Community Media: Selected Clippings – 12/27/07

Public Access Producers (NC)

As of January 1, 2008, the Durham Studio will no longer be available to public access producers. Effective November 1, following the expiration of the local franchise agreement with the City of Durham, Time Warner Cable filed for a state issued franchise.  According to the law governing the state issued franchises ‘A cable service provider is responsible only for the transmission of a PEG channel. The county or city to which the PEG channel is provided is responsible for the operation and content of the channel.’   —>

Editorial: Vetoes strengthen cable TV bill
Sheboygan Press (WI)

Gov. Jim Doyle, before he signed the cable television competition bill last week, wielded his powerful veto pen and made it stronger…  Doyle wound up vetoing several parts of the bill, and in the process, beefed up consumer protections and gave the state the power to write and enforce regulations and standards for service. Two state agencies, Department of Financial Institutions and Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, will write the rules.

Left hanging, however, is the future of public access, government and educational channels.  There is good reason to have local TV channels that broadcast such things as governmental meetings, local high school sports and school and public service programs. But without a requirement that they be continued on cable systems, their future is bleak because funding for these kinds of channels runs out after three years — and Doyle didn’t change that provision.

We wish he had, since local access channels and broadcasting of government meetings give people a better insight into what is going on in their community.  Doyle’s changes to the bill allow these channels to carry revenue-generating commercial programming to raise money to stay afloat. But a guarantee of public access is something that the Legislature needs to address separately so that public access to cable TV remains viable.   —>

METV covers Manatee County
by Nicholas Azzara
Bradenton Herald (FL)

MANATEE —  On a stormy July evening last summer, county leaders and public safety delegates turned out to dedicate Manatee’s new $56 million Public Safety Center. The crowd stood under an awning sheltered from the storm while officials thanked the construction crews participating in the project.  Standing near the edge of the overhang was a cameraman about to film the event. Raindrops had drenched the back of his shirt and he warned others to take a step forward to avoid a similar soaking. As the commemoration began, he threw a few gestures to his crew and calmly peered into his camera.

For METV Station Manager Charles Clapsaddle, it was just another day away from the office. The following day he and two others edited their footage and the program aired later that week. In time, it slipped into the annals of METV’s 15-year history. The award-winning station wraps its 15th year later this year.   —>

Minnesota Atheists radio program to debut on Air America Radio in January
by Tim Harlow
Minneapolis Star Tribune (MN)

Minnesota Atheists are taking their message to the air waves with a new radio program that will debut in January on the  talk station Air America Minnesota.  Called “Atheists Talk” — the same name as a show the organization airs on cable access television — the live radio broadcast featuring news, interviews, listener call-ins and special guests is believed to be the first show of its kind in Minnesota, said August Berkshire, a spokesman for the Minnesota Atheists.   —>

Brick goes Hollywood with new video system
by Patricia A. Miller
Brick Township Bulletin (NJ)

The bland videos of Township Committee meetings and other events on BTV20 will soon be a thing of the past.  Township Council members awarded a $29,204 contract at the Dec. 18 council meeting to Rush Works Media, Carrollton, Texas, for the purchase of a tapeless, portable digital video recording system.   —>

A year in Los Al
A look back at the news in Los Alamitos in 2007, and a look forward at 2008.
by Jorge Barrientos
OC Register (CA)

—>   In January, the nonprofit Los Alamitos Television Corp. that ran the local cable television station, LATV-3, was dissolved following an emotional board meeting that drew vocal opposition from the station’s volunteers and previous managers. The television corporation’s assets were to be absorbed into the city’s general fund, and a city-appointed commission would be created to oversee the station’s operations. In March, the City Council granted final approval to the creation of a city commission to oversee LATV-3. The city this month received final approval from the state attorney general to transfer and receive $133,750 from the now-dissolved Los Alamitos Television Corp. to continue operation of the public access station that has no staff or incoming funds.

Fewer wires, more access to come
Consumers getting content through a PC is fading model
Chicago Tribune (IL)
by Jon Van

The world may change for people like George Graves, who takes his laptop computer to the Western Springs library, which has free broadband service. Graves’ household is among an estimated 10 percent of residences in the Chicago market too far from the phone company’s central offices to get DSL broadband.

“We get advertisements for $20 a month DSL, but when I call AT&T, they say it’s not available. This has been going on for two years. It’s exasperating,” said Graves, who doesn’t want cable television-based Internet.  An AT&T spokesman said network upgrades will bring DSL to Graves sometime in the future, but he wouldn’t say when.

For people frustrated by their inability to get broadband Internet connections at the price they want, there may soon be relief in the form of fast wireless Internet connections that will compete with wired connections supplied by phone and cable TV providers.   —>,0,4599458.story

It’s still not just Imus
Media Matters

Media Matters for America usually takes the opportunity at the end of the year to name a Misinformer of the Year, an individual or media entity who in that year has made a noteworthy “contribution” to the advancement of conservative misinformation. This year — a year in which Don Imus was removed from his decades-long radio program following a reference to the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos” (Imus returned to the air in December) — Media Matters has decided to change the focus of the year-end item. The Imus controversy resulted in intense media attention to the subject of speech concerning race and gender.

At the time, Media Matters thought it necessary to remind the media that “It’s not just Imus” — that speech targeting, among other characteristics, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ethnicity permeates the airwaves, through personalities including Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Michael Savage. But offensive and degrading speech is not limited to conservative media personalities and “shock jocks,” although they are, of course, well-represented on any such list.

As Media Matters has documented throughout this year, speech that targets or casts in a negative light race, gender, religion, ethnicity, national origin, and sexual orientation can be found throughout the media, and it often bears directly on politics and policy. That speech has earned the title of Misinformation of the Year 2007.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, educational access, municipal broadband, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising, WiMAX

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