Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/26/08

Comcast to Milford: Access still on the way
by Hattie Bernstein
Nashua Telegraph (NH)

[ comments invited ]

Comcast, a local cable services provider, has agreed to honor a contract it made five years ago with the town to provide a second public access channel.  But the commitment, made Monday night during a public hearing at the Town Hall, doesn’t resolve the town’s complaints about poor customer service, including months of being ignored by the company.   —>

Comcast Takes Heat From BOS, Public
Lack of response and poor performance lead to public hearing
by Nancy Bean Foster
Milford Observer (NH)

Comcast Senior Manager of Government and Community Relations Bryan Christiansen found himself on the hot seat Monday night (March 24), as Town Administrator Guy Scaife, members of the board of selectmen, and even residents, took the cable company to task over poor communication.

Since August of last year, Scaife said, the town has been trying to get Comcast, the town’s cable provider, to install a third public access channel, as required by the franchise agreement between the cable giant and the town. Despite repeated requests, a long chain of correspondence, and numerous phone calls, Scaife said he got nowhere with Comcast.

Per the franchise agreement, Scaife decided to call a Comcast Performance Evaluation public hearing on Monday to get the problems with the cable, phone and Internet provider out on the table. After hearing about the meeting, Comcast finally came through with a date to set up the third channel, Scaife said.

At Monday’s meeting, Scaife didn’t pull any punches. After being told by Christiansen that the reason the launch of the third channel took so long was the company hadn’t budgeted the necessary $30,000, Scaife threw out some numbers of his own.

“I’m certainly glad that you found some money for this, but I find it ironic that a $30.9 billion corporation that just posted a 54 percent increase in (fourth quarter) profits, and announced a significant dividend to shareholders couldn’t find $30,000 for Milford,” Scaife said. “Of course, Comcast is planning to spend $3 billion for stock buy-backs. I guess I can see where it’s hard to find $30,000 when you’ve set aside $3 billion for stocks.”   —>

Nonprofit hopes to take over tctv2 channel
by Melissa Domsic
Traverse City Record-Eagle (MI)

A local nonprofit and its supporters hope to keep the closing credits from rolling on public access television and launch a new season.  Channel tctv2 will lose public funding and operational support this summer, but local nonprofit Land Information Access Association proposed to take over and keep the station on the air.

“It fits with our overall mission, which is about civic engagement and helping people in communities become better informed about their communities,” said Joe VanderMeulen, executive director.  “Public access television has a long history in the state that is one of providing public access in a free and equitable way,” he said. “We would like to make TV 2 a stronger community service.”

The Traverse Area District Library supplies administrative services and oversees operation of tctv2, but will sever its involvement at the end of June, when area municipalities pull the funding plug.  The channel receives 30 percent of cable franchise fees collected by Traverse City, Elmwood and Garfield townships, the three remaining members of the Cherry Capital Cable Council. Paradise Township and the Village of Kingsley also contribute.  The council is dissolving after changes to franchise agreements dropped Charter Communication’s operational funding responsibilities, leaving local governments to foot the bill. Seven area townships left the council since that change in 2005.

The Land Information Access Association also hopes to take over operation of the new governmental channel 99.  LIAA is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides technical and educational services to local citizens, municipalities and nonprofit groups for land use planning, resource management, emergency management and environmental protection.  The association plans to build a television studio in its office on Munson Avenue in Traverse City.  A citizen’s advisory board would set policies and standards for tctv2 programming and services.   —>

Comcast viewers speak out
by Terry L. Jones
Hattiesburg American (MS)


A public hearing to discuss renewal of Hattiesburg’s cable franchise agreement with Comcast turned into a witch hunt against the city’s cable television monopoly Tuesday night.  Tuesday’s hearing was the public’s second chance to address future cable-related needs and interests. The first hearing was held last year in September.  Comcast officials said they service an estimated 18,000 homes in Hattiesburg.

