Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/15/08

Media watchdog attacks Somalia on reporters’ arrest
Reuters Africa

NAIROBI – Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has asked Somali authorities to release two radio journalists, and condemned the interim government for what it called a flagrant violation of press freedom.  The media rights organisation says Somalia is the second most dangerous place for journalists after Iraq. Eight journalists were killed there in 2007.   —>

Thinking out of the box
by Hansjörg Neun
Live with the Director of CTA (Technical Centre for Agriculture)

—>  One of the ideas that we are following up on is how the CTA supported Question and Answer Services (QAS) in 36 ACP countries could be fully equipped with the 100 – 200 must-read books on agriculture and rural development and become vital information centres to facilitate improving agricultural production.

We have also launched a study aimed at comparing the various types of “multi-media”, “pluri-media”, “community-media” or “village information” centres supported by international organisations in many countries. (Not forgetting Internet cafés that are offering beneficial services for knowledge sharing – if the right URL is found, of course). I think it would be fantastic to have information centres offering the must-read books, CD-Roms, videos combined with (satellite) Internet, printing, copying and scanning facilities at low cost in all towns and villages in developing countries (as envisaged by India through their ambitious mission 2007 project).

But I think we have to convince the policy makers and donors first.

To do this, I think we need to make greater use of the media and journalists. They have to play a major role in convincing the wider public and lobbyists at the political level. First of all we have to convince them of the important role that sustainable agriculture is playing and has increasingly to play for feeding us, providing jobs and income and protecting the environment. They should be persuaded that reporting on agriculture should become an interesting regular topic in its own right and not only cover stories in case of disasters, flooding, droughts, food aid etc. when agriculture then appears on the front page.

We need to find the right “carrot” for journalists. Could we offer them MP3 players configured to download agricultural and rural development related information coupled with some guidance how to contextualise the information? After all, we do this through our Rural Radio Resource packs. Of course, we would have to set up websites to provide updated and well tailored information. Could such a carrot work? Or should it be an Apple in the form of an iPod? APPLE – do you copy us – would you eventually donate some 500 iPods? (We would put the CTA logo next to the Apple one of course).

Another big issue – what role could the 100 $ laptop (one laptop one child) play outside the educational sphere for which it was originally intended? Could that boost communication and information exchange (including VoIP) in rural areas? Remember: each laptop – as much as it might look like a cute toy – serves as a WLAN hub and amplifier and the more “toys” you switch on the stronger the networks becomes.   —>

Channel 26’s Martin Anaya guest speaker on topic of media and elections at next Pacifica Democrats meeting
Pacifica Tribune (CA)

Who’s really voting in today’s elections…the public, the media or the pollsters? What is this change that the political pundits and the leading candidates continually mention in their speeches?  Is American politics news in the guise of entertainment or entertainment in the guise of news? And to put it in the words of one leading political commentator, “Do we need to get out of the “predictions” game?”

On Jan. 19, the Pacifica Democrats will have Martin Anaya, executive director of Pacifica Community Television Channel 26 address these issues and more on today’s election dilemnas, at their monthly breakfast meeting, which is held at 9:30 a.m. in the rear dining room of the Sharp Park Golf Course Restaurant, (Francisco and Sharp Park Blvds.) in Pacifica.

Anaya will examine the state of media coverage today and how it is specifically related to the elections process and, more importantly, how it got to where it is now…Who’s been pulling the strings? Who’s the real “winner” and “loser”, due to this current state of affairs? These are the questions to which Anaya will direct his focus. He will also explore what each of us can do to effect change.

Anaya is a western region board member of the Alliance for Community Media and has covered elections for over 20 years, while working for many media outlets, including NBC and Fox affiliates.   —>

Storm report, assessment, fees on agenda
by Cliff Larimer
Red Bluff Daily News (CA)

The first regular meeting of the year for the Red Bluff City Council doesn’t appear to have anything highly controversial on the agenda…  Items on agenda include… (l)ikely adoption of an ordinance establishing certain fees and customer service penalties for video franchise holders in the city. The city franchise holder is Charter Cable, from whom the city is considering seeking at least a million dollars, possibly many times that much, for allegedly not living up to its contract the last 20 years.

No solution yet on local TV channel
Benton Courier (AR)

Channel 12, Benton’s community access cable  channel aired through Charter Communications, dominated discussion at Monday night’s City Council meeting.  The council was scheduled to vote on an ordinance establishing new operating policies and procedures for the channel, but tabled it after several residents complained. Among these was John McMahan, president of the Benton Community Access Association, which has overseen operation of the channel.  Alderman Doug Stracener developed the proposed policy guidelines.  McMahan contends that the proposed policy changes would convert the channel from public access to a government channel.   —>

Public Access Return Stalls
by Ellen Gedalius
The Tampa Tribune (FL)

An attempt to get residents of unincorporated Hillsborough County back on the public access channel appears to be stalled as the county and the network bicker over funding.  The dispute has its origins in the county’s decision last year to eliminate the $355,000 subsidy it had given to Tampa Bay Community Network. County Administrator Pat Bean and the commission said they had to cut the funding because of budget reductions.

Since then, Bean has asked network executive director Louise Thompson to allow those who don’t live in the city the same access to produce programming as Tampa residents.  Thompson says she will put non-Tampa residents back on the air if she can charge them for studio and equipment use…   “If they want us to follow the same terms and conditions as the city of Tampa, they should pay us the same as the city is doing,” she said.  The city gives the network a $540,000 subsidy.   —>

Modern Technology Shouldn’t Infringe On Public Access Rights
by John Herbert
Hernando Today (FL)

My old TV remote — which functioned just fine for 10 years — had a relatively easy-to-use 21 buttons. My new remote has 59. The old remote was simple; one button switched on the TV. On my new remote, I have to push four buttons before I can watch TV.  The cable guy who installed my new equipment was understanding, sympathetic and patient; he’d had plenty of practice. He moaned, for example, that he’d just spent 20 minutes trying to teach a 90-year-old customer how to handle the new remote.

Nobody in my family is even close to 90.  But, we’d be “remotely” better served if we had earned graduate degrees in engineering from MIT. Why didn’t I just forget the new remote and give in to more re-runs, instead?

I’ve had to endure the life-shattering exchange of remotes because Bright House, our cable provider, has decided to shift government access channels to an exotic high-tech echelon of TV transmission called “digital.” Not that the switch has ushered in an obvious improvement in reception.   —>

New Studio Cameras Arriving Soon
Grand Rapids Community Media Center (MI)

Studio productions will start looking much better after 3 new studio cameras arrive and are installed.  The Panasonic AG-HVX200 isn’t a traditional studio camera but with attachments making it comparable to a studio type camera we are very excited to get these cameras.  Producers will still be able to record and go live in 4:3 but will have the option of going 16:9 wide screen for their programs.  The 3 CCD cameras are compact, powerful and have some great options which will make them flexible and very user friendly.

County starts court TV show
by James Gilbert
Yuma Sun (AZ)

The three people convicted in the 1985 killing of a 65-year-old Yuma man will be sentenced next week and Yuma County residents will be able to watch the proceedings from the comfort of their own homes.  According to Legislative and Public Affairs Director Kevin Tunell, the sentencings of Rick Kosterow, Donald White and Delma Lee Ferrara-Troy will be the first case ever televised on the new Yuma County Government Channel (YUMA 77) show “Yuma County Court Live.”  “This type of programming is an extension of what Channel 77 is all about and offers a new layer of transparency into government as public access to the courts is a fundamental part of a healthy democracy,” Tunell said. “What we want to create is a unique perspective into the judicial process.”   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, channel slamming, development, election programming, freedom of the press, government access, PEG access TV, press freedom, public access television

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