Community Media: Selected Clippings – 11/28/07

Comcast to change public channels
Channels 6 and 12 will require digital converter
by Shannon Murphy
Port Huron Times Herald (MI)

After Jan. 14, Comcast no longer will offer government and school programming on basic cable.  The public access channels, which are 6 and 12 in St. Clair County, will be moved to the cable company’s digital tier. Channel 6 will become digital Channel 902, and Channel 12 will become digital Channel 900.   —>

School board channel set to switch
by Linnea Brown
Hernando Today (FL)

BROOKSVILLE – In two weeks, Bright House Network customers will have to be a bit more creative with their remote controls to find the Hernando County School Board channel.  HCSB TV currently airs on Bright House Networks’ Channel 14, but starting Dec. 11, local school news will jump to Channel 614.  The channel is one of three government access channels — channels 14, 19 and 20 — that the company is relocating from the easily-found lower basic tier to the upper digital channel tier, where some people may have trouble finding them.  Also, customers whose televisions aren’t digital-ready will have to pay $1-a-month for a converter box to receive the channels.

Hernando superintendant Wayne Alexander said he finds the move “very upsetting.”  “It’s an absurdity to expect that people, many of whom have limited incomes, will have to go out and purchase a box just to get public information,” Alexander said.  HCSB is an instructional television station that aims to provide quality educational programming to county residents. It offers a variety of services, including weekly shows produced in its studio, as well as taped graduation ceremonies, football games and school board meetings and workshops.

The channel also runs a “Hernando bulletin board” each day to inform the public of all school events and other community related items, updated weekly.  The channel is frequently watched by locals who have limited transportation to meetings and other public events, Alexander said.  “You’d be amazed at how many people watch our channel, as well as the county’s public access channel,” he said. “I run into people all the time who comment on (news) they saw on HCSB TV.”   —>

North End station and cable deal on Council agenda in Dover
by Leslie Modica
Foster’s Daily Herald (NH)

—>   The council is also scheduled to discuss and vote on a new cable service contract renewal agreement between the city and Comcast.  If approved, the 10-year renewal agreement, which has been negotiated for about three years, will include several changes from the original agreement made in the 1970s. Included in the changes is an addition of an educational access channel, which will be financed by a franchise fee paid by subscribers; an annual $25,000 technology grant from Comcast to help fund city and school Internet service; and a wider range of access to cable service in the city.   —>

Legislators decide not to change public comment rules for meeting
by Kim Dunne
Herkimer Evening Telegram (NY)

HERKIMER – The members of the county Legislature’s Administration/Veterans Affairs committee voted, 4-1, Tuesday evening to keep the public comment period the same at regular meetings of the Legislature.  The committee did leave the door open to possibility of reviewing the guidelines and changing some of the rules at a later date…  Another issue legislators will address in the future is whether or not to videotape legislative meetings and air them on public access television. Maneen said that issue will be discussed after the public comment period is further addressed.

Forum for Peace Available on Cable TV and Online
by Phil Guie
Brooklyn Downtown Star (NY)

A recent forum sponsored by Brooklyn For Peace, the borough’s largest independent peace organization, was intended to be the first in a series of panel discussions devoted to ending the violence in Israel and Palestine.  The session took place at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights on Sunday, November 18, and featured a trio of award-winning journalists with experience reporting on an international level as panelists…  Video of the forum will be broadcast on Brooklyn Community Access Television (BCAT) —>,

Do It Yourself Oppo
by Todd Beeton

Today the DNC launches Flipper TV, hours and hours of raw tracking video of Romney, Giuliani, Thompson and McCain on the campaign trail.  For months now, Democratic Party staffers have been tracking the Republican presidential front runners as they travel across the country, compiling a video library of candid moments as they campaign. With FlipperTV, Americans can now watch and download this video, and use the footage as they wish, putting raw material into the hands of the American people to hold these candidates accountable for their comments and actions.

As Michael Gehrke, DNC’s Director of Research, puts it:  “People often say to us, `Why didn’t you make an ad from that?’ Now we can say, `Go make it yourself.’ If it’s good, maybe we’ll steal it.”

This is an incredible resource. The site currently features around 80 videos and will update as new footage comes in, starting with tonight’s GOP CNN/YouTube debate.  So scour the videos, download them over at and post what you come up with. There is a downside of course: you have to watch Republicans for hours on end; the upside, however, is that you could very well uncover the next macaca moment.

Throttling Bit Torrent
by Mic Mell
State of the Mind of Art

Bit Torrent throttling is becoming a real issue. Although it has not yet seen much mainstream attention, controlling users access to internet bandwidth is a disturbing precedent to flow of free information. Seemingly an effort to control the illegal sharing of files, the impact of throttling can be far reaching.

Somewhere around a third of all web traffic is Bit Torrent File Sharing. Keep in mind that a significant amount of Bit Torrent traffic is legitimate, such as file backups for large companies, or as a tool for academic research. A neurocognitive scientist posted on the DSLReports forum how bandwidth throttling is hindering scientific research in a field where leading researchers live great distances from each other. In other words, limiting people’s ability to use their internet waves affects more than porn and Britney Spears.   —>

Uruguay – Senate Passes Community Broadcasting Bill
IFEX – International Freedom of Expression Exchange

In what the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) calls a “groundbreaking move for freedom of expression in Latin America,” the Uruguayan Senate approved a Community Broadcasting Bill that recognises community broadcasting in its own right and says television and radio frequencies should be more equitably distributed.  The bill acknowledges the importance of this “third” broadcasting sector alongside the state and private sectors, and stipulates that one third of the AM and FM radio airwaves and television broadband will be reserved for community-based media outlets, which AMARC says ensures greater diversity of media ownership.   —>

Presentation: Community 2.0
by Stuart Buchanan

[ SlideShare]

‘Community 2.0′ was presented at the 2007 Community Broadcasting Association of Australia conference at the Sebel Hotel, Albert Park, Melbourne. The audience featured a broad mix of community broadcasters, all ages and demographics were represented – some of whom would have had an understanding of web 2.0 in practice, others were newcomers to the concept. I attempted to map the philosophies that underpinweb 2.0 with the ideologies that course through the blood of community media makers, and then looked ahead to see how web 2.0 would impact on the sector and, more broadly, on society at large.

Web bubble 2.0 for social networks?
by Paul R. La Monica

You may have heard that social networking is the wave of the future.  News Corp.’s (NWS) MySpace and privately held Facebook are attracting millions of users each month. Google (GOOG) is trying to cash in on the social networking craze by partnering with the likes of MySpace, Bebo and other top social media companies through its OpenSocial initative. And Microsoft (MSFT) spent $240 million last month to buy a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook, a price that values Facebook at an eye-popping $15 billion.

But is there a bubble brewing in the social media market? One industry expert thinks so. I sat down to chat with Jim Nail, the chief strategy and marketing officer of Cymfony, an online advertising analytics firm that was acquired by media research company TNS Media Intelligence earlier this year.  Nail, a former analyst at Forrester Research, said he thinks that some advertisers are making the mistake of thinking that social media will be the answer to all their advertising needs, and that MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and others of their ilk will become the ABC, CBS and NBC of the 21st century.   —>

Government refuses to license Zarqa community radio station (Jordan)
by Ahmed Humeid

I received the following press release from AmmanNet radio. I am republishing it here with:

The government rejected a petition to grant a local radio license for the third biggest city of Jordan, Zarqa. In one of its last decision the outgoing Jordanian cabinet rejected the application by AmmanNet to set up a community radio station that will not broadcast news or politics.

This is the first known case in which a radio license has been rejected in Jordan since the deregulation of airwaves allowing for private ownership.  No explanation was included in the November 13th decision of the outgoing Bakhit cabinet which rejected the request based on clause 18.b of the Jordanian audio visual law. That clause states “The Council of Ministers may refuse to grant broadcasting licenses to any entity without stating the reasons for such rejection.”

Daoud Kuttab founder and director of AmmanNet called the decision an indirect punishment to the people of Zarqa. “With so many radio licenses in the capital, we expected the Jordanian government to support rather than reject a radio license that will offer public broadcasting to community services-deprived Zarqa. “ Kuttab says that an advisory board made up of community leaders was assembled, a studio space was rented in downtown Zarqa and equipment for the station was ordered. “At a time that Jordan is encouraging independent community-based media, this unexplained decision surprised us, “ he said.

Kuttab called on the newly appointed prime minister to reverse the decision. He also called on the newly elected parliament to revise the Audio Visual Law in a way to make the distribution of radio frequencies a more transparent affair. AmmanNet’s founder also called on the Higher Media Council to act quickly to ensure the respect of the audio visual regulatory process.

AmmanNet said that all the technical requirement for the station were assembled to the satisfaction of the relevant Jordanian regulators. The station reaffirmed its commitment to the people of Zarqa and called on the government to explain why the cabinet chose to reject our request, so that it can correct them.

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: BitTorrent, community radio, election programming, government access, municipal programming, net neutrality, P2P, PEG access TV, public access television, social media, video franchising, Web 2.0

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