Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/23/08

Community Video Units are making a strong impact in India
by media for freedom

Based in New York and Ahmedabad, India, Video Volunteers and their partners have developed a community media initiative in India that is using video to empower communities to take action around critical issues relevant to development.  In the last 16 months they have produced 45 video magazines reaching 130,000 people living in 200 slums and villages.  What is a Community Video Unit?   —>

Working group focuses on communications policy for new administration
Penn State Live (PA)

While the presidential election moves through its primary stages, a group of Penn State faculty members and colleagues from across the country has its sights set beyond the outcome of the general election in November. They’re not focusing on a specific candidate, either.

Instead, the faculty members anticipate January 2009, the next president’s inauguration and the corresponding change in the federal government as the time to present an outline — as well as the practical steps necessary for implementation — of a new U.S. communications policy.

The Future of American Communications Working Group, supported by a $75,000 grant from the Media Democracy Fund, a project of the Proteus Fund, plans to produce a volume outlining a comprehensive telecommunications policy agenda for the federal administration to be entering office in January 2009. That agenda will emphasize the potential of information technologies for improving democratic discourse, social responsibility and the quality of life. It will specify the means by which those technologies can be made available to all Americans.

“The unique concentration of such a large group of leading communication policy scholars in the College of Communications has made Penn State the natural place to serve as the center for such an ambitious project,” said Amit Schejter, an assistant professor in the Department of Telecommunications and director of the working group.   —>

Broadband Speeds Need to be Gigabit – Now
Municipal Broadband
by James Carlini

Depending on your current definition of broadband network connectivity, you might want to update your frame of reference.

Did you know at the beginning of 2008 that Japan announced its objective for broadband connectivity is 10 gigabits by 2010? In some recent discussions I have had, some industry pundits think 1 gigabit is too high to achieve.

A couple megabits or even 30 Mbps to 40 Mbps to the premise as a design goal is an obsolete objective unless you are aiming us into a third-rate infrastructure for the future.

I have been saying within my columns for years and at national conferences and regional seminars (like the recent one with SimpleTel in Madison, Wis. featuring Dantel, Connect802 and Matisse Networks) that broadband connectivity today means providing gigabit speeds. Period.

The only people who don’t want to hear this are those tied to products and network services that have sub-gigabit maximums. These people don’t want to hear that what they’re supporting is obsolete and not globally competitive. Why is this such a hard thing for some industry executives and supposed network infrastructure vendors and designers to accept?   —>

Akaku goes to court tomorrow over bidding process
by Larry Geller
Disappeared News (HI)

The Maui News report that Akaku Maui Community Television will go before Judge Joel August tomorrow in its quest to have the public bidding process for Hawaii’s public access television services set aside.  Read the article here.

I was one of hundreds of people who turned out to testify against putting the contracts out to bid. After a two hour 12 minute secret session held without required notice, the Procurement Policy Board voted that the contracts should go out to bid. My request for minutes of that 2006 meeting is still pending at the Office of Information Practices. —>

Upgrades expected at TV studio thanks to new contract
by Brian Messenger
Andover Townsman (MA)

A newly formed nonprofit corporation will run Andover’s local television studio for the next five years, after selectmen unanimously approved a contract with Andover Community Access & Media Inc. last month.

Equipment upgrades and better programs will likely be the result of the new pact, according to David Pierre, an Andover resident and president of the nonprofit’s five-member board of overseers.  “We’re going to be able to produce much more sophisticated shows, much more technologically-advanced shows,” said Pierre.

“I think one of the biggest things the viewers will notice is we’ll be able to broadcast all of the town government’s meetings live on the Web,” he said. “Anybody, no matter where they are in the world, will be able to watch town meetings.”   —>

Submission sought for Five Minute Film Festival
Cape Ann Beacon (MA)

CinemaSalem, in cooperation with Film North, is presenting a “Five Minute Festival,” to be held at CinemaSalem on May 1. The festival competition is free and is open to college and high school students living in Essex County.

The rules are simple: make a video of five minutes or less. It can be on any genre – such as animation, music video, documentary, comedy or drama – and it can be on any subject. Projects will be judged on a number of criteria, but what will count the most is how creative the filmmakers are with the tools they have available. Individuals or teams can enter…  For more information and entry forms, e-mail mleibov [at] filmnorth [dot] org and visit

25 Year Anniversary Kick-Off at Annual Meeting
Foxboro Cable Access (MA)

At their 2007 Annual Meeting this Saturday evening, January 26th, Foxboro Cable Access will officially begin its three-year 25th Anniversary Awareness Campaign. The organization was incorporated in 1982 to implement the terms of the town’s first cable television franchise agreement. Other milestones for Training and Studio Dedication quickly followed in the next two years, and since then, as they say, the rest is history.   —>

Volunteers Wanted for Public Access TV in Lower Connecticut River Valley
Free Training Available for Residents in Nine Towns
by Corey Sipe
Associated Content

Residents and teachers in the nine-town region are being asked to step up to the plate and help increase the amount of public, educational, and governmental programming shown on cable television.  Robert Mathis, Chairman of the Comcast Cable Television Advisory Board and Westbrook resident, said the medium provides a great opportunity to connect residents with their town governments, schools, and communities.

In the lower Connecticut River Valley, Comcast provides cable service to the towns of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Durham, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook.  From their cable bill, the estimated 23,000 subscribers pay approximately $6.30 a year that goes toward public access…

…Mathis recently attended the Jan. 10 Westbrook Leadership meeting and recommended that more town meetings should be videotaped and broadcast to help convey a positive image for this shoreline town whose image was tarnished after the former First Selectman was arrested twice.  In order to do this, Mathis is encouraging residents to form a group of volunteers that would take free training courses at the public access studio at 21 East Main Street in Clinton.   —>

Mayor Joe to serve second term leading Mass Municipal Association
Somerville Journal (MA)

—>   I am particularly honored to continue serving as president of the MMaA, and to join my colleagues in working on a wide rage of issues, including the restoration of local aid, support for the Governor Patrick’s Municipal Partnership Act, protection of local control of cable franchising and much more.”

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: broadband policy, cable franchising, citizen journalism, citizen media, development, government access, media reform, municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, telecommunications policy, video contest, video franchising, youth media

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