Community Media: Selected Clippings – 11/16/07

A million video cameras to change the world!
by Nalaka Gunawarden
Moving Images, Moving People

Something remarkable is happening with online public video sharing platforms: progressive non-profit groups worldwide are seizing their power to do good. YouTube started off more like the people’s version of funniest home videos. But it’s no longer confined to that category. Activist and social groups are increasingly uploading their videos. As broadband Internet rolls out around the world, more people are actually able to watch these videos online.

In response, YouTube, owned by search giant Google, is creating a special section for nonprofits to air their videos and link them to its Google Checkout online payment system to receive funds directly. “Nonprofits understand that online video isn’t just a way to broadcast public service announcements on a shrunken TV set,” Reuters quoted Steve Grove, head of news and politics at YouTube, as saying. “It’s a way to get people to do more than just absorb your message but to engage with their user generated content as well.”

Pure Digital, maker of the Flip video camera, has said it plans to give away a million video cameras to non-profit organizations around the world to capture images and moments in places traditional media outlets might not be able to reach. “Video has power and media has power but the challenge is that the media is limited to telling stories that are controlled by a very small number of people,” Jonathan Kaplan, chief executive of Pure Digital, told Reuters. “This program along with YouTube and other sites will expand the media universe for learning what’s really going on in the world,” he said. Visit FlipVideo website on support for non-profit groups —>

Chinese Dissidents Take On Beijng Via Media Empire
by Kathy Chen
Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON — Most days, Xiang Dong leads a life typical of this city’s suburban office worker. But at nights, he takes on another persona: China dissident. The bespectacled Mr. Xiang, a 38-year-old father of two, hosts a pair of weekly talk shows for a U.S.-based satellite-TV broadcaster called New Tang Dynasty Television. Setting up at a bare-bones studio at a high school one night, he fiddled with his laptop-cum-teleprompter. “I forgot my power cord,” sighed Mr. Xiang, who works as a database manager. “I’ll just have to rely on batteries.”

Making do is the modus operandi for the largely volunteer staff of New Tang Dynasty TV. Yet they are helping build one of the most significant overseas dissident movements to challenge China in decades. Most staffers belong to Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual-and-meditation movement banned by Beijing as an “evil cult.” What started as an effort by U.S.-based Falun Gong practitioners — many immigrants from China — to speak out against a government crackdown back home has evolved into a broadcaster with big aspirations.

…New Tang Dynasty’s revenues were $4.7 million in 2005, according to its Internal Revenue Service filings as a nonprofit. Mr. Lee says last year’s revenues were about $5 million, and that they will increase to $6 million or $7 million this year. For Chinese officials and other Falun Gong opponents, the growing influence of NTD is evidence of their longstanding assertion that the group was never just a spiritual movement. NTD and its sister organizations report frequently on Falun Gong-related news and often focus on negative news out of China. They have also sometimes played up stories discredited by Western media and human-rights groups, such as China’s alleged systemic harvesting of the organs of detained Falun Gong practitioners for use in transplants.

At the same time, NTD’s programs, broadcast in Chinese and English, address issues that remain largely off-limits to China’s state-controlled media, from political corruption to the spread of the infectious disease SARS in the country in 2003. During elections in the U.S. and Taiwan, NTD beamed live feeds to show democracy in action, and is gearing up to do the same for the 2008 U.S. presidential race. The broadcaster also airs movies, cooking shows, a sports program and other entertainment.

… Mr. Xiang decided to focus on producing TV shows. In July 2000, he enrolled in evening classes offered by Fairfax Public Access, a nonprofit organization providing media-production facilities. One of his first programs to air on Fairfax Public Access’s Channel 10 was a minidocumentary about Falun Gong adherents. “Our teacher watched it and said it could be more professional,” Mr. Xiang says. Undeterred, he produced more programs featuring Falun Gong followers. —>

Participatory Journalism in the USA: My Talk
by Amy Gahran

Next Tuesday in Barcelona, Spain, I’ll be teaming up with J-Lab’s Jan Schaffer to give a talk on Participatatory Journalism in the USA: Opportunities and Challenges. This is part of the fourth Online Media Week. I’m really excited about it. I wish Jan could actually be there, but she ended up not being able to attend in person so she’ll be giving her talk via webcast.

