Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/02/08

Like to Be a Co-Curator?

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You know you would. If you’re a YouTube junkie, if you’re obsessed with your local community blogs, if you’re always plugged into a podcast, then we want to know you. We’re looking for people all over the country and outside the US to wade into Web 2.0 and help us sift, sort, and select. The basic idea: we want to find posts, pictures, videos, and audio that say something perceptive — from a very local angle — about election issues and candidates. Made by regular people. A video made on a street of foreclosed houses, for example, that adds a dimension to the subprime mortgage crisis. Or a post by someone watching how Mike Huckabee seduces voters as he works a crowd in a school gymnasium.

We want stories from all over that show what gay marriage or healthcare or Barack Obama mean for your community. You can help us find them.

When we feature something you send us, we’ll do it with a grateful, linked hat tip to you. This is your chance to show a global audience that regular Americans are thinking in smart ways about democracy. And, more specifically, a chance to feed content to public radio and public TV, which might use what you’ve found in programming or on websites. You can read how BallotVox figures into the public media “election collaboration” here.

We have 4-5 part-time paid positions and 10-15 volunteer jobs available. To apply, click here.   —>

TV show to focus on jobs, wages
Pensacola News Journal (FL)

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“Pensacola: A Proud Past, A Better Tomorrow,” is a new TV show that takes a detailed look at the greater Pensacola community.”  The show premieres Wednesday on BLAB-TV, the local cable access channel. It can be found on Channel 6 for Cox Cable customers in Escambia County, and on Channel 38 for Mediacom customers in Santa Rosa County.  The first topic for “Pensacola: A Proud Past, A Better Tomorrow” will be the state of job development and wages in Escambia County. Guests include Rick Harper, director of the Haas Center for Research and Economic Development at the University of West Florida, and representatives of economic development agencies in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Mobile and Baldwin counties.   —>

Weymouth mayor to use television show to tackle traffic issues
by Jack Encarnacao
The Patriot Ledger (MA)

Having tackled the intricacies of a state housing law in front of the television cameras, Weymouth Mayor Sue Kay is turning to an issue of broader concern as the focus of her second public access television show: traffic.  Kay, whose first show airs Monday on WETC Channel 11, said she plans to use the local airwaves as much as possible to get out information on big issues and explain her initiatives.  “My hope is to get the residents at least informed,” she said. “In the end, this process will allow us to make better decisions.”   —>

From dynamo house to dynamic reuse
Old T substation is transformed to TV studios
by Robert Campbell
Boston Globe (MA)

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Talk about new wine in an old bottle: What about bright new TV studios in the rotting carcass of an abandoned MBTA substation in Roxbury?  It’s just been done, and it’s one of those small gems of architecture that too often go unnoticed.  The modern quarters for a public-access TV station, filled with sunlight and glass and high-tech electronic equipment, are tucked into what feels like the belly of a battleship.

Architect Scott Payette celebrates the muscle of the old building. In his interior, powerful old steel beams and columns sprout like trees out of new partitions. A massive traveling crane hangs in the air like a prized artwork. Ancient stained wood panels are used as wall finish, looking like abstract paintings.  The inhabitants of this delightful place are the crew of BNN-TV. BNN is a public-access station that specializes in culture and education. It runs dance groups, gospel groups, festivals, and a so-called “homework” program for students. It trains kids in how to do their own TV broadcasting.   —>

Channel organizers want public to access its offerings
by Laura McVicker
Columbian (WA)

The belly dancer gyrates to an Arabian tune in front of a peach-colored backdrop. The image freezes.  The next dancer, dressed in glitter and jewels, performs her routine: a similar routine of shaking, rolling shoulders and turning. The tape clicks off. The credits come up. It’s a wrap.

Kathleen McGee, a Vancouver belly dancing instructor, works each week to create this 30-minute program, a series of five-minute segments linked together. Each segment features a belly dancing student performing at Mummy’s Restaurant in Portland.  Her programs are shown on Fort Vancouver public access television, Channel 11 — a venue for amateur producers that airs on cable television. It’s recently expanded to offer larger classes to beginners, more high-tech capabilities and a new studio three times the size of their old one.

Officials, calling the station “Vancouver’s best kept secret,” are seeking more community involvement to kick the program into high gear.  “If you want to start a career with media or production, this is the perfect place,” said Andrea Kropp, a FVTV board member. “We don’t want 10 citizens controlling the programming — that’s not what we’re here for.”  They want variety like the channel’s current eclectic bunch: ghost hunters; a U.S. Army veteran who relays military news, and McGee’s belly dancing extraordinaires.   —>

Why Net Neutrality Matters for PEG Access TV
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition (MA)

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At last week’s FCC hearing at Harvard Law School, the issue of network neutrality once again took center stage. As the Internet giant Google describes the issue

“Network neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet.”

Therefore, proponents of network neutrality believe that Internet service providers should not be in the business of deciding what content users get to view and what applications they get to use. To read more about Net Neutrality (from the advocates’ perspective) visit The Open Internet Coalition and Save The

As many advocates of public access television are already aware, the Internet is essential to their work in cable television. Not only is the Internet a vital platform for accessing the programming and organizational information of community media centers, it is also becoming the next generation distribution platform for local and diverse voices in community media production.

More importantly, I would add that community media advocates should look beyond using the Internet as simply a new video distribution platform to be used in combination with public, educational and government access channels. It should be considered as a platform for community communications to augment the physical interactions of people collaborating within community media centers.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: citizen journalism, election programming, government access, municipal programming, net neutrality, PEG access TV, public access television

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