Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/17/08

Rebecca Padula on the film, “Margaret’s Waltz”
by Jane Lindholm
Vermont Public Radio

During her lifetime, Margaret MacArthur was both a singer and a collector of songs.  For her work preserving oral traditions, she was designated a New England Living Art Treasure, and invited to sing at the Kennedy Center, and colloquially, she took on the name, “Vermont’s First Lady of Folk.”  In May, 2006, MacArthur died at age 78, in her home in Marlboro, after being diagnosed with a rare brain disease just a week earlier.

Now another Vermont folk musician is working to preserve MacArthur’s legacy.   Hinesburg resident Rebecca Padula has produced a 90-minute documentary called Margaret’s Waltz.  The film recently took top honors at the Northeast Alliance for Community Media’s Best Documentary. …and will be shown Friday evening in Burlington. She spoke with VPR’s Jane Lindholm about the film.   —>

Post Punk Recipes: Now Playing: Vegan Soup
by Serge Lescouarnec
Serge the Concierge

–>   Rather than merely playing background music , Post Punk Kitchen intersperses its vegan cooking thrills with indie bands on their Public Access TV Shows.  They are taking a break from the Limelight but you can browse The Archive to see past productions…  As for mixing music and cooking  on TV, they are not the only ones as I illustrated in Cook and Groove with Neneh Cherry.    —>

Marital Bliss
Are the House speaker and his lobbyist wife teaming up for AT&T?
by Jeff Woods
Nashville Scene (TN)

Even the jaded denizens of the state Capitol are wrinkling their noses at House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh’s intervention in one of the legislature’s costliest business battles ever.  Hordes of lobbyists are cashing in on AT&T’s attempt to compete with cable TV companies in Tennessee—and so is Naifeh, assuming he derives benefit from his lobbyist wife Betty Anderson’s lucrative income.

Last year, with Anderson lobbying for the cable industry’s Tennessee Cable Telecommunications Association, Naifeh was cool to AT&T’s legislation, and it failed. This year, Anderson has switched sides, signing on as a consultant with AT&T, and suddenly—guess what?—Naifeh is springing into action, leading lengthy negotiations in the past month to hammer out a compromise that’s likely to favor his wife’s client.

The working relationship between Anderson, known as the state’s most powerful lobbyist, and Naifeh, the House speaker for 16 years, has long been controversial—critics say it amounts to legal bribery—but rarely has Betty’s influence over Jimmy seemed so obvious. Asked about the apparent conflict of interest, Naifeh casts himself as an unbiased mediator between cable companies and AT&T, which combined to spend nearly $11 million lobbying the bill last year alone.   —>

Bredesen may weigh in on fight over cable
Jackson Sun (TN)

Gov. Phil Bredesen says he may get involved in a contentious proposal to change cable permitting rules in Tennessee to encourage broadband access around the state.  Bredesen, a Democrat, stayed out of last year’s legislative fight over the measure that would create statewide franchising rules that would allow companies like AT&T Inc. to avoid having to seek hundreds of municipal permits as it enters the cable TV business.  The measure failed last year, but the speakers of both chambers expect this year’s effort to have a better chance of passage.   —>

Verizon arrival highlight of annual cable report
by Vincent Todaro
Sentinel (NJ)

EAST BRUNSWICK- The township is beginning to have access to Verizon’s fiber optic cable lines, a move that some residents hope will increase competition and keep cable TV prices in check.  Township Council President Catherine Diem recently gave an update on the cable television issue as it is playing out in East Brunswick. During a December council meeting, she said Verizon now serves slightly less than 10 percent of the township with the fiber optics technology. The company expects to have the entire community serviced within the next three to four years…

One drawback to Verizon’s system is that it does not yet provide residents with access to EBTV, the township’s cable access station, Diem said. EBTV has been advertising a bulletin board and public service announcements to alert residents of the fact that the channel is only available on Comcast.

Verizon is signing people up for cable service, Diemsaid, but it cannot provide the local cable access channel, which has resulted in some “confusion” among residents.  “As people sign up, they are expecting [EBTV],” she said.  According to Diem, Verizon would not comment or give an update on when the EBTV channel might become available.   —>

City looks to expand television channel
by Nicole Young
Capital Online (MD)

To say that programming on the city’s public access channel is scant would be a compliment.  City spokesman Ray Weaver is hoping to breathe life into the boring channel, which up to now has consisted of little more than City Council meetings, religious bulletins, and artist Bob Ross painting happy, little trees more than a decade after his death.

After going on hiatus more than two years ago when the original television studio was shut down, city officials are working to revamp programming on the public access channel found on Comcast channel 99.  Mr. Weaver said he is working to expand the channel’s offerings to include live broadcasts of all public meetings as well as a weekly news program, a city police show and several new shows focusing on things like art in the city.

He also said he wants to answer the age-old question posed to governments time and time again – what do you actually do?  “We want more government-centered programming, more meetings and we want to get as many cameras out there as possible,” Mr. Weaver said. “Sometimes people think we’re not concerned or connected and we don’t care, but we want people to see what we do.”

And now, work is being done to outfit the second floor of the former city Department of Planning and Zoning office at 159 Duke of Gloucester St. with a full Comcast television studio for the broadcast of city programming.  The station is funded mainly by Comcast cable subscribers, as a small portion of their subscription charges go to the city for channel maintenance. The former studio was shut down in hopes of relocating, but was put off for other projects.  “We have an obligation to use our station,” said Mayor Ellen O. Moyer. “We can’t not do our programming so we’re moving forward.”

