real community access channel not just one for government and educational programming. As a chiropractor, George produced an educational video. “A real community access channel, not just government and education. Not just to get my video on. (There’s) a ton of wonderful programming that cannot afford to get on the traditional channels,” George said.   —>

RCTV seeks help from satellite dish owner (NH)

RAYMOND — Raymond Community Television is looking for some help. According to RCTV Chairman Kevin Woods, there are many programs available to public-access stations via satellite.  “NasaTV, Annenberg Corporation and Edtv are just a few providers or quality educational and entertaining programming that community stations like RCTV can air for its residents,” Woods said.  RCTV is looking for someone with a satellite dish that can receive C and or KU band transmissions. “We will assist them with the ability to record the programs for us and can provide the recording media.”   —>

Cable TV show airs news for county
Newport News Times (OR)

“Inside Lincoln County,” the county’s half-hour cable television show, is airing its 11th episode this month, with topics specially selected to captivate a wide range of community members’ interests. The show was designed to keep Lincoln County residents abreast of the programs and services provided by county government.

Liz Sample, the county’s public information officer, has been receiving numerous compliments about the format and content of the cable show.  “Residents have been pleased that the show informs them about services they didn’t even know the county offered,” Sample said. “They are also learning a great deal about Lincoln County itself through its more historical segments. This show illustrates our community’s strong history while looking ahead into the future through new programs and grant opportunities. It’s important for the citizens to know not only where their tax dollars are being spent, but what some of the hurdles are that we are still up against.”   —>

[ Interesting thoughts here about the function and effect of public access television.  If moved, please respond on Professor Gordon’s blog. – rm ]

CCTV MediaMap (MA)
by Eric Gordon
The Place of Social Media

CCTV is a community media center in Cambridge, MA that is doing some fascinating work in the integration of web media to the mission of community television. My grad student, Colin Rhinesmith, is doing his master’s thesis on this topic and has done some exemplary research thus far on the implications of this integration.

While Colin is exploring this topic in extensive detail through analyzing the culture of access centers, I want to take a moment to reflect on just one aspect of CCTV’s efforts – what they call the mediamap. This is basically a Google Map that is placemarked with local video, including everything from a cyclist’s perspective to a promotional video for a new coffee shop. The result of this mediamap is a collection of local video annotated with GPS coordinates. In this context, the video works in service to the map. So what you end up with is really a map that is annotated with video. The primary object of engagement is the map – the video, like place names or boundaries, becomes the data that enhances the map.

Why does this matter? Well, it would seem that this particular model of community television uses ‘television’ to qualify community, as opposed to using community to qualify television. This is a rather distinct shift from previous models of ‘community television’, where localism was premised on the practice of production primarily.

Is Mediamap a push or a pull technology? In other words, does it push the notion of localism out to the globe, or does it pull the globe into the local. Based on what I said above, it is a pull technology. It pulls the map into the video, it pulls television into the community. Localism, I would argue, has long been premised on push technologies. Self-identification happened within defined boundaries and then, if blessed with a media infrastructure, communities could push that identity outward.

Networked media has introduced opportunities to reverse that paradigm. Localism can now be a result of external influences, re-contextualized and reformatted to fit local needs. This is both an exciting prospect and a threat to local cohesiveness. If the ability to pull is that strong, then there is little incentive to produce meaning from the directly proximate. Meaning can be pulled in from elsewhere to define local life. Consider, Facebook’s neighborhood widget as an example.

So, what is the perfect balance between push and pull technologies for localism? I don’t know the answer, but I’m advocating here that we should start asking the question.

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: ascertainment, cable vs telco, election programming, hyperlocal, localism, municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: