Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/02/08

Gravel Events for January 3rd-7th
New Hampshire Presidential Watch

3:30 – 5:30PM (TV Event)
Presidential Candidate Forum on Health Care
Manchester Community Access Media – MCAM-TV23

6:00 – 7:30 PM (TV Event)
“Initiatives for Empowerment” Democratic Debate
Manchester Community Access Media – MCAM-TV23

**Senator Gravel is planning to hold an alternate debate if the exclusion of candidates at the ABC/WMUR debate remains. Details to follow once they are available.

Grand Traverse board to televise meetings
Maxbauer says her taping prompted decision
by Brian McGillvary
Traverse City Record-Eagle (MI)

The Grand Traverse County Board finally agreed to join the video age and will begin televising its meetings.  The board also is considering archiving meeting videos on its Web site.  The cameras will roll for the first time at the board’s organizational meeting at 8 a.m. Wednesday on channel 99.

For years the board resisted calls to televise its meetings.  When it refused again in 2007, new Commissioner Christine Maxbauer took it upon herself to record meetings. She posts some on her Web site and sends some to be broadcast on tctv2.  Maxbauer said her videotaping prompted the board’s broadcast decision.   —>

Cable channel change irks school leaders
by Dave Murray
The Grand Rapids Press (MI)

Grand Rapids school leaders say they are planning to beef up programs on the district’s cable television channel — but are worried viewers will have trouble finding them.   Board of Education Vice President Lisa Hinkel said she’s angry Comcast is moving the channel from 27 to the 900s, along with public access and government programming, without seeking feedback from educators.  “It used to be that they’d treat us like we are a regular network, but now Comcast is acting like a corporate bully,” she said Monday.   —>

Comcast moving local public access channels to digital service
Press & Guide (MI)

Customers of Comcast cable television in Dearborn should know that Comcast is moving CDTV, the city of Dearborn’s government channel, from channel 12 to channel 915 on Jan. 15.  This Comcast change requires many people to take additional steps in order to view CDTV, including City Council meetings.  The city of Dearborn has opposed this move.  Comcast is also moving other channels that carry Dearborn school board meetings and public access programming…

Dearborn customers of WOW Cable are unaffected by this situation, and can continue to view CDTV on its current location — channel 10.

Comcast customers should note that Jan. 15 is also the date of the presidential primary. To view Dearborn results of the primary on CDTV, Comcast customers will need to receive digital channel 915.

Emergency drill documentary honored
by Chris English
Bucks County Courier Times (PA)

Preparing for the worst apparently made for good film material in Middletown.  A documentary of a June 20 mass incident drill at Neshaminy High School has tied for second place in one category of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors’ 40th Annual Township Citizen Communication Contest, said township public information coordinator Lisa Berkis.

The drill, organized by township Fire Marshal James McGuire, tried to re-create events similar to those that occurred during the tragedies at Columbine High School in Colorado and a school in Beslan, Russia, said Berkis. It was designed to test the command structure, interagency communication and adaptability of police, fire and emergency medical services as they worked together, she added.

Berkis conducted interviews for the documentary, which was filmed by David Kelliher of Foster Digital Media Productions in Lower Makefield. He runs the broadcasts of Middletown supervisor meetings that are seen on the township’s cable television government access Channel 22.

The film was recognized from among seven entries in the “cable TV channels” category of the contest, said Brenda Wilt, associate editor of the PSATS monthly magazine. The first-place winner was an entry from Upper Merion, Montgomery County, about that township’s cable TV feature called “Spotlight” that highlights news from the community.   —>

Lost on Pancake Mountain
by David Kushner
Conde Nast Portfolio

[View Video]

Pancake Mountain combines puppets and punk bands to create television’s coolest kids’ show—and television’s coolest music show.    Scott Stuckey launched children’s show Pancake Mountain with just $500, and managed to attract music legends as guests—and fans…

His friend Ian MacKaye, guitarist of alt-rock band Fugazi, helped finagle shoots during sound checks at D.C. haunts like the 9:30 Club. Inspired by childhood faves like Hee Haw and Laugh-In, Stuckey went for a neo-vaudeville vibe with dumb jokes, zooming close-ups, and a Goldie Hawn-esque hostess. To his delight, the bands understood his humor—and shared his frustration with commercial music television. “They were looking for something different from Letterman or Leno,” Stuckey says.

Though the bands do get exposure from those appearances, the appeal of Pancake Mountain largely seems to be simple fun. When British rock duo the Subways showed up, Stuckey talked singer Billy Lunn into donning a cape and impersonating the show’s cross-eyed superhero, Captain Perfect. The Scissor Sisters fielded questions from Pancake Mountain’s erstwhile puppet host, Rufus Leaking. For Sisters’ singer Ana Matronic, Rufus was a vast improvement on the “sullen, half-interested journalists” the band is accustomed to. “It speaks volumes that some of the best questions ever asked us were from a puppet,” she says. “At this point, if you’re not a puppet or don’t have your hand in one, I’m not really interested in answering your questions.”   —>

Tech Tuesday – Jan 22 @ Sierra Nevada Community Access Television
Nevada’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology

Please join us at SNCAT on January 22 for the New Year’s first NCET’s Tech Tuesday, Greater Reno-Tahoe’s premier technology and entrepreneurial networking event.  This month’s event includes an update on SNCAT’s current and planned activities, tours of the studio, control room and edit suites, and an opportunity to operate SNCAT’s cameras, control boards, etc.

Myanmar Regime Imposes Satellite TV Fee

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) —  Myanmar’s military junta dramatically raised the annual fee for TV satellite dishes Wednesday, an apparent move to block the foreign news channels that beamed in global criticism of its recent crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

The license fee has rocketed from $5 to $800 — an unaffordable sum to most people in Myanmar. It is equivalent to about three times the annual salary of a public school teacher.  The new fee was imposed without warning and discovered by residents who went to renew their licenses Wednesday.

Most middle class homes and shops use satellite dishes to tune into foreign sports events, soap operas and to circumvent the junta’s tightly controlled state media.  “The government is trying to shut our ears and eyes,” said Thant Zin, a 57-year-old civil servant. “The military regime does not want us to know the truth about our country.”   —>

The Key To Burma’s Woes: Excessive Tea Consumption
by Kerry Howley
Reason Magazine

As of 2002, roughly a tenth of a percent of Burma’s 47 million people had access to television channels other than the state-run MRTV. The powers that be have deemed this too many:

“Burma’s military government has unexpectedly raised the annual fee for television satellite dishes in an apparent attempt to block public access to outside broadcasts.  The massive price hike was discovered when residents went to renew their licenses Wednesday. They were told the annual fee had increased from about $5 to nearly $800.”

Subtle! Since no normal person could afford satellite TV even before the government fees became multiples of the average annual salary, most people who watch do so from tea shops or other public spaces. Reports The Irrawaddy:

“Rangoon’s mayor, Brig-Gen Aung Thein Lin has announced a cutback in the number of restaurant and tea shop licenses to be issued in 2008, reportedly because he believes people waste too much time and money in them.  The cutback was reported by a Rangoon journal, which quoted the killjoy mayor as saying: “There will not be any improvement for the people as long as there are so many tea shops in the city, so we have stopped issuing licenses to open more.”

As one Rangoon journalist points out, the tea shops being targeted happen to be the ones with satellite dishes.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, channel slamming, election programming, Freedom of Information, freedom of the press, government access, human rights, municipal programming, PEG access TV, press freedom, public access television, video franchising

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: