Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/21/08

[ ?posts_id=770978&dest=-1]

Luminaria Arts Night Part 1
by South Texas Media Access

[ comments invited ]

Video of the the 1st annual Luminaria Arts Night in San Antonio, TX, March 2008. Featuring artwork by local artists. Part 1. This clip was for San Antonio Public Access TV Perspective Prisms and Springtime65 Show.

Editorial Short takes: Live legislative coverage
Marshall Independent (MN)

[ comments invited ]

SIDEWAYS THUMB: Because it is Sunshine Week, which emphasizes public access and open government, a reader e-mailed us, expressing frustration that Marshall’s public access cable channels don’t broadcast live coverage of the Minnesota Legislature. The coverage is available on the Internet, but the reader said not everyone has Internet access, so TV coverage would be valuable. We don’t disagree, but city officials say making it happen isn’t so easy. —>

Time Warner, WSKI form partnership
by Ann Bryant
Sun Journal (ME)

[ comments invited ]

CARRABASSETT VALLEY – Time Warner Cable and Snowfield Productions, owner of WSKI-TV 17, have entered into a partnership, Nadene McLeod of WSKI-TV said Thursday. The partnership will continue to bring “WSKI programming to cable television watchers in the Carrabassett Valley area as they have over the past 25 years and plan to continue to provide for many years to come,” McLeod said.

The station provides ski trail and weather reports for Sugarloaf, area events, sports coverage, news and advertising. The partnership resulted from a question raised in December about whether the public access television station should be made public or remain in the control of a private company. Time Warner became the area cable provider in 2006 and continued to provide the town with Channel 17 at no charge…

Hogg says the town is allowing WSKI, a private entity, to manage Channel 17 free of charge. The town never operated a public access channel, although one was reserved for the town, according to Town Manager Dave Cota. Since January, a committee has been looking at benefits, expenses and whether the town wants to operate a public channel.

Selectmen recently asked Cota to send a letter to Time Warner that states “the board has agreed to relinquish Channel 17 as the town public access channel to allow Time Warner and WSKI-17 to negotiate a private agreement with the contingency that Time Warner agrees to reserve Channel 22 as the town public access channel should the town vote to operate a public access channel,” Cota said. —>

Mar. 26: Grassroots Fundraising for Community Media Workshop at MNN, New York, NY

Attend MNN’s Upcoming “Grassroots Fundraising for Community Media” Workshop on Wednesday, March 26th @ 6:30pm

MNN’s Community Outreach & Media Department presents a series of production, post-production, distribution and funding workshops designed for groups who are interested in incorporating video in their organizing, outreach and advocacy efforts. —>

“Postcards from Charlottesville,” Show #6
by Dave Norris

[ comments invited ]

Dr. Lynn Rainville joins me on this month’s show. Lynn runs some excellent websites/blogs focused on Charlottesville-Albemarle history, including LoCoHistory, the LoCoBlog, and African-American Cemeteries in Albemarle & Amherst Counties. She is doing a wonderful job of helping to make history come alive (both for adults and for kids) and helping to connect area residents with their own past.

Click here to see the show, which will be broadcast throughout the coming month on Charlottesville Public Access TV (Channel 13) —>

Larry Lessig: Time to reject corporate influence on Washington
by Anne Broache
CNet News


WASHINGTON–Iconic Internet law professor Larry Lessig may have cast off plans for a congressional bid of his own, but he still wants to turn the political process as we know it upside down. No more money from corporate political action committees and lobbyists. No more earmarks to fund pet projects in federal spending bills. Public financing for all congressional campaigns. And throughout it all, transparency.

Those are the four pillars of Lessig’s “Change Congress” movement, which he unveiled, along with a beta Web site, which he describes as a “mash-up applied to politics,” at an event here Thursday afternoon. For the project, he has teamed up with Joe Trippi, best known as the national campaign manager for Democrat Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign and its pioneering use of online organizing.

None of his ideas, of course, are particularly new, which Lessig himself readily acknowledged. A number of organizations–including Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen and the Sunlight Foundation, which sponsored his talk on Thursday–dedicate themselves exclusively to promoting government transparency. Projects like Open Secrets offer more readily searchable databases of political campaign contributions, while groups like Citizens Against Government Waste have made it a mission to expose congressional pork-barrel spending. —>

Closing the Rural Broadband Gap, Presented by the Internet Innovation Alliance
by Geoff Daily

[ 1 comment ]

—> Atkinson was also the first to strike a contrarian note when the panel moved into an open discussion as while most of the panel cited the need for and benefits of competition he called its efficacy into question in rural areas, in particular as it relates to giving new entrants additional incentives just for the sake of spurring competition.

I’ve long wondered how competition is the answer to increasing capacity and availability in rural areas; if we’re having trouble getting one company to invest how can we expect to get two, especially when the more competitors the smaller the slice of customers each one gets.

I managed to sneak in a question at the end trying to ask about the gap between how so many people say it’s too expensive to get big broadband to rural areas yet rural areas are likely the ones that could most benefit from that connectivity. Unfortunately I included in that question my belief that the ultimate goal should be a fiber pipe to every home.

This led the answers to focus on questioning if that truly is the goal. After a brief discussion a consensus emerged on the panel that rural broadband deployment should focus more on getting current broadband technology to everyone than next-gen technology to anyone.

I completely agree that the first order of business in considering the rural broadband challenge is making sure that everyone in America has access of at least 750Kbps or higher. But at the same time why aren’t we setting a longer term goal that’s much more aggressive?

One argument put forth was that if you start talking about getting too much bandwidth into rural areas the cost becomes too great and can scare off all deployment, be it public or private because it requires too much of an investment. I understand that as well, but I still don’t see why we can’t set a long-term goal of a fiber pipe to every home, no matter where it is.

In the meantime, this panel did a great job of laying out some of the most important things we can be doing to spur deployment to rural areas today:

– Robust mapping so private providers can know where the gaps are and move to fill them in
– Local community teams and technology centers that can spur the adoption and use of the Internet that will grow the demand that can drive deployment
– Tax credits and other incentives for the companies willing to deploy to rural areas to help make the business case more attractive

The only thing missing from this discussion was an advocate for municipal broadband. I have to admit I still have some reservations about public entities competing with public enterprise for consumer dollars, but I can’t deny the reality that in many rural areas some form of municipally owned, financed, and/or operated deployment might be the only way those communities can expect to have their infrastructure upgraded in the next twenty years. —>

Media’s “New” Community Role
by Dan Schultz
MediaShift Idea Lab


I just got back to the U.S. from my first visit to Rome. The whole trip was great, but my favorite part was The Roman Forum. This ancient gathering place represents, as far as I’m concerned, the epitome of community facilitation given the resources available at the time. This may not seem like a relevant anecdote at first but the point is that I think members of the news industry who are looking for a role in this crazy Internet filled world may discover that the answer to their identity crisis isn’t so new after all.

This post is about where I think news organizations, especially local news organizations, need to take their digital presence. This is the conversation I hoped to seed with my analysis of the Anonymous activism against Scientology. It also turns out that this post will work nicely with the recent conversation on this blog about the need for news organizations to change the way they operate online.

Context and Clarification
In my posts about Anonymous I tried to identify some of the subtleties of online community coordination and pull out any lessons that could help us in our journalism-industry-wide quest to effectively utilize digital technology.

Based on a few of the comments to those posts it seems there was a little room for confusion. Some thought I was trying to provide a recipe for media outlets to take advantage of existing online communities or artificially manipulate the masses. In other words, not everyone understood what I believe the technologies should be utilized for. In a comment I wrote:

“[In these posts] I tried to look at what might have been a reason for [Anonymous] success and largely cite the fact that physical communities don’t utilize the kinds of digital communication tools that you guys have. This is where (for instance) local newspapers, which are desperately trying to find their place on the internet, could fill a role. Not for profit, but instead to get back to the public service that they were supposed to be providing in the first place – an outlet for community voice and an amplification of community issues.”

From what I understand, some of the original driving forces that inspired local news media were the demand for outlets of community voice and the need for amplification of important community issues. Ethics, practices, role, and tradition – i.e. hard news, public service journalism (which I will refer to as “hard journalism” from now on) – grew over time.

By focusing on those initial demands and drawing on “hard journalism” practices for reinforcement rather than direction, our adaptation to a new medium will hopefully becomes a little more manageable. That focus is what I wanted to develop with those posts (plus the whole Anonymous effort continues to fascinate me).

A New Community Medium
If my interpretation above is even partially accurate, it seems that local news operations are supposed to be information hubs for the communities they serve. When using a one-to-many medium such as Television or Print, reporters and editors try to represent their community by proxy. For old media that was fine because, realistically, it was the only way for the job to be done.

With digital media, as everyone seems to have figured out years ago, it isn’t enough to just have an online newspaper. What people are realizing now is that it also isn’t enough to simply enable comments, publish the occasional user-submitted-photo or blog, or incorporate a few pieces of interactive content. All of these things are small steps in the right direction, but small steps are slow and costly in the world of software.

This time around news organizations need to do more than just learn to use the media, they need to host a community with it – an idea that Richard Anderson put out there in his first post to this blog. People want a place, digital or otherwise, where they can gather and learn about the community in which they are a part, a place where they can get in touch with the issues, and a place where they can pick up on the “vibe.” They want a modern Roman Forum.

If news orgs don’t provide this then someone else will. What is troublesome is that the “someone else” won’t necessarily incorporate hard journalism in their vision. What makes THAT troublesome is that such services directly compete with the news.

Facilitating Community Agenda
In the words of Paul Monaco, much of media’s social influence comes from its ability to set agendas, not by “[telling] its readers and viewers what to think so much as it points them toward what to think about.” Social Media, Digital Media, many-to-many conversations, and all those other phrases that are thrown around describe the tools being used to push that task of issue definition back to the community. —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: broadband policy, citizen journalism, community media, government access, municipal broadband, municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, rural broadband, social media

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: