Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/20/08

Televising local municipal meetings in the air
Move on to bring sessions to TV. Viewers in Lackawanna County watch meetings there.
by Bill O’Boyle (2 comments)
Times Leader (PA)

Taxpayers gave rave reviews when Luzerne County Commissioner meetings were televised briefly in 2001.  An estimated 25,000 viewers tune in weekly to Channel 61, the Lackawanna County public access station that airs Lackawanna County Commissioner and Scranton City Council meetings.

This phenomenon of allowing the cameras to roll as legislators do their work started nearly three decades ago with the advent of C-SPAN and is spreading to municipalities throughout the nation.  And, it could be coming to a TV screen near you.

Citizen activist Tim Grier wants to videotape Wilkes-Barre City Council and Luzerne County Commissioner meetings because he believes that would give residents a more complete picture of what elected officials are doing.  He’s not alone.  Some county and city officials welcome the idea – and so do local media experts and some citizens who were interviewed last week…

…[Professor Jayne] Klenner-Moore said with advance notice and advertising, viewership would increase over time, particularly when hot button issues arise.  “I think that any opportunity for the citizenry to participate in any way in local government is of great value,” she said. “I would recommend that if this does happen then someone should do audience analyses of what is being watched, how often, and for what reasons. This will help to understand how the process can be improved.”

Mount Carmel seeks programs for public access channel
by Jeff Bobo
Kingsport Times-News (TN)

Mount Carmel leaders can’t promise they’ll make you a star, but they can get you on TV if you’re willing to volunteer time toward creating programming for the town’s public access TV station.  Since last March, Mount Carmel has controlled public access Channel 16 for Charter Cable customers in Mount Carmel, Church Hill, part of Surgoinsville and much of eastern Hawkins County.

It’s currently used mainly as a message board for Mount Carmel announcements and a calendar of events. But Alderman Rick Gabriel and other town leaders have a vision for this channel, and they’re asking the public to help make this vision come true.

“Our public access channel is a tremendous resource for promoting our communities, our businesses, and for informing and entertaining our residents,” said Gabriel, who will be chairing the newly formed Public Access Cable TV Committee. “It’s public access, and it should be for the public and by the public. That’s why we’re asking for the public’s help.

“We want to present programming produced in our communities for our communities.”  The committee’s inaugural meeting is scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m. in the Mount Carmel City Hall boardroom. Videography enthusiasts interested in producing programming for the channel are encouraged to attend this meeting.

The committee is interested in meeting people willing to volunteer their time to film school sporting events; school concerts or other school events; community festivals and parades; church events; city council meetings; chamber of commerce promotions; or any other type of community interest programming suitable for all ages.  The committee is also interested in hearing new ideas for potential programming.

Mount Carmel Police Chief Jeff Jackson noted that the operative word is “volunteer” because Mount Carmel doesn’t have any money to spend on this project.  Thus far the police department has taken the lead in the public access TV programming, mainly because Patrolman George Copas has the technical expertise to operate the control panel.   —>

Aspiring TV stars offered chance to audition for show promoting city
by Jennifer Gentile
The Reporter (CA)

Vacaville’s public access station, Channel 27, is calling all aspiring TV stars to try out for its newest show.  Auditions are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in building G of Country High School, located at 100 McClellan St. Producer Dave Baker encourages men and women, ages 20 to 50, to bring a smile and something to read in front of the camera.

“We’re trying to do sort of an ‘around town’ show, with interviews with public figures and business owners,” Baker said. “It’s basically sort of a magazine program, and we need someone to be the anchorperson.”

The show “is something we came up with to showcase the city a little bit,” he said. The station’s programing now features resident-produced pieces, as well as footage from community events like Fiesta Days and Merriment on Main.

Describing the person he wants for the new show, Baker said the anchor must be comfortable on camera.  “We want someone who’s professional looking, who has a vibrant personality,” he explained, “someone who can come up with interview questions and is comfortable talking to people.”   —>

AT&T fights against local franchise rules for video services
by Brian Lawson
Huntsville Times (AL)

Whether Huntsville is going to get the latest 21st century video technology will depend, it seems, on how a law passed in the 19th century is interpreted.  Telecom giant AT&T, which offers voice and Internet services here, has been moving into the video delivery market with Internet Protocol TV, essentially TV that comes through the phone line…

… it is a wide-open question whether Huntsville customers will ever enjoy the service.  AT&T says it will be reluctant to enter the Huntsville market if the City of Huntsville seeks to require it to enter a franchise agreement for video services, similar to deals the city has with Comcast and Knology.

Dave Hargrove, AT&T’s regional manager for external affairs, said the company is willing to pay the city the same rate, up to 5 percent of its annual gross revenues for video services, but it does not want to be subject to “build-out” requirements that are common in franchise agreements, which compel companies to work to offer their services citywide.  “We don’t believe a city government should be in the business of telling a business how to deploy its services, where to deploy and at what rate,” Hargrove said. “We think the marketplace should decide.”   —>

Mystic Babylon Open Mic Poetry Podcast TV: Cable Access 29: Podcast 51
by John Rhodes
Mystic Babylon Open Mic Poetry Podcast (CA)

Hello. This is John Rhodes and this is the third special airing on this Access TV Channel in San Francisco of my poetry show, which is also podcasted from my audio/video poetry podcast site Mystic Babylon. Today we are grateful to have as our guest Clive Matson, who will be reading for around 18 to 20 minutes. I will end the show reading from my podcast novel, “Little Bird Told Me” . Please also visit my podcast novel site, which is serially produced for free.

Video Vortex: Participatory Culture
by Twan Eikelenboom
Masters of Media

Do you think Participatory Culture is all about friendly cooperation? Fans flocking to Star Wars conventions or squad based play in the latest MMORPG? The Participatory Culture session at the international Video Vortex conference in Amsterdam, proved that practices such as “cutthroat capitalism” also belong in this category. And how can, from an Asian instead of a Eurocentric perspective, the changing concept of authorship be understood when everyone can build new meaning upon an original work? This session provided practical examples as well as theoretical context.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, cable vs telco, copyright, government access, IPTV, municipal programming, participatory culture, PEG access TV, public access television, red-lining, redlining, U-Verse, video franchising

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