Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/16/08

The Future of American Communications Working Group
Institute for Information Policy, College of Communications
Pennsylvania State University

The Future of American Communications Working Group (FACT) will produce a volume outlining a new vision for communications policy in America and the practical steps needed to achieve it. The goal of the project is to produce a volume of work prescribing a comprehensive telecommunications policy agenda for the new federal administration to  be entering office in January 2009, an agenda that emphasizes the potential of information technologies for improving democratic discourse, social responsibility, and the quality of life, and the means by which information technologies can be made available to all Americans. —>

Media center making MAX headway
by Mark Anderson
Kiowa County Signal (KS)

The Kiowa County Media Center Advisory Board came away from a 90-minute meeting last Thursday with community media center project lightning rod Bert Biles of Kansas State with an appreciation of how rapidly Biles and his colleagues have been moving forward in recent weeks on the matter.  The media center itself, as outlined in The Signal last week, would eventually occupy the second floor of a two-tiered building—tentatively named the Kiowa County Commons—that would house the county library, county historical museum and county extension offices on the ground level.

At the heart of the media center concept of providing Kiowa County residents with around-the-clock access to community information via the Internet, is the establishment of the newest wireless technology, known as WiMAX, within the county.  WiMAX features a considerably stronger signal than the conventional Wi-Fi currently used.  Placing a WiMAX transmitter, in fact, atop the county’s three grain elevators in Haviland, Greensburg and Mullinville should, according to Biles, reach 90 percent of the county’s population with a dependable wireless signal…

Biles, however, disclosed a plan for the media center to “get on the air” broadcasting, via the Internet, live coverage of events before the completion of the Commons building through the use of a portable, television production trailer.  He shared drawings of the proposed trailer, at 24 feet in length and eight feet in width.  Such events broadcast would range from county commission meetings to high school athletic events.   —>

Weymouth: Traffic on TV
by Johanna Seitz
Boston Globe (MA)

Mayor Susan Kay is taking on traffic in her next televised public affairs broadcast, which will air next month on local cable WETC, Channel 11. “The town is almost at gridlock,” Kay said. “We have incredible traffic issues that we need to address – Weymouth Landing, Route 3A, everywhere.” She said she plans to invite representatives from the community and the state Highway Department to participate in the program. “We will certainly know the issues and will develop a plan from there,” she said. Kay’s first program, on a state affordable-housing law that affects Weymouth, is running on cable this month. She plans to discuss the town’s finances and budget in May.

March 18 Information Forum on Impeachment at Studios of MCAM Manchester, NH
by Nancy White
Democracy for New Hampshire

[ comments invited ]

Brookline, NH – NH State Representative Betty Hall will be the featured panelist at the last in a series of informative forums centered on our Constitution. The forum entitled, “Defending Our Constitution: Let’s All Come Up For AIR—Accountability, Impeachment and Responsibility” will be carried live in the Manchester Community Access Media (MCAM) TV 23 studio in Manchester, 540 North Commercial Street at 7:30pm-9:30pm, Tuesday, March 18.

Joining Representative Hall will be John Kaminski, chairman for Maine Lawyers for Democracy; former US Senate candidate in 2006, Jean Hay Bright; current candidate for US Senate in Maine, Herbert Hoffman; Newfane, Vt. Selectman, Dan DeWalt; and US Congressman Dennis Kucinich via live connection.   —>

Inaugural – VideoCast March 10
OnTheParadeGround_Wallingford (CT)

[ comments invited ]

What better day to start a TV show about bringing sunshine to local topics of interest than the day after we loose an hour of sleep in preservation of daylight. On the Parade Ground is planned to be a forum for gathering knowledge about topics of public interest.  Callers will be encourage to share their knowledge, brainstorm ideas, and suggest if/then scenarios.The program will be facilitated by a resident of Wallingford. On the Parade Ground facilitator and crew will try to synthesize the topic in TV shorts that will run on WPAA’s Bulletin Board. The discussion will hopefully build on each other. One topic may lead to the another On the Parade Ground theme.   —>

looking for ideas to blog about?
by zen
blogAsheville (NC


We just had a wonderful 2nd meeting of Asheville Community Media and there will be interesting things to post, but for now, we’d like to promote a little cross-posting.

Who reads blogs? Mostly bloggers. Who watches URTV? Mostly TV gear heads. We’d like to get some crossover, some swapped thinking to get people looking at the wider range of Asheville media. If you blog and there’s a WPVM radio show you’ve heard that interests you, blog about it. If you have a URTV show that deals with local ideas, promote a blog that you read or give some support to a WPVM radio broadcast. The idea has always been to keep Ashevillians informed of the local goings on, and we are blessed with many forms of media. Many locals read the Mountain Xpress and the AC-T and feel informed or entertained. But the idea here is to cross-pollinate between print and net and sound and vision to form a more complete community. One in which YOU have some input.   —>

Sunshine week brings issues to light
Media studies of open government help expose community problems
by Cara O’Brien
The Reporter-Herald (CO)

[ comments invited ]

“A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps, both.”  — President James Madison, Aug. 4, 1822

“Press releases tell us when federal agencies do something right, but the Freedom of Information Act lets us know when they do not.”  — Sen. Patrick Leahy, 1996

The federal Freedom of Information Act went into effect in 1967 after President Lyndon B. Johnson, begrudgingly, signed it.  The federal act, as well as myriad state sunshine laws, protect the right of access to government records.  The law, much-touted by journalists, is actually utilized 95 percent of the time by the public, for whom it is intended.  “The more transparent and open government activities are, the more confidence people have in their government,” said Ed Otte, executive director of the Colorado Press Association. “This is a public issue, not a press issue.”

The city of Loveland’s 28 official requests for information in 2007 — many requests are handled without formal paperwork — included just two from reporters.  Governments, law offices, organizations doing studies and citizens all made formal requests to the city over the course of the year.

The media can, however, bring issues to light in a way private citizens often do not.  A survey of stories originating with Freedom of Information Act requests from 2004 to 2007 included: a Minneapolis Star-Tribune story on high salmonella levels at a turkey-processing plant in Minnesota; a Ventura County Star report of at least a dozen women’s deaths related to the use of a birth control patch; a Washington Post story of noncompliance with Medicare at many hospitals; and the list goes on.   —>

Zimbabwe to screen foreign journalists covering polls

HARARE (AFP) — Zimbabwe plans to closely screen foreign media intending to cover upcoming elections amid suspicions uninvited observers and security personnel might impersonate Western journalists, state media reported Sunday.  Accreditation of some 300 foreign reporters who applied to cover the country’s March 29 general elections will be closely supervised, as the government was aware of “the machinations to turn journalists into observers,” George Charmba, information secretary, told the state-run Sunday Mail.

In particular, he said, the government feared “uninvited observers and security personnel from the Western countries,” might be applying to cover the vote as reporters, the weekly quoted Charamba as saying.  Preference would be given to reporters from Africa and the “national identity of the news organisations will be a major determinant,” he added.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: FOI, Freedom of Information, freedom of the press, human rights, municipal broadband, municipal WiMax, PEG access TV, press freedom, public access television, Sunshine Week, telecommunications policy, WiMAX

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: