Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/20/08

Fifth Annual NYC Grassroots Media Conference: March 2, 2008
Co-Sponsored by Film and Media Studies Department at Hunter College/CUNY

Download Conference Information Packet (PDF) here

For the past four years, we’ve come together to explore the political dimensions of media and how it shapes our lives. By developing relationships between community and media organizations, the NYC Grassroots Media Coalition is working to re-imagine issues of access to, control of, and power over our media system. That means defining our struggle as a struggle for Media Justice.

Media Justice recognizes the need for a media that comes from, and is responsive to, the people, a media that addresses systemic marginalization and discrimination and that speaks truth to power. Media Justice asserts that our communities and airwaves are more than markets, and that our relationship to the media must be more than passive consumption. Media Justice recognizes that the form of our current media system is not inevitable, but the result of an interplay of history, technology, power, and privilege. Media Justice seeks to integrate efforts to reform our media system with a social justice agenda, in order to create not just a better media, but a better world.

We invite you to join us at the 2008 NYC Grassroots Media Conference as we seek to define our understanding of and relationship to Media Justice as a community, and explore how we can not only envision an ideal world, but to make this vision a reality.   —>

Editorial: Telling our story
The Daily Journal (IL)

[ comments allowed ]

Kankakee County’s Comcast users could be creeping closer to getting public access television.  A recent meeting of the Development and Operations Committee of the Kankakee County Board heard testimony from two strong supporters of the idea. One is Marc Wakat. Wakat is the Democratic precinct committeeman for Limestone 3 and fondly remembers the good old days of Kankakee Valley Prime Time Live, a tongue-in-cheek news magazine of 15 years ago. The other is Kankakee Community College. President Jerry Weber wrote a letter to the board, indicating that the college could make use of a public access channel to show lectures and classes…

The essence of public access is to set aside a cable channel for use by the general public, providing an outlet for educational and community happenings. Detractors worry about putting material on the air that might somehow be indecent or offensive.  Our view is that hundreds of wholesome community events could be aired. Each would help build a sense of local pride. It would bring the community home to people who are shut in. It would bring local government out into the open.

Here is just a sample of some of the programs that could easily be put up on a local access channel: parades for the Bourbonnais Friendship Festival and at Christmas in Bradley; meetings of the Kankakee City Council, Kankakee County Board and the Kankakee School District; programs at the Kankakee Public Library and the Kankakee County Museum; and the YMCA Living and Learning series.

Would it not be a plus to be able to broadcast the Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast? The Kankakee County spelling bee? The Memorial Day ceremony from the steps of the Kankakee County Courthouse lawn?

The County Board appears to be increasingly sympathetic to the idea and now appears to be ready to push out to other governments.  Cable has created a whole bunch of channels. We have shopping channels, Spanish channels, sports channels, golf, Animal Planet and the Eternal Word. Surely, room can be found for community events.  “We should tell the great stories that our community holds,” Wakat says.  We couldn’t agree more.

It’s time for schools to budget for taped meetings
by Abbi Swanson
Mount Vernon-Lisbon Sun (IA)

An open letter to the school boards and superintendents of Lisbon and Mount Vernon from the League of Women Voters:

As you prepare your budgets for the upcoming fiscal years, the League of Women Voters of Mount Vernon-Lisbon is calling upon the school districts in our communities to add a line item for payment to KMVL TV, in order for Dean Traver’s company to tape school board meetings and work sessions.

Dean has provided residents in this area with coverage of local events for decades as a public service.  The league is urging this taping expand, and begin something we have advocated for years but which has met with occasional resistance.   —>

Knology to finish work
Cable firm agrees to invest $750K in citywide services
by Hayes Hickman
Knoxville News Sentinel


* PDF: Draft contract amendment to Knology’s Knoxville franchise agreement

After years of stalled progress, Knology Inc. has agreed to invest $750,000 this year toward completing its citywide Internet, cable and phone services network, under a renegotiated franchise agreement with the city of Knoxville.

Knology’s services were within reach of barely half of all city residences in 2006 when City Council members last raised the issue with the West Point, Ga.-based company. Knology was required to complete its build-out within four years after the city franchise took effect in April 2000, with noncompliance penalties of $5,000 per month.

Under terms of the new draft contract amendment, to be voted on by council members at their next meeting Feb. 26, the penalties would be waived as Knology agrees instead to apply 80 months’ worth of such damages, totaling $400,000, plus another $350,000 toward expanding its local network infrastructure this year.