The existing franchise agreement between the city of Hattiesburg and Comcast expires on Dec. 7. Comcast submitted a letter and a renewal franchise agreement to the city on May 2, 2006.  Should an agreement between Comcast and the city not be reached by Dec. 7, Hattiesburg will continue to operate under the current agreement until the city adopts a resolution terminating the contract, said Ken Smith, chairman of the city’s cable advisory board…

The board expects to have a proposed agreement ready for the City Council to review sometime in June, he said.  The board is recommending the city enter into a 5-year agreement with Comcast instead of the 10-year agreement Comcast asked for.  Smith said their recommendation will also include televising City Council meetings.   —>

Teen film project offers television studio and field production classes
Argus Observer (OR)

[ comments invited ]

Vale — Are you a film maker? Do you want to work in television or make movies someday?  The Drexel H. Foundation is providing an opportunity for teens to participate in television production and film-making classes this spring.  This program has provided students, since 2004, with the opportunity to create film and videos and learn about television studios.

It is once again time to dust off that old camera, grab a friend, enjoy the weather and create a film.  The Teen Film Project is a great opportunity to learn about the amazing world of film.  Registration is simple and one can participate by attending classes at TVTV (a Boise public access channel) in May, June and July, or by attending classes offered in Vale during the summer.

The classes include a “field production”and “studio production” class at TVTV, Boise.    The lighting, film editing, sound, camera work and composition classes will take place in Vale.

There is no cost to the students. The Drexel H. Foundation provides classes in Vale, pays for the TVTV classes and provides transportation to the studio in Boise. Because there is no cost to participants, registration space is limited.  The Drexel Foundation is a registered producer with TVTV and will give out scholarships for these classes to the individuals.   —>

WT-TV moving to new channel
Courier-Post (NJ)

WASHINGTON TWP. – The township’s public access cable station, WT-TV, is moving from Channel 13 to Channel 9 on April 12.  Comcast Corporation plans to add new high-definition channels to its lineup and needs to reserve Channel 13 for the new stations.   —>

United Nations Meets Web 2.0 Seminar taking place this week in the UN HQ in New York. – Government 2.0

In February 2007, the Global Alliance organized “United Nations Meets Silicon Valley” in Santa Clara, California, which explored how the technology industry and business community in Silicon Valley can bolster development. Attended by prominent members of industry, academia, and the venture capital community alongside members of the Strategy Council of the Global Alliance, the meeting discussed challenges and partnerships between the public and private sectors in the area of ICT for development.  “UN Meets Web 2.0″ is a follow up to the meeting in Silicon Valley and is being held in New York City.

The event  consists  of a series of policy dialogues and panel sessions on the first day (yesterday),which showcased a variety of perspectives on key issues, including the use of technology to drive development; understanding what is in the mind of ICT entrepreneurs; and how the new media and content are shaping the landscapes of business and economics in developing countries. Today’s session  will include an Investors Forum, showcasing emerging business and investment opportunities in information and communication technologies in developing nations, including ICT initiatives from countries across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, the Pacific, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe.

The UN hope Participants will learn how new media and content are shaping the landscapes of business, economics and policy in developing countries; learn about global ICT opportunities; and understand what is in the mind of ICT entrepreneurs and investors.  The event will be attended by representatives of governments, business and industry, academia and professional institutions, non-governmental organizations and media.  View the event programme (pdf)

The New York Times Company Foundation to Sponsor ‘Ethnic Media Watchdog Workshop’ in May

Journalists from The New York Times and Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc will conduct a two-day workshop on investigative and enterprise reporting for reporters and editors from foreign-language newspapers in New York City. The Ethnic Media Watchdog Workshop will also invite enrolled college students studying journalism to participate. The workshop will be held at The New York Times Building, the newspaper’s new headquarters in New York City, on May 9 and 10.

The workshop will include sessions on covering the police and the courts; how to use the Internet for enterprise stories; how to investigate immigration issues; and how to obtain background information on people and businesses. Sessions will examine how best to exploit laws that provide access to government records and explore the rights of journalists when dealing with legal issues.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, development, Freedom of Information, PEG access TV, public access television, Web 2.0, youth 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: