Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/30/08

City to begin programming on cable TV channel
by Andy Powell
Gadsden Times (AL)


Sometime in May, Gadsden City Council President Ben Reed might sit up straight in his chair in the council chambers, pound his gavel and say, “(Almost) Live from Gadsden, it’s the Gadsden City Council meeting,” to debut the new Public Education and Government Channel on Comcast Cable.  The city is scheduled to begin programming on Channel 99 on Comcast in mid-May, communications manager Craig Clark told the City Council last week in a briefing.  He said the channel currently displays graphics explaining what programming will be offered.

Video equipment is being installed and city personnel are training on the equipment.  Clark said in addition to council meetings, the city will be able to tape programs about other city departments, run programs and information provided by the Gadsden-Etowah Emergency Management Agency and run programs provided by the police and fire departments.

The council meetings will not be carried live but will only be edited for profanity, if that occurs, because of FCC rules concerning content, according to Clark.  He said the council meetings will be broadcast at 1 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight the days they take place and again early the next morning.  The meetings will be broadcast on other days during the week, too.   —>

Inside Canada’s Telecom Nightmare
by D
Angry Robot (CAN)


This week there was news that Bell is slowing down P2P traffic, i.e. bitshaping, even for their resellers. And there was information on Rogers’ new fee structure, with the highest plan costing $100 a month and still subject to a bit cap.  Meanwhile, in the US, Comcast is backing down from bitshaping after a public outcry. What the hell is going on?

At issue here is net neutrality, and in the US there is public debate on the issue, whereas here there has been none. In brief, net neutrality is the principle that the network should treat all content and devices equally – that internet access should behave like electricity or your water supply. And generally that’s how it’s gone up until recently, when gradually the internet providers have been introducing bitshaping (slowing down certain types of traffic, most often BitTorrent) and bitcaps (a limit on how much you can download before incurring extra fees).

Don’t be distracted by the current focus on piracy – the idea that ‘a few bad apples’ are slowing down the internet for everyone else. The real issue is internet video in all its forms: bittorrented TV shows, youtube, and pay-per-download services like iTunes and Xbox Live. Video takes a lot of bandwidth and with the explosion in online video, suddenly ISPs are seeing people actually use some of the bandwidth they are paying for. And they’d rather not, you know, make less money. Let’s not forget that both Bell and Rogers sell TV services, and online video threatens their profits in that business as well. The last thing they want is someone canceling their cable to download shows off iTunes – but if that happens, they want to get their cut. Despite the fact that their broadband services are sold on the promise of fast, rich media.   —>

White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood
by Paul Philbin
Ndugu Habari Zenu (Tanzania)

On Thursday, March 27, The White Ribbon Alliance For Safe Motherhood of Tanzania celebrated its annual event in Dar es Salaam. Unfortunately, there was very little press coverage. I was able to locate Jiang Alipo’s report titled “Maternal mortality rates remain high” in the Daily News.

I soldiered on however because I wanted to know more about a family traveling from the UK staying at the same lodging facility, Swiss Garden Hotel. Julia (grand mother), Alison (daughter) and Harriet (grand daughter) were coming back to their roots. Their story can be found in the BBC story, Celebrating 50 by raising awareness of Africa’s highest killer. It turns out that the younger Harriet is “part of a project to teach Tanzanian midwives how to film and edit their own stories in the hope of raising awareness of the biggest killer in Africa” (six million babies a year are stillborn or die in the first week of life).

The project, Birth Aid is supported by Engine Room, a community-based media center in Somerset, England. The outcome is a participatory video titled “Play Your Part”, which earned a Commendation from One World Media Awards 2007 “for an outstanding and unique contribution to the communication of sustainable development and human rights”.

Public Access TV Discussions
Citizens for Accountability in Jail Expansion (WI)

[ comments invited ]

These were originally broadcast on Eau Claire Community TV.
* Eau Claire Jail Expansion History
* County Board and our ever expanding jail
* Cost of the Jail, Alternatives, and new Data

Wellesley – Spending Decisions
by Lisa Keen
Boston Globe (MA)

Town Meeting members may not have to face a budget deficit for the next fiscal year, but they have a high stack of financial concerns on the warrant for this spring’s annual session, which opens tomorrow night. Among the issues is whether residents should spend more than $2 million for schematic designs for the new or renovated high school building, and more than $3 million to rebuild one of the town’s most active playing fields, at Sprague Elementary School. Town Meeting convenes at 7:30 p.m. in the Wellesley Middle School auditorium, and will be carried on the local public-access television station, seen on Channel 9 on Comcast and Channel 39 on Verizon, according to the town’s website,

University of Hawaii, Maui Community College Television, Hawaiian Studies 107, MCCT
Hawaii Community Television Public Access

Watch It!

Into each life some rain must fall…
by Sophia Travis
Pin the Tail (IN)

[ comments invited ]

I mentioned that I would try to blog about the forums that took place last week–  I had two political forums to attend: one at Bell Trace Retirement Home last Wednesday, and one that was sponsored by Democracy for Monroe County last Thursday…  I cited my proven record for having advanced much of the following:

“As a Progressive Democrat my voting record demonstrates that I’ve not only been a part of a sea change through local County Government for Progressives, but that I’ve also often been at the helm of those changes during these past four years. I’ve supported people with disabilities, demanded clarity about our complex local justice systems’ rehabilitative quality level, restored social service funding for the community, augmented funding for outreach to the public for CATS and the Public Library, organized County Government staff and employees by officially bringing them into the process of addressing appalling salary and wage issues, questioned economic development tools efficacy and fairness towards average taxpayers, made environmental issues a visible priority demanding attention, challenged mainstream media—- and I’ve done all this with an unbeatable positivity and receptiveness to my constituents concerns and ideas. When asked to make decisions, speak to issues, and to get things done, I have delivered tangible achievements without making any excuses for anything less to be accomplished. In short I follow-through. I make decisions.”

The forum was formatted to allow a 3 minute opening statement, 2 minute closing statement, and questions from the audience in between…  My answers (not transcribed verbatim here below, and not entirely complete—but you can catch this forum on CATS Television and access it online…) were limited to 2 minute responses and my opponent and I took turns alternating answering the quesitons:   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

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

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: