Community Media: Selected Clippings – 12/31/07

Will IPTV Kill the Television Star?
by Sibylle Gierschmann

It seems logical for the European legislation to apply rules to television-like services in so far as these services compete with traditional broadcasting. There is no argument as to why editorial content provided via a different platform should be treated differently. Also, the provisions now applicable to video-on-demand services do not really come as a surprise.

Already, YouTube has conquered your PC and mobile. However, what happens if YouTube conquers your living room, too — and in high-definition television quality? With IPTV (Internet protocol television), that is possible, and the race to see who will be best-positioned in the digital living room of the future has already started. IPTV is being called the “fourth TV broadcasting channel,” after satellite, cable and terrestrial broadcasting.

What is so interesting about this technology is that IPTV provides the potential for interactive TV not possible with traditional broadcast television, along with the true high-definition quality you do not see with typical Internet streaming. Also, network operators can offer their customers one-stop-shopping for Internet access and television as well as landline and mobile telephone services, and thereby become the customer’s sole communication link.

So far, the competition to see who gets there first mainly concerns hardware and cable providers. For example, Microsoft and Sony both provide game devices that can be used as a set-top boxes for television reception and allow video download. Also, phone companies like Verizon and AT&T have invested heavily in new broadband infrastructure in order to compete for TV customers.

Calling for Regulations

Still, this concerns the content industry just as well. IPTV will allow an immense increase in new TV programs and formats, and established TV broadcasters may fear their return on investment will decrease heavily once programs become more and more fragmented.

It is therefore no wonder that some television broadcasters are calling for regulations of IPTV. Their point: Once television provided over the Internet becomes a real substitute for traditional television, there is no argument as to why traditional broadcasters should be more regulated than IPTV providers.

Today, 68 percent of IPTV subscribers are located in Europe, 28 percent in Asia and only 8 percent in North America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa combined. It seems logical that this is why Europe has been the first to address the issue of regulating IPTV.  The European Directive  —>

Radioshow 2007 Highlights
by Paul Riismandel

There were actually more than two highlights from the radioshow in 2007, but for this last show in 2007 I wanted to focus on just two interviews to that if you missed them the first time around you’d still get some good info and context. I think both of these interviews will have continuing relevancy. First, we listen to an excerpt of a talk by Google’s Internet Evangelist, Vint Cerf, who talks about the origin of the basic architecture of the internet, highlighting the importance of end-to-end neutrality. Then we hear from Maria Juliana Byck of Paper Tiger TV, who discusses the 25th anniversary of this pioneering public access TV production organization, spearheading radically DIY video a quarter-century before YouTube.

You can download the mp3 or ogg vorbis at the radioshow page, or listen in your browser.   —>

Mayor seeking TV chief
by Stacy Brown
TheTimes-Tribune (PA)

Scranton Today could soon be out as operator of public access Channel 61.  After nearly a decade of operating the channel, the nonprofit group could lose the rights later this month when proposals from other potential suitors are opened in the city controller’s office.  “We are going to see what else is out there, who else is interested,” Mayor Chris Doherty said. “Scranton Today is still invited to submit a proposal.”

The decision to accept proposals comes as the city is set to begin negotiations with Comcast on a new cable franchise agreement.  The franchise agreement between the city and its cable television provider gives the mayor authority to decide who manages programming on the cable system’s two public-access channels, city lawyers said.  The agreement expires in December 2008, which means Mr. Doherty can explore requests from other entities that may want to operate Channel 61, which is on the cable menu for about 95,000 homes in Lackawanna County and parts of Luzerne County.

Scranton Today has operated Channel 61 since 1998, when the nonprofit group, then known as Scranton Tomorrow, received permission from Mayor Jim Connors to manage the station’s broadcasts for five years.  Advertisements soliciting proposals are scheduled to appear this week in The Times-Tribune and other publications. The proposals must be submitted to the city controller’s office no later than Jan. 23 and a decision is expected shortly after that.   —>

CCTV Hires Community Media Coordinator
by Susan Fleischmann
Cambridge Community Television (MA)

Colin Rhinesmith will be joining the staff of CCTV as Community Media Coordinator. He will be working with CCTV members in computerCENTRAL and on a number of exciting community media projects with Cambridge residents.

Colin comes to CCTV with a background in digital media production from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. During his time at the Berkman Center, he helped produce audio and video podcasts featuring many of the world’s leading Internet thinkers. He is also entering his final semester as a graduate student in Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College. Welcome, Colin!

Generation Y Looks To The Web For Answers
A Pew Internet study found 58% of Americans go online first when seeking information on common issues, such as an illness, finances, taxes, and careers.
by Elena Malykhina

Americans seeking information on common issues, such as an illness, finances, taxes, and careers, were found to consult the Internet for answers instead of other resources, according to a study released on Sunday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.   —>

Breaking news: the Internet is useful, people still use libraries
by K.G. Schneider
Free Range Librarian

Pew just issued a report, Information Searches That Solve Problems,” that even on its debut over a holiday weekend has already been quoted left and right as proof that the Internet is a popular information source, Gen Y uses libraries, and people want printed government documents.

I’m still trying to sort out what the report really means, and that’s hard to do in part because some of the language in the report feels very fuzzy, if not at times a wee bit misleading. Yes, yes, go Illini, but I do have to ask if the UIUC GSLIS partnership with Pew on this grant isn’t a bit like Big Pharma underwriting studies of restless leg syndrome, which until we had a drug to cure it was merely ants in one’s pants.   —>

Loss of a voice
The Post’s passing will change the region’s media landscape
by Greg Paeth
Cincinnati Post (OH)

The Post’s voice has been heard by fewer and fewer people in recent years.  As the presses rolled for a final time today, Post circulation has slipped to about 25,000 on weekdays and 34,000 on Saturdays, a fraction of the paper’s peak circulation (about 270,000 in 1960).  The Enquirer today circulates 195,000 during the week, 280,000 on Sundays.

A little more than 49 years ago, in July 1958, Cincinnati lost its third daily newspaper when the Cincinnati Times-Star was acquired by The Post, which at the time also owned the morning Enquirer.  Today, as The Post ceases publication after 126 years, Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will lose their second daily, establishing the Enquirer as the only game in town for anyone who wants to read a daily – or in many cases a weekly – newspaper.   —>

Broadcasters’ Turn to Worry About FCC
Broadcast Newsroom

The cable industry felt the full force of FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s authority in 2007.  He has knocked cable rates and invoked cable’s market power, and tried to push it to offer a la carte programming.

Now, it may be broadcasters’ turn for some of the chairman’s tough love. The recent new media-ownership rule revision did not go far enough for broadcasters’ liking. Years of talk about deregulation ultimately led only to a “modest” modification of the cross-ownership ban, affecting only the top 20 markets, instead of a complete lifting of the ban. In addition, broadcasters now also face the broad potential for license renewal reregulation – a prospect which is more than they bargained for.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cross-ownership, FCC, internet use, IPTV, media diversity, media ownership, media research, media use, net neutrality, PEG access TV, public access television

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