Community Media: Selected Clippings – 11/18/07

A Peaceful Solution – Rockin Rob
by Liz
Willie Nelson Peace Research Institute

Rockin’ Rob Hicks created his protest film with the Willie Nelson and Gypsy Pacific Jazz version of A Peaceful Solution for the soundtrack. It’s encouraging to see that many people have decided to take action and stand up for what they believe. If one can find a positive aspect to this war it might involve giving many Americans a reason to leave the comfort of their homes, get out on the streets and meet other people who might agree or disagree with their opinion.

And people are talking and protesting, trying to get their voices heard. This is a good thing. The more people who decide to take action will encourage others to speak their mind. Isn’t that what we want in a democracy?… Thanks Rockin’ Rob for sharing your statement of peace with us. Please visit Rockin’ Rob’s YouTube channels: ;

* * * * * Rockin’ Rob Hicks’ Statement * * * * *

“This film could not have been possible, if it were not for 2 things; First, a bold vision of an angry filmmaker to almost get mowed down by a big black SUV while standing in a gutter to get those shots of the protester’s messages, and a thing called Local Public-Access Television. Local public-access television loaned me the TV-grade video and sound equipment to shoot the footage, the editing bay to produce it, and unlimited re-runs of the program, American Families for Peace, on a local cable channel sponsored by the city and cable provider.

“I strongly encourage all American Patriots out there, to hook up with their local public access television stations AT ONCE (where available), and to GET OUT THERE and be the EYES AND EARS OF YOUR COMMUNITY! “No less than our Constitutional Freedoms are at stake AT THIS MOMENT IN OUR NATION’S HISTORY!

“Letters to your editors are important, as are calls to your talk show hosts, but NOTHING COMPARES to being a courageous public television producer for your local community.”

GPAT to hold producer event
The Daily Reflector (NC)

The Greenville-Pitt Public Access Television Corporation (GPAT) will hold a workshop for those interested in becoming a producer for the public access television channel at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27 at Sheppard Memorial Library, meeting room A. The free workshop will include tips on creating a program for the channel and information on how to submit programs. GPAT programs are aired on channel 23 on the Suddenlink cable system. For more information, e-mail jake [at] gpattv 0dot] org.

Chelmsford – Student Wins Documentary Award
by Joyce Pellino Crane
Boston Globe (MA)

High school senior Maxwell Scott’s documentary won first place last week in the student category of the Alliance for Community Media-Northeast Cable Awards Competition. Scott’s work, “Any Road Will Do,” depicts the start-up operations of the first privately owned television in communist Laos, where until recently the country had only a government-owned station. Scott’s father, Matt, heads Chelmsford Telemedia, the town’s cable access station. He and partner Jeff Hino provided volunteer consulting services to the new Laostar Channel. The film is being shown on the town’s cable access Channel 8.

Rusty Barnes talk about life on the ‘Night Train’
by Doug Holder
Somerville News (MA)

Rusty Barnes, cofounder of the acclaimed literary magazine “Night Train,” grew up in rural Appalachia. He earned his M.F.A. from Emerson College in Boston. His poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in such journals as GUD, Red Rock Review, and others. Sunnyoutside Press will be publishing a book of his flash fiction due to be released this winter. I talked with Barnes on my Somerville Community Access TV Program “Poet to Poet: Writer to Writer.” —>

County freeholder meetings may soon join your TV lineup
by Thomas Barlas
Press of Atlantic City (NJ)

Let’s see, what to watch tonight: “CSI: Miami.” “House.” Maybe a classic movie. Or a replay of an Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders meeting. While the latter probably won’t be a ratings giant, it will be available to residents in at least seven of Atlantic County’s 23 municipalities. Students from Mainland Regional High School will record freeholder meetings from last Tuesday until the panel’s reorganization meeting Jan. 8. DVDs of the meetings will be distributed to municipalities that want them for broadcast on local-access channels. —>

Public access channel studio has new home in Omro
by Doug Zellmer
The Northwestern (WI)

The studio for Public Access Channel 19 in the city of Omro has a new home. An area at the Omro Area Community Center on Larrabee Street is used for what is hoped to be a permanent arrangement for the studio, said Steve Volkert, director of marketing and economic development in the city of Omro. “We moved here about a month ago and we’re just about ready to use the studio,” he said. The television studio had been located at Omro High School, but it had to be moved when the Omro School District needed the space for school-related purposes, said Linda Kutchenriter, administrator for the city of Omro. —>

Cable bill may not be boon to consumers
by Mark Pitsch
Capital Times (WI)

Supporters of a statewide cable competition bill, including telecommunications giant AT&T, have been saying for more than a year that the measure will offer Wisconsin consumers more television choices and lower prices. But when competition will actually arrive in the Madison area — or your neighborhood — is anyone ‘s guess.

AT&T and other companies aren’t saying if or when they would start competing for TV customers in the Madison area with cable giant Charter Communications, if the bill is signed by Gov. Jim Doyle next month as expected. “I wouldn ‘t be holding my breath to see another wired competitor in Madison in less than two years, ” said Barry Orton, a UW-Madison telecommunications professor and an opponent of the bill. —>

Aurora estblishing guidelines for cable, video providers
by Andre Salles
The Beacon News (IL)

Aurora is preparing for AT&T’s Project Lightspeed to come calling. Aldermen are working on a series of guidelines and laws that would allow cable regulation standards to cover video providers as well. —>,2_1_AU17_CABLE_S1.article

Public access TV is an important part of mainstream education
by Doug Pullen
The Flint Journal (MI)

Comcast’s recent decision to shut down its Flint public access TV studio and close its local access programming department on Dec. 14 may be good for business, but it’s bad for us. Why? Because it makes the access a little harder for the public, and is likely to silence some of the colorful, original and sometimes odd voices that fill the air waves seven days a week on the cable company’s public access Channel 17. It also kills the Community Calendar where local groups could have listed their events for Comcast’s more than 90,000 Genesee County subscribers.

Comcast claims it’s not killing public access – though skeptics are wary – just streamlining it. The company plans to have producers on some of its systems in the Detroit and Flint areas submit show tapes and DVDs to a programming office in Southfield. The programs will air on the channel just like usual. So what’s the problem?

By closing the station’s smallish studio, it is forcing producers and hosts like Bob Leonard, Therese Leyton and others to find new places to tape their shows. Some, like longtimer Paul Herring, have studios and equipment, but many of the producers do not. If they don’t have access (there’s that word again), maybe they’ll just give up. And you can’t help but wonder if that’s the goal. —>

Access denied: Boulder’s Channel 54 going off the air today
Backers of public access channel plan to raise issue again with new council
by Ryan Morgan
Daily Camera (CO)

By the end of today, Boulder’s public-access television station will go dark. But Channel 54’s backers say it might not stay that way. The Boulder City Council last month voted 6-2 to slash the proposed budget of the nonprofit Boulder Community Media from $150,000 to $70,000. The remaining money will be spent on an education channel, and none of it will go toward Channel 54. Boulder’s city manager has since sent a letter to Comcast saying the city won’t be using the station after today. It will be the first time Boulder has been without public-access television in two decades. Channel 54 featured programming ranging from talk shows to music programs to residents’ own videos.

The tide of support for the channel turned after City Councilman Shaun McGrath, who had been a champion for public access, said he could no longer support city funding for the station. He said he was concerned because Boulder Community Media’s board had voted to reinstate banned producer Jann Scott without requiring him to go through an appeal process. Scott was suspended from the channel over several accusations, including that he threatened BTV employees and used the show to raise money for himself. Scott said shutting down the station was an attempt to censor his views.

Brett Parnes, chairman of Boulder Community Media, said the nonprofit will focus on getting the education channel off the ground in the next several weeks. But he said he’s spoken with several incoming City Council members — who were elected last week — and thinks there’s a good chance the new council may decide to fund the channel after all. “In light of the grassroots support, and after hearing the voices of a number of members of the next council who clearly support public access, I have to think that funding for 2008 still remains unresolved,” Parnes said. —>

Cable360AM – News Briefing
by Steve Goldstein

Comcast announced that it has entered into a three-year partnership with the National Urban League, the nearly century-old organization that aims to bring African-Americans into the economic and social mainstream. Comcast will be providing in-kind support to NUL and will produce and air public service announcements highlighting NUL programs and services.

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

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