Archive for February 2008

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/29/08

February 29, 2008

Rowley lobbies for local access channels
by Lynne Hendricks
Newburyport Daily News (MA)
02/29/08

Negotiations have begun for a new cable license with Comcast Cable Co., and town leaders are letting the cable giant know that programming geared specifically toward their local audience will be a high priority moving forward.  In a series of three public meetings that kicked off two weeks ago, selectmen have been collecting testimony from officials and local residents who support the vital role Public, Educational and Governmental access programming plays in small communities.  The last of the three public hearings will take place Monday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. and will primarily address the public component of PEG access, which enables anyone from the public with a creative idea to produce and air content on available local channels.

In neighboring towns like Newburyport and Salisbury, that access includes the airing of local governmental and school board meetings, emergency data related to road closures and extreme weather events, and unique programming locally produced by student and resident film enthusiasts.  Rowley had access to those channels until last summer when Comcast — the only cable licensee in town at the time — sold its Newburyport studio and discontinued PEG access to Newbury and Rowley. The town has since fought unsuccessfully to get Comcast to reinstate PEG access, and it’s likely the matter will end up in court depending on how Comcast responds to the town’s latest legal filing.

In the meantime, Verizon is a new cable player on the scene, having been issued a license in December 2007 to compete with Comcast in Rowley. They’ve launched an aggressive marketing campaign and sent company representatives out across town to garner a share of the local market. They sweetened their deal by offering the town a generous $85,000 grant toward Rowley’s own future PEG access studio, and an additional 5 percent of future revenues to the same end.   —>
http://www.newburyportnews.com/punews/local_story_060064620.html
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Special fund proposed  for cable access
by Tamara Le
SeacoastOnline.com (NH)
02/29/08

NORTH HAMPTON —>   The BOS held a public hearing on the special revenue fund warrant article for the town’s Cable Access Channel. If approved by voters, the establishment of the PEG Access Television fund will allow for the hiring of a staffer for Channel 22 by way of money accumulated through Comcast subscriber fees returned to the town. Further, the board approved a payment of $18,149.45 from the current fund for cameras, microphones and other production equipment.   —>
http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080229/NEWS/802290403/-1/NEWS10&sfad=1
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Londonderry access channel request gets poor reception
by Trent Spiner
Union Leader (NH)
02/21/08

[ 7 comments ]

A proposed sixth channel for Londonderry’s public access television center has been denied by the town’s cable provider, prompting officials to take action.  Local public access television officials looking to expand their station’s lineup said they cannot air all their programming in a timely fashion with the five channels they currently have. Representatives from Comcast, the town’s sole cable provider, said another channel is unreasonable and would limit other features in higher demand among their customers.  The disagreement is expected to come to a head on March 3 when the town council holds a public hearing on the matter.

“Comcast owes us a sixth channel,” said Dottie Grover, director of cable services for the town. “The sixth channel would be a second public access channel. It is not unusual for us to have 50 to 70 programs waiting to have a turn to get on the air.”  She said a contract with Comcast enables her department to broadcast on a sixth channel by simply asking for it. But their request for the channel — dating back almost four months — has been denied. Town councilors must now hold a public hearing to determine whether Comcast is in breach of contract.   —>
http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Londonderry+access+channel+request+gets+poor+reception&articleId=699cb47c-44eb-418f-b768-393766c7226e
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Community group hopes to save WBTN
by John Waller
Bennington Banner (VT)
02/29/08

[ comments allowed ]

A day after Southern Vermont College announced that it was searching for interested parties to take over and operate the radio station WBTN-AM as a community outlet, a group of community leaders has stepped forward to answer the call.  Although still in its early stages, the group made up of town officials, organization directors and media owners and experts met Wednesday to discuss ways to keep WBTN-AM open as a community news source, group spokeswoman and executive director of the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce Joann Erenhouse said Thursday.

She said the group formed after locals voiced their concerns over the future of the radio station, urging the college to maintain Bennington’s local AM station as a community asset. “It’s really important for us to keep WBTN-AM locally focused, locally controlled and locally operated,” she said.  “When you listen to other radio stations, you get nice music and national and international news,” she continued, “but there is a huge appreciation in this community from people across the board for being able to turn on the radio and getting to hear people we know talk about local issues, issues we care about and have some influence over. You can’t get that on any other station.”

In early February, the college’s trustees directed President Karen Gross to end the station’s losses by May 15. The station has lost about $450,000 since it was donated by trustee Robert Howe in North Bennington in 2002, college spokesman David Scribner said.  He said he thought it was great that a local group has organized and is interested in saving the station. He said the group is one of many that has been in contact with the college, especially after it gave a March 21 deadline for proposals.   —>
http://www.benningtonbanner.com/headlines/ci_8403226
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Community media center plans expand and change
by Mark Anderson
Kiowa County Signal (KS)
02/29/08

While work on development of the Kiowa County Community Media Center has continued in recent months, its shape and scope has also evolved to the point of now including three other pre-tornado entities in a two-tiered facility tentatively named the Kiowa County Commons, tentatively set to be built on South Main in Greensburg.  The components of the media center have been detailed before on this page, including a WiMAX-based wireless access point atop the grain elevator and free WiMAX-enabled laptops and other portable, handheld WiMAX-enabled devices to help citizens create and receive the web-portal based audio and video programming.  The center is to provide both the technical support and state-of-the-art resources to support both community journalism and creative expression…

Other locals participating are County Extension Agents Carmen Stauth and Pam Muntz, and GHS faculty member Marshall Ballard, who is organizing a group of high school students who will be involved in television and radio production activities through the media center.  Likewise involved are Ray Stegman and Kendal Lothman of the county’s Long Term Recovery Team and Debra Allison, director of county libraries.
http://www.kiowacountysignal.com/homepage/x1637677144
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Community Media and Community-Based Planning
by Tom Lowenhaupt
The Campaign for Community-Based Planning (NY)
02/29/08

[ comments allowed ]

Over my 14 years as a community board member it became ever more apparent that local communication in New York City sucks, sorry, is inadequate. In making the case for the .nyc TLD, I frequently make reference to the quantity of local media in Terre Haute Indiana, where I attended college for a couple of years, and Queens Community District 3, where I served on the community board. Here’s a little chart comparing the dedicated local media serving the two communities:

Also, we do have a few weakly newspapers that cover portions of the district. And should there be a catastrophe in the area (LaGuardia Airport is in our district), we will be inundated with far more media than one reasonably needs. But on a daily basis, to look into why the potholes aren’t filled, to the needs of the homeless guy, to examine the quality of our local schools, etc., local media doesn’t exist. Perhaps I should say “local media is inadequate.”

This is all preliminary to my directing you to a presentation that will be given this Sunday at the Grassroots Media Conference at Hunter College entitled “A Platform for Community Media.” The presenter (that would be me) will explore how the .nyc TLD (other TLDs are .com, .org, .edu…) will facilitate the development of participatory local media – media that we all contribute to and that helps us make decisions. Perhaps it might be thought of as community-based or bottom-up media. Not sure what I’ll call it yet. Come Sunday and find out.

Get a preview of my presentation here and info about the Grassroots Conference and it 40 other sessions, and film screenings, here.
http://communitybasedplanning.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/community-media-and-community-based-planning/
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Interview about alternative media
by Paul O’Connor
Undercurrents Alternative News (UK)
02/29/08

[ comments allowed ]

—>   > Do you think that ethnic minorities, victims of violence or corruption and other social groups feel that the media is falling to give them a voice?

I assume you mean the mainstream media? The alternative media has grown strong over the last 10 years and now campaigners, or any minorities can spread their message wide and coherently. A decade ago Undercurrents videos of a protest against a roadbuilding scheme would gain an audience of around 10,000 by distributing VHS video tapes, now with the internet we reach 160,000 with DVD quality downloads. The videos are then shown to various communities. Very exciting stuff. Many people are (slowly in some cases) that the mainstream media is losing much of it’s power. Following narrow corporate agendas has alienated the public who are seeking real news and stories. Campaigners have a voice within the growing alternative media such as undercurrents video, indymedia,schnews and other outlets.

> Is the public interested in development stories and that of human suffering? Why?

Yes they are but usually only if presented in a way that the public feel they can make a difference. Usually the angle the mainstream media portrays is of victims. The mainstream may say that Homeless people deserve our sympathy and persuade us to give them some money but rarely challenges the reasons why so many people are on the streets in the first place. Alternative media tends to highlight the people actively out there changing the system. Setting up social centres in disused buildings, community cafes, cheap quality food coops etc. When the public sees the issue framed through this lens, people become interested in development stories.   —>
http://undercurrentsvideo.blogspot.com/2008/02/interview-about-alternative-media.html
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Blind Alleys
by Bunny Riedel
Telecommunications Consultant
02/29/08

There are people who have contributed greatly to your personal welfare that you will never hear about. One of those is Marston Bates. He studied mosquitoes in South America and his work improved the understanding of yellow fever. You gotta like a guy like that, somebody who does original and actual research. Bates didn’t take himself too seriously either. He is attributed with saying “Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind.”

It seems that more people just take things as gospel without ever digging any deeper to get to the facts. I do know the more something is repeated, the truer that something becomes. And if you throw a bit of academia on that something you pretty much got yourself a coup.

Take the recent Ball State University white paper put out by the Digital Policy Institute called “An Interim Report on the Economic Impact of Telecommunications Reform in Indiana.” Luckily the report came out just in time for the opening of state legislative sessions because according to that report Indiana is now leading the nation in terms of innovative and creative telecommunications law.

Did you know that there have been over 2,200 jobs created in Indiana as a direct result of the March 2006 statewide video franchising? That’s what the report says alright, over 2,200 jobs created! Of course the citations to support that claim are from AT&T, Verizon and Comcast press releases and a newspaper report regarding other telecom companies. The largest number of these jobs are attributed to AT&T at 1,650. However, even if you take AT&T at their word and believe their press release, the real story is that at least 600 of those jobs have nothing to do with statewide video franchising, they are call center jobs for wireless business customers.

See: http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=4800&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=24607

If we presuppose that the remaining 1,050 AT&T jobs were strictly created as a result of statewide video franchising and their rollout of U-Verse, we would then have to hypothesize that AT&T ain’t so great at workforce management. As of August, AT&T reported offering U-Verse to five cities in Indiana: Kokomo, Indianapolis, Anderson, Bloomington and Muncie. If we assume that AT&T now has 10% of all subscribers in those cities, or over 30,000 subscribers in Indiana, we have to conclude that AT&T has hired one new employee for roughly every 28.5 subscribers. Ergo we can now say with confidence that AT&T ain’t so great at workforce management.

See how I do that? And all without the added benefit of a professorship or an institute.

Nothing can be empirically proven when all one does is rely on press releases from the very companies one is supposedly researching or multiple citations from the very groups that lobbied for the legislation in the first place. What groups? The very same groups that have traveled from state house to state house, coast to coast, across this nation pretending they have conducted nonbiased, consumer interest research. Folks like: The American Enterprise Institute; Telecommunications Research and Action Center (TRAC); FreedomWorks; Heartland Institute; Phoenix Center; and the Reason Foundation. Throw into the mix the National Conference of State Legislators, whose policy platform is pro-statewide franchising, and you’ve got yourself quite a bucket-load of data regarding how fabulously terrific statewide video franchising is and how Indiana is such a leader in broadband deployment.

What’s true is that almost two years after the law passed, fifteen of the Certificates of Authority applicants were incumbent cable operators hoping to relieve themselves of various obligations in existing franchise agreements. Pesky stuff like capital payments for PEG or PEG channels or PEG operations. Somebody ask South Bend, Hammond, Merrillville, Mishawaka, Plymouth, Goshen and Portage about what happened to their production studios and playback facilities. Somebody ask the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) what the penalty should be for Comcast not making their quarterly capital payments to Fort Wayne even though the law clearly says support is supposed to remain the same.   —>
http://riedelcommunications.blogspot.com/2008/02/blind-alleys.html
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Hopes fading for public-safety broadband network
by William Jackson
Government Computer News
02/28/08

The Federal Communications Commission’s auction of the 700-MHz portion of the spectrum, now occupied by TV broadcasters, has been a financial success, with total bids of more than $19.5 billion for all five bands, far outstripping the $10 billion reserve set by the FCC.

But the one loser in the ongoing auction, now entering its second month, has been the D block, which includes the chunks of spectrum set aside for a nationwide public safety network.  “It is now becoming clear that the reserve price will not be met,” said Roberta Wiggins, a research fellow at the Yankee Group.

Bidding on that block stalled early in the auction, with one bid at $472 million — far below the minimum price of $1.3 billion set for it. Bidders apparently have been scared off by what Wiggins called the “horrendous cost” and “Herculean task” of building out a single network, a large part of which would be used exclusively by first responders in state, local and public safety agencies around the country. During emergencies, public safety agencies would receive priority on all segments of the D block network.

What the stalled bidding means for the future of the public safety network is not clear.  “We still don’t know what happens if D block doesn’t meet its reserve and what they plan to do with it,” said Berge Ayvazian, chief strategy officer at Yankee Group.

That is just one of many unknowns discussed in a telebriefing Thursday by Yankee Group analysts who summed up the current status of the auction. The open-ended auction could continue for as long as four more months, and for the first time the bidding is anonymous.  “We not only don’t know who the winners are yet, we don’t even know who is bidding,” Ayvazian said.   —>
http://www.gcn.com/online/vol1_no1/45904-1.html
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Nonline community: freedom, education, the net
by Dougald Hine
openDemocracy
02/20/08

[ comments allowed ]

Both governments and zealous cyber-enthusiasts champion the internet’s educational and political potential. The danger that results is a policy of techno-compulsion that undermines citizens’ autonomy. There is a better way, says Dougald Hine.

There is frequent and widespread criticism of the way that governments around the world attempt to manage or control the internet. The imprint of the global network’s origins in the United States’s cold-war era military-research programmes seems ever present in the tensions between states and citizens that appear in so many of the net’s “civic” contexts – from the Chinese government’s massive monitoring and blocking operations to western authorities’ moral censorship and European Union legislation requiring service providers to retain details of customers’ internet use.

In such cases, those who speak out for the civil liberties of internet users often tend towards a techno-libertarian position: their commitment to individual freedom being matched only by a belief in the “transformative potential” (a key couplet) of the internet…

There is always a danger that the frenetic embrace of new freedom disguises an updated form of old conformity. The benefits facilitated by the internet can be acknowledged, and the threats to online freedoms by states and governments challenged, while other important freedoms that its spread may infringes are neglected. One of these in particular increasingly requires defence: the freedom to remain disconnected, to refuse citizenship of cyberspace, to keep both feet firmly in First Life.

The limits of the possible

This is no longer an academic question. In England, the government announced in January 2008 that it is considering making it compulsory for parents to provide broadband access at home for their school-age children. The initiative is motivated by an honourable desire to ensure that technology is not out of reach of families on low incomes. Ministers hope to reach deals with major IT firms to provide affordable access. However, this would be reinforced by the requirement that parents subscribe to the service – presumably accompanied by some kind of sanction for those who wilfully fail to comply.

The government’s schools minister, Jim Knight, argues that this is no different to the expectation that families provide pupils with a school-uniform, pencil-case and gym-kit. Yet such comparisons serve only to highlight the unprecedented nature of the proposed requirement. When governments begin to oblige people to instal a communications technology in their own homes, this raises serious questions about the role of the state and the rights of citizens.

The now routine references to pupils and students as “consumers of education” highlight what underlies the effort to get every family in England online: that is, a model of the way that new products spread through society, used for decades by marketers in their quest for customers, and increasingly taken up by policy-makers. Everett M Rogers’s “diffusion of innovations” curve plots the take-up of a product over time, mapping consumers into five categories, according to the stage at which they buy in. These range from “innovators” (who make up 2.5% of the overall market) and “early adopters” (13.5%), through the “early / late majorities” (34% each), to the 16% of “laggards” at the back.

The model – first developed by researchers who wanted to know why some farmers were slower than others to adopt agribusiness practices – wears its value judgements on its sleeve (who would prefer to be labelled a laggard than an innovator?) The basic assumption is that the product or technology in question is an uncontested good; that everyone ought to have it; and that its universal spread is only a matter of time.

In the case of a business promoting its product in the marketplace where “customer choice” is meaningful and not just another mantra, this leaves a space for free decision (Coca-Cola may believe that it is “the real thing”, but, if I disagree, it cannot force its authenticity upon me). But governments – even ones claiming democratic authority – are not subject to constant competition; they are granted a temporary monopoly on power, and, where persuasion fails, they may resort to compulsion. This makes it important – in this area as in others – for citizens to demand that politicians’ power is both limited and accountable. There are few things which are so overwhelmingly good that everyone should be forced to adopt them; and, to put the same point from a different angle, people often turn out to have surprisingly good reasons for refusing an innovation that others have decided is without drawbacks.    —>
http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/globalisation/the_off_grid_internet
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Junta continues to quash Burma’s media
by Zin Linn
UPI Asia Online
02/29/08

[ comments allowed ]

BANGKOK, Thailand,  The latest attack on Burma’s media took place Feb. 15, when the military junta raided offices of the Myanmar Nation weekly journal in Rangoon. Editor Thet Zin and manager Sein Win Maung were arrested after officials confiscated a human rights report by U.N. Special Rapporteur Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, a contribution on the Panglong Agreement by a veteran Shan politician, videos of anti-government protests during the Saffron Revolution and handwritten poems. The police also seized hard disks from the computers which stored news reports and photos to be used in the weekly journal.

Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association condemned the arrest of the two men. The Honolulu Community-Media Council of the United States also joined the BMA, international journalist and human rights organizations in condemning the continued crackdown on the Burmese media by the military regime.

Burma is trapped in a murky era where freedom of expression has been completely lost. The more control the junta has over the media and the Internet, the higher the menace for the civilized exchange of ideas. The junta is abusing the media as its tool to close peoples’ eyes and ears by giving them false news and ideas.

It is sad that this country sees no sign of freedom even in this Global Information Age. The junta controls all media access now. Since the monk-led protests known as the Saffron Revolution of last September, all news media in Burma is strictly censored and tightly controlled by the military junta. All daily newspapers, radio and television stations are under the regime’s supervision.

During the brief Saffron Revolution, people in the former capital of Rangoon and all other provincial cities received up-to-date news footage through Al-Jazeera, the BBC, CNN and DVB TV. Besides, some IT activists put footage of the dissent on compact discs and delivered them to people with no access to satellite dishes. Such actions allowed many Burmese citizens to see news footage of the mass anti-government demonstrations, and the brutal crackdown that ensued.

The military regime has constantly mistreated journalists since Sept. 27. On that day Japanese video reporter Kenji Nagai was killed by a soldier in downtown Rangoon, at the height of the demonstrations. Japanese officials have constantly said that Nagai, 50, was evidently shot at close range, not hit by stray bullets as the SPDC officials explained. The Japanese government has demanded the return of the journalist’s video camera and tapes, which are believed to have captured the shooting, and is investigating his death.

The military censorship branch, known as the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division, is now harassing editors to publish propaganda produced by the junta in their journals and magazines. Scores of writers and journalists suspected of sympathizing with the Saffron Revolution have been banned from contributing to publications.

Members of the Union Solidarity and Development Association, a junta-backed militia, have kept up their attacks on journalists. Photographers were beaten by USDA thugs while taking photos during the monks’ protests. Numerous civilians holding cameras or mobile phones were temporarily arrested and tortured. More than a dozen journalists were beaten or treated badly during the demonstrations. In addition, several young amateur journalists or civilian journalists were also detained and their cameras and mobile phones were confiscated by the militia.

Burma’s military exercises tight controls over the Internet, banning access to news websites such as Yahoo or Hotmail. The regime was frustrated by bloggers and civilian journalists during the anti-junta protests, as they provided detailed consecutive accounts of the bloodshed and helped spread the news. The junta disconnected the nation’s Internet links at the height of the violence to cut off the information flow about the crackdown.

A popular Myanmar blogger, Nay Phone Latt, was arrested on Jan. 29. His blog was written in Burmese and in a creative writing style. He used it as a forum to discuss the difficulties of daily life, such as the electricity shortages and the swelling cost of living.

In the 1950s, Burma was at the forefront of press freedom in Southeast Asia. The country enjoyed a free press without censorship. As many as three dozen newspapers, including English and Chinese dailies, existed between 1948 and 1962 under the civilian government. Even the prime minister’s office was never closed to journalists in those days. They were also free to set up relations with international news agencies.

The situation changed in 1962, when the military seized power. All newspapers were nationalized by the junta led by Gen. Ne Win. The junta established a Press Scrutiny Board to enforce strict censorship on all forms of printed matter, including advertisements and obituaries. Since then, the military junta’s censorship and self-censorship are commonplace, and have severely restricted political rights and civil liberties.

The Press Scrutiny and Registration Division is a major oppressive tool of the incumbent military regime. Not surprisingly, Burma stands downgraded from a free state to a prison state. No printed matter can be published without the PSRD’s permission. Photos, cassette tapes, movies and video footage also need the censor’s stamp before reaching the people. At the same time, the military concentrates to stop the flow of uncensored radio news in Burmese available from international broadcasting stations.

Moreover, the junta has come to dominate the media industry through publication companies owned by generals and their cronies. The radio, television and other media outlets are monopolized for propaganda warfare by the military regime and opposition views are never allowed. The regime does not even allow religious discourse.

The media is a special tool for the military regime with no space for the opposition party. Political debates are always inhibited, even at the National Convention, which has completely lost its credibility and is regarded as a sham.

Foreign periodicals have not been seen on newsstands since October as the junta has been blocking reports on Burma. The owners of Internet cafes have been forced to sign an agreement to follow restrictions by the authorities, and dare not allow users to breach the regime’s filters. Moreover, the owners have to report details of their customers to military intelligence.

Currently, the situation of the press in Burma is getting worse and worse. Media-related people are feeling defenseless, and the voices of the people are constantly blocked.

The press is the fourth estate of democracy after the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. But in Burma the Parliament has been debarred by the military. The judiciary is automatically defunct under military supremacy. In that case, it is clear that the fourth estate cannot escape from the grip of the military dictatorship.

The lifeblood of democracy is the free flow of information. Burma needs regional cooperation to attain press freedom. Journalists in Burma are hoping for more assistance, morally and practically, from international media groups. Without press freedom a nation cannot enjoy the taste of social equality.

(Zin Linn is a freelance Burmese journalist in exile. He spent nine years in a Burmese prison as a prisoner of conscience. He now serves as information director of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, and is vice-president of the Burma Media Association. ©Copyright Zin Linn.)
http://www.upiasiaonline.com/Politics/2008/02/29/junta_continues_to_quash_burmas_media/2470/
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/28/08

February 29, 2008

[ UPDATE: EVENT POSTPONED DUE TO IMPENDING SNOWSTORM ! ] 

A Broadband Forum for Western Massachusetts
Federal, State & Local Perspectives on Broadband as an Essential Infrastructure for Community Health & Economic Opportunity
Saturday March 1, 2008: 8:30 am – 3:30pm
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton, MA

Hosted by Senator Stan Rosenberg, Representative Stephen Kulik and the Western Massachusetts Legislative Delegation
MA Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development

Featured Speakers:

FCC Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Robert McDowell
Sharon Gillett, Mass. DTC Commissioner
Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray
U.S. Congressman John Olver
U.S. Senator John Kerry

While there is no charge for attendance, we ask that you pre-register. —>
http://www.masstech.org/broadband/bbevent/home.html
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AT&T bill holds key to future
by Ed Kimbrell
Daily News Journal (TN)
02/28/08

[ 4 comments ]

For the past few weeks, behind closed doors at the state Capitol, American Telephone and Telegraph, Comcast cable, the Tennessee Municipal League, and selected legislators have been trying to forge a tortured compromise about the Internet’s future in the state. First, a bit of history. When cable came to the state, it was required to offer universal service and to obtain a franchise from each town or city it served. —>
http://dnj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080228/OPINION02/802280319/1014/OPINION
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PSAs in production at Elm Creative Arts
by Dani McClain
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
02/28/08

[ comments allowed ]

Students in Dexxie Bankhead’s fourth-grade class at Elm Creative Arts School have been working with MATA Community Media this year to produce educational spots for broadcast on public access. If you haven’t caught their latest foray into the world of multimedia arts, titled “Saving Our Oceans & Lakes,” tomorrow night may be your last chance. Check out Channel 14 Friday at 8:30 p.m. for a lesson in the effects of rainwater runoff and student interviews with Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District officials.

Today in class, the fourth-graders critiqued a video on school desegregation, which they produced with the help of Jonathan Rovetto, education project manager at MATA. They also continued work on their next PSA, which focuses on cruelty in the classroom. One group wrote a theme song, complete with a hook that goes: “Bullying is not okay, and it’s not alright / Bullying is not okay, and it’s impolite.”

Rovetto said the curriculum he uses with elementary-aged students includes how to operate digital video cameras, make stop motion animation, and edit audio to create soundtracks. This year, MATA is producing programming with about a dozen Milwaukee schools, including Golda Meir Elementary, Ronald W. Reagan College Prep, South Division High School, Milwaukee High School of the Arts and the James Madison Academic Campus.
http://blogs.jsonline.com/education/archive/2008/02/28/psas-in-production-at-elm-creative-arts.aspx
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Ex-Firehouse Converting To Community TV Center
New York City Funds Help East Harlem Gain Neighborhood TV Production
by Kent Gibbons
Multichannel News
2/28/08

[ comments allowed ]

Manhattan Neighborhood Network has begin converting a 124-year-old former firehouse into a media center with live broadcast and production studios, editing studios and a training center for the community’s youth. MNN, a non-profit group that operates four public, education and government (PEG) channels on Time Warner Cable and RCN, obtained $5 million in tax-exempt funding from the New York City Industrial Development Authority and an $850,000 grant from Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer for the project.

MNN executive director Dan Coughlin said the facility – a four-story red-brick building that once was home to Engine 53 – is expected to complete its transformation into a community media center by early next year.MNN Firehouse Rendering “With the support of the cable industry that finances us and local government, we’re bringing technology to Harlem, we’re bringing technology to local neighborhoods,” Coughlin said. —>
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6536291.html
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Regional cable station focuses on high school sports
by Allen Gregory
Bristol Herald Courier (VA)
02/28/08

NORTON – High school sports is a lifeblood in Southwest Virginia. Successful teams inspire pride in residents and provide an avenue of dreams for small school athletes. Since the late 1980s, Ernie Benko and his resourceful crew of helpers have spotlighted the heroes and highlights of Mountain Empire athletics via the world of community access cable. “We’re in this for the kids,’’ Benko said. “We’ve covered at least 15 state championship games in basketball and football. Parents are very pleased that we take an interest in their sons and daughters.’’

Benko is a veteran of the still emerging business. He serves as the owner-operator of Norton-based Appalachian Regional Community Television, a popular outlet which evolved from RaBen and Gateway Television Broadcasting. “ARC TV is a true community access channel in Russell County and part of Wise County,’’ Benko said. “We also offer programming to WKPT DT3, Scott County, Honaker and surrounding areas.’’

And area athletes are appreciative of the attention. High school games are shown on a tape-delay basis on ARC. “It’s fun to watch yourself on TV, and I know that my grandparents really enjoy it,’’ said Chris Fraley, a two-way All-Group A selection in football at Powell Valley. Residents in the coalfield counties can watch game replays almost every Wednesday during football season. —>
http://www.tricities.com/tristate/tri/sports.apx.-content-articles-TRI-2008-02-28-0019.html
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Cable Franchise Renewal Coming Up
Several Council Members Have Negative Opinions of Comcast;
Kent: ‘I Don’t Think We Should Renew’
by Tony Rutherford
HuntingtonNews.net (WV)
02/28/08

Cable companies operate within a city on the authority of a franchise granted by said city. In fact, you pay a few bucks a month to administer the franchise fee. The franchise for Comcast Cable (successor to Adelphia) comes up for renewal in April, according to Dr. Calvin Kent at the Monday night City Council meeting. He wants to form a committee to explore all the complaints that have been received about the service. Pricing, selections within various tiers of service, and failure to properly televise council meetings like their predecessor are just some of the complaints…

The councilman also believes that the franchise should be required to deliver a better quality televised council meeting than having just one unmanned, wide shot camera in the chamber. Along similar areas, “They need to maintain and update the public access channel which I don’t think is unreasonable compared to other cities.” —>
http://www.huntingtonnews.net/local/080228-rutherford-localcomcastrenewal.html
~

Newbury officials blast Comcast, cite lack of public programming
by Victor Tine
Newburyport Daily News (MA)
02/28/08

The town is being short-changed by cable TV giant Comcast on its public access programming, according to the chairman of Newbury’s Cable TV Advisory Committee. Chairman Paul Daubitz and committee member Douglas Packer told selectmen this week that they have been “stonewalled” in efforts to get Comcast to put up adequate funding for local programming.

Newbury’s latest 10-year contract with Comcast expired in October 2006, and the town and company have been attempting to come up with a new agreement. “We don’t feel that Comcast is negotiating with us in a meaningful way,” Daubitz said at a Tuesday evening “public ascertainment hearing” aimed at learning what local services residents want and need.

With heavy, wet snow falling outside, only one local resident made it to Town Hall for the hearing, but selectmen Chairman Vincent Russo said he would accept public comment for another 28 days, which works out to March 25. No one from Comcast attended.

Daubitz said the company closed its Newburyport studio and referred Newbury instead to its Amesbury facility, which he said was inconveniently located. He also said Comcast offered to budget only one-half of 1 percent of its Newbury-derived revenue to fund local programming, while Newburyport receives 4 percent.

The Cable Advisory Committee is interested in telecasting local meetings, such as those of the Triton Regional School Committee, and generating original programs. Comcast officials have told the committee that Newbury residents are not interested in raising their cable bills to pay for local programming, Packer said. —>
http://www.newburyportnews.com/punews/local_story_059065925.html
~

Comcast may get competition
by Christopher Ruvo
The Intelligencer (PA)
02/28/08

[ comments allowed ]

Comcast could soon have competition in Quakertown. Borough officials are talking to Verizon about bringing cable service to the Upper Bucks borough. Comcast is currently the borough’s only cable provider. “We had one meeting with Verizon in January and I told them probably the first or second week of March we’d be able to start negotiating a franchise agreement,” said borough manager/Police Chief Scott McElree.

Comcast would continue to serve the town too. In fact, the Verizon talks come on the heels of a new 12-year franchise agreement the borough is poised to strike with Comcast. The deal would provide for two channels that the borough and Quakertown Community School District could broadcast on. —>
http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/147-02282008-1495231.html
~

Council Votes to Give BITV Larger Portion of Franchise Fees
by Tristan Baurick
The Kitsap Sun (WA)
02/28/08

[ comments allowed ]

The cameras will keep rolling at City Hall. In a rare move, the City Council on Wednesday stepped into a contract negotiations dust-up and awarded more money than city staff had initially offered to Bainbridge Island Television, a public-access station providing an annual 1,000 hours of local government programming.

The pay boost raises the city’s initial offer of $108,000 to $175,000 and ensures BITV will have enough money to keep cameras trained on the island’s public officials. City staff and BITV had been deadlocked over 2008 funding since late last year. BITV, which was aiming for no less than $194,000, had warned earlier this month that it would pull the plug on city coverage unless an agreement was reached.

BITV director Scott Schmidt said the council’s decision will keep many services alive but will lead to cutbacks in staffing, Internet services and coverage hours. “It’s a hopeful and workable solution,” he said. “But now we do a reality check about how we much we can provide.” Schmidt had hoped the city would turn over the full $194,000 in franchise fees it collected last year from the Comcast cable company. Coming almost $20,000 short of that goal means BITV will likely cut two of its five staff positions and end the live content streaming feature on its Web site. —>
http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2008/feb/28/council-votes-to-give-bitv-larger-portion-of/
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Notes from Board Work Session, 2/25/08
by Jennifer Abell
Ready, Willing and Abell (MD)
02/28/08

[ 4 comments ]

—> Better utilize educational television station to include regular programming and promotion of Charles County Public Schools. Improve content and frequency of programming. This could include, but should not be exclusive to, the addition of televised Board meetings. Develop a lending library of tapes for those without access to cable television. Consensus was that this goal has been completed and will no longer appear in this document. —>
http://abell4edu.blogspot.com/2008/02/notes-from-board-work-session-22508.html
~

New episode of Rowlett on the Move now on cable TV and DVD
by T.G.
Pegasus News (TX)
02/28/08

[ comments allowed ]

The new episode of “Rowlett On The Move”, hosted by Mayor John Harper is now airing on RTN16, the City’s cable access channel, and is available for check out on DVD at the Rowlett Public Library and for purchase at the City Secretary’s Office at City Hall for viewing at home. City Council Work Sessions and regular Council Meetings are also available on DVD.

The current episode of “Rowlett On The Move” features an interview with City Manager Craig Owens and covers topics including economic development efforts, transportation issues, capital improvement projects, and a new type of city budgeting being proposed for the fiscal year 2008-09 called Budgeting for Outcomes. This month’s program also features an interview with Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Todd Gottel as he addresses economic development efforts underway in Rowlett. All RTN16 programs are produced by the City’s Communication Department. Below is a program schedule: —>
http://www.pegasusnews.com/news/2008/feb/28/new-episode-emrowlett-moveem-now-cable-tv-and-dvd/
~

“Culinary Concepts” on a TV near you
by Michelle Nepton
Martha’s Vineyard Times (MA)
02/28/08

[ 2 comments ]

When Chef Kyle Garell of Catch at the Terrace at the Charlotte Inn moved to the Vineyard last year, he found something that would excite any chef: an abundance of local seafood. But he also found locally raised beef, sheep, chickens, and greens. And like any chef would, he seized the opportunity to make something of these fresh, local ingredients.

During his busy summer months, Kyle spends most of his time as the chef du cuisine of Catch at the Terrace, a fine-dining establishment in Edgartown, where he trains under chef-owner Christopher Parsons. This winter, he is keeping almost as busy in his own kitchen. Kyle has been creating “Culinary Concepts,” a cooking show broadcast on MVTV, the local public access television station that allows members of the community to produce and broadcast their own material. —>
http://www.mvtimes.com/calendar/2008/02/28/edibles-kyle-garrell.php
~

Open source TV (CO)
by Adrienne Russell
Pop + Politics
02/28/08

[ comments allowed ]

While sites like YouTube are making history by catering to the mass craving to create and distribute amateur video, regular old television— a decade into the internet era— is still pretending the web is basically a form of Sunday newspaper: mostly good for advertising and reprinting schedules. Sorry but American Idol voting is the very definition of faux participation.

Denver Open Media, however, has a bold vision of the future of TV. Every aspect of its public access television station is participatory. The organization lends out equipment and offers low-cost classes on making and uploading video. Open Media members make all the station’s programs. Shows that garner the most votes from viewers are rewarded with the best broadcast time slots. Viewers can also text-in ratings and comments, which appear onscreen in realtime. —>
http://www.popandpolitics.com/2008/02/28/open-source-tv/
~

Funding for community television to triple
by Zvi Lavi
YnetNews.com (Israel)
02/28/08

[ 1 comment ]

Knesset’s Economics Committee, Finance Ministry agree to boost government funding for community television, decide to nearly triple it. Agreement to stand until 2010.

The Knesset’s Economics Committee and the Finance Ministry have reached a compromise regarding government funding for community television. Government funding of public-access television stands to nearly triple – from $250,000 a year to $830,000. Both the Treasury and the committee have decided to back a proposal by MK Orit Noked (Labor-Meimad), calling for five percent of the money paid by the cable and satellite companies for their various franchises and royalties to be used to fund community broadcasting services.

Noked initially proposed an amendment to the Media and Broadcasting Law, calling for annual funding of no less than $1.4 million – until 2010 – when the cable and satellite companies are to renegotiate their franchises and royalty deals. Should the payments turn out to be lower, Noked suggested the Treasury make up the difference.

Initially against the amendment, the Finance Ministry eventually compromised on tripling the existing budget, providing Noked pull her bill. Noked agreed to the move “providing the new budget will not be a part of any cutbacks made in the government’s budget.”

Community television is defined as “a public interest” by law. In 2000, a committee appointed by then Communications Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer recommended the broadcasts be backed by an annual budget of $4 million. Despite agreeing with the committee’s recommendations, the budget was later set $1.07 million; and has decreased steadily until 2006, when in was set at $220,000.

The Cable and Satellite Council, which is a subdivision of the Second Authority for Television and Radio, will be charged with funneling the money made available as a result of the compromise, to each of the 10 community broadcasting services operating in Israel. Community television broadcasts, which are run by hundreds of volunteers – mostly teenagers and members of the elderly community across Israel – is available on channel 85 on both cable and satellite.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3512452,00.html
~

The politics of media development
by Fackson Banda
Thought Leader – Mail & Guardian (Africa)
02/28/08

[ comments allowed ]

The term “media development” might remind many people in South Africa of the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA). Well, the term has become a buzzword in international media financing. My aim here is to draw upon a talk I gave in 2007 at the Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership/Konrad-Adenuer-Stiftung conference for media executives held in Cape Town. By so doing, I seek to indicate the key “media development” initiatives that have unfolded since the report of the Commission for Africa was issued in March 2005. More importantly, I wish to specify the “politics” associated with the concept of media development.

Although the concept of media development is certainly not new, it has attracted much attention in the past couple of years, resulting in the formation of such entities as the African Media Development Initiative (AMDI), the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) and so forth. The AMDI has since merged with the Strengthening African Media (Stream) consultative process to create an African Media Initiative (AMI).

The AMI is in its inchoate stages, with the express brief of consolidating the AMDI and Stream media-development recommendations into a bankable technical report that can be used to lobby governments, donors and the private sector to support the growth of media institutions across Africa. At the centre of these initiatives are: the BBC World Service Trust (AMDI); the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Stream) and Internews (GFMD). Unesco is also involved in developing indices to measure media development, but I did not focus on it during my Cape Town talk, nor will I do so here.

As I have already suggested, the concept of media development is not new in Africa. The very existence in South Africa of the MDDA clearly demonstrates the fact. But it is evident that the meanings attached to the concept are not fixed. In some instances, the term is used to connote the intellectual and spiritual growth of the media, as when the World Association for Christian Communication calls its journal Media Development; in other cases, it is used to refer to the economic-infrastructural development of the media, as when donors pour huge sums of money into purchasing new computer technology for media houses, especially during election times.

Increasingly, the concept is being interpreted to indicate much more than the above. It is being viewed as the totality of all support mechanisms for the growth of media institutions into vibrant agents of social and political change in democratic and undemocratic polities.

The recent resurgence of interest in media development is generally associated with the report of the Commission for Africa. The commission was set up in 2004 by the then British prime minister Tony Blair. But it would be a mistake to stop there; the media and communications landscape in Africa has been undergoing major changes, signalling the need and presenting opportunities for a concerted initiative to take advantage of such changes in favour of strengthening media institutions. —>
http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/facksonbanda/2008/02/28/the-politics-of-media-development/
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/27/08

February 27, 2008

Verizon still not carrying BCAT
by Patrick Ball
Bedford Minuteman (MA)
02/27/08

[ comments allowed ]

Bedford Community Access Television programming might be the best it has ever been, but Verizon subscribers wouldn’t know it because they can’t watch the PEG Access programming they pay for.

“I want my BCAT,” is a complaint often heard by Bedford Community Access Television’s Executive Director Madeleine Altmann. “Now that BCAT is getting a lot more popular, and it’s 24 hours, people are bumming,” she said.  Bedfordites are disappointed because Verizon, eight months after becoming Bedford’s second cable provider, is still not carrying the town’s PEG Access channels broadcast from BCAT.

A technically separate but intrinsically related issue is that Verizon has also failed thus far to connect its FiOS to the PEG access points of origination – Town Hall, Bedford High School, the Bedford Free Public Library, the Town Center building and First Church of Christ, Congregational – on the Town Center campus.   —>
http://www.wickedlocal.com/bedford/homepage/x374196492
~

More TV Choice and Competition Near for Residents of Abington, Mass.
TMCnet
02/26/08

[ comments allowed ]

Residents of Abington are a major step closer to having another choice for their cable television services, thanks to a newly approved agreement authorizing Verizon to offer its FiOS TV service via the most advanced all-digital, fiber-optic network straight to customers’ homes… The Board of Selectmen in Abington granted a cable franchise Monday (Feb. 25) to Verizon, paving the way for video choice for approximately 5,000 more Massachusetts households…

The Abington franchise agreement contains provisions for the network’s future growth; financial support and capacity for educational and government access channels; cable service to government buildings; and other important benefits to the town, including insurance, indemnification and enforcement protections.   —>
http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2008/02/26/3292479.htm
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They’re Back! Prometheus Asks Court to Vacate Ownership-Rule Change
Group Says Decision Was Arbitrary and Capricious and Beyond the FCC’s Authority
by John Eggerton
Broadcasting & Cable
02/26/08

[ comments allowed ]

As promised, anti-media consolidation activists asked a federal court to throw out the Federal Communications Commission’s recent media-ownership decision.  Media Access Project Tuesday filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on behalf of Prometheus Radio Project and in opposition to loosening the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rules, which the FCC did Dec. 18.

Tribune already took aim at the cross-ownership rules in a separate suit against an FCC decision granting it waivers from the rules — it asked for more regulatory relief than it got. But it is coming at the agency from the other direction: It saw the decision as a chance to try to get the cross-ownership ban lifted entirely by the courts.

MAP was instrumental in getting the FCC’s 2003 ownership-rule rewrite remanded to that court in the first place when it represented Prometheus in a filing to block that deregualtory effort. The result of that, after years of legal maneuvers and rule reviews, was eventually that December 2007 decision to loosen, but not lift, the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rules. But there is more for MAP to like in the rule rewrite this time around.

The group supported the FCC majority’s decision not to loosen the local TV or radio ownership caps. “We are going to be very supportive of some of the things the commission did,” MAP president Andrew J. Schwartzman said. But loosening newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership was not one of them and it made that clear in no uncertain terms. In its petition, the group called the decision “contrary to law” and “otherwise arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion and in excess of statutory authority.”  MAP asked the court to “vacate, enjoin and set aside the report and order and order such other relief as may be just and proper.”   —>
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6535600.htm
~

Voices for the voiceless: Young Latinos are speaking out on air
by Ali Reed
Medill Reports – Northwestern University (IL)
02/27/08

A group of Chicago Hispanic teenagers say they are tired of how underrepresented their community is in mainstream media.  They have turned their frustration into action and are now vocal journalists on a mission to provide a voice for the underrepresented.

These youth, or “producers” as they are called at work, get their voices heard on the radio for an hour every Monday through Thursday evening.  They are volunteer journalists at Radio Arte, 90.5 FM, a nonprofit Latino public radio station based in Pilsen. The 10-year-old station has made a place for teen producers since it was founded.  “Our voices are oftentimes disenfranchised by larger public media and commercial media,” said Silvia Rivera, general manager of Radio Arte.  “So what we’re trying to do in our small slice of the world is to try to be as representative as possible of our community.”

Radio Arte’s small slice of the world covers a 14-mile broadcast radius stretching southwest from Pilsen, an area with more than 500,000 residents.  Each year a group of 30 youth journalists, ages 15 to 21, are chosen from applicants for the station’s 10-week training program. They learn to write, research, interview and hone their on-air delivery skills.   —>
http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=79597
~

Missing: Minorities in Media
by Laura S. Washington
In These Times
02/26/08

[ 3 comments ]

In the wake of racial upheaval, the 1968 “Riot Report” concluded the media had to improve its coverage of Black America. Has it?

America was burning. The riots unleashed by the April 4, 1968 assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. were terrorizing cities across the nation.  Chicago was no exception. Warner Saunders got a desperate call from WLS-TV, the local ABC affiliate. They needed blacks on the air, and they needed them now. So Saunders, who was a community activist and executive director of Chicago’s Better Boys Foundation, signed up as co-host of a hastily arranged television special, “For Blacks Only.”

The special, which aired in 1968, snared such high ratings that the station gave it a regular slot and kept it going for 10 years. Saunders eventually became a full-time reporter. Today he’s the top news anchor at Chicago’s NBC station.

Saunders’ foray into TV news came weeks after President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Kerner Commission report declared, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white — separate and unequal.”  The report, also known as “The Riot Report,” released 40 years ago this month, was a response to the urban riots of the late ’60s. Blacks, outraged over poverty and racism, took to the streets and shook up America’s powers that be.

The commission produced an exhaustive look at media coverage of communities of color and responded with a key recommendation: if the United States hoped to cool down the searing anger in its inner cities across the nation, it must do a better job of covering African-Americans.  The report’s authors slammed the media, writing, “the journalistic profession has been shockingly backward in seeking out, hiring, training and promoting Negroes.”

Four decades later, there has been undeniable progress. Our cities are no longer burning. Yet in many ways, we are running on ice.   —>
http://www.alternet.org/rights/77789/
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Is it finally time for a national broadband policy?
by Carol Wilson
Telephony Online
02/20/08

There seems to be a consensus growing that the U.S. should (finally) have a national broadband policy. Now the question is, what will that policy include?

I think now is the best possible time to start answering that question, and here is why: We are in the midst of a presidential election campaign that promises to be hard-fought, and one of the major issues will be the U.S. economy. There is nothing more central to our economic problems than the ability to have true broadband access everywhere, and to make it affordable to consumers and businesses alike.

I’m far from the first person to say this. As manufacturing jobs have increasingly gone overseas, what is replacing them? Supposedly we have become a service economy, but digital communications enables service jobs to be shipped abroad as well, as many in the customer service and software development industries know all too well. The only way to ensure that the U.S. workforce remain employable is to give that workforce the best possible tools in the digital age, and that starts with broadband.   —>
http://telephonyonline.com/broadband/commentary/national-broadband-policy-0220/
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Williamstown faces broadband, water, tax break issue at Town Meeting
by David Delcore
Times Argus (VT)
02/26/08

[ comments allowed ]

—>  Among the forward-looking items on the Town Meeting Day warning is a proposal to enter an inter-local contract with other area communities for the purpose of establishing “a universal, open-access, financially self-sustaining broadband communications system.” That system would provide residents of participating communities with services ranging from high-speed Internet access to telephone and cable television.   —>
http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080226/NEWS02/802260346/1003/NEWS02
~

Social Media Challenge: Telling a life story
by Jake McKee
Community Guy
02/26/08

[ 7 comments ]

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my grandmother recently passed away at the age of 83. During the festivities (and I do use that word specifically… we are, and she was Irish Catholic, after all), I volunteered to take Grandma Pat’s photo albums and some other keepsake books home to archive digitally. The theory went, if I took them, I could scan them so they could be easily reproduced for all six kids to do what they wanted with the content.

Pat was nothing if not an organizer, and so I find myself with a wealth of wonderful, decades old content, including recipes, household tips collection, photos, and baby books. I’ve been thinking a lot about the opportunities that this content presents when combined with the tools that exist both on my Mac and on the Web.  Honestly, I’m a bit overwhelmed.

The most obvious solution goes something like this:

* Scan the photos
* Upload the photos to Flickr, allowing family members to comment on each photo
* Use iPhoto to create a slideshow, then export the slideshow to a DVD or Web video
* Share the Web video on YouTube or Blip.tv
* Send an email to friends and family alerting them that the photos and videos are live.

The thing is, I want to do more than simply digitize the content, and hope that someone leaves a comment on the public version. I want to do something with the content…. and more importantly, I want my family and her friends to do something too. I want stories to be told. I want to create opportunities for her kids and grandkids to share their own memories, photos, videos. I want to involve the extended family (which again, Irish Catholic – no small feat).

So I turn to you, my internet social media friends. What processes & methods (technical or otherwise), software, Web apps, or anything else would you suggest? How can I use the tools at hand to help me tell stories as vibrant as she was and always will be?   —>
http://www.communityguy.com/1384/telling-a-life-story/
~

Code4Lib 2008: The Internet Archive
by Nicole Engard
Blogging Section of SLA-IT
02/27/08

[ comments allowed ]

What a great way to open a conference like Code4Lib.  The first keynote was presented by Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive.  Brewster started by reminding us that the reason he was there talking to us and the reason he is working on the Internet Archive is because the library metaphor easily translates to the Internet – as librarians we’re paid to give stuff away!  We work in a $12 billion a year industry which supports the publishing infrastructure.  With the Internet Archive, Brewster is not suggesting that we spend less money – but that we spend it better.

He started with a slide of the Boston Public Library which has “Free to All” carved in stone.  Brewster says that what people carve in stone is take seriously – and so this is a great example of what libraries stand for.  Our opportunity now is to go digital.  Provide free digital content in addition to the traditional content we have been providing.  I loved that he then said that this is not just a time for us to be friendly together as librarians – but to work together as a community and build something that can be offered freely to all!

