Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/24/08

Pequannock eyes public access TV
Daily Record (NJ)

[ 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.   —>

Maynard:  Snag in Renewing Cable Pact
by Matt Gunderson
Boston Globe (MA)

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.

Township gets another option in cable through agreement
by Shari L. Berg
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)

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.   —>

Grandstanding or altruism?
by RAG
The (Somewhat) Daily Rag (WI)


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.   —>

Social entrepreneurs find their focus
Nonprofit group encourages volunteerism
by Anna L. Griffin
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

[ 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.”   —>

Making War Coverage a National Community Project (OR)


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. 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.   —>

Rethinking Participation and Access in Public Access Media
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition (MA)

[ 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).   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, cable vs telco, government access, media use, municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, user-generated content, video franchising

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: