Archive for April 2008

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/29/08

April 30, 2008

Cable bill off to the Senate
Officials hope act will create more competition in Tenn.
by Richard Locker
Commercial Appeal (TN)
04/29/08

[ 3 comments ]

The state House overwhelmingly approved the three-year-old effort to induce more competition for cable television services in Tennessee Monday.  Representatives voted 93-2 to send the “Competitive Cable and Video Services Act” to the Senate, where final approval is expected before the legislature adjourns in two weeks.  In addition to cable competition, state officials hope the bill leads to broader deployment of Internet broadband service to areas with inadequate or no service.   —>
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/apr/29/cable-bill-off-to-the-senate/

also reported at:

House OKs AT&T TV bill; Senate is expected to pass legislation
by Theo Emery; The Tennessean
04/29/08 [ 1 comment ]

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080429/NEWS0201/804290370/1009/NEWS01

Suburbs OK With Cable Measure — Hope It Will Survive Tenn. House Debate
by Clay Bailey; Commercial Appeal (TN)
04/28/08

http://www.blackenterprise.com/yb/ybopen.asp?section=ybsb&story_id=116863886&ID=blackenterprise

House approves AT&T cable deal
by Andy Sher; Chattanooga Times Free Press
04/29/08 [ comments invited ]

http://timesfreepress.com/news/2008/apr/29/nashiville-house-approves-t-cable-deal/?local
~

Hate speech limits fail to gain support
by Mike Monson
The News Gazette (IL)
04/29/08

URBANA – Urbana council members have tentatively decided against taking strong steps to limit hate speech on Urbana Public Television, despite concerns raised by the local Jewish community and other residents about anti-Semitic programming being regularly shown on the station.  Council members, in a voice vote Monday night, tentatively approved a revised public access policies and procedures manual for Urbana Public Television, known as UPTV. Only Alderwoman Lynne Barnes, D-Ward 7, voted against the proposal.  A final vote will take place at next Monday night’s council meeting.

Barnes said she thought the city should drop the public access programming from its PEG channel, which includes public access, education and government programming.  “My trouble with it is, as a city council member, you’re a part of this,” she said. “If you’ve got trash in your yard, even if it’s not your trash, it looks bad. As long as our name is on it, I feel as a taxpayer we’re participating it in.”  Much of the anti-Semitic programming is being submitted by a single resident, 88-year-old Timothy A. Brumleve of Urbana.

Other council members disagreed with Barnes. Dennis Roberts, D-Ward 5, said Urbana has a “reputation for being forward-thinking and supporting the widest range of viewpoints.”  “What this city needs is not less PEG, but more PEG,” Roberts said. “We need a greater and more active public dialogue.”  Roberts said he supports creating a fifth PEG channel, through cable franchise negotiations with Comcast this year, that would be exclusively devoted to public access and would allow Urbana to remove the public access component from its channel.

Roberts also said he recently watched a particular anti-Semitic program and “wasn’t impressed in the least.”  “Let’s not give them the power to control our lives through fear, let’s totally ignore it,” he said. “Let’s change the channel.”  Danielle Chynoweth, D-Ward 2, made similar comments, saying “the decay of society is when a single person can destroy a public amenity.”   —>
http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2008/04/29/hate_speech_limits_fail_to_gain_support
~

World Press Freedom Day 2008 – May 3
Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and Empowerment of People
UNESCO

Freedom of Expression is a fundamental human right as stated in Article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. This is especially worth recalling as we mark the 60th anniversary of that declaration.

At this year’s World Press Freedom Day celebration, UNESCO would like to explore how media freedom and access to information feed into the wider development objective of empowering people. Empowerment is a multi-dimensional social and political process that helps people gain control over their own lives. This can only be achieved through access to accurate, fair and unbiased information, representing a plurality of opinions, and the means to actively communicate vertically and horizontally, thereby participating in the active life of the community.
http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=25875&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html
~

Perspectives TV Show on Sean Bell Verdict
BreaktheChains.info
04/29/08

[ comments invited ]

In the wake of the verdict resulting from the trial of the officers in the Sean Bell case, BronxNet is dedicating the next live episode of Perspectives to discussing and analyzing the outcome of the case.  The special episode of Perspectives will be cablecast on Tuesday, April 29, at 8:30 p.m. We are inviting advocates, activists, and legal aids, to join us as guests for a panel discussion. You can also join our inside studio television audience.  The program will highlight a peaceful quest for justice, help shed light on issues at hand, give viewers a chance to hear the opinions of experts and to call in and express their own opinions.   —>
http://breakallchains.blogspot.com/2008/04/perspectives-tv-show-on-sean-bell.html
~

Free public forum hosts 3rd District County Supervisor candidates
by Sarah Spotten
KSBY.com (CA)
04/29/08

The Citizens Planning Foundation of Santa Barbara County and the League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara Education Fund are co-hosting a 3rd District County Supervisor Candidates Forum.  The purpose of this free forum is to help educate the public about candidates’ positions on issues of concern to them so that they may become better-informed voters.  All five candidates have confirmed they will participate in the public forum.  Simultaneous Spanish translation will be provided, and a video of the forum will be broadcast in both English and Spanish on public access television.   —>
http://www.ksby.com/Global/story.asp?S=8245207
~

NYC Reaches Cable TV Agreement with Verizon
1010 WINS (NY)
04/29/08

New York City residents may soon get a choice of cable television providers.  The city announced Tuesday that it has reached agreement with Verizon for a cable television franchise contract, which calls for increased channel capacity and funding for all public, educational and governmental channels.  “Our administration is committed to bringing better service and competitive choices for cable television to the residents of New York City, and the proposed agreement would go a long way toward doing that,” Deputy Mayor Robert C. Lieber said.  […]

Under the agreement, Verizon would pay the city a franchise fee of 5 percent of the revenues from the cable service in the city; provide a $10 million capital grant to the city-owned NYC TV and a $4 million grant to expand public access to technology.   —>
http://www.1010wins.com/pages/2091549.php?
~

Public-television revolutionary
WYBE’s new model offers 5-minute shorts
by Joseph N. DiStefano
Philadelphia Inquirer (PA)
04/28/08

WYBE-35, Philadelphia’s tiny, nonprofit, old-fashioned broadcast TV station, is betting its future on digital shows for the YouTube generation.  The station is programming its signals and Web site with five-minute shorts that producers pay to play, set in a new studio built as part of a signal-swapping deal with General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal networks.

“It’s short-form programming, in which we let the community come to us and let them and viewers tell us what they want,” says Howard Blumenthal, the station’s chief executive and a 30-year veteran of the business, including stints as a brand executive for Bertelsmann AG and a senior executive at CDNOW Inc.  “These are not infomercials,” he adds. WYBE’s program affiliate, Mind Media Independence (Mind TV), controls content, with no obligation to use programs it doesn’t want. No home-shopping programs; no racist propaganda.

The station offers technical assistance and training to member-donors who want to make their own programs, for a yearly fee ranging from $75 for individuals to $1,000 for corporations.  The business model reverses the usual TV business patterns. Like Philadelphia-based vanity publisher Xlibris Corp., WYBE is now getting paid to carry content, not paying for it. It’s giving paying members – there are 50 so far, pending the service’s formal launch next month – the power to put their own work on television and the Internet.   —>
http://www.philly.com/philly/business/homepage/18327209.html
~

nick calzoncit Confronts Harlandale ISD school board
Mexican American Peace Project (TX)
04/29/08

[ comments invited ]

Click to play

Local San Antonio Activist nick calzoncit confronts the Harlandale School District about his quest for renaming Stonewall Elementary School to Cesar Chavez Elementary at the board meeting held in April 2008. This clip was for San Antonio Public Access TV, Mexican American Peace Project, Fridays 12:30pm and 8:30pm.
http://mexamerican.blogspot.com/2008/04/nick-calzoncit-confronts-harlandale-isd.html
~

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick tapes own TV show
The Associated Press
Lansing State Journal (MI)
04/29/08

[ 6 comments ]

Kwame Kilpatrick is adding “talk show host” to his mayoral duties.  The Detroit mayor on Monday taped the first installment of his new cable public access television show.  WWJ-AM and WXYZ-TV report Kilpatrick’s first two guests were city Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings and City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers.   —>
http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080429/NEWS01/804290349/1001/NEWS
~

KDHX is looking to hire a Youth Media Production Instructor this summer
by Reggi
St. Louis Audition (MO)
04/29/08

KDHX instructors are working media artists who use the power of digital production to help young people fashion their own multi-media messages. Through music, video and computer technology, young people can create messages that bridge cultural differences and create change in their communities and in their own lives. The KDHX Youth Video Production Instructor teaches basic video production classes focusing on story telling and media literacy to students ranging from middle school to high school age. The rate for this position is $20 per hour.   —>
http://www.stlauditions.com/2008/04/kdhx-is-looking-to-hire-youth-media.html
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Advertisements

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/28/08

April 29, 2008

[ Here’s what you call one of them ‘anecdotal’ reports of the positive effects of PEG access programming.  Just as with our friendly smiles and “good morning” greetings to strangers, sometimes we never know the positive effects our actions have.  Stories like this are among the reasons we’re driven to keep these channels alive and flowing. ~ rm ]

Why Bother?
by Amy Gates
Crunchy Domestic Goddess
04/28/08

[ 25 comments ]

This evening as Jody and Ava were out running an errand for me, I attempted to cook dinner while balancing a miserable Julian (due to his four canine teeth coming in at the same time) on my hip. After much fussing (on Julian’s part, not mine), I took a break from cooking, sat down on the couch, flipped on the TV and, hoping to make the poor boy feel a bit better, nursed him.

In skipping through the channels it became clear to me why I rarely watch TV (with the exception of The Office, LOST and occasionally Oprah). There was nothing on. I stopped on the local public access channel long enough to hear someone talking about global warming. My interest was piqued so I lingered.

It turns out it was a woman reading Michael Pollan’s recent New York Times article “Why Bother?” For those of you unfamiliar with Pollan, he is the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food – neither of which I have read yet, but I’ve heard great things about both.

“Why Bother?” is a question I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’m nowhere near the point of throwing in the towel with regard to the things I do to help the environment, but after reading an article like ‘Enjoy life while you can’ – Climate science maverick James Lovelock believes catastrophe is inevitable, carbon offsetting is a joke and ethical living a scam and watching a YouTube video (which has since been taken down) about Monsanto, you might start to get a little jaded and wonder if all of your efforts are in vain. At least that’s where I’ve been at.

Pollan’s article “Why Bother?” was exactly what I needed to hear (and then read in full on the web since I missed the first half of it on TV) to help lift me out of my funk and I highly recommend you read the whole thing. Here’s just a bit of it.   —>
http://crunchydomesticgoddess.com/2008/04/28/why-bother/
~

Davis criticizes Senate cable bill
by Matthew Penix
St. Tammany News (LA)
04/28/08

[ comments invited ]

Parish President Kevin Davis has joined Slidell city officials in hurling objections at a Senate bill that would provide a statewide-only franchising agreement for cable operators entering Louisiana, a move critics said would increase local cable fees for consumers.  Senate Bill 422, authored by Sen. Ann Duplessis, D-New Orleans, was modified this week to adhere to requests by the Louisiana Municipal Association to scale back the bill. But critics such as Davis still said the bill amounted to a slap in the face for local municipalities.

The bill, aimed to garner more competition from cable providers entering the state, would nix the roughly 400 so municipalities statewide from entering their own non-exclusive franchise agreements with cable providers. Instead, cable companies would adhere to one set of rules, dictated by the state, concerning how municipalities will earn taxes collected from the companies using their right of ways to set up infrastructure.

For instance, St. Tammany Parish and its municipalities collect franchise fees from cable providers, typically a 5 percent fee on total revenue generated in the area, to use for infrastructure or governmental needs. The fee is paid in exchange for those cable providers to use the publicly owned right of ways to set up cable lines and more.

Under the bill, those local agreements would be nixed. Instead of brokering 400 agreements, the interested companies would now broker only one deal, a move 14 others states have already initiated, and one that would attract more companies who don’t want to deal with the headache of brokering numerous deals, Duplessis said. Already AT&T has pumped $400 million into Louisiana’s communications infrastructure in hopes the bill passes, Duplessis said. That figure could not be confirmed as of deadline.   […]

But Davis, in a recent memo, blasted the bill, saying cable companies will be allowed to “cherry pick” which citizens they will serve according to their business model.  “I fully support more and better choices for cable television,” Davis said. “This bill, however, will not provide the competition that we all want.”

According to the National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors, consumers in states that have enacted state-level franchising laws have seen their video service bills go up 8 to 50 percent, depending on the level of service, Davis said. In Texas, which enacted its franchise legislation in 2005, nearly every video provider increased its prices, he said.   —>
http://www.thesttammanynews.com/articles/2008/04/28/news/doc4815dad281a76874331234.txt
~

House passes compromise AT&T bill
by John Rodgers
Nashville City Paper (TN)
04/28/08

[ 6 comments ]

The state House overwhelmingly passed a compromise bill this evening that AT&T says it needs to start offering television programming in Tennessee to compete with the cable industry.   —>
http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=59852
~

Cable Bill Passes House
by Cara Kumari
WSMV Reporter Cara Kumari
04/28/08

[ comments invited ]

I’m driving back to the station from doing my live shot about some TennCare changes, but I popped into the House session to listen to the debate on the cable legislation. (I use the term “debate” loosely.)

You’ve probably heard at least something about the cable bill or seen the nonstop commercials on TV.  This basically allows any company (AT&T for now)  who wants to enter the cable game in the state to bypass local franchising and get their permit from the state.  Lawmakers tout the increase in choices this legislation will bring the cable consumer.  Realistically, they say, don’t expect to see a huge drop in cable prices.

Anyway, the “debate” on the House floor today consisted of several of the main sponsors thanking 10 to 12 people each who made this bill happened.  Then it was a quick vote of 92-2 (with 2 not voting) and then a huge round of applause.

To give you an idea of how intense the lobbying has been on this whole issue, here’s a quip from one lawmaker after it passed: “Well, now all of the lobbyists can officially go on vacation.”  No word on whether or not those commercials will ever stop airing, though.
http://carakumari.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/cable-bill-passes-house/

Election round-tables available on-line
by Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Inside Politics (CA)
04/28/08

[ comments invited ]

Televised election round-tables with June 3 primary candidates for Assembly Districts 14 and 15, the two races for the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and a debate on Propositions 98 and 99 are now posted on-line at the Contra Costa Times’ politics page.  I moderated the six, half-hour segments on April 23 and they will air on your local public access television station starting May 5. (I’ve posted the air date schedule below or you can visit http://www.contracostatv.org.)

The sponsors organized and paid for the production of the shows at no cost to the candidates. Sponsors include: Contra Costa Times, League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley, Contra Costa Council, Contra Costa TV, Contra Costa County Election Department, Comcast and the East Bay Community Foundation.  To save you a few clicks, I’ve also embedded the links to the shows here.   —>
http://www.ibabuzz.com/insidepolitics/2008/04/28/election-round-tables-available-on-line/
~

BVBL and 9500Liberty Debate On Television
by Greg L
Black Velvet Bruce Li (VA)
04/28/08

[ 33 comments ]

I was invited last week to join George Burke (who is also the Chairman of the 11th District Democratic Committee) on Fairfax Public Access television for a program on “Inside Scoop Virginia” this Sunday.  To my surprise, “documentarian” Annabel Park of 9500Liberty showed up to argue the other side in what was billed as a program on new media and the immigration debate, but ended up focusing mostly on the Rule of Law Resolution.  I think I held my own fairly well against two others that certainly wanted to argue that the Rule of Law Resolution is a bad idea, and the way it turned out the vast majority of callers to this local Fairfax County program ended up agreeing with me.

The first caller was from “Mona” who called in from California, apparently viewing the program on the internet.   —>
http://www.bvbl.net/index.php/2008/04/28/bvbl-and-9500liberty-debate-on-television/#more-2310
~

Council: ‘We gotta work together,’ keep listening
by Craig Peterson
Lake County News-Sun (IL)
04/28/08

[ comments invited ]

WAUKEGAN — The City Council took no formal action last week on censoring audience time from its meetings, but every alderman addressed the issue during alderman’s time.   —>
http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/newssun/news/918724,5_1_WA28_WAUKCOUNCIL_S1.article
~

Show and tell
If Houston school district officials want to improve community relations, televise board meetings
Editorial: Houston Chronicle (TX)
04/27/08

[ 6 comments ]

During a hard-fought campaign last year to pass a bond issue, Houston Independent School District officials were lambasted by opponents for failing to get community input for the spending plan. The issue of school consolidation and some closings in mostly minority neighborhoods generated a voter backlash that nearly defeated the referendum.  HISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra says the district is working on initiatives to improve communications with the public. “Last fall as we did our bond issue,” the superintendent said, “the biggest message to us was ‘you’re not communicating, and when you do, it’s too late. It doesn’t mean anything.’ ”  […]

Although HISD has a fully staffed and equipped audio-visual capability with a public access cable channel at its disposal, the district board remains one of the few elective bodies in Houston that does not televise its meetings. Although the board recently moved its public sessions from 3 p.m. to a more accessible 5 p.m., airing the sessions on cable would allow a much bigger audience to acquaint itself with district policy.   —>
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/5734627.html
~

AT&T still not definite on U-verse here
by Jeff Richgels
The Capital Times (WI)
04/28/08

[ 14 comments ]

AT&T is looking to hire 200 more technicians to install and service its U-verse TV service, which now is available to more than 200,000 homes in the Milwaukee, Racine and Sheboygan areas.  But even though the jobs include positions in south central Wisconsin, indicating that U-verse may be offered here in the near future, the company still isn’t saying when the Madison area might get U-verse.   —>
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/283540
~

Parent Event: Are Your Kids Safe & Smart Online?
by Elliot Margolis
Midpeninsula Community Media Center (CA)
04/28/08

The Media Center is sponsoring a presentation for parents who want to keep up with what kids are doing online and acquire tips to keep them safe and smart internet-users. Patty Page, from the Common Sense Media Volunteer Speaker Bureau will present a media-rich, interactive program in the Media Center’s TV studio on Monday, May 19th beginning at 7:30. Doors open and light refreshments are available at 7 PM at 900 San Antonio Rd. in Palo Alto, near the 101 freeway.  […]  The 90-minute presentation and discussion will be videotaped.   —>
http://midpen-media-center.blogspot.com/2008/04/parent-event-are-your-kids-safe-smart.html
~

Denver 8 TV Announces Updated Online Programming Site
by Jeanne Robb
Congress Park Neighborhood News (CO)
04/28/08 [?]

Denver 8 TV, the city’s Municipal Access Television channel, has launched an improved web site where users can find live programming of the channel and a rich archive of video programs recorded by Denver 8. The programs available include all meeting coverage of Denver City Council, numerous press announcements, community forum coverages and all the weekly and monthly programs produced by the channel.  —>
http://congressparkneighbors.org/WordPress/?p=22
~

Director changes channels: WCAC head hired to lead NewTV
by Jeff Gilbride
Daily News Tribune (MA)
04/28/08

[ 11 comments ]

Robert Kelly, executive director at Waltham Community Access television for the last 18 years, has accepted the same position at NewTV, Newton’s cable access station.  Kelly said Friday he will start his new job on May 12. His last day with WCAC-TV will be May 9.  Kelly said because of his long tenure at the Waltham station he had “mixed emotions” when he applied for the position in Newton. But Kelly said the opportunity of working at a larger organization in a larger community was too good to pass up.   —>
http://www.dailynewstribune.com/news/x2124113393
~

International Summit for Community Wireless Networks: May 28, Washington DC
MuniWireless
04/28/08 [?]

The New America Foundation is holding its International Summit for Community Wireless Networks (IS4CWN) on May 28 – 30, 2008 in Washington, DC. The summit is co-hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) at its downtown headquarters. The event will bring together community wireless networking developers working to build universal, low-cost wireless broadband networks around the world. This year’s Summit will focus on how these networks can better serve their target populations, the policies needed to support broader deployment of community wireless systems, and the latest technological and software innovations.
http://www.muniwireless.com/2008/04/28/international-summit-community-wireless-networks-washingto/
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:   http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/27/08

April 28, 2008

Spirit Freed II Art Exhibit
Perspective Prisms (TX)
04/27/08

[ comments invited ]

Paintings by San Antonio artist Rita Maria Contreras for an exhibit at the Oblate School of Theology in the Spring of 2008. The theme of the exhibit is the pain suffered by children of sexual abuse. The event was in conjunction with a talk by Patrick Fleming and Sue Lauber-Fleming on their book Broken Trust, dealing with the sexual abuse by priests within the Catholic Church. This clip was for San Antonio public access TV. Espanol-video de pinturas de la artista Rita Maria Contreras, del thema de abuso sexual de ninos.
http://perspectiveprisms.blogspot.com/2008/04/spirit-freed-ii-art-exhibit.html
~

Representative Harwell supports cable bill
by Truman Bean
Truman’s Take (TN)
04/27/08

Legislative leaders reached a consensus recently on the much-anticipated “Competitive Cable and Video Services Act.” Representative Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) said she was pleased with the outcome of the strenuous negotiations, but that consumers won in the end.  “Although it has taken a while to get to this point, I am excited about the possibilities that this bill will bring,” said Rep. Harwell. “Consumers are the real winners—anytime competition can be introduced into the market, they are the ones who benefit.”   —>
http://trumanstake.blogspot.com/2008/04/representative-harwell-supports-cable.html
~

BE the Media — Free Speech Unfurled
by Lauren-Glenn Davitian
Nonprofit Technology Network
04/22/08

[ comments invited ]

While mainstream media remains under the control of a handful of giant corporations, you no longer have to own a printing press to reach a dedicated audience. Gone are the days when we chose from one of three national nightly newscasts on the living room TV. Free speech, broadband services and mobile handsets are quickly dismantling the “one to many” Broadcast Age and putting media production and distribution directly into the hands of “the people”.

Building on traditions of public access, independent media and peer-to-peer networks, we now communicate, “many to many”, across phone and internet networks with affordable and high powered laptops, PDAs, phones and gaming devices. In this major step forward for free speech, the “network centric” age enables us to “be the media”, tell our stories and make social change happen.

But what media and communication tools will make the biggest impact and have the farthest reach? The choices can be daunting — especially if you are an activist or nonprofit with modest means and limited time. Whether you are planning a demonstration, a print campaign, a web site, a viral video, or a mobile action, you need to start with a goal and a strategy.

To help, we’ve compiled many of the rich resources available to the nonprofit community in these basic steps to strategic communications.   —>
http://www.nten.org/blog/2008/04/22/be-the-media-free-speech-unfurled
~

State Chairman’s Prophecy About Ron Paul and Republican Convention Comes True
by Christopher Hansen
Independent American Party of Nevada
04/27/08

I was told by Ron Paul supporters that they would triumph at the Republican State Convention. I told them that the Republican Party leadership would do EVERYTHING to stop them because the Republicans are corrupt and care NOTHING about freedom and Democracy but only about power.  Here is the ONLY report on the Convention I have so far.  […]

At the beginning of the Convention the State GOP/McCain campaign tried to limit who could be considered delegates. This prompted a floor fight that went on for hours. The record crowd wondered why they were there if the people to be voted on were already predetermined.  Already the 3 congressional districts have gone (3 delegates for each Congressional District) One district has awarded all 3 to Ron Paul, the second district went, One for Ron Paul, One for John McCain and One for NV. US Senator John Ensign and the third congressional district is unknown since the convention authorities won’t tell.

Nevada’s US Senator Bob Beers is also permanent chair of the convention. He approached the podium at 6pm banged gavel and said we lost the room, we’re in recess and have to figure out another way another time to elect the remaining 22 delegates to the national convention and left the room…. but a quorum was present and the people were not finished 🙂  After the hotel stated that they had no problem with another 3 hours of room use someone tried turning off the lights.  […]

The entire convention was filmed by SNCAT, an impartial observer whose purpose is to simply report the actual news, no spin, no lies, just the facts.  The convention (subject to time limits) will be broadcast on Public Access Television this Wednesday, April 30th, at 8:00pm. They welcome people who took part in the convention (and they don’t care which candidate you support) to state your observations and comments, on camera, during the broadcast.   —>
http://www.independentamerican.org/blog.php?blog=1164
~

Surfing without
by Melinda Welsh
newsreview.com
04/24/08

[ comments invited ]

In 2008, the internet is fair and open to all. Soon, you may have to pay more for simple services like web searches. Do we have your attention now?

You know the routine. Monday morning, 6:30 a.m: You wake up, shower, down coffee and go online to check email and CNN for gossip and news of the world. You forward a proposal you drafted over the weekend to your work email. After skipping around to a few other sites—like YouTube, Facebook or Digg—you dress, breakfast and join the Interstate 80 commute.

When you get to the job, the first thing you do, naturally, is go online. No big deal—just an average, wired morning in the first decade of a century where much of our work and personal lives revolve around being digitally connected to each other and everything almost all the time.

If you’re under 25, you barely remember a time when all this hyperconnectedness didn’t exist. But really … it didn’t. It was less than 15 years ago when the baby boomers among us were buying our first personal computers and starting to send each other glacially slow emails that seemed to move at light speed. Since then, the tech has gotten always faster, cheaper. We are communicating—sending, searching, interacting and creating content—as never before. In the upcoming years, we’re told, this capacity to connect will speed up exponentially as our internet, TV and telephone use moves to a converged platform operating off a super high-speed connection.

Or not.

You don’t have to be a paranoid techie or consumer-rights policy wonk to see that the era of an open, egalitarian and transparent internet could soon come to a screeching halt in America. The nation’s largest cable and telephone companies—the ones that control the wires, towers and switching systems that make up residential broadband in America—seem to be moving with new aggressiveness to figure out ways to establish themselves as gatekeepers on the internet.   —>
http://www.newsreview.com/reno/Content?oid=657914
~

What Broadcasters Don’t Want You to Know
Groundswell
04/25/08

[ comments invited ]

For too long, TV stations have made a fortune off of the public airwaves — which they use free of charge — with little accountability to their local community.  In the fall of 2007, the FCC began to address this problem when it approved new rules that would dramatically strengthen and improve reporting requirements for TV stations.  The FCC’s old disclosure requirements asked little of TV stations, ensuring that most broadcasters were easily granted their license renewal every time stations reapplied.

Keeping The Public in the Dark

The public records that stations are supposed to keep were often incomplete and hard to access, making it difficult for local citizens to examine a station’s track record. The FCC’s new rules require that TV stations post their public files on their Web sites and that they file a new reporting form every three months.

The new form will capture more and better information on stations’ programming and will be invaluable to assessing how well they are serving the public. The FCC is asking for minute-by-minute documentation of programming and tying these reports to their programming rules and requirements. The FCC hopes that these steps will help empower local communities to participate in their local broadcast stations and give citizens more control over their airwaves.

However, there are clearly things that these broadcasters don’t want you to know. The National Association of Broadcasters just took the FCC to court to block these important new rules from taking effect. The broadcasters oppose the “scale and scope” of the FCC’s new rules, claiming that they would impose an administrative burden on stations. It would be much more convenient for these broadcasters to keep the public in the dark.   —>
http://stearns.wordpress.com/2008/04/25/what-broadcasters-dont-want-you-to-know/
~

The UpTake Awarded Best Citizen Based Media Outlet by City Pages
by Allison
Walker Art Education and Community Programs (MN)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

For those of you who don’t know what or who the UpTake is, let me inform you now. It is definitelyy one of the most rockin citizen journalist efforts to spring from the offices, basements, and living rooms of Minnesota.  It is also the brainchild of St. Paul activist and sculptor Jason Barnett, Minnesota Stories creator Chuck Olsen, and Mike McIntee, producer of Inside Minnesota podcasts. Not only have they stayed up late covering all things Minnesota politics, but they also have loyal bloggers, video journalists, and writers all over the country covering this wacky thing we call the election. Their motto is, “Will journalism be done by you or to you?”   —>
http://blogs.walkerart.org/ecp/2008/04/23/uptake-awarded-citizen-based-media/
~

Films for Action.org >> Extensive resource of online documentaries and indy film
by tribalzendancer
guerilla news network
04/27/08

Films for Action is a non-profit group that uses the power of film to raise awareness on important issues not being covered by the mainstream news. Through public screenings, the internet, our lending library program, and public access TV, we’re working to build an independent, grass-roots media network that will provide more meaningful and reliable ways to stay informed on the issues that matter.   http://www.filmsforaction.org
http://tribalzendancer.gnn.tv/blogs/28080/Films_for_Action_org_Extensive_resource_of_online_documentaries_and_indy_film
~

TV Party
srsly.tv
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

I am psyched to learn that there was a TV Party DVD released.  From 1978 to 1982, Glenn O’Brien hosted a New York city public access cable TV show called TV Party. Co-hosted by Chris Stein, from Blondie, and directed by filmmaker Amos Poe, the hour long show took television where it had never gone before: to the edge of civility and “sub-realism” as Glenn would put it. Walter Steding and his TV Party “Orchestra” provided a musical accompaniment to the madness at hand, and many artists and musicians, from The Clash, Nile Rodgers, Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Bryne and Arto Lindsey were regular guests. It was the cocktail party that could be a political party.

With 80 hours of disintegrating 3/4 inch videotape as a starting point, we tracked down the trend setting participants still living today and found out what they remember of the period and how the show influenced their lives. This, combined with clips from the orginal show, became the documentary “TV Party.   —>
TV Party on YouTube
http://srsly.tv/blog/2008/04/23/tv-party/
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/26/08

April 28, 2008



Backyard Permaculture in Oregon: Peak Moment TV
by Sami Grover
Treehugger
04/26/08

[ 3 comments ]

It’s been a while since we checked in on Peak Moment TV, the innovative public access TV show bringing you “Community Responses for a Changing Energy Future”. In the episode above, Peak Moment explores White Sage Gardens, an Oregon experiment in backyard permaculture-informed sustainability created by Scott McGuire. —>
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/04/backyard-permaculture.php
~

Community in transition
by Jose Cardenas
St. Petersburg Times (FL)
04/26/08

[ 4 comments ]

—> Now the YWCA and various non-profits and government agencies have launched an effort to integrate the Hispanic immigrant community more into the mainstream. To start, the YWCA’s Hispanic Leadership Council last year interviewed 4,400 immigrants in Clearwater and other parts of the county. That survey helped the council develop a three-year plan to address five areas of need: […]

In its brief existence, the leadership council already started initiatives toward the five goals it developed from the survey. It is working with the Pinellas County school district adult education section and libraries to establish English classes. The classes would take place after hours since many immigrants juggle more than one job. The council also is working on a plan to put English classes on public-access television. —>
http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/article474555.ece
~

Cabrillo journalism chair discusses future of program
by Isaiah Guzman
Santa Cruz Sentinel
04/26/08

The fast-changing newspaper industry is searching for a new success formula. Cabrillo College’s journalism program is trying to do the same. Program Chair Dave Sheftman and a group of local media members discussed those issues during an advisory committee meeting at the campus’ Sesnon House on Friday. As the newspaper business has put more and more emphasis on the Internet and visual and audio media, Cabrillo has started a six-year plan for “convergence media” training. “The growth for the program is not in print,” Sheftman said.

Cabrillo’s journalism department has given extra focus to its television and radio classes and online edition of the student newspaper, The Voice. The program has acquired new video and photography equipment and has partnered with community television and radio to give students a chance to produce programs. Sheftman’s ultimate objective during his four years as chair has been to build a two-year degree program and add diversity. “I think a huge platform for [diversity] is radio and television,” he said. —>
http://www.mercurynews.com/centralcoast/ci_9067248?nclick_check=1
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/25/08

April 28, 2008

Verizon TV proposal needs tuning
by Juan Gonzalez
New York Daily News
04/25/08

[ 8 comments ]

Telecom giant Verizon has finally submitted its long-awaited proposal for a competing cable television franchise for New York City.  If you live in the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens and you’re eager to ditch Time Warner or Cablevision, take a number.

Verizon plans to offer its FiOS TV service to virtually all Staten Island and nearly 60% of Manhattan residents by the end of this year, according to a copy of the company’s proposal obtained by the Daily News.  On the other hand, FiOS will be available to less than 10% of Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens this year. Most people in those boroughs won’t be able to buy it until at least 2011.   —>
http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2008/04/25/2008-04-25_verizon_tv_proposal_needs_tuning.html
~

Commission to tweak cable access agreement
by Steve Bandy
Marshall News Messenger (TX)
04/25/08

Some minor tweaks in an agreement contract between the city of Marshall and First United Methodist Church will allow a non-profit group established by the church to operate the second public access cable channel.  The city’s cable-TV franchise agreement with Charter Communications calls for Charter to provide one channel free of cost for public, educational and governmental information. Charter considers this channel to be channel 20, which is operated by the city as a governmental information channel, Assistant City Manager Janet Cook told commissioners Thursday night.

“Under the franchise agreement, Charter also must provide a second channel at our request or at the request of an approved non-profit institution,” she said. “Charter may charge for the use of that channel.”  Charter operated the second channel — channel 19 — for a number of years, but notified the city in January that its staff would no longer be available. On March 15 Charter ceased operation of channel 19.  “They told us there will not be a charge for someone else to operate the channel,” Ms. Cook said.

The city began seeking proposals for the operation of the second public, educational, governmental (PEG) channel in mid-February.  “One proposal was received from First United Methodist Church,” Ms. Cook said. “The church proposes to incorporate a non-profit ‘The Marshall Channel’ to operate the channel.”   —>
http://www.marshallnewsmessenger.com/news/content/news/stories/2008/042608_cable.html
~

Comcast Expects Automatic Franchise Renewal
by Bernice Paglia
Plainfield Plaintalker (NJ)
04/25/08

[ comments invited ]

When Comcast of the Plainfields’ 10-year city franchise ends in 2009, the company will invoke a 5-year automatic renewal, a representative told the Cable Television Advisory Board Thursday.  Charles Smith III, director of Government and Community Affairs for Northern New Jersey, told the board, “Comcast will exercise that option. That’s the way we look at the franchise.”  […]

While the Comcast franchise is running out, Verizon has gained state approval to hold franchises in many communities, including Plainfield. Smith said that when Verizon’s ability to serve customers reaches 60 percent of the Plainfield market, franchise fees will double from 2 percent to 4 percent due to state legislation. The city currently receives as much as $120,000 in franchise fees to operate the city’s local origination channel.

But while officials wrested the commitment for two local channels from Comcast in the past franchise renewal, the implementation has been spotty. Only one channel, based in City Hall Annex, is currently operating. A studio built at Maxson Middle School has languished.

Besides the operational aspects of the local channels, programming was another topic addressed by the board. Much of the local channel’s content is public service announcements and outside programs such as Democracy Now and White House Chronicles, but Public Information Officer Jazz Johnson said consultant Parris Z. Moore has launched a pilot program called “Hello Plainfield” and has several more in the works. They include “Plainfield at Work,” about day-to-day city activity on behalf of its citizens; “Plainfield Profiles,” about interesting residents; and “Plainfield Update,” a news format program.  […]

Board members asked Johnson when the City Council meetings would be televised. Johnson said Channel 74 was ready to record the meetings, but the council was holding off.   —>
http://plaintalker.blogspot.com/2008/04/comcast-expects-automatic-franchise.html
~

Grand Rapids budget crunch could cost workers, raise parking, court fees
by Jim Harger
The Grand Rapids Press (MI)
04/25/08

[ comments invited ]

GRAND RAPIDS — City Manager Kurt Kimball said the city can balance its budget and spend $1.6 million more on street improvements in the fiscal year beginning July 1.  But that means the city’s 1,700 employees and 470 retirees will be asked to pay more for their health care coverage. It also means higher parking fines and court fees.  […]

The $123 million spending plan also eliminates $355,000 in general local revenue sharing for charities and trims the city’s subsidy to the Community Media Center by $86,000.  Although he expects an outcry, Kimball said the city no longer can afford gifts to local charities after seven years of budget-cutting.  “I didn’t think that pot of money should be a sacred cow,” he said.   —>
http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/04/grand_rapids_budget_could_cost.html
~

County budget $7M short of requests
Wicomico officials work to keep finances within constraints
by Greg Latshaw
The Daily Times (MD)
04/25/08

[ 1 comment ]

SALISBURY — One hard truth is already clear to Wicomico County Council members a week into reviewing next year’s budget proposal.  Charged with making further reductions, the council on Thursday continued scrutinizing a preliminary draft that is 2 percent smaller than last year. County Executive Rick Pollitt’s $129.6 million budget is about $7 million short of department requests from education, Public Safety, county employees and PAC-14 — the county’s public access television station.  […]

As department heads continue to defend their budgets, one popular area nonprofit has already taken a hit.  PAC-14 won’t be celebrating its 10th anniversary with a funding increase.  Pollitt’s proposal adds no extra dollars this year, dismissing a $79,600 department request. That means PAC-14 is set to again receive $131,000 in county funding, an amount that makes up about 60 percent of its operating budget, according to station manager Mike Goodson.   —>
http://www.delmarvanow.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080425/NEWS01/804250301/1002
~

CATV wants to sign up Mandan
by Gordon Weixel
Bismarck Tribune (ND)
04/25/08 (repeat of 4/24 story, but with comments)

[ 8 comments ]

When Community Access Television makes its pitch to the Mandan City Commission about televising meetings, it will be more about forming a partnership with Bismarck than numbers of cameras and when the reruns will air.  On Tuesday, CATV’s Mary Van Sickle will respond to the Mandan City Commission’s request for a proposal to cablecast commission meetings. But what Van Sickle will present is an opportunity for Mandan to join with Bismarck in funding of CATV.   —>
http://www.bismarcktribune.com/articles/2008/04/25/news/local/154129.txt
~

St. Louis TV
by Diane Meyer
Respublica (MO)
04/25/08

[ comments invited ]

The city of St. Louis utilizes the public access channel on cable tv to promote events and inform residents of what is happening.  While the rest of us in the metro area do not have this broadcast, it is possible to get a feel for what is going on by checking STLTV on the web.

St. Louis is doing something many local cities should do, using as much public technology as possible to reach the most people.  The STLTV website is colorful and inviting and contains many of the videos broadcast on cable access.   Why more cities aren’t doing something like this is puzzling.  Maybe there is a feeling that the public access channel won’t attract viewers, but if there is local programming done well with frequent additions, people will watch.  And, to continue this on a “tv web page”, well, this seems so obvious.   —>
http://respublica.typepad.com/respublica/2008/04/st-louis-tv.html
~

SCAT News
by Jason McIntos
The Gameshelf (MA)
04/25/08

[ comments invited ]

For folks with access to cable TV in Somerville, MA, I’ll be appearing on an upcoming episode of Inside SCAT, a new show about stuff going on around the community access TV station that helps me produce The Gameshelf. The show airs Tuesday evenings at 7:30 on channel 3. I’m on either next Tuesday or the week after, depending upon how quickly stuff gets edited. Hurrah for community access TV!

I also got a chance to meet Danny Martinez, a Somerville High student who produces a weekly live TV show about video games called S’Ville Games. It airs every Tuesday at 3:30, and features call-in segments. Give it a watch, if you’re in town!
http://gameshelf.jmac.org/2008/04/scat-news.html
~

Paramilitaries threaten priest who runs community radio station
Reporters Without Borders
04/25/08

Reporters Without Borders is worried about death threats made in the past 10 days against Catholic priest Rafael Gallego, the manager of Ecos de Tiquisio, a community radio station in Tiquisio, in the northern department of Bolívar, and the leaders of other civil society organisations in the region.  The threats were made in two email messages signed by the Black Eagles, a branch of the paramilitary alliance known as the United Self-Defence Groups of Colombia (AUC), which has a strong presence in Colombia’s northern departments.

“Community media such as Ecos de Tiquisio play a very important role in local life in Bolívar and are very popular with the local population,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The Black Eagles are using these threats to both intimidate the station’s personnel and undermine their credibility, with the aim of consolidating their own influence in a region wracked by armed violence. We urge the Bolívar departmental authorities to protect Father Gallego and all of the station’s personnel.”

The Network of Community Radio Stations of the Mid-Magdalena Region (AREDMAG), of which Ecos de Tiquisio is a member, reported in a 16 April release that death threats had been made against representatives of several regional organisations including Father Gallego in a message signed by Commander Camilo Mora of the Northern Block of the Black Eagles.  It referred to them as “military targets”and announced an “annihilation plan” in which they would be “exterminated one by one.”   —>
http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=26711
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/24/08

April 28, 2008

Killing TV Softly — Lone Star Public Access Survives, Barely
by Nathan Diebenow
The Lone Star Iconoclast (TX)
04/15/08

What if there was a television channel on which you could watch whatever you wanted? Anytime throughout the day, the content from his station would follow your heart’s desire. You have a pension for the history of your town. It’s on. Need to feed your obsession about belly dancing? It’s on. Try a planning and zoning committee meeting on for size. It’s all available with a click of your remote control.

Now, let’s take it a step further. What if you had the power to show just about whatever you wanted on this channel? Your church’s annual Easter egg hunt, your advocacy for veterans’ health benefits, and even your teen’s high school football game are all part of a string of endless possibilities.

Here’s the thing: this special channel and many others exist, and chances are your cable provider and city have teamed up to give you them. Surprised? Well, the concept was invented and implemented in the early 1970s. It’s called public access television.

But if you don’t act soon, public access might disappear from your screens.   —>
http://www.lonestaricon.com/absolutenm/anmviewer.asp?a=2672&z=237
~

Panel backs TV bill
by Michelle Millhollon
The Advocate (LA)
04/24/08

[ comments invited ]

A Senate panel advanced legislation Wednesday that would allow telecommunications companies to get a statewide franchise to offer television service.  Proponents of Senate Bill 422 said the legislation would offer consumers better service, new technology and competitive prices  Opponents said the bill would strip local governments of the franchise authority they currently wield.

The bill would not impact Baton Rouge, at least as far as AT&T is concerned.  Although AT&T is backing the bill, the telecommunications giant reached an agreement last month with the Metro Council to offer television service in East Baton Rouge Parish.  U-Verse — AT&T’s package of fiber-optic cable TV, telephone and high speed Internet service — will be available in 18 to 24 months at a cost of $44 to $154.

The statewide franchise legislation is similar to a bill that former Gov. Kathleen Blanco vetoed last year because of concerns about the bill’s impact on local governments.  At the outset of Wednesday’s committee meeting, Sen. Ann Duplessis, D-New Orleans, warned that the debate would be limited to six speakers on each side of the issue.  “We’re not going to hear all 50 cards,” she said of the requests submitted to the committee by people wanting to speak.   —>
http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/politics/18098514.html
~

AT&T, Cox: Our favorite flavor is Cherry/Red
by Mike Stagg
Lafayette Pro Fiber (LA)
04/24/08

[ 3 comments ]

This week’s edition of the Baton Rouge Business Report contains an informative story about the spirited battle that EATEL is waging against Cox on the eastern edge of the privately-held cable giant’s central Louisiana market footprint.  One comment that immediately jumped out was that the competition between EATEL (with its superior fiber network) and Cox (with its very deep corporate pockets) has prompted an in-your-face element of competition that neither the locally-owned phone company (EATEL) nor the Atlanta-based cable company (Cox) is accustomed to using:

“Brad Supple, the director of sales and marketing with EATEL, says the ads represent the first time they’ve countered the competition in such an aggressive fashion. Cox says it’s a first for them, too; the companies have battled for customers for nearly three years.”  […]

The real news, however, comes from a woman who once held McCormick’s job but now works as Cox’s vice president of government and public affairs, Sharon Kleinpeter. Commenting on AT&T’s push for passage of statewide video franchise legislation here, Kleinpeter confirmed a point made here recently — specifically, AT&T and the state’s largest cable provider are engaged in a carefully choreographed effort to relieve both elements of this communications duopoly from current legal requirements to serve all segments of the communities where local franchise agreements now exist.

Here’s the money passage:

“While AT&T’s earlier efforts to get statewide authority have failed, Kleinpeter says Cox doesn’t oppose it as long as it can also get options that would free the company from 55 20-year and 30-year franchises it has in 13 parishes, which have more stringent provisions. So far, AT&T hasn’t agreed to the move, which she says would otherwise give Cox a competitive advantage. Talks are under way on this issue.”

This is the Cherry/Red flavor of regulation they love.  That is, both AT&T and Cox (and other Louisiana cable providers) want the ability to provide services only in those neighborhoods where they believe they can make the highest rate of return and not have to provide services, say, all over Lafayette Parish as would be the case under the terms of the current franchise agreement here (and in, the article says, 55 other parts of the state).  They want to be able to legally cherry pick what they consider the best neighborhoods and legally redline those that they want to ignore. Cherry/Red.   —>
http://www.lafayetteprofiber.com/Blog/Blog.html
~

Community radio the new voice of Congo rural women
by María Teresa Aguirre
digital opportunity channel
04/24/08

[ comments invited ]

The inhabitants of Mugogo, a village situated some 2,000 kilometres from Kinshasa, capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, will long remember January 4, 2008 as a very special day in the life of their community.   That was the day when the first broadcast of Radio Bubusa hit the air. An initiative of a group of rural women, the idea of the radio station was first mooted towards the end of 2003, and now, in 2008 and with the support of a grant from WACC, the idea finally came to fruition.

The first broadcast surprised more than one listener with its unique blend of traditional songs interspersed with a voice that announced in Mashi (a local dialect) the name of the station and the place it was coming from: Radio Bubusa, broadcasting from Mugogo.

Community media has long being recognised by social movements and development agencies alike as one of the most efficient ways for grassroots groups to articulate their demands and struggles for a more just and egalitarian society.  From Africa to Latin America, from the Caribbean to Asia, groups of marginalised people – often ‘invisible’ in mainstream media – have used myriad community media in order to claim and demand their rights both as human beings and as citizens.

And while sometimes, by their very nature, community initiatives may take time to become a concrete reality, in the end they do bear fruit as the inhabitants of this remote area in the Congolese province of Sud-Kivu well know.   —>
http://www.digitalopportunity.org/article/view/160093/1/1138
~

CATV wants Mandan to partner with Bismarck
by Gordon Weixel
Bismarck Tribune (ND)
04/24/08

[ comments invited ]

When Community Access Television makes its pitch to the Mandan City Commission about televising meetings it will be more about forming a partnership with Bismarck than numbers of cameras and  when the reruns will air.  On Tuesday, CATV’s Mary Van Sickle will respond to the Mandan City Commission’s request for a proposal to cablecast commission meetings. But what Van Sickle will present is an opportunity for Mandan to join with Bismarck in funding of CATV.

“It’s really very simple, the bottom line, it’s a proposal for a partnership between Bismarck and Mandan to take over overall operation of CATV,” Van Sickle said.  “For 21 years Bismarck has been providing funding. Citizens of Mandan haven’t been treated any differently than those of Bismarck. They receive the channel and have used the services. CATV has never made a distinction of the people we serve. But it’s time to move on and it’s time for this discussion.”   —>
http://www.bismarcktribune.com/articles/2008/04/24/news/update/doc4810f2d79c765830844479.txt
~

Announcing the WYOU 36-Hour ON AIR Film Festival
WYOU 4 Madison’s Community Television (WI)
04/24/08

[ comments invited]

WYOU to Host Film Fest
The Local Cable Access Station is looking for a variety of Film Submissions That Celebrate Local Talent.

In the spirit of Wisconsin’s booming film industry, WYOU public access Channel 4 will host it’s own 36 hour On Air Film Fest in June. After the festival’s completion viewers will get to vote for their favorite flicks on WYOU’s website. The films’ receiving the most votes in their category will be featured at a 2 hour screening the weekend following the On Air Film Fest.   —>
http://wyou4.blogspot.com/2008/04/announcing-wyou-36-hour-on-air-film.html
~

Ossining cable access channel struggles to find new home
by Sean Gorman
The Journal News (NY)
04/24/08

[ 2 comments ]

Greater Ossining Television has to move out of the high school by the end of next month, the latest blow to the beleaguered local access station.  GO-TV, a cash-strapped nonprofit that over the years has struggled to stay on air, has to vacate the studio space it uses in a high school classroom by May 31 – the end of its latest lease extension on the site.  “We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure we don’t go (off the air),” said Mary Prenon, a GO-TV board member.

GO-TV – which provides government and public access programming – is seeking out a temporary site downtown where it can place an office and perhaps the equipment that broadcasts its shows, Prenon said.  The station’s original 10-year lease on the Ossining High School space expired in June of 2007, but the school district has granted it a series of extensions as the station sought out a new location.

“The Ossining school district has been trying to work with GO-TV … understanding that they need to find space,” Deputy Superintendent Raymond Sanchez said. “We’ve made extensions for that reason. Now we’ve reached the point where we really need to look towards supporting the (high school’s) instructional program as well.”  The district plans to use the space for video and production instruction for students, Sanchez said.   —>
http://lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080424/NEWS02/804240444/-1/newsfront
~

Hingham OKs cable contract with Verizon
by Karen Goulart
The Patriot Ledger (MA)
04/24/08

[ 1 comment ]

Residents will have a choice of cable TV service providers as soon as this fall.  Selectmen approved a 10-year contract with Verizon on Tuesday night. It was negotiated during the past four months by the town’s cable TV advisory committee.  Verizon will compete with Comcast, currently the only provider of cable service in town.

Cable TV advisory committee Chairman Guy Conrad said the Verizon contract, which could greatly enhance the town’s public-access television service, is a win for both sides.  The contract calls for Verizon to pay the town $400,000 over six years. The money will go toward building and equipping a public-access TV studio. Beginning in 2010, Verizon also will give the town 5 percent of its gross Hingham revenues, to support educational, governmental and public-access programming.   —>
http://www.patriotledger.com/news/x2124112665
~

Cable competition: Verizon added to TV mix
by Carol Britton Meyer
Hingham Journal (MA)
04/24/08

[ comments invited ]

Hingham cable TV subscribers now have two choices – Comcast or Verizon.  This week the selectmen signed off on a 10-year contract negotiated by the town’s cable TV advisory committee with Verizon, which will provide video services as early as this fall for some residents.  Verizon’s advanced fiber-optics network accommodates voice data, Internet, and video needs and offers more than 300 digital channels.

The committee will soon begin negotiations with Comcast “to ascertain terms of its continuing status as a provider to Hingham residents,” said committee chairman Guy Conrad. Comcast’s current 10-year contract expires in Aug. 2009, but negotiations may begin as early as three years prior to the expiration date.  The goal is to engage in a competitive process that maximizes the value of service at the most reasonable cost.   —>
http://www.wickedlocal.com/hingham/news/x1838789817
~

Homeless Teens and At-Risk Young Adults Participate in 01SJ Global Festival of Art Enabled by Cisco
Certification Magazine
04/23/08

SANTA CLARA, CA – Homeless teens and at-risk young adults at Bill Wilson Center, a non-profit, community-based agency that provides counseling and support services to youth and families in Santa Clara County, will work with professional artists to develop new media artwork for the 2nd Biennial 01SJ Global Festival of Art on the Edge, June 4-8, in downtown San Jose. Festival organizer ZER01 and Visionary Festival sponsor Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO: 26.03, +0.59, +2.31%) announced today that all creative works will be displayed on a new “San Jose Culture Network” of digital signs powered by the Cisco Digital Media System technology at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center and several other locations throughout San Jose.

The young artists, ranging in age from 14 to 24, have already started attending weekly hands-on workshops staffed by new media artists and will continue their training through June 8. As part of the new “San Jose Culture Network,” their artwork will be showcased across more than 20 large screen LCD displays using the Cisco Digital Media System’s Digital Signage solution, which will allow for the easy management and publishing of the young artists’ compelling content.

The Cisco project, developed with artist Dorit Cypis, ZER01 and Bill Wilson Center, is called We-C. The goal of We-C is to engage young adults in transitional life situations to critically look at themselves and consider how they want to be “seen” by the public, to whom they are often invisible. The artists-in-training will work in a wide array of new media art and creative media formats, including digital still cameras, live music, poetry, and the performing arts.   —>
http://www.certmag.com/industry_news/2008/April/2575/index.php
~

Nigeria: Make Peace, Devt Your Watchword, Djebah Urges Media
by Omon-Julius Onabu
This Day (Lagos)
04/24/08

Promotion of peace and development journalism has been identified as the best means of advancing the noble contribution of the profession to democracy and national transformation.  The Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Oma Djebah, who made the assertion yesterday in Warri, therefore, urged the media in Nigeria , particularly journalists operating in the Niger-Delta, “to promote peace and development journalism instead of engaging in negative reporting of the crisis, violence and militancy.” Djebah was delivering a guest lecture titled, “The Role of the Media in Niger-Delta Development”, during a seminar to mark the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Warri Correspondents Chapel held at Wellington Hotel, Effurun-Warri.

He stressed the urgent need for the media “to strike a balance between ethical journalism and certain limitations” bearing in mind that negative reports “have far graver consequences and impact on peoples and governments”.   —>
http://allafrica.com/stories/200804240679.html
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/23/08

April 27, 2008

La. Senate panel OKs TV change
nola.com (LA)
04/23/08

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — State government, not police juries and city councils, should control the franchise fee process for television service around the state, a Senate panel voted on Wednesday.  The chief supporter of the bill [Senate Bill 422 – http://legis.state.la.us/ ] , AT&T Inc., said the change would encourage more companies to begin offering TV service in Louisiana, heightening competition and lowering prices for consumers.

The Senate’s commerce committee approved the measure 6-1 despite opposition from parish and city government officials who complained that the state was trying to snatch control over a significant part of their income.  The loss of control would likely mean a drop in revenue, said Dan Garrett, a lobbyist for the Police Jury Association.  “This bill strips local governments of franchise authority,” Garrett said.   —>
http://www.nola.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/news-38/1208986459310880.xml&storylist=louisiana
~

Despite compromise bill, cable ads bashing AT&T still ran
by John Rodgers
Nashville City Paper (TN)
04/23/08

[ 7 comments ]

When a compromise was reached between AT&T, the cable industry and local governments over television franchising legislation two weeks ago, House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh made a simple request.  Naifeh (D-Covington), who was instrumental in forging the compromise, urged the parties involved to stop running advertisements bashing AT&T or the cable industry over the legislation, which AT&T says it needs to start offering television programming and competing with cable.

Tennesseans have been exposed to those ads — from both sides but primarily the cable industry — for a good portion of the past two years.  But despite the compromise legislation being agreed upon, the cable industry has continued to run advertisements during the last two weeks bashing AT&T’s effort to get into the television programming business. […]

By: HokeyPokey on 4/23/08
Government meetings are actually quite popular on cable, witness the popularity of C-Span in addition to the PEG channels.  One does not have to think long and hard to understand why neither cable nor telco want you to see what the government’s doing.  Also, those of you in Nashville who enjoy the “Arts” channel on Channel 9 better load up on it, ’cause it’s likely to go far, far away when Comcast gets thrown into the briar patch.

http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=59719
~

Book Report Raises Questions About Texas’ SB5
by Jon Kreucher
Blogging Broadband (MI)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

Those keeping score know that the Texas legislature really started the state-mandated video franchise train down the tracks.  SB5 was passed in Texas at the end of 2005.  It was a natural place for the phone companies to get the ball rolling, as SBC, now the new AT&T, called Texas home.  Since SB5 passed, a likely-unprecedented wave of states adopted some form of “shall issue” video franchising — all of it aimed at helping the phone companies get into the cable business.

The idea of creating competition for cable companies was worthwhile.  But now that a little time has passed, some are starting to look at whether this chain of state laws has really served the intended purpose.  One of the more comprehensive reviews has been assembled by Dr. Connie Ledoux Book (Ph.D.) of Elon University. During the fall of 2006 and spring of 2007, students in Elon’s Broadcasting and the Public Interest began to assemble information about the impact of SB5 in Texas.  According to Dr. Book’s draft summary of the work:

“The project started with a simple question: Has SB5 created competition that resulted in lower cable costs for customers in Texas?  What should be a simple yes or no response is actually quite complex and after weighing the variable addressed in this paper, one could argue the following:

“SB5 has created competitive markets in more affluent, wealthier areas of Texas. These residents benefit from having choice between cable providers and the hope that a competitive environment will bring about better customer service and pricing benefits. However, none of the newly established pricing plans ultimately save these Texans more money on a monthly basis (although they may receive more services). At the same time this competitive cable scenario exists for a few communities in Texas, the passage of SB5 has resulted in every Texan subsidizing competition for the few through telecom taxes and regulatory fees.”

This work, unfortunately, confirms many of the fears raised by those who originally opposed state-wide franchising bills — among them, that the pace at which competition develops is dependant on market forces, not regulatory treatment; that the wealthy will be the primary beneficiaries of any competition that does eventually develop; that the benefits of competition manifest themselves in things other than substantially lower cable prices; and that the potential for phone customers to unwittingly pay for their phone company’s foray into video is real.

Many thanks to Dr. Book for sharing her draft report — if you’d like to see a copy, you can download it here.
http://www.bloggingbroadband.com/?p=132
~

U-Verse Rollout Continues — But Slowly
by Jon Kreucher
Blogging Broadband (MI)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

AT&T reported its first quarter 2008 earnings yesterday.  As with all such calls, the U-Verse rollout was an active topic for discussion.  AT&T noted that it remains on plan to meet its current 2008 U-verse subscription target — but the rollout must nevertheless appear to be painfully slow to regulators.  Not too long ago, AT&T told every state in its operating area that the need to obtain a service franchise from each local government was the only impediment to the widespread deployment of its new video product.  Time is now proving that the representation wasn’t altogether accurate.    —>
http://www.bloggingbroadband.com/?p=138
~

(sob) All that work on the public access TV bill and then this…
by Larry Geller
Disappeared News (HI)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

Lots and lots of testimony in support of SB1789 just went down the drain, as reported by the Maui News in New rules governing public-access TV die at Legislature:

HONOLULU — Despite widespread statewide support, including from those associated with Akaku: Maui Community Television, legislation to clarify rules for public-access television stations has died this legislative session. …  Senate Bill 1789 — drafted by Maui Sens. Roz Baker, Shan Tsutsui and J. Kalani English — would have required the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to create rules for how it awards contracts to “public-access, education and government” (PEG) cable television organizations.

…  The bill was passed from the Senate to the House, and passed out of the Finance Committee in March. But the committee report apparently was never filed, and that inaction prevented the bill from being sent back to the full House for a vote. […]

It’s not just the hours spent testifying (and those coming in from other islands over and over had it worse than I did). There were also hours testifying before the Procurement Policy Board and on and on and on. This bill would have fixed everything.  And it just fell into a crack someplace? Gone, just like that? What can I say?
http://disappearednews.com/2008/04/sob-all-that-work-on-public-access-tv.html
~

How come it’s never the manini bills that die by clerical oversight?
by Doug White
Poinography (HI)
04/22/08

[ 7 comments ]

What a bummer. The Maui News reports that a bill to exempt PEG (Public, Educational, and Government) cable access from the procurement code died this year when the House Finance Committee heard the bill, voted to amend the bill, and then failed to file the Committee Report and amended bill by the Second Decking deadline.  Sheesh. I know, I know, Committee staff, and especially the Finance Staff, are responsible for handling huge amounts of clerical minutiae under a tight deadline. I was a Committee Clerk for a few years and at deadlines there is a lot of pressure. It’s a staffer’s nightmare, but mistakes are going to happen. But still…

What’s left unanswered by this article, however, is what the failure of this legislation means for the PEG providers we currently know (Olelo, Akaku, etc.). Will the Department award (or has it already awarded) the PEG contracts to new groups?
http://poinography.com/?p=5797
~

Buckland, Shelburne: cable for all
by Jeff Potter
Shelburne Falls Independent (MA)
04/23/08

With the blessing of Shelburne and Buckland selectmen, cable television advisory boards from the two towns will kick off negotiations for a new contract by asking Comcast, current holder of the cable franchise, to offer service to every resident and business in the two towns.  A 22-page document — Cable License Renewal Findings, Report and Recommendations — prepared for the towns by attorney William August of Boston, results from the work of the joint board and reflects comments gleaned from a survey and a Feb. 27 public hearing.  The report will serve as a request for proposal for the cable company, which has until May 22 to submit a new draft agreement to the towns.

Mike Duffy of Shelburne and Glenn Cardinal of Buckland, representatives from the two respective cable advisory boards, appeared before Shelburne selectmen to discuss the document and its findings. Cardinal chairs the joint committee.  “We find, based on extensive testimony at extraordinary public ascertainment hearings, and based on review of more than 40 ascertainment exhibits, there is a compelling and great need for service area expansion and cable system build-out in the towns of Buckland and Shelburne,” reads the document in its introduction. “The overwhelming sentiment expressed at the hearings was that cable service in all its forms is no longer a luxury, but is now an absolute necessity for the long-term viability of our towns, and that no resident should be deprived of such services.”   —>
http://69.93.213.18/~sfindep/site/site07/articleexcerpt.php?id=2376&photodir=/home/sfindep/public_html/site/assets/photos/SFI94/SFI94.sf.cable/source/image/&photocount=0&issue=94
~

Films: Preserving ‘Everyday People’ History
Celluloid archaeologists are striving to preserve a fast-decaying historical resource and, at the same time, show the world what they’ve got.
by Barbara Hesselgrave
Miller-McCune
04/23/08

[comments invited ]

A treasure trove of cultural history is deteriorating at this very moment. All across the world, in attics, basements, warehouses and abandoned storerooms, the clock against celluloid is ticking — for the dust-covered boxes and rusting cans of 8mm, Super 8 and 16mm film.  Countless films are languishing forgotten and untended; their very existence often unknown, yet these “orphan films” are valuable documentary and historical evidence of our society and culture. Championing their discovery, preservation and access for the past decade is Dan Streible, film historian and associate professor of cinema studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Video: Watch 10 “orphan films

Streible describes these neglected artifacts as “any film that doesn’t have any commercial value.”  “At one time, archivists informally used the term orphan film to describe any film that had been abandoned, or for which the identity of the filmmaker was unknown,” he said. However, since the 1993 congressional hearings on film preservation, which led to both the National Film Preservation Board and National Film Preservation Foundation, the term is used more often and broadly.

“These are films that can be anything from newsreels to short films, home movies, industrials, independent documentaries, silent movies, surveillance film, outtakes — anything you can imagine,” Streible explained. The problem, he says, is that while we know that film can and does last at least a century, when stored under proper conditions, most orphan films are forgotten or abandoned and can deteriorate quickly.

But that’s just film.  While materials science research affirms the longevity of film, Streible said research on magnetic videotape media is just beginning, and there is still less understood about the life span of digital copies. As our images become increasingly miniaturized, the effect of dirt specks and small scratches become magnified and easily render a DVD unplayable.  Technology’s evolution reinforces the need for ongoing preservation of all, even recent, moving images to insure public access. As an example, the events of the Olympics captured on 2-inch videotape that was state-of-the-art in the 1970s are today virtually unwatchable — trapped on a medium for which there is essentially no technology to view them.

While many orphan films might not have commercial value — i.e., they are not a theatrical film for public distribution — Streible said many have tremendous historical value. As “orphans” are discovered, he and his colleagues’ mission is to preserve the images and make the information known to others.  He has a slogan that “most of the films ever made no longer exist” (because of deterioration). Of those that do, the majority are not preserved, and those that have been preserved are often known only to a handful of archivists or researchers.   —>
http://www.miller-mccune.com/article/316
~

Los Gatos Rotary event will raise funds for KCAT, charities
by Marianne Lucchesi Hamilton
Los Gatos Weekly-Times (CA)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

KCAT TV-15 in Los Gatos will be among the beneficiaries of the Los Gatos Morning Rotary’s upcoming spring fundraising dinner-dance. The event, dubbed “The Party,” will bring together members of the community for an evening of rock ‘n’ roll-themed entertainment, food and drink, and a “Rockin’ Auction,” all staged at the Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in costumes reflecting the “classic rock” era of the 1960s through 1980s.

The Los Gatos Morning Rotary, whose charter supports the arts and children’s issues in Los Gatos, is joining with the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance to stage the event. LGMR has pledged to distribute a portion of the proceeds to KCAT to help fund the station’s proposed digital literacy center project. This initiative is targeted to encourage proficiency at Los Gatos High School in the areas of visual and electronic media, and to provide students with the types of digital literacy skills needed for success in the 21st century.

The KCAT studio has been situated on the high school campus since 1983, offering students an opportunity to acquire hands-on training in digital media production.  “KCAT’s staff and board of directors are thrilled to be identified as a beneficiary of Los Gatos Morning Rotary’s upcoming fundraiser,” KCAT station manager George Sampson said.   —>
http://www.mercurynews.com/losgatos/ci_9028717?nclick_check=1
~

No longer ‘PTTV’: Television for people who don’t like television
by Barney Burke
Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader (WA)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

“People who say, ‘I don’t watch TV,'” says Jonathan Stratman, provide the biggest challenge in programming Port Townsend’s community TV station.  Hired in October as director of Port Townsend Television, formerly known as PTTV, Stratman said the station’s content is being transformed, and not just because of new equipment.  “It’s television for people who don’t like television,” said Stratman of the increase in homegrown media.   —>
http://www.ptleader.com/main.asp?SectionID=21&SubSectionID=21&ArticleID=20680&TM=58613.97
~

City, county plan joint Web site
Times Publications (IN)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and the Allen County Commissioners announced that work is underway on the creation of a joint Web site to house information regarding both city and county public meetings. The new Web site will seek to provide information such as meeting dates, times, locations, agendas and minutes.  The Web site will also provide an opportunity for other governmental organizations to make their meeting information available.  The Web site will be fully operational in the near future. […]

“This is an excellent first step in making local government more accessible through the internet,” added Commissioner Nelson Peters.  “We look forward to collaborating with our city partners on similar initiatives such as integrating public access television programming.”
http://www.fwdailynews.com/articles/2008/04/23/times/times_online/doc480f2cc1c877f104652276.txt
~

South Africa: IEC Conference Discuss the Role of Media During Elections
BuaNews (Tshwane)
04/23/08

A conference discussing the role of the media during the elections is currently underway in Pretoria.  Hosted by the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), under the theme “the role of the media in promoting electoral democracy,” the national conference on Media and Electoral Democracy is bringing together relevant stakeholders to discuss these issues.   —>
http://allafrica.com/stories/200804230831.html
~

Kazakhstan: Media Forum Focuses Attention on Stifling Journalistic Environment
by Joanna Lillis
Eurasianet.org
04/23/08

The opening of the annual Eurasian Media Forum in Kazakhstan stands to highlight a discrepancy in the government’s sweeping reform pledges and its lack of action, political analysts say.  The forum, organized by the president’s daughter, Dariga Nazarbayeva, is scheduled to run from April 24-26. Some local observers express hope that the gathering might revive efforts to liberalize the country’s mass media legislative framework. During their successful lobbying effort to secure the chair the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Kazakhstani leaders gave assurances that they would implement wide-ranging reforms. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Since then, however, little has been accomplished, prompting some foreign experts to question Kazakhstan’s commitment to fulfilling its pledges before assuming the OSCE helm in 2010.

The guarded optimism expressed by some members of the journalistic community as last year’s Eurasian Media Forum opened subsided long ago. A new, more liberal press law that was then in parliament has been shelved, and slow progress on drafting another version essentially precludes the possibility of new legislation being in place before the start of 2009, when Kazakhstan will join the OSCE Troika of past, present and future chairs.   —>
http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav042308a.shtml
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org