Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/25/08

Ethics opinions find two lobbying violations
PR firm, ex-Bredesen adviser could be fined
by Theo Emery & Jennifer Brooks
The Tennessean


State lobbying rules may have been violated in two high-profile legislative fights, one over Internet wine sales and the other over cable television regulation, according to the Tennessee Ethics Commission.  Two draft opinions — one finding against a former senior adviser to Gov. Phil Bredesen, the other against a high-profile public relations firm in Nashville — represent the first time the state’s 1½-year-old Ethics Commission has dealt with such questions over lobbyist regulation.

“These are all very novel situations for this young ethics commission,” said Bruce Androphy, the agency’s executive director.  One opinion indicates that Seigenthaler Public Relations violated ethics laws by hosting a Web site aimed at preventing Internet wine sales.  The second opinion suggests that former Bredesen aide Robert Gowan engaged in lobbying. State law requires a one-year “cooling off” ban on lobbying by former top public officials.

Both opinions, which were penned by staff attorneys, must be approved by four members of the six-member commission to be binding. The commission meets this morning. Androphy said it was premature to discuss possible penalties.  Dick Williams, chairman of Common Cause Tennessee, a government watchdog group, welcomed both opinions, saying they are important test cases.  “It’s going to be good for the public and potential lobbyists to know what the rules are,” he said.   —>

Sustainable Flatbush featured in “A Walk Around the Blog”
Flatbush Gardener (NY)

[ comments invited ]

BRIC, the non-profit Brooklyn arts organization which produces Brooklyn Community Access Television (BCAT), has been doing a bi-monthly series called A Walk Around the Blog, interviews with Brooklyn bloggers talking about their neighborhoods. The latest edition features Anne Pope of Sustainable Flatbush talking about, what else, Flatbush and sustainability.   —>

Forest Park city manager on Waycross TV
Community Press & Community Recorder

Time Warner Cable subscribers in Forest Park will have the opportunity to talk with City Manager Ray Hodges in a live Waycross Community Media program.  Talking with Forest Park will be found on Waycross Government Access Channel 23 at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 27. Residents will have the opportunity to talk with Hodges about a variety of timely issues using either a phone number or e-mail address given out during the program. The program will be repeated throughout April on the Waycross Government Channel.

Talking with Forest Park is a series that is produced quarterly for the city and its residents.  Waycross Community Media coordinates community access television and Internet services for Forest Park, Greenhills and Springfield Township. Anyone wishing to learn more about Waycross Community Media, free production workshops, programming or volunteer opportunities may call the media center at 825-2429 or go to

Great Reporting Fellowship in Minnesota; Start Now
by Leonard Witt
pjnet (public journalism network)

[ comments invited ]

Want the freedom to do high quality, ethically sound journalism in an inviting  atmosphere;  then this one-year fellowship might be perfect for you. Please spread the word, this will be a dream assignment for the right person.

“Help chart the future of local news and community. Apply for a Representative Journalism Fellowship. Leonard Witt, holder of the Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Communication at Kennesaw State University, is leading a one-year trial in the college town of Northfield, Minn., 35 miles south of Minneapolis.

“The representative journalist will spend a year working with the citizen blogger site to report one in-depth story per week on a critical civic or social issue. The reporting will be an open, transparent process where citizens can offer facts, comments, and perspective as the story develops. The final form of the story will be published in digital and print formats. Often, citizens will convene to discuss the findings of the reporting and participate in public meet-ups to discuss the results and next actions. This is not an assignment for an order taker. You must be an enterprising, self starter. You must have a willingness to engage with citizens day in and day out. When needed, you will produce work in multiple formats, including print, web, radio, access-TV and other formats.  This will increase civic dialog in a highly educated community of 17,000 people and inspire the community to support and sustain your work.   —>

Fiber center gets first viewing
by Matt Shaw
Wilson Times (NC)

After nearly a decade of discussions, Wilson officials finally got a chance Wednesday to see their vision of a city-operated cable television system come to life.

City Council members were given a private tour Wednesday afternoon of the technical hub of Wilson’s new Greenlight services, which will begin selling phone, Internet and cable services to city residents later this year.  Afterwards, several invited guests were also allowed to tour the 9,000-square-foot facility, which is part of the city’s Operations Center on Herring Avenue. News cameras were not allowed inside most of the facility.

Visitors on the tour saw the head-end room, where Internet and television signals come into the building and are routed to subscribers, in a room lined with row after row of server racks. They also saw a demonstration of the optical network terminals that will be attached to subscribers’ homes to distribute the television, telephone and data signals and the four-bay garage where maintenance vehicles will be housed.   —>–

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, cable vs telco, citizen journalism, municipal broadband, municipal ownership, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising

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