Here’s Jan’s presentation (streaming video), and here are her slides (PowerPoint). It’s a great overview, check it out.

After Jan gets to answer some questions live (technology permitting), I’ll expand this discussion by talking about the bigger picture: Why participatory journalism matters, why it isn’t new, and how the news landscape might evolve because of participatory journalism.

What follows is merely my best guess about how my part of the talk will go. Of course, I don’t really do speeches; I prefer to engage groups in conversation so we can explore issues and think things through together. That’s much more fun for everyone. So I will most definitely stray from this script at some point during the talk. (So translators, be forewarned!) With that, here’s what I’d like to be able to cover —>

New television studio will put more community access shows on the air
by Scott Benjamin
Brookfield Journal (CT)

The guests at the Nov. 7 ribbon cutting for the facility, located in the BHS media center, included two superintendents-John Goetz, who retired from that position in August, and his successor, Anthony Bivona. Departing First Selectman Jerry Murphy also attended the event to celebrate the opening of the studio, which was the brainchild of Carol Dores, a parent and the founder and president of the BEF. “They were using the equipment as it came out of the boxes,” she said in an interview regarding how the facility has already generated student interest.

During the 35-minute ceremony, the audience viewed a video produced by a student that highlighted the civic programs that the BEF has helped fund since it was established in 2004. Another video included an interview with Cherrie Wilhelm, the head of the guidance program at BHS. …Mrs. Dores said that the studio would provide more programming on municipal- and school-related events for community access channels 17 and 21. —>

Hillsboro Argus
TVCTV wins pair of public access awards
The Hillsboro Argus (WA)

Tualatin Valley Community Television recently received two top prizes at the 22nd Annual Government Programming Awards presented by the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors. TVC-TV won a first-place trophy for community events coverage for its video following Lake Oswego’s Rivergrove Elementary Schools Lego Robotics team through the 2006 Lego-Robotics tournament in Hillsboro. Coverage of the 2007 North Plains Garlic Festival program placed third in the same category. The festival showcases garlic and garlic infused foods and activities. —>

Waycross wins Farnsworth awards
The Community Press & The Community Recorder (OH)

Volunteers and staff from Waycross Community Media took top honors in the 2007 Philo T. Farnsworth Access Awards. Awards were presented in a ceremony Nov. 9 at the annual Alliance for Community Media Central States Fall Regional Conference, held this year in Fort Wayne, Ind. Volunteers and staff from Waycross received awards for the following productions:

2007 OHSAA Wrestling Tournament Finals in the category of Sports-Event Coverage, non-pro.
Elder vs. Withrow Regional Final Tournament Basketball in the category of Sports-Event Coverage, pro.

Waycross has received an award in the sports category for 13 consecutive years; this is the first year the center received top honors in both the pro and non-pro categories.

2007 Finneytown High School Graduation in the category of Community Even-Student. Waycross has received an award in this category for the past four years. Waycross volunteers, producers and staff were also honored with the PEG Access Compilation award, for best overall Public, Education and Government access center. This is the ninth year in a row Waycross has received this honor. —>

Physician Focus, August 2007: Gastroenterology
Massachusetts Medical Society Podcasts

Gastroenterology is the medical specialty dealing with the function and diseases of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts, liver, and all the digestive organs. It treats conditions such as colon polyps and cancer, hepatitis, gastroesophageal reflux, ulcers, colitis, gallbladders, irritable bowel syndrome, and pancreatitis. When should a patient see this kind of specialist? What kind of symptoms may signal a problem? Are there preventive steps a patient can take for good “GI” health?… Co-produced with Hopkinton Community Access Television, HCAM-TV, Hopkinton Mass.

Duke Ellington Round Table
Eric Jackson, host, WGBH Radio
WGBH Forum Network (MA)

Eric Jackson discusses Duke Ellington’s A Sacred Concert with a panel on Winthrop, MA community access television.

Conversations Show with Harold Channer and Jon Hammond MNN TV
Jon Hammond TV Show

[ Watch Video Here ]

Hear Harold and Jon discuss Public Access Television and play a clip from Jon’s very first broadcast on MCTV Channel C ‘The Jon Hammond Show’ with original music and graphics from BackBeat Productions that aired for first time Feb. 2, 1984. Jon’s TV show is now in it’s 24th year and he is hosting daily radio show ‘HammondCast Early Edition’ on KYOU & KYCY Radio 1550 AM. Enjoy! —>

Where Science and Religion Intersect
PolkVoice (FL)

How do you go from being a University of Southern California All American baseball player to becoming a mystic? It’s a far-reaching and fascinating joinery, one that Dr. Bud Hollowell discusses in this week’s Tampa Rocks, Public Access Television, broadcast throughout the Bay area Saturday, Nov. 17. —>

Staff Cut Proposal Causes Controversy
Fayetteville Reorganization Touches Off Budget Discussion
by Dug Begley
The Morning News (AR)

Two reorganizations proposed for Fayetteville city departments have raised a ruckus among supporters of public television and City Council members. Susan Thomas, public information and policy advisor for the city, said the reorganizations essentially merge the jobs of cable administrator and neighborhood coordinator. The new position, called a public information officer, would report to Thomas.

A memo sent to council members earlier this week said the reorganization would reduce production staff for the government channel by three-quarters of a full-time job. Thomas said that could mean part-time producers work less hours, or some part-time staff could be dismissed. An office worker in the cable administration department would also be reduced from full-time to part-time, according to the memo.

The loss of the two full-time jobs, one in cable administration and one in long-range planning, have garnered the most attention. Cable Administrator Marvin Hilton and Neighborhood Coordinator Julie McQuade — who works in the city’s long-range planning division — would lose their jobs if the budget is passed by the City Council. Both would be eligible to apply for the new position, Thomas said.

Some council members said after reading the memo they remain committed to not cutting any full-time positions. “I’m not going to do it,” said Alderman Lioneld Jordan. “How’s that for a clear answer?” —>

New FCC rule could mean less franchise fee revenue for Peoria
by C.J. Summers
The Peoria Chronicle (IL)

I’ve been trying to keep up on how cable franchise negotiations are going. You may recall that the city’s franchise agreement with Insight expired in April 2006. After several months, the city finally signed a temporary extension with Insight/Comcast through January 1, 2008. That’s not very far away now, and there’s still no permanent franchise agreement.

No doubt part of the reason it’s so hard to nail down a final contract is because the rules keep changing. With other players (read: AT&T) entering the cable market, state and federal authorities (e.g., the FCC) are constantly changing the landscape, trying to make it easier for telecommunications companies to get into the cable market. Most of the those changes negatively affect municipalities. —>

Cable and video franchising: We deserve better
by Senator Vinehout
The Altoona Star (WI)

Imagine a world in which only a machine answered the phone when you went to complain about your cable service, or your service was turned off even though your bill said you owed nothing. Where large refrigerator-size boxes were placed in your front yard and you had no say over them, or your street was torn up by a private company and local taxpayers had to pay to clean up the mess.

We are about to enter a world in which, under the guise of “competition”, a few very large cable and video companies write the rules and consumers and local government are the poorer because of it. Most of us in western Wisconsin will never see the promised competition and yet, as soon as the new video bill goes into effect, the old rules that protected consumers will be gone for everyone in the state. —>

Ramsey, Commission Endorse AT&T Bill
The Chattanoogan (TN)

County Mayor Claude Ramsey and county commissioners on Thursday indicated their support for a franchising bill sought by AT&T in the Tennessee Legislature as the firm makes plans to get in the cable TV business. —>

Cable / phone fight heats up again
by Brian Mosely
Shelbyville Times Gazette (TN)

The cable television industry is gearing up for another fight in the Tennessee State Legislature against AT&T, which is planning to promote a bill next year that the cable industry claims would hurt consumers by dismantling the local franchise law. However, AT&T claims that a handful of cable companies continue to enjoy a monopoly on video service and that the current method of obtaining local cable franchises is “a lengthy, expensive process that just doesn’t make sense.” —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, citizen journalism, citizen media, democracy, educational access, FCC, free speech, freedom of the press, government access, high school television, human rights, municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising

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