Since the hiatus, programming on the channel has been running on minimum, with City Council meetings every second and fourth Monday of the month; religious programming, and 30-minute City Hall shows featuring aldermen and department heads discussing the latest issues.  But city officials are hoping to expand to as many as 35 new programs for the station.   —>

Verizon applying for cable franchise
by Charlie Breitrose
MetroWest Daily (MA)

NORTHBOROUGH – Town residents could have their pick of cable providers within the next several weeks after Verizon New England Inc. submitted an application to provide cable television, Internet and phone service to the town.  Verizon filed an application at the end of October, said Kathy Dalgliesh, director of Northborough Cable Access Television.   —>

BATV considers moving station to Brookline High School
by Neal Simpson (1 comment)
Brookline Tab (MA)

Brookline High students may soon have the chance to get a taste of Tinseltown without leaving the classroom.  The school district is considering whether to set up a pair of television studios in the school, where public access television producers could work side by side with students. The studios, which could open as early as fall 2009, would be modeled after similar programs in Watertown and Beverly.   —>

Footage flap irks immigration critic
by John Hilliard
Metrowest Daily News (MA)

FRAMINGHAM –  A local opponent of illegal immigration said his civil rights were violated after his public access television show was pulled off the air by the town’s cable station last week.  “This is an abuse of power,” said Jim Rizoli, who leads a local anti-illegal immigration group and hosts a weekly TV show that targets illegal immigrants.

He said his show was cut short last Thursday and replaced mid-broadcast with another program because it included 20 minutes of footage shot by the town’s government cable channel. He said the town’s director of media services, Ron Rego, told Rizoli that footage was the town’s copyrighted material and could not be used for his own show.   —>

Why AT&T’s Copyright Filter Could Suck For Everyone — Including AT&T
by Dan Frommer
Silicon Valley Insider

If AT&T installs a copyright filter on its broadband network, will it shoot itself in the foot?  Last week at CES, reps from NBC, Microsoft, and AT&T discussed whether Internet service providers should take a leading role in filtering out pirated, copyrighted content from subscribers’ broadband connections. “What we are already doing to address piracy hasn’t been working,” said AT&T exec James Cicconi, according to the NY Times.

Why would AT&T offer such a service? It could conceivably charge studios for the filter. It might convince itself that it has a vested interest in stopping piracy because it is now a content provider, via its “U-Verse” TV service. And if AT&T frees up enough of its pipes — pirated video uses up a ton of bandwidth — the filter could even cut network capex.

But are any of those rationales worth the blowback? No way, Columbia Law prof Tim Wu writes in a Slate column .

Key questions: How would the filter know the difference between a legal download of copyrighted content and an illegal download of the same content? How will AT&T offer customer service for the filter? If your download gets stopped, do you have to sit on hold with a rep to sort things out? The first time that happened, we’d cancel our DSL subscription.   —>

Berkeley Center for New Media gets endowed professorship
by Heidi Benson
San Francisco Chronicle (CA)

UC Berkeley is announcing Thursday the establishment of the first endowed professorship in the 5-year-old Berkeley Center for New Media.  The $3.1 million endowment was seeded by a $1.6 million gift from the Craigslist Foundation, the nonprofit branch of the popular community networking hub founded by San Francisco resident Craig Newmark.  The additional funds will come from a landmark $113 million gift from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, intended to create 100 endowed chairs at the university.

“It’s a good match,” said engineering Professor Ken Goldberg, who was appointed director of the Center for New Media in July.  “Our mission is to advance new media in the public interest, and to explore the effect of new media on culture,” said Goldberg. “In terms of innovation and public service, Craigslist is one of the companies we admire most.”   —>

Craigslist to establish first endowed faculty chair in new media
by Marie Felde
UC Berkeley News (CA)

The University of California, Berkeley, today announced plans to establish the first endowed faculty chair at the Berkeley Center for New Media with a donation of $1.6 million from craigslist, one of the most popular Web sites in the world.

The donation, which will support research, symposia and lectures, will be matched with $1.5 million from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for a total of $3.1 million. The matching funds come from the foundation’s landmark challenge grant, announced last September, that it gave to UC Berkeley to create 100 new endowed chairs. The new chairs are designed to help the public research university compete with private institutions.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau said the craigslist donation recognizes the Berkeley Center for New Media as a major research center where scholars and students “explore the powerful effect of new media on culture and think rigorously about how new media will continue to change our lives and perceptions.”   —>

LiveBlogging NYMIEG Breakfast – Wireless, Wimax and future of communications
by Howard Greenstein
Random Thoughts from Howard Gr

Breakfast – Wireless and Wifi and The future of communications. Sree starts the panel with nice overview.  Laura – research on wifi use- Cities and public spaces and homes are rapidly being overlaid with a wireless ‘blanket’ of wifi, rfid, Bluetooth, etc. Ubiquity- anytime, anywhere as a tag line. “Freedom is the purpose.” Research indicates that Location and context is most important, not ‘freedom”.

Wifi is a factor in attracting people to go to places – like Bryant Park or Starbucks. Searching for info relevant to their geographic location is a major activity. Mobile entrepreneurs who need to get out of their homes, and spend up to 12 hours a day at wifi locations. Starbucks, Bryant Park, NYPub Libe, and indie cafes.

Skews male (65%), higher income, early adopters. Locations have constituencies. Splash pages that are intro to wireless points are very important places to adv, pass on info.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, cable vs telco, interconnection, internet censorship, municipal broadband, municipal programming, municipal WiMax, municiple wi-fi, new media, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising, WiMAX

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