Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/05/08

Deal is near on AT&T’s statewide cable plans
Compromise bill is expected to be unveiled Monday
by Theo Emery and Naomi Snyder
The Tennessean


Lawmakers expect to unveil compromise legislation on Monday that would permit AT&T to offer its television services statewide, capping months of closed-door talks between feuding sides of the telecommunications industry.  House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh brokered back-room negotiations over AT&T’s efforts to bring its “U-verse” television service to Tennesseans statewide, rather than negotiating with individual cities and towns.

The legislation was the focus of a fierce legislative battle last year that ultimately broke down. After Naifeh ordered the two sides to work out a compromise, AT&T and cable company executives have been meeting weekly for more than three months on the issue.  On Friday, House Democrats announced that the bill would be unveiled at a news conference on Monday.

That announcement followed comments from Commerce Committee Chairman Charlie Curtiss, a Sparta Democrat, who said the proposal was almost done.  “I think right now we’re going to get this piece of legislation behind us,” he told House members this week, adding, “We would never have finished this if the speaker hadn’t intervened and caused people to start talking. I think the citizens of this state will benefit from this legislation.”

Stumbling block remains

Afterward, Curtiss said that the parties would work through the weekend on a remaining stumbling block: the channels set aside for public access, education and government broadcast. When it’s complete, the legislation will be amended onto an existing bill.  “They got a couple more issues that they almost have resolved,” he said. “We think we’ll have the amendment sometime around noon or shortly thereafter on Monday.”  Curtiss said any issues that cannot be agreed upon will be legislated through the committee process, which will start immediately after the amended bill is released.

Across the country, AT&T has sought legislation that would allow the company to offer its services statewide, rather than franchising locally. Traditional cable companies, such as Comcast, have fought back, saying AT&T ought to play by established franchising rules. Cities and towns also have resisted AT&T’s efforts because it would remove their ability to regulate channels locally. Consumer advocates also have objected, saying that statewide franchising can result in services’ bypassing poor and rural communities.

Chad Jenkins, who represented the Tennessee Municipal League during the discussions, said there were still issues to be worked out before the news conference, although he wouldn’t detail them.  The Tennessee Municipal League, which had been opposed to the legislation in prior sessions, agreed to negotiate under the assumption that AT&T would get a bill through the legislature this year after two previous failed attempts.  “You either stick your head in the sand and get run over, or you sit down at the table,” he said.

Fonfara Criticized For AT & T U-verse Letter
by Mark Peters
Hartford Courant (CT)


State Sen. John Fonfara, D-Hartford, has been a strong advocate of giving consumers a choice besides cable for television service.  But his letter inviting constituents to an AT&T-sponsored event Friday celebrating its new U-verse TV service may have gone too far, some critics say.  A letter sent by Fonfara on April 1 to residents on several streets in Hartford’s Behind the Rocks neighborhood encouraged them to attend the event marking the local U-verse launch.

The mailing, paid for with state money and printed on official Senate letterhead, described U-verse as an “exciting new technology” and listed a website for potential customers to check for availability.  Fonfara, co-chairman of the legislative committee that deals with cable and telephone regulation, said the letter was meant to highlight a cable TV alternative.  “I am promoting the fact there’s competition coming to my district, where so many people said it would never happen ,” Fonfara said at the event at Rocky Ridge Park.

Fonfara’s decision to highlight U-verse in official state correspondence crossed the line, said state Rep. Christopher Caruso, D-Bridgeport, co-chairman of the government administration and elections committee, which writes and oversees ethics law. Caruso said the letter doesn’t violate state ethics laws or legislative mailing rules, but mailings discussing the advantages of a new product should be sent out by the company, not legislators.  “That is a promo piece,” Caruso said. “John is a good friend of mine, but I won’t have written the letter.”

The letter was also criticized by Edwin Vargas Jr., a former Democratic town committee chairman who is considering challenging Fonfara for the party nomination this year for the 1st Senate District, which includes parts of Hartford and Wethersfield.   —>,0,3555113.story

Future of tctv2 on commission agenda
Traverse City Record-Eagle (MI)

The future of local public access television is on the table for Monday’s city commission meeting.  Commissioners will consider authorizing the city manager to negotiate with the nonprofit Land Information Access Association to take over channel tctv2 and government channel 99. They’ll also discuss handing over the city’s surplus public access funds.  The Cherry Capital Cable Council, which controls funds for tctv2, is dissolving, and the Traverse Area District Library will stop operating the channel at the end of June.

MLK – A Hero’s Journey
by baird
What’s New at the Internet Archive

A hero is one who has given him(her)self up to the benefit of another.  MLK

April 4 marks the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination. Voicing ideas and challenging authority is a path lined with fatal dangers. In an extreme case of delayed gratification, 40 years later we have our first black candidate with a reasonable chance at the White House.

Democracy Now! Monday, January 21, 2008
Democracy Now!
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968

…if he had lived, he would have turned 79 years old. In the early 1960s, King focused his challenge on legalized racial discrimination in the South where police dogs and bullwhips and cattle prods were used against Southern blacks seeking the right to vote or to eat at a public lunch counter. After passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, King began challenging the nation’s fundamental priorities. He maintained that civil rights laws were empty without “human rights”—including economic rights.

Rustbelt Radio
Pittsburgh Indymedia
Reflections on the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

portland oregon community radio
Monday, January 15 22nd Annual “Keep Alive the Dream” Tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. January 15th 11:00 – 6:00 PM Folk Espresso– Folk music in the morning. (5:30) am The KBOO Morning News at 7:00 am More Talk Radio – Del Walker hosts a discussion of the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We Celebrate Martin Luther King
Montage of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as part of the celebration in San Antonio Tx, which takes place each year. This year’s celebration was taped for San Antonio Public Access TV.

I Have a Dream, Martin Luther King Jr. – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
This is an audio recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving the “I Have a Dream” speech during the Civil Rights rally on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963.

MOR Episode 1 – Row Lewis
In this broadcast, Row Lewis discusses what Dr. King’s legacy means to her as a minister and sheds light on the watering down of MLK’s revolution of consciousness: “They’ve created a mythical Martin Luther King Jr., constructed solely from a few lines in his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. And each year, we hear only a portion of this remarkable and rebellious address to an oppressive nation…”

“Festival for the Independent-Minded” — 15th Edition
The Blue Raccoon

Sponsored by WRIR, 97.3 FM; 3:30 p.m., The Firehouse Theatre; FREE

DeeDee Halleck, filmmaker, co-founder of Paper Tiger Television and the Deep Dish Satellite Network, and Professor Emeritus Department of Communication at the University of San Diego, will present a selection of provocative videos produced by Paper Tiger Television and Deep Dish Satellite Network and discuss the role that independent media can play in building community and promoting social change.

* Community Media Around the World
* Paper Tiger Reads Paper Tiger
* Shocking and Awful (Iraq War)
* The Last Televangelist, Rev. Billy C. Wirtz —>

New (media) tools for communities
by Patrick Barry
Community Beat (IL)

[ comments invited ]

Communications was a hot topic last week at the Getting It Done: New Tools for Communities conference, and the clear direction was toward digital “new-media” tools. A few observations:

– Ernest Sanders of Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corp. showed how his organization has used web sites, video, audio slideshows and even the radio/web site to promote its work. Oh, and old-fashioned printed newsletters and giant posters on CTA buses, too, because digital doesn’t reach everyone, at least not yet.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, cable vs telco, PEG access TV, public access television, U-Verse, video franchising

One Comment on “Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/05/08”

  1. […] people with allergies and other skin issues, … Media: Selected Clippings – 04/05/08 Deal is near on AT&ampT??s statewide cable plans Compromise bill is expected to be unveiled Monday […]

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