Although the new agreement does not impose a revised, absolute deadline for completion, the bundled media services provider would agree to commit 5 percent of its annual gross revenues in Knoxville each year toward the continued network expansion, or at least $2.1 million total over the remainder of its contract through April 2015…

Knology also agrees to begin carrying local community access television in its channel lineup within 90 days of the amendment’s approval by City Council, and to equip several city recreation and community centers with cable service at no cost.   —>
also reported by WBIR


Deerfield Twp. prepares for new cable providers
by Eric Bradley
Community Press & Recorder (OH)

Residents here will soon have more options for cable TV, and Deerfield Township is making sure those providing it pay to use the public right of way.  Trustees passed a resolution Feb. 13 assessing a 5 percent fee on new cable and video service providers in the township.   —>

Buck Center to host seminar
Novato Advance (CA)

[ comments allowed ]

—>  And for friends of Sustainable Novato, Novato Public Access Television (NPAT) Channel 26 TV (Novato) will rebroadcast Sustainable Novato’s highly successful “Green Schools Coalition” Community Forum every Wednesday and Sunday evening at 8:30 p.m. through the month of February.  Here’s a review of the Forum by Novato’s Annie Spiegelman in a Marin newspaper’s Feb. 8 letters to the editor:   —>

Latina Voices
by Sandra Fernandez
Sandra Says

[ comments allowed ]

Minerva Perez, formerly on KTRK ABC Channel 13, has a new project. Latino Talk TV is currently on public access TV. The show has become so popular that a national network is discussing syndication rights.  Here’s the premiere episode of her newest project, Latina Voices. It’s sure to be another success. (Can you tell I’m a fan?)

St. Patrick’s parade faces TV blackout
Time Warner asking $3,500 to cover costs
by Brian Meyer
Buffalo News (NY)

This year, the only chance to see marchers in the St. Patrick’s Day in Buffalo may be in person.  Time Warner Cable is ending the tradition of providing free production for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade so the popular event can be later aired on the cable system. It wants parade sponsors to pay $3,500 for production costs or find their own video crews.

Organizers of one of downtown’s biggest events are furious, as are some city officials.  “It’s very sad,” said Brigid A. Knott, the parade’s chief of staff. “[Time Warner] certainly makes enough money from the people of the City of Buffalo, not to mention people in the suburbs.”   —>

Burma’s Media completely under military dictatorship
by Zin Linn
Asian Tribune

[ comments allowed ]

The press is the fourth pillar of democracy after parliament, the legislature and the judiciary. Not so in Burma, where parliament has been silenced by the military. As a result, the legislature and the judiciary are automatically defunct under the military autocracy. As a necessary outcome of the iron rule, the fourth estate also comes under the grip of military-dictatorship.

The Burmese military junta has enforced stringent censorship rules and regulations the world has ever known on the media. Every piece of text has to be scrutinized by military’s PSRD before being published. Burma achieved certain notoriety as predator of the press. No information is allowed to flow or be published/ broadcast without the junta’s prior approval.

The latest repressive attacks against the media took place on February 15, 2008. According to Burma Media Association (BMA), military intelligence officers carried out a four-hour search of the offices of the Myanmar Nation Journal and confiscated many documents, including a copy of Human Rights Report on Burma by Prof. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, videos of last anti-government protests in September, and hand-written poems. Police arrested editor, Thet Zin and manager, Sein Win Maung. The two journalists were taken to the Thin-gan-gyun township police station.   —>

BBC plans to sustain citizenship and civil society. Please tell us how
by Pete Clifton
Designing for a Civil Society


Here’s a story about how the BBC is developing new local multi-media services, its Charter remit for “sustaining citizenship and civil society”, the closure of BBC Action network, development of citizen (or networked) journalism, and how the BBC Trust consults us on what the BBC is for.

These developments and issues may be related … I don’t know …. but I think we should be told. But by whom? Maybe on the BBC Internet blog where they are exploring Digital Democracy.

My interest in these issues was re-awakened by a couple of e-mails in the UK and Ireland E-Democracy Exchange. E-democracy guru Steven Clift asked whether anyone has an update on the BBC Action Network, which has been hailed as a civic media success story, but as I had noted earlier is due to close soon. Steven wondered if future developments related to a Press Gazette story about Regional newspapers’ fury at BBC local web plan.   —>

SuzeMuse on Community TV and the Web
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition

[ comments allowed ]

—>  Sue wrote some really nice things about our conversation, including some thoughts on CCTV and our community there.  I wanted to highlight Sue’s post in particular because of her description of the possibilities she sees in community television and the social web working together, not apart.

“There has been some talk about the relevance of true community access television, with the advent of YouTube and other video services going online. If anyone can now make a video and post it for the world to see, why do community TV stations even need to exist any longer? The reason is simple. It’s about community. It’s about people physically coming together and producing valuable content, and the relationships that are formed when people are in this kind of environment. You can’t get that by hitting ‘Submit’ on your YouTube page.

“I think the Internet is going to be an extremely valuable outlet for those community television stations who choose to embrace its potential. By taking the power of community and sending it out to the world, everyone stands to benefit. Now, we not only have the power of being able to bring the community to the world…we have the possibility of linking these communities to make something even greater.”

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, cable vs telco, democracy, freedom of the press, government access, human rights, media justice, municipal programming, new media, PEG access TV, press censorship, press freedom, public access television, social media, video franchising

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