He went on to say that what happens to libraries is that they burn – they tend to get burned by governments who don’t want them around.  The Library of Alexandria is probably best known for not being here anymore.  This is why lots of copies keeps stuff safe. Along those lines, the Internet Archive makes sure to store their data in mirror locations – and by providing information to the archive we’re ensuring that our data is also kept safe and available.  This idea of large scale swap agreements (us sharing with the Internet Archive, us sharing with other libraries, etc) in different geographical regions finds us some level of preservation.

How it started — The internet archive started by collecting the world wide web – every 2 months taking a snap shot of the web.  Brewster showed Yahoo! 10 years ago – ironically a bit of data that even Yahoo! didn’t have – so for their 10 year anniversary they had to ask the Internet Archive for a copy of what their site looked like!  He showed us the first version of Code4Lib’s site and exclaimed “Gosh is that geeky!” because it was a simple black text on white background page.

While it may have seemed a bit ambitious to archive the web, the Wayback Machine gets about 500 hits a second.  And it turns out that the out of print materials on the web are often just as valuable as the in print information on the web.  People are looking for the way things were for historical or cultural research reasons and this tool makes it possible.   —>
http://sla-divisions.typepad.com/itbloggingsection/2008/02/code4lib-2008-t.html
~

TV coverage is factor in Southington BOE venue decision
by Jason R. Vallee
MyRecordJournal.com (CT)
02/27/08

[ comments allowed ]

SOUTHINGTON – When the Board of Education meets tonight, it will be asked to determine whether to continue meeting at the John V. Pyne Meeting Center or consider moving to Town Hall. The decision is based on what would most effectively allow the board to improve the quality of its cable broadcasts, and the panel appears to be leaning toward technological changes rather than a physical move.  Three weeks ago, Southington High School Television Coordinator Rit Campbell said the district made a broadcast conversion from VHS to DVD format. The conversion, in which Cox Cable replaced all public access equipment with digital simulcast technology, immediately helped improve the video quality by 80 percent, though sound has remained a problem.   —>
http://www.myrecordjournal.com/site/tab1.cfm?newsid=19339338&BRD=2755&PAG=461&dept_id=592708&rfi=6
~

Midterm
by Erin Semagin Damio
Erin Semagin Damio
02/27/08

[ comments allowed ]

—>  Isa Chandra Moskowitz, a vegan living in Brooklyn, New York, offered her own solution. In 2006 she started a public access cooking show called the Post Punk Kitchen. In an interview with Gothamist magazine, she described the show, which she cohosted with Terry Hope Romero, as a response to the lack of vegan cooking shows on Food Network. Today, episodes of the show are available on Google Video. Moskowitz’s easy-to-make vegan cupcakes and other delicious dishes have earned her the distinction of “America’s Most Popular Vegan Chef” in her Barnes and Noble biography. She and Romero have written three bestselling cookbooks, including Vegan With A Vengeance, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and Veganomican. She also maintains a website, which includes forums and her own blog.   —>
http://ensd113.blogspot.com/2008/02/when-lauren-ulm-of-boston-started.html
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

FCC En Banc Hearing on Broadband Network Management Practices

February 27, 2008

A lot has been written about this hearing already.  Here are a just a few blog and press accounts. Net neutrality advocates, stay tuned to SavetheInternet.com, and help line up co-sponsors for the Markey/Pickering Internet Freedom Protection Act of 2008 – rm


FCC Hearing Video Webcast:
http://www.fcc.gov/realaudio/mt022508v.ram
Commissioners Statements: http://fcc.gov

Comcast, net neutrality advocates clash at FCC hearing
by Matthew Lasar
Ars Technica
02/25/08

[ 29 comments ]

A civil but tense tone prevailed at today’s Federal Communications Commission’s hearing on how to address concerns that Comcast and other ISPs degrade P2P traffic. Comcast executive vice president David L. Cohen was the star of the show, and he knew it. “It’s a pleasure to be here as a participant and hopefully not the main course for your meal,” Cohen told all five Commissioners and a lively audience during the event’s first panel discussion, held at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.   —>
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080225-comcast-and-net-neutrality-advocates-clash-at-fcc-hearing.html
~

[fccboston08] FCC hearing: Ed Markey
by David Weinberger
JOHO the Blog
02/25/08

[ 26 comments over 16 posts ]

NOTE: I am live-blogging. Not re-reading for errors. There are guaranteed to be errors of substance, stand point and detail. Caveat reader.  Rep. Ed Markey opens it. He’s been one of the staunchest and most reliable defenders of an open Internet. He recalls his long standing on the Internet’s behalf. He asks us to keep users in mind, preferring their needs to that of the carriers. What a concept!   —>
http://www.hyperorg.com/blogger/2008/02/25/fccboston08-fcc-hearing-ed-markey/
~

FCC chief says Net providers can’t block access ‘arbitrarily’
Delays by Comcast are focus of hearing
by Hiawatha Bray
Boston Globe
02/26/08

CAMBRIDGE – Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin warned yesterday that Internet service providers can’t block consumers from using lawful Internet activities in the name of providing better service.  “While networks may have legitimate network issues and practices,” Martin said, “that does not mean that they can arbitrarily block access to certain network services.”   —>
http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2008/02/26/fcc_chief_says_net_providers_cant_block_access_arbitrarily/
~

The FCC holds a hearing on Net Neutrality, and YOU! ARE! THERE!
by John Sundman
WetMachine.com
02/26/07

[ 2 comments ]

So yesterday morning over coffee I was doing what most people do over their first daily cup o’ joe, which is bring up technorati and see if anybody’s talking about me. That process took me to Joho’s page, from which I learned that the FCC was to be holding an hearing on why Comcast sucks, I mean Net Neutrality broadband network management practices only hours thence. Now although to my surprise & delight, Wetmachine, thanks to the work of my fellow wetmechanics Harold Feld and Greg Rose has become quite the FCC policy site with a side-order of net neutrality, I had never been to an FCC hearing. A quick check of the boat and bus schedules showed that I could probably make it to Hahvahd in time for most of the festivities. I decided to go. So, after securing the blessings of Dear Wife and throwing a few things in a bag, off I set to lose my FCC-hearing virginity.

Below the fold, some totally subjective impressions of the day, told in that winsome wetmachine way that you’ve come to treasure, or if you haven’t yet, which you soon will. More sober-styled reports have surely appeared by now, and I’ll dig up some links & post them at the end for those of you who like a little conventional reportage to ballast what you get from me.   —>
http://www.wetmachine.com/item/1084
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FCC En Banc: Annals of the Battle for the Last Mile
by Fred Johnson
Media-Space-Place-Network
02/26/08

[ 1 Comment ]

Harvard Law School was “Markey Country” today as Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey defended net neutrality in his opening remarks before the FCC’s Public En Banc Hearing on broadband network management practices in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Markey declared the US “no country for old bandwidth” and hung around to observe, with the rest of us, the FCC, “en banc” and securely enclosed in Harvard space droning through a tedious day of testimony and q&a, comfortably surrounded by an audience packed with polite but bored Comcast employees trained to provide applause on cue.   —>
http://fredjohnson.mwg.org/?p=65
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Network neutrality: code words and conniving at yesterday’s FCC hearing (Part 2 of 2)
by Andy Oram
O’Reilly Radar
02/26/08

[1 comment ]

Yesterday I summarized the public FCC hearing about bandwidth at the Harvard Law School, and referred readers to a more comprehensive background article. In this article I’ll highlight some of the rhetoric at the meeting, which shows that network providers’ traffic shaping is no more sophisticated or devious than the shaping of public perceptions by policy-makers and advocates.   —>
http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2008/02/network-neutrality-code-words.html
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Comcast Paid Shills To Attend FCC Hearing
by Wendy Davis
Online Media Daily
02/27/08

The Federal Communications Commission hearing about net neutrality this week was so crowded that police had to turn away an estimated 100 people from the Harvard Law School classroom where the event was held.  The large audience even seemed to surprise some of the organizers, who did not have an overflow room available on site.

But now, it’s come out that the packed room wasn’t just filled with concerned citizens. Comcast paid shills to arrive early and save seats so that employees and other supporters could attend and cheer on executive vice president David Cohen.

The move came to light after the net neutrality advocacy group Free Press posted an MP3 file (http://www.freepress.net/docs/paid_to_hold_seat.mp3) of an interview with an unidentified line-stander on its site.  “Honestly, I’m just getting paid to hold somebody’s seat,” a man said on the recording. “I don’t even know what’s going on.”  Pictures also surfaced online showing audience members sleeping during the hearing.   —>
http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.san&s=77363&Nid=39790&p=909427
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Comcast Manipulating NAACP on Net Neutrality
by Matt Stoller
OpenLeft.com
02/27/08

[ 4 comments ]

By now you’ve probably heard that Comcast hired a crowd to sit in an FCC hearing on net neutrality so interested citizens couldn’t get a spot to speak.  The gist of Comcast’s excuse is that they hired people to hold spots for Comcast employees, though those people accidentally fell asleep and stayed in their seats throughout the entire hearing.  Nuts.

Interestingly, there’s a bit more to the story, and it involves the cozy relationship between the NAACP and Comcast.  Corporate funding of civil rights groups has been a quiet and dank hallmark of liberal politics for decades.  Most of the time these partnerships are innocent, but they lead to some coincidentally problematic situations.  For example, here’s what else was going on in Boston around the FCC the day before the rent-a-crowd incident.   —>
http://openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=4209
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The FCC and ISPs talk about BT while FP demands “Net Neutrality!”
by thecrazedman
The Crazed Man’s Words
02/27/08

[ comments allowed ]

Yesterday I attended the public hearing held by the FCC at Harvard Law School that was addressing allegations lodged against Comcast and other ISPs that they deliberately have (and continue) to delay and block P2P applications to and from their users, whom are paying customers. No matter if the files being shared are legal or not, these ISPs have been accused of managing their networks unfavorably to the file-sharers all across the United States.

I was invited to the event by my Professor, David Monje, whom shares a friendship, academic and otherwise, to the members of FreePress.net. From FreePress’ perspective this was billed as an attemp “To Save The Internet” as Net Neutrality is a major lobbying issue for this non-profit organization. I was really excited to be there and hear what both sides had to say.

There was a lot of enlightening information from both panels, specifically panelists Marvin Ammori, Yochai Benkler, Timothy Wu, Richard Bennet, David Clark, and Eric Klinker. These men are all from different backgrounds surrounding the internet and this issue of net neutrality. I am going to follow from the notes I took and expand from what kind of discussion developed.   —>
http://thecrazedman.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/the-fcc-and-isps-talk-about-bt-while-fp-demands-net-neutrality/
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In Comcast vs. Verizon, Comcast is Down Two Counts
by Drew Clark
DrewClark.com
02/27/08

[ comments allowed ]

Dominance in the broadband market is a battle of both technology and politics. Right now Comcast, America’s leading cable company, is losing on both counts.  Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen emerged from the Federal Communications Commission’s hearing on Internet practices in Cambridge, Mass., as unable to defend himself and his company against charges of blocking the peer-to-peer (P2P) Internet application BitTorrent.  Comcast also came out looking like the kind of bullying corporation that resorts to packing the auditorium with its own employees.   —>
http://www.drewclark.com/in-comcast-vs-verizon-comcast-is-down-two-counts/
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For the Clueless Among Us: Why Comcast Paying Folks to Attend FCC Hearing Is Wrong.
by Harold Feld
Wetmachine.com
02/27/08

[ comments allowed ]

I can’t believe I actually need to explain this.  Suppose Comcast made the following offer: If you vote “no” on a ballot initiative we like (and agree to take a pocket recording device into the voting booth with you so we can have proof), we will pay you $50.

Most of us would not only say that this is wrong, we would have no problem understanding why that’s a crime. We would not be persuaded by Comcast defending itself by saying “well, Free Press and other organizations have campaigned in support of the bill and are calling people to ask them to go out and vote — they even provide free rides to people likely to vote for the initiative. That’s just like paying people directly to vote the way we want.” In general, we recognize a difference between organizing ad trying to persuade people to vote the way you want and actually paying people for their vote (and wanting a receipt)…

This isn’t some gray area of giving local employees the day off with pay and a free ride while others had to take time off ad make their own way. This is just hiring warm bodies to block others and — if they stay awake long enough — to applaud on cue. The notion that this is in any way comparable to the kind of civic conversation that democracies depend on and the sort of organizing that Free Press engages in — citizens persuading other citizens and urging them to make their voices heard — is worse than ignorant and beyond Orwellian. It is downright insulting. It takes our most fundamental right and responsibility as free citizens and transforms it into a mockery. It is literally to defend the practice of placing democracy up for sale, and to reduce our democracy to the level of a banana republic.   —>
http://www.wetmachine.com/item/1087
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/26/08

February 27, 2008

One World accepts nominations for Special Achievement for Development Media award
Nominations Deadline: February 29
ijnet (International Center for Journalists)
02/26/08

[ comments allowed ]

One World Broadcasting has announced the Special Achievement Award for Development Media, one of this year’s One World Media Awards. The Special Achievement Award honors an outstanding community media project in the developing world. The deadline to nominate someone for this award is February 29.

The award is geared toward advocacy or grassroots media outlets or community radio/TV initiatives. Ideal projects will incorporate ideas for reaching wider audiences, find ways of making a lasting impact on the local community and have evidence of financial sustainability (through local or national support).

To find out how to apply, visit http://www.owbt.org/pages/Awards/awards2008/awards2008_specialaward.html —>
http://www.ijnet.org/Director.aspx?P=Article&ID=307311
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Ball State Study Sees Positive Effects From Indiana Telecom Bill
Finding Disputed by Cable Incumbents
by Linda Haugsted
Multichannel News
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

Ball State University has released a white paper stating that Indiana’s 2006 telecommunications reform bill has advanced the deployment of video and broadband services in the state, a finding disputed by cable incumbents in the state.  The 106-page report, dated Feb. 15 on the website of the Digital Policy Institute, concludes that HEA 1279 was good for the state and goes on to detail the expansion of digital-subscriber line, high-speed data lines and video service deployed since the bill was signed.

But Tim Oakes, executive director of the Indiana Cable Telecommunications Association, notes that the deployments referred to in the report were announced by providers such as AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. before the bill was passed.  “To say the bill caused (these investments) is flat-out wrong,” he said…

Reports compliled by local officials in other states where franchising has been assigned to the state, such as Texas, Michigan and North Carolina, have concluded that published cable rates have not decreased due to the approval of state franchising bills. Special rates, offered as retention lures, may offer short term benefits, they have noted, but over the long term, rates continue to rise by all providers.
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6535240.html?nid=4262
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Norwalk PTO to put its proceedings on TV
by Lisa Chamoff
Stamford Advocate (CT)
02/26/08

A new reality television show is about to air.  The Parent Teacher Organization Council last night became one of the first city groups to begin recording its monthly meetings, and will air them starting next week on cable Channel 78, the regional educational access channel.

The program is part of an effort to keep parents informed and get them more involved in the schools. School officials are looking into recording biweekly Board of Education meetings.  Paul Blumenthal, PTO Council vice president for educational information, who works in video production, is coordinating the taping.  It will be one of the first city meetings to be broadcast.

“Apparently, other towns around Norwalk have a much more extensive use of their public access educational channel than we do,” Blumenthal said. “I think the school system will get better because people are more informed and more aware.”  Westport regularly televises its Board of Education meetings on Channel 78. Since 2002, it has used Channel 79, the local government station, to broadcast public meetings and forums. Some meetings are streamed live on the town’s Web site.

Eileen Zhang, director of Westport’s information technology department, said people are tuning in, though there is no way to count viewers.  Viewers e-mail questions that are answered during the meetings. People call Zhang when there are problems with the sound or picture quality.  “It definitely makes government more transparent,” she said.   —>
http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/local/scn-sa-televise4feb26,0,5681107.story
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Spring Break Young Reporter’s Camp Springs Forwards with Applications
Akaku: Maui Community Television (HI)
by KaeoKepani
02/26/08

Back by popular demand, “Young Reporters Media Camp,” will take place during the State Department of Education Spring Break—starting on Monday, Mar. 17 through Friday, Mar. 21. Akaku is currently accepting applications until Wednesday, Mar. 5 and will select up to 10 students to attend the weeklong camp, which costs $200.

“Our previous Young Reporters Media Camp was a great success and proved to be an enriching opportunity for young people who are interested in serving their community through their media skills,” says Akaku education director Sara Tekula. “Young people are some of the most valuable witnesses to current events and happenings around Maui. Their perspectives will diversify the Maui Daily programming and attract more young viewers to the show.”

Students will learn what it takes to become “Youth Reporters” for The Maui Daily—Akaku’s latest community-based news program. In five days, they will become “youth certified” to borrow cameras and use editing equipment free-of-charge in order to create content for the program. Need-based scholarships will be available for motivated students accepted into the program. Camp hours will be from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.   —>
http://www.akaku.org/?p=61
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Media Savvy: Students learning to produce a basketball telecast
by Sam McManis
Sacramento Bee (CA)
02/26/08

[ 1 comment ]

2:42 p.m., outside the gym at Cosumnes River College.  Duct tape, to them, is lifeblood.  A full, fat roll dangles from Thorunn Gudjonsdottir’s wrist like a bracelet. It’ll come in handy as she and the rest of a crew of journalism students get ready to broadcast this evening’s women’s basketball game.

It is more than three hours before tipoff and an hour before any of the players will arrive, but the crew – a.k.a. Terry Finnegan’s advanced television production class – is already at work, scoping out the gym for camera positions. Also on hand: Richard Langley and Danny Mendonsa, engineers – and de facto teachers – from Access Sacramento, the region’s public-access TV channel.

Their transmission truck, nerve center of the operation, gingerly backs up as close to the gym as safety and school officials will allow.  “Breathing in exhaust gets that broadcast mojo going,” cracks Brandon Wells, the student director.   —>
http://www.sacbee.com/127/story/738435.html
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Community access TV studio needs new home
by Paul Payne
Santa Rosa Press Democrat (CA)
02/26/08

[ comments allowed ]

The big break for C.J. Ramirez came when the regular anchor of Casa Grande High’s morning news program didn’t show up for work.  Ramirez, 16, who had been helping out around the public television station on the Petaluma campus, jumped in front of the camera. His gift for gab made him a natural and he moved into the spot on a permanent basis.  But his budding broadcast career — as well as the aspirations of other students who use the Petaluma Community Access studio — may soon be cut short.

Petaluma school district administrators announced recently that the station will have to move off campus by fall to make way for an anticipated surge of new students.  “It’s a little disappointing,” said Ramirez, a junior, after taping the morning show Tuesday. “I just started getting into this.”

His frustration is shared by the station’s small staff and volunteers, who have put their hearts into keeping it going and just completed a digital conversion that cost about $34,000.  Julie Akins, the executive director and a former San Francisco newscaster, said she will begin looking for new space but won’t be able to afford anything nearly as large or well-appointed as their Casa Grande home, which was free.

Akins said the station — which airs government and educational programs on channels 26, 27 and 28 on Petaluma’s cable TV system — will likely become a mobile studio with a small warehouse office for computer servers.  “It’s probably the only thing we can do,” said Akins, who was hired last year and oversees a $200,000 a year budget. “I don’t see how we can afford a 2,000 square-foot facility. We’re talking mega-bucks that we don’t have.”   —>
http://www1.pressdemocrat.com/article/20080226/NEWS/732616256/1033/NEWS01
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Channel 11 interlocal agreement possible
by Larry Grard
Kennebec Journal Morning Sentinel (ME)
02/26/08

[ 2 comments ]

MADISON — Public access station Channel 11 on Monday night advanced closer to an interlocal agreement its board members have long sought.  A skeptical Board of Selectmen gave the go-ahead for Channel 11 and Bee Line Cable TV Co. to work out a franchise fee that might help the station operate independently. The towns of Anson and Skowhegan have signed an interlocal agreement, but Madison — home to the station — has held out.  Channel 11 operates on a $25,000 budget that is funneled through the three towns from Bee Line Cable.   —>
http://morningsentinel.mainetoday.com/news/local/4807153.html
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Rutland gets PEGged
Public access TV expands with new kitchen studio space, weather, Internet
by Brent Curtis
Rutland Herald (VT)
02/26/08

[ comments allowed ]

Public access television in Rutland is more accessible with more things to watch than ever before.  Rutland Community Access PEG TV has added new online features allowing Internet users to access its three channels worldwide and is adding cooking and local weather to its programming lineup.  “We’ve been busy,” said Michael J. Valentine, executive director of the local television studio located at the Howe Center.  During the last eight months, PEG has upgraded its Web site to allow streaming videos of scheduled programming and video on demand of archived material…

While the technological upgrades hold the most far-reaching potential for PEG, the decision to add cooking to its programming repertoire has had the most impact on the station’s studio space.  To host community generated cooking shows, PEG officials converted an empty and unfinished storage space into a state-of-the art kitchen complete with a commercial refrigerator, range, oven and vent-hood and granite countertops.   —>
http://www.rutlandherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080226/NEWS01/802260343/1002/NEWS01
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Empowering Your Organization Through Media
Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement (OR)
02/26/08

Tuesday, April 3, 2007; 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM…  Learn more on how Portland Community Media can help you get your message to the community through effective and creative use of media. Workshop will share real world examples of local groups that have used video and media resources to inform, educate and engage their communities.   —>
http://www.portlandonline.com/oni/index.cfm?c=37087&a=186254
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Attacks spur defense classes, safety forum
by Tammy Krikorian
Reno Gazette-Journal (NV)
02/26/08

—>   As safety concerns spread beyond the college community after the killing of Brianna Denison, a community safety forum tonight will inform residents of what is being done to keep them safe…  Representatives from Reno police; University of Nevada, Reno; the Associated Students of the University of Nevada; and community members will be on the panel.The event, scheduled from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sierra Nevada Community Access Television Studio, 4024 Kietzke Lane, will be taped and rebroadcast… A programming schedule soon will be available at http://www.sncat.org —>
http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080226/NEWS01/802260347/1321/NEWS
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Reasonable Doubt: January 24, 2008
by Mark Bennett
HCCLA Blog – Harris County Criminal Lawyer’s Assoc. (TX)
02/26/08

[ comments allowed ]

HCCLA’s Reasonable Doubt public-access TV show from January 24, 2008.  [Google Video]
http://www.hccla.org/blog/index.php?/archives/17-Reasonable-Doubt-January-24,-2008.html
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Who in the Health Cares? Patient Safety Week – March 3-8, 2008
by Save the Patient
The Earth Times
02/26/08

[ comments allowed ]

CHICAGO – Continuing its efforts to educate, inform, and empower the people of Chicago, SAVE THE PATIENT, a not-for-profit patient-focused organization, is hosting its 25-minute live call-in show, “Community Health,” on Chicago Access Network (CAN-TV) on Monday, March 3, at 6:00 PM on Channel 21.

Monday’s program will feature a frank discussion on what is currently being done, or not done, when it comes to patient safety, and most importantly, how to protect yourself and your family from hospital- and community-based infections. Find out about the Illinois Health Report Card, sponsored by Senator Barack Obama and the General Assembly.   —>
http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/who-in-the-health-cares-patient-safety-week-march-3-8-2008,293036.shtml
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Foamhenge & Public Access Puppetry
by Andrew
Puppet Vision Blog
02/26/08

Public access television was the YouTube of the pre-web era. In the 1980s and early `90s it was a fertile breeding ground for puppet video, producing underground hits like Ed the Sock, Greg the Bunny and Mystery Science Theater 3000 that were later picked up by cable channels and found mainstream success.

Considering just how many puppeteers got started working on public access, it’s always great to see these old videos making their way on to the web. Brian Stokes has been uploading some videos to YouTube from LifeFormz, an Academy award-winning college TV access puppetry & animation show he worked on from 1993-95 at the University of Pennsylvania. I particularly like Foamhenge, a sketch that reminds me of the Muppets’ old Mount Rushmore sketch.   —>
http://puppetvision.blogspot.com/2008/02/foamhenge-public-access-puppetry.html
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Jane Pauley I am not
by KarmaTee
Alligator Cowboy Boots (CO)
02/26/08

[ 2 comments ]

I went to journalism school to study print journalism. Yes, I have always considered myself a writer (blog readers everywhere snigger), but I also at one point in my life toyed with the idea of being a television news reporter/anchor/producer. It all seemed so glamorous, and I *have* always had a thing for brightly colored clothing.

But, when I got to the hallowed halls of Missouri’s J-school, I quickly realized one thing: The pretty, bubbly girls did broadcast. The alternative-y, hipster girls did photo. The poetic, romantic girls did magazine.  And the brainiac, mildly angry, can’t-be-bothered-to-get-dressed-up- because-I-don’t-like-walking-across-campus-in-heels girls did news-editorial.  Guess which category I fit into.

I was not then, and am not now, a shining example of Barbie incarnate, so broadcast was definitely out of the question. Did you know in college, the broadcast advisors would sit each girl down (guys too) and tell them every one of their flaws to correct, how much weight to lose and how to cut their hair, and what clothes to wear? And then they got graded on it? Mizzou isn’t alone in this practice, and even after college, professional talking heads all have contracts that stipulate appearance maintenance. It’s why you never see a female anchor over the age of 50– Botox and makeup only do so much.

Where am I going with this, you ask?  Nearly eight years after pretty much having the door to a broadcast career slammed in my not-symmetrical-enough face, I find myself talking on television. FREQUENTLY.

It is a small town, and it is community access, so I am not thinking this is a reversal of J-school priorities. But in the last 10 days, I have been videotaped for television programs twice. Once they snuck it up on me… I was part of a speaker panel at the college and didn’t realize the damn thing was going on Durango Community Access Television. Then, today, a producer with CitySpan 10, the other local channel, came and interviewed me, on camera, for a five-minute spot they’re going to do on our nonprofit agency.   —>
http://alligatorcowboyboots.blogspot.com/2008/02/2_26.html
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GVTC captures record number of Hill Country customers
San Antonio Business Journal (TX)
02/26/08

GVTC Communications continues to grow at a break-neck pace. For the first time in the company’s history, GVTC has more than 10,000 cable customers.  Officials with the Smithson Valley company say this is a 27 percent increase in cable subscribers over the last three years…  GVTC is garnering positive feedback from customers for providing coverage of local Smithson Valley and Boerne high school football and basketball games on the public access channel.   —>
http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/stories/2008/02/25/daily16.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/25/08

February 26, 2008

FCC Online Digital Television (DTV) Conversion Workshop for People with Disabilities – Feb. 28
by Darrell Shandrow
Blind Access Journal
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

Marlaina from ACB Radio reminds us all about an upcoming FCC workshop (Feb. 28) covering the impact of the impending digital television (DTV) conversion on people with disabilities.  This subject arose on my show this evening, and i promised to post this far and wide. Here is a copy of the e-mail I received from Jill Pender of the FCC regarding their upcoming workshop on conversion from analog to digital tv.  Let’s keep asking why our video description has not been restored. Or, when might we expect it to be restored.   —>
http://blog.blindaccessjournal.com/2008/02/fcc-online-digital-television-dtv.html
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Iraq Vets Against the War organize the second Winter Soldier: March 13-16
by Leslie Dreyer
Art Threat
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

Mark your calendars and organize a screening in your community. Let this Winter Soldier gathering March 13-16 in Washington D.C. be the most observed and talked about event this year.  The four-day event will bring together veterans from across the country to testify about their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan – and present video and photographic evidence. In addition, there will be panels of scholars, veterans, journalists, and other specialists to give context to the testimony. These panels will cover everything from the history of the GI resistance movement to the fight for veterans’ health benefits and support…

For those interested in watching or organizing around the proceedings at Winter Soldier, there will be a number of ways to watch and listen to the event.
* Live television broadcast via satellite TV, accessible through Dish Network as well as public access stations that choose to carry our broadcast – Friday and Saturday only
* Live video stream on the web – Thursday through Sunday
* Live radio broadcast via KPFA in Berkley California and other Pacifica member stations – Friday through Sunday
* Live audio stream via KPFA’s website – Friday through Sunday   —>
http://www.artthreat.net/2008/02/iraq-vets-against-war-organize
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GH leaders unhappy with cable project
Muskegon Chronicle (MI)
02/25/08

GRAND HAVEN — Telecommmunications giant AT&T is making good on promises to deliver competition in the cable television market to West Michigan this year by proposing franchise agreements with area governmental units.  But not everyone is happy about it.

The company has sent letters to local governments in West Michigan requesting franchise agreements for delivering television service over its fiber optic and telephone lines.  Under a 2006 state law backed by phone companies AT&T and Verizon, the agreements are a take-it or leave-it proposition. Local governments have 30 days to accept the terms laid out by AT&T or risk having an agreement imposed on them without receiving any franchise fees.

In Muskegon and Oceana counties, AT&T is not the historic telephone company. In these Verizon Communications communities, similar requests to provide television services are not being made at this time, a Verizon official said.

In Holland, Mayor Al McGeehan said he was “very angry.”  Grand Haven City Manager Patrick McGinnis said the 2006 state law limits local control over public rights of way.  “We were adamantly opposed to it. And when I say ‘we,’ I mean the people of the state of Michigan. It was a real bad deal,” he said.   —>
http://www.mlive.com/news/chronicle/index.ssf?/base/news-6/1203952516283700.xml&coll=8
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Congressmen seek media coverage of Asian vote
India Post
02/24/08

Several Members of Congress have sent letters to CNN and MSNBC to highlight the lack of coverage of the Asian American and Pacific Islander vote during the 2008 presidential campaigns. In the letter, Members of Congress said, “We are deeply concerned that the lack of coverage of Asian voters in the 2008 presidential race by media unfairly suppresses a growing and significant political constituency. We request a meeting to discuss these matters.   —>
http://indiapost.com/article/usnews/2145/
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Task force approves proposal from public access programming
Group plans to take ideas to city council
by Phil Wright
The East Oregonian
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

A city task force examining how a public access channel would function for Pendleton has approved a proposal to launch government and education programming.  The city council created the task force in November 2007. The task force members include Councilman John Brenne, chamber of commerce Executive Director Leslie Carnes, Pendleton Arts Councilman Jack Sanders and Pendleton residents Peter Walters, Ben Talley and Robert Tally, who manages Internet technology systems for Blue Mountain Community College…

Channel 5 is the Pendleton area’s public access channel. Charter primarily uses to deliver product advertisements.  Task force members recently visited Richland CityView Cable 13, the public cable access channel of the city of Richland. CityView provides free programming and coverage of public meetings. From what the task force learned, it created a proposal to deliver initial programming.

The proposal calls for education and local government programming six hours a day, from 3-9 p.m. That would include 4 1/2 hours of the Classic Arts Showcase, a free cable television program featuring classic arts, including musical and ballet performances. A scrolling calendar noting public meetings and events would fill the other 90 minutes, with the scroll running in 30-minute segments.

The chamber would generate and control the calendar scroll and BMCC would download and transmit programs to Charter. The rest of the day would be public access and whatever advertisements Charter would run. The proposal also calls for the Pendleton Arts Center Board to appoint and oversee a local access channel advisory committee, which could include representatives from the Pendleton Public Library, BMCC, the Pendleton Center for the Arts and possibly city government.

The task force plans to bring its proposal to the city council’s March 4 meeting.  But, before that, members said they still have some bridges to build, including who would handle the work at BMCC, which Tally estimated could come to about 4 hours per week at the start.  He suggested two BMCC audio-visual technicians could handle it, but he would have to mull that over with the college’s human resources department. That’s because wages could run as much as $80 per week, or about $4,000 per year. Benefits could add another $2,000.  Sanders said he would approach the city, the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce and the Umatilla-Morrow Education Service District to contribute funds.

City Councilwoman Marjorie Iburg said this beginning level seems “pretty doable,” but to really move forward, the right person needs to head up this process. And finding that person could take some time, she said.  While locals would handle the government and education side, City Attorney Pete Wells said Charter would run the public access side.  Well said at City View, the public access side is independent of the government and education side, which is also how the task force wants to start.   —>
http://www.eastoregonian.info/main.asp?SectionID=13&SubSectionID=48&ArticleID=73872&TM=64865.39
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Our 20th Anniversary Membership Drive
WCTV Journal (IN)
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

2008 marks the twentieth anniversary of Whitewater Community Television serving Richmond and Wayne County. It has been a tremendous journey, starting with just a couple of VHS decks and some borrowed cameras, growing to the full broadcasting facility with editing suites and a three-camera studio that we enjoy today.

From just a few programs on one channel, we have grown to more than sixteen hours a day of original, first-run programming across three channels, airing more than 75 programs a week and supporting more than 40 local producers. Richmond currently enjoys the third largest public access television operation in the state of Indiana.

Along the way we became a critical source for local information in Wayne County, offering gavel-to-gavel coverage of city and county government meetings, educational programs and sporting events from area high schools and colleges, election results and weather alerts and more, as well as acted as an outlet for local producers to provide their own original content to the public.   —>
http://wctvjournal.blogspot.com/2008/02/our-20th-anniversary-membership-drive.html
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PAC 14 preserves Shore history
by Brice Stump
The Daily Times (MD)
02/24/08

[ 1 comment ]

SALISBURY — History will go high-tech soon, as Public Access Channel 14 launches a campaign to digitally capture the Shore’s present and past.  In an unprecedented venture, PAC 14 has garnered the support of more than a dozen history-oriented organizations to preserve Delmarva’s past on video using the best of today’s electronic technology.

Called Digitizing Delmarva’s Heritage and Traditions, the project is being developed by Mike Goodson, manager of PAC 14, in conjunction with Salisbury University and the Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Council and other historical organizations.  Alarmed that much of Delmarva’s oral history by older residents in particular is being lost, Goodson appealed to various group to support the undertaking. “Time is working against us. Our people, places and traditions are fading away before our eyes. In some cases our history is being washed away with the tides,” he said. “Time is not on our side.”

From the lives of watermen, artists and ball players to farmers recalling days of homemade sausage, scrapple and hams, Goodson and others want to save the charm and history of the old Eastern Shore.  Under Goodson’s direction, PAC 14 has created a temporary part-time position that will deal exclusively with the production of “historical videos.”  Tom Taylor, author and videographer, will handle production assignments now through July. By July, Goodson hopes that DDHT, as administered through Salisbury University, will have a SU history graduate on staff to continue the project.   —>
http://www.delmarvanow.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080224/LIFESTYLE/802240335
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TV show focuses on mental health issues
Fremont minister Barbara Meyers hosts local cable program
by Andrew Cavette
The Argus (CA)
02/25/08

The Rev. Barbara Meyers sat in a makeup chair Wednesday night in the corner of a small, public-access cable-TV studio, ready for her show to start.  Meyers, a minister for the Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation, is the host of “Mental Health Matters,” a program shown in the Tri-City area and other parts of the East Bay.

Cecelia Burk, who volunteers her cosmetological talents for the show, touched up Meyers’ cheeks before letting her rejoin the small group of enthusiastic Bay Area residents buzzing around the studio’s equipment. They adjusted the cameras, fixed the lighting, checked the sound, and then the show began.

After working for IBM for 25 years, Meyers went back to school and, in 2004, earned a master’s degree in divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley. Her ministry focuses on mental health issues.  One day Paul Clifford, a member of Meyers’ congregation, approached her about a project.  At the time, Clifford was producing another public-access cable-TV show and thought Meyers should produce a program about mental health. Clifford loaned Meyers his crew and his studio time to do a pilot episode.

In that episode, Meyers talked about the stigma attached to mental illness. It was recorded last March.  “I got a fair number of people who told me they had seen it,” Meyers said after the show premiered. “I could see that it was something positive.”  She recruited a crew from her congregation, some of whom have someone in their family with a mental illness or have mental health issues themselves. Other crew members simply want to learn more about television work.

Gwen Todd, a member of Meyers’ congregation,produces her own public-access cable-TV show for Toastmasters International and had contacts with Comcast in Fremont. When she heard Meyers’ idea for the show, she offered her services.  “It’s a very good show and is very much needed,” Todd said. “The crew is getting a lot better as we all develop our skills.”   —>
http://www.insidebayarea.com/argus/localnews/ci_8357715
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Community access TV programming
Post-Bulletin (MN)
02/26/08

[ comments allowed ]

Belau Report:  A proposal to expand Mayo Civic Center, how it would be paid for and community benefits will be discussed by Brad Jones, executive director of the Rochester Convention and Visitor’s Bureau; Donna Drews, executive director of the civic center; and Dennis Hanson, president of the Rochester City Council, on the Belau Report at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on Charter Cable channel 10.
http://news.postbulletin.com/newsmanager/templates/localnews_story.asp?a=330094&z=2
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BOF & BOS Meetings on Metrocast Channel 22
by Wtfd Nuc Sailor
Waterford Political Blog (CT)
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

According to today’s, February 25, 2008, New London DAY Public Access TV Schedule the February 12, 2008 Board of Finance Meeting will be on Metrocast Channel 22 Thursday, FEB 28, 2008 at 7:00 PM.  This meeting was relatively short for BOF meetings.  The February 19, 2008 Board of Selectmen meeting will be on Channel 22 on Friday, FEB 29, 2008 also at 7:00 PM.  This is the meeting where the BOS approved $95,000 for architect design services for the Municipal Complex Phase II.   —>
http://waterford.ctlocalpolitics.net/?p=189
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Viewers could be seeing more of Fort Erie council
by Ray Spiteri
Niagara Falls Review (Canada)
02/24/08

There is a growing number of citizens with an active interest in local government.  Town council is taking notice.  Elected officials recently approved a report asking staff to take steps to broadcast council-in-committee meetings on TV Cogeco and to investigate the feasibility of broadcasting real-time council and council-in-committee meetings online for future budget deliberations.

Regular council meetings, held every second and fourth Monday of the month, are televised by the local network, however, council-in-committee sessions, held on the first and third Mondays of the month, are not.  Coun. Bob Steckley, who has been pushing for such an intiative since he was elected at the tail end of 2006, said broadcasting all of council’s meetings will provide citizens more of an opportunity to see their elected representatives at work and make politicians accountable to the public.  “It’s nice to see that we are investigating the possibility of this because it will enhance the openness of government and public access to how we conduct our business,” he said.   —>
http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=915311
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Brooklyn Paper, Daily News, Brooklyn Eagle, Courier Life at Reporter Roundtable
mcbrooklyn (NY)
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

BCAT (Brooklyn Community Access Television) brings us what promises to be a rousing Reporter Roundtable today at 1 p.m. (also Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and more showings Thursday and Friday).  In this episode, editor Gersh Kuntman of the Brooklyn Papers is joined by Jotham Sederstrom of the NY Daily News, Sarah Ryley of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and Tom Tracy of Courier Life. The panel discusses Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s recent State of the Borough address, Atlantic Yards, Super Tuesday in Brooklyn, the Gowanus canal development and residential parking permits.
http://mcbrooklyn.blogspot.com/2008/02/brooklyn-paper-daily-news-brooklyn.html
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York public TV an outlet for free speech
Pennsylvania Nonbelievers
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

If you are in the York area, try out the local public access station, Comcast channel 16 for a selection of Atheist, Humanist and free thinking opinions.  Here is the link to the station. White Rose Community Television Check out the schedule and tune in!
http://panonbelievers.blogspot.com/2008/02/york-public-tv-outlet-for-free-speech.html
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The FCC, Mickey Mouse & Media Cross-ownership
by Norman Horowitz
Huffington Post
02/25/08

[ 2 comments ]

The FCC has now done the “dirty deed” of eviscerating the long standing Cross Ownership rules. I looked back on something I wrote on the subject over five and a half years ago and decided to “re-issue” it.  The “they” who control the system in this regard who are to serve in the public interest, serve only in the interests of the mega media companies, and lest we forget, the interests of the incumbent administration.  How sad for our country.

The FCC, Mickey Mouse & Media Cross-ownership – July 23, 2002
A former senior FCC staff member told me years ago that virtually all FCC rulings are based on the politics of the issue rather than the merits of the issue. I believe that this is a fair assessment, and I have seen nothing that the FCC does as being in the public interest.   —>
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/norman-horowitz/the-fcc-mickey-mouse-m_b_88285.html
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[ Here’s is a very detailed look at Verizon’s FiOS services, with performance comparisons with cable modem service from a number of US Cities. – rm ]

Verizon FiOS Installed: Macintosh Compatible, Free and Fast
by Adsense Turkiye
Photoshop & Adsense – Art of devil free blog
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

FiOS on MacsWell Verizon FiOS Internet became available in my town in New Jersey and I had it installed last week. I ordered the 15MB/2MB (15MB downstream, 2MB upstream) package in our home. Since the Internet is probably more important to us than TV, air, and maybe even food sometimes this was a big decision. Well not that big really, since our cable modem service provided by Cablevision’s Optimum Online has not exactly been great. No matter what the cable company claims about speed our experience was never all that good. More about this later as I will compare Cablevision’s Optimum Online and Verizon FiOS Internet.   —>
http://artofdevil.blogspot.com/2008/02/verizon-fios-installed-macintosh.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/24/08

February 26, 2008

Pequannock eyes public access TV
Daily Record (NJ)
02/24/08

[ 1 comment ]

The township council and any interested township residents will get together in a special session this week for a demonstration on the capabilities of public access cable channel 77.  Cablevision officials will explain who, how and when the strictly local channel may be used by the township and private citizens.   —>
http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080224/UPDATES01/802240323/-1/rss
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Maynard:  Snag in Renewing Cable Pact
by Matt Gunderson
Boston Globe (MA)
02/24/08

Selectmen have issued a preliminary denial of Comcast’s request to renew its operating license in town but will continue negotiating with the cable provider on an informal basis, said Town Administrator John Curran. The primary reason for the denial was Comcast’s unwillingness to award the town a higher franchise fee, which gives the town a certain percentage of the company’s local gross receipts to cover public-access cable expenses, Curran said. The town would like as much $120,000 annually, he said, while Comcast was willing to give about half that.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/02/24/hearing_on_demolition_request/?page=2
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Township gets another option in cable through agreement
by Shari L. Berg
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
02/24/08

Richland residents will have another option available for cable television service because of a new franchise agreement with Consolidated Communications.  The phone provider, formerly known as North Pittsburgh Telephone Co., will begin offering fully digital cable service next month. The agreement was unanimously approved during the township supervisors meeting Wednesday…

In addition to regular programming, educational and governmental channels also will be on the system, Mr. Swift said. The educational programming will feature news from the Pine-Richland School District and the governmental channel will feature Richland news and meetings.   —>
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08055/859341-54.stm
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Grandstanding or altruism?
by RAG
The (Somewhat) Daily Rag (WI)
02/21/08

[ 3 comments ]

Former Pleasant Prairie village board member Alex Tiahnybok banged the drum again this week for village board meetings to be televised, a position I don’t necessarily oppose.  Besides making comments at the Monday night’s village board meeting, Tiahnybok repeated his call today over at his blog.  There are, however, several problems with Tiahnybok’s rant.   —>
http://ragdujour.blogspot.com/2008/02/grandstanding-or-altruism.html
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Social entrepreneurs find their focus
Nonprofit group encourages volunteerism
by Anna L. Griffin
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
02/24/08

[ comments allowed ]

—>   “I think when you say ‘entrepreneur,’ people have a good idea of the type of person you’re talking about. A social entrepreneur is one who builds social capital and this is the idea behind Community Builders,” said Karin Oliveira, director of Community Builders, which is housed in the Center for Democracy and Humanity at Mount Wachusett Community College.

The nonprofit organization is a partnership between the United Way of North Central Massachusetts and Mount Wachusett Community College, in cooperation with Ashoka Innovators for the Public. The organization’s corporate partners are Bemis Associates and Unitil.  Its goal is to promote and build volunteerism within the region. Community Builders seeks to do this by educating, informing and inspiring community involvement through fellowships, training and volunteer opportunities.  A key component of the Community Builders program is the fellowships it gives out. Awards of $500 to $3,500 are handed out on a quarterly basis to those within the community with an established program — or those who would like to establish a program — to benefit the region.

“We are looking for individuals or organizations that have an idea that will benefit the community and get others involved,” Ms. Oliveira said.  Since starting two years ago, 16 fellowships have been awarded…

“For someone to be placed in the role of an executive and just to be out there, that was a little scary,” said W. Rachel Chery, who is the producer of the teen talk program, “Le’Burg.”  “Le’Burg” is produced by teens and stars a cast of teens involved in targeted discussions on serious topics. The show also offers entertainment. Produced at Fitchburg Access Television and shown on both FATV and Leominster Access Television, the show was up and running when Ms. Chery was made a fellow in Community Builders last year. She received a grant for $3,000.  “Community Builders has helped me in the way I go about the work I am doing,” Ms. Chery said. “They’ve pointed me in the right direction for answers to questions I have about administrative things. I now have more time to focus on the program, working with the teens, getting the program produced and just building the program.”   —>
http://www.telegram.com/article/20080224/NEWS/802240381/1008/NEWS02
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Making War Coverage a National Community Project
Salem-News.com (OR)
02/24/08

[ 3 comments ]

Sending a reporter into harm’s way is a risky business. We appreciate help and assistance from our community and from other Americans who want to see real stories about real people serving at war.

Salem-News.com reporter Tim King is preparing to visit Baghdad, Iraq in late March for four to six weeks to cover the Oregon Guard at war. This will be Tim’s second trip overseas to cover the combat operations of Oregon’s civilian soldiers. He will also cover operations of the U.S. Army’s historic 10th Mountain Division at Kirkuk, Iraq.

Americans at large seem to have lost interest in Iraq and in spite of the fact that tens of thousands of our soldiers go on fighting and in some cases, dying there, the demand for war coverage at the American networks has never been lower.  Groups like the conservative Media Research Center say FOX News is more fair when it comes to war coverage, but Portland’s local FOX affiliate which carried Tim’s work from Afghanistan during the winter of 2006/07 has declined to carry the Iraq coverage of Oregon’s soldiers.  Unfortunately for the Oregon National Guard, Portland, Oregon’s TV stations share a seemingly equal level of disinterest when it comes to Iraq. It appears as though it is up to the Internet and new media outlets to make up the difference.

Oregon’s soldiers in particular, have been sent to Iraq and Afghanistan in some cases multiple times, in an attempt to feed the machine set into motion by our federal government.

Setting out to secure the necessary resources for a journalistic mission of this nature during the Vietnam War was only a fraction of the challenge for journalists, as the nation remained glued to combat reports on TV for the duration of the war. But coverage can make a war unpopular and so the trends affecting the Iraq War are different.

If this bothers you and you support our men and women in uniform who are fighting in Iraq, then help us accomplish this trip with a high degree of success by pitching in what you can to for expenses that won’t be accommodated or offset through one of our local stations.  Another option is to attach your name or your company’s name specifically to some of the equipment needs that exist. The items are listed below.   —>
http://www.salem-news.com/articles/february242008/tim_iraq_4_2-24-08.php
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Rethinking Participation and Access in Public Access Media
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition (MA)
02/24/08

[ comments allowed ]

In June 2007, after learning about this project Felicia Sullivan recommended that I read Community Media: A Global Introduction by Ellie Rennie. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve only just begun to realize – sigh – what an amazing resource it truly is. Particularly for students and scholars of old and new media interested in finding fresh perspectives within media studies and democratic theories of governance.

Rennie investigates community media through the frameworks of political and legal theory to study its ambition “in what it sets out to achieve” (12) and its “sometimes contradictory principles” (61) (see, Rethinking Access Philosophy).  Central to the definition of community media, Rennie highlights the terms “participation” and “access.”  “meaning that nonprofessional media makers are encouraged to become involved (participation), providing individuals and communities with a platform to express their views (access).” (3)

Terms both associated with the cultural phenomenon of self-produced media content and refuted by media justice advocates, who write “the critical issue of access isn’t access to the technology but access to power over how that technology is developed.” In her chapter, “Access Reconfigured,” Rennie reinforces the latter position by considering community media within Internet commons and free software philosophies. She writes “Some have called it ‘a new public interest,’ one that is based on an alternative regime where access is no longer about gaining access to a controlled territory, but where that territory is freely accessible to begin with.” (167)

While “alternative” and “radical” theories of community media remain part of their history, Rennie provides alternatives in her book that make us also look at “the good, the bad and the ordinary” (24). It is within this space, that Higgins’ approach to community media as process – rather than a means to an end (e.g., a program aired on public access television) – finds its place within community media studies.  “Community television as process conceptualizes constant change within individuals and the collectivities within which they participate” (Higgins, 1999).

A process, for Rennie, that brings “civil society into view” to understand how community media can negotiate both group needs and individual freedom (59).   —>
http://cmediachange.net/blog/2008/02/24/rethinking-participation-and-access-in-public-access-media/
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org