Community Media: Selected Clippings – 12/12/07

More on AT&T’s Plan To Avoid Local Fees
by Joe Powell
Cup of Joe Powell (TN)

All the noise and furor (and millions spent lobbying state legislators) from AT&T demanding Tennessee law be changed so that AT&T does not have to negotiate with cities for franchise contracts (depriving them of revenue from fees and handing over control of rights-of-way) is apparently not important in Mississippi. In that state, they seem to have no problems working community by community, just as all cable providers currently operate. R. Neal has the details in this post and notes as well that Georgia gave AT&T what they wanted and as many as 200 families in Atlanta will benefit. —>

AT&T to Offer Television Service Here
by Roslyn Anderson

Telecommunications giant AT&T is branching out to offer more than just phone and internet service. The corporation has announced plans to bring television programming to the Jackson area. —>

Assembly OKs shift in cable TV rules
Bill would transfer licensing from municipalities to state
by Steven Walters and Stacy Forster
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (WI)

Madison – The Assembly on Tuesday approved a cable regulation overhaul that would require state government – and no longer local governments – to issue franchises to cable TV companies. The Assembly agreed to a series of changes the Senate made to the bill in November and then returned the bill to the Senate, which will forward the meaure to Gov. Jim Doyle. —>

Cable competitor may be slow in coming
Janesville Gazette (WI)

MADISON — The ads are all over the airwaves: The Legislature has acted, and soon Wisconsin residents could see real competition in TV service. But note: the ads say, “could.” They don’t promise anything, said longtime critic of the legislation, UW-Madison telecommunications professor Barry Orton. “The bottom line for Janesville is, don’t hold your breath,” Orton said. —>

Local cable stations discuss issue of switching channels
Local TV 6 set to change to channel 902 in January
by Chris Gray
Romeo Observer (MI)

Local television stations are hoping to get some answers about switching channels and why. A questionable and confusing law, known as the Michigan Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act, is causing cable providers to slowly get rid of their commitment to local governments. It will move local channels, like WBRW Channel 6, to the 900 digital channels in January. Richard Cory, studio manager at WBRW, called a meeting on Dec. 4 of government officials and nearby station managers and workers from areas like Sterling Heights and Macomb Township to discuss what they should do. —>

Comcast’s PEG channels moving to digital service
by Andrew Sawmiller
Spinal Column (MI)

Beginning next year, lakes area Comcast cable television subscribers will see a shuffle in their channel line-up as the company shifts certain analog programming over to digital service. On Tuesday, Jan. 15, Comcast will move all public access, educational and government (PEG) programming from its current analog service to the digital service. The change will mean Comcast subscribers won’t be able to see local PEG programming unless they receive digital cable television service. —>

Dallago offers his perspective
Today last airing of issues-oriented TV show
by Greg Stahl
Idaho Mountain Express & Guide (ID)

You’ve seen him take a peek behind the curtain of last fall’s immigration raids. You’ve watched him dig into affordable housing issues, the economic survivability of the Wood River Valley and most every issue in between. For four and a half years Gene Dallago has made regular appearances on local television fleshing out issues important to the people who live here, but that’s all about to change.

Today, Dec. 12, Dallago, 53, will run his last airing of the poignant, opinionated and issues-oriented program he brought to local viewers. It’s called “Perspective,” and Dallago sat down Friday, Dec. 7, to share his perspective of his time behind the camera and the 16 years he’s lived in the Wood River Valley. “The show is coming to an end. My last kid is about to graduate from The Community School,” he said. “Everything is sort of falling into place for the next chapter.”

Dallago said Plum TV, which acquired KSVT about a year ago, cancelled the show, which Dallago had underwritten since its inception. “They were very frank,” he said. “They said it doesn’t fit their programming model. What they’re doing is probably smart. Their whole focus is to capture the 1 percent of the American public who has 33 percent of the wealth. It’s basically by rich people, for rich people, sold to rich people. And that’s what they’re selling to advertisers.”

But Dallago subsidized the program throughout its existence and said he believes television is an important forum for public discourse. The need for a local, issues-oriented television program will now become a vacuum in the Wood River Valley, and the prospect of a public access television channel will be the topic for Dallago’s final program. “I’ve spent seven years on the radio and television just sort of shouting into the wind,” he said. “But if my parting shot for the valley was to set the groundwork in motion so that a station happens—we need it. We deserve it. And it would just be a tremendous asset. I can’t stress that enough. —>

Raynham officials eye Gilmore Hall for cable TV studio
by Sharon Holliday
Enterprise (MA)

With Comcast ready to close its cable TV studio in Easton, selectmen said members of the town’s Cable TV Committee will look at Gilmore Hall as a possible site for a new studio.n n Comcast recently announced it will close its cable studio in Easton once its licensing agreements with the communities of Raynham, Easton, Avon, Stoughton and Holbrook expire over the next two years. The five communities currently share a common community access cable channel. Once the individual contracts expire, the towns will have the option of either building their own community-operated studios, such as the one proposed by Raynham, or entering into another joint venture with other communities. —>

David Mathison to host TV Panel: “Community Internet for All: Internet Access as a Public Utility”
Be the Media (CA)

Please join us this Friday, December 14 as we tape Part one of a two-part television program titled “Community Internet For All: Internet Access as a Public Utility.” The program is presented by Be The Media and Media Action Marin, and is produced by Rick Tucker, Executive Director of Novato Public Access. —>

Harry Potter vs. Big Media
by Josh Silver
Huffington Post

In his rush to gut the nation’s longstanding media ownership limits, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has not only angered the vast majority of Americans who think Big Media is already big enough…. he has angered a constituency with some serious clout: Harry Potter fans. If that isn’t a sign FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has gone too far, I don’t know what is.

The Rise of ‘Voldemedia’

In the epic Harry Potter series, one of the first things the bad guys did was to take over the major broadcast and print media so they could control the message and suppress other viewpoints. As Andrew Slack, creator and director of the Harry Potter Alliance explains: “The Harry Potter books offer a vivid example of what can happen when too much media rests in the hands of too few. In the series, wizarding newspapers like the Daily Prophet put the magical community in serious jeopardy by denying Voldemort’s return, failing to cover abuses from the Ministry and ultimately becoming a mouthpiece for Voldemort.”

Sound familiar? Even better is how Harry’s followers fought back: They used an independent community newspapers and a low-power radio station to mobilize the opposition. —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, media diversity, media ownership, net neutrality, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising

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