Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/15/08

Cable access channels to move in St. Charles County
Charter making room for more high-definition stations
by Kalen Ponche
St. Charles Journal (MO)

[ 1 comment ]

Residents who regularly watch their local city council or board of aldermen meetings on cable soon will have to flip to a new channel. Charter Communications officials are planning to move four local government access stations from their current location on the dial to a new location in the 900s, said Charter spokesman John Miller. The stations for St. Peters, St. Charles, Lindenwood University and O’Fallon would move to channels in a new “government programming corridor” that also would include C-Span 2 and 3 by May 13, Miller said. The St. Charles County government station, channel 18, would move at a later date.The move will free up space for Charter to debut eight new high-definition channels. But Charter customers who do not already subscribe to digital cable would have to rent a converter box for $5 per month for each TV to catch shows broadcast on the government stations.

The potential cost to consumers has raised concerns amongst government officials who also worry about losing audience members because of the move. St. Charles city officials have questioned Charter’s ability to move the stations under the current franchise agreement. In August, a new state law went into effect giving Charter the ability to operate under a state franchise agreement rather than honoring local franchise agreements with each municipality. City Attorney Mike Valenti said he is looking into the legality of the issue. A representative from Charter was expected to discuss the matter with City Council members during their meeting Tuesday. —>

Don’t shortchange our public access (Conn. Post) (CT)

[ comments invited ]

Why is it that public affairs and public access channels get such short shrift and lack of attention from cable companies and Internet Protocol-based television purveyors? It was only a few years ago that cable providers in this region made unfathomable attempts to cut back on local public access channels. Now, the Connecticut Television Network, devoted to coverage of state government issues, fears it might receive second-class treatment as AT&T rolls out its newly authorized U-verse service in many communities across Connecticut. CT-N officials are fighting back — and rightfully so. —>
Also in The Stamford Advocate (comments invited):

Democracy means aiding participation
Citizen of Laconia (NH)

Gilford selectmen have made the right move in returning to nighttime meetings. While the selectmen have only agreed to try the new schedule for three months, it shows that the board is making a serious attempt to give the public every opportunity to observe and influence the process of town government. Starting at the end of the month the selectmen’s meetings will move from 3 p.m. on Wednesday to 7 p.m.

…It has also been suggested that scheduling meetings when the public can attend has become obsolete with the advent of Public Access cable television. While Cable TV certainly gives greater exposure to local government than was possible before, being able to attend those meetings in person gives the public not only the opportunity to observe what one town board or other is doing, but it also enables the public to offer their input at appropriate times. Most local boards have a designated time when the public is able to raise concerns, ask questions or offer comments. —>

Fiber Optics: Bringing the Next Big Thing to New York
by Joshua Breitbart
Gotham Gazette (NY)
April, 2008

[ comments invited ]

On April 15, after months of negotiations, Verizon announced it would file an application with the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications to offer video service throughout the city. If that application is approved, it will be the company’s cue to ramp up its installation of fiber optic cables to every home in New York and start offering its FiOS package of Internet, video, voice and even wireless for those customers who really love a one-stop-shop. Verizon says it could begin offering the video service by the end of the year.

I’m not trying to hype the service – Verizon’s television advertising campaign can take care of that. But the widespread adoption of DSL and cable changed the Internet radically, making photo galleries and short videos commonplace; the next generation of connection speeds will likely yield a similar transformation. An uncompressed feature film will download in a half an hour over a fiber optic connection compared to almost 10 hours on DSL and practically never on dial-up.

… As Juan Gonzalez reported in the Daily News last fall, the Bloomberg administration and Verizon have been conducting secret negotiations for months. Although the application must still clear a number of hurdles, Verizon’s announcement seems to indicate that it and the city have made some progress in the talks. Based on the statements by members of the City Council and the public interest community, there have been a number of key issues. The first is buildout.

… Another issue centered around whether Verizon would commit to funding centers like Manhattan Neighborhood Network and Brooklyn Community Access Television where people can go to use expensive television production equipment and broadcast their programming. Existing cable providers already do this. But the Internet is different. People can upload video content from their homes. Training and equipment access can happen at the neighborhood level. Verizon representatives visited the public access centers recently, andthe company probably is willing to match the incumbents’ support in that realm, but might balk at going further. Its statement did not address this.

“Public access and citywide buildout are a given,” Brewer said, “but Verizon also needs to support the social layer.” That means all of the things in addition to access that people need to use the Internet, especially computers, training and relevant content. There are many groups in the city like Per Scholas in the Bronx and Computers For Youth that provide these kinds of services. Since the Bush administration cut community technology funding in his first term, these programs have relied almost exclusively on foundation support. —>

Hook ‘Em with Technology, Keep ‘Em with Relationships
by Kimberlie Kranich
Jouth Media Reporter

[ comments invited ]

Young people build social skills and positive relationships through media technology, specifically the creation of radio and TV programs. It is through these positive relationships that young people begin to see possibilities for themselves beyond the low expectations set by the media and community. “Media. That’s what it took, [to] really get me to ask questions and get to really know other people and what they’re all about,” says Jason, a high school student that participates in the Youth Media Workshop at the University of Illinois based WILL AM-FM-TV.

The excitement of using technology and the possibility of making a TV or radio program prompts young people to apply for the Youth Media Workshop (YMW). After five years of working with youth in the YMW, our experience has shown us that the positive relationships created are as important, if not more important, than the media technology skills gained by young people. Youth media programs must focus on building these positive relationships as the basis of their work and improve upon not only young people’s lives, but those within the community. —>

Related Articles from Youth Media Reporter, April 15, 2008:

The Talking Cure
Practitioners don’t need to be junior therapists to support young people who disclose trauma. Creating media and sharing stories is part of the cure.

Thinking Outside the Youth Media Box
If youth media wants young people to step outside the box it will have to take its own steps in the same direction.

Keeping the ‘Youth’ in Youth Media
A youth leader-turned-employee informs how youth media organizations need young people to take the lead.

Image fix is planned for FWCS
by Kelly Soderlund
The Journal Gazette (IN)

There is a disconnect between what the public believes is happening in schools and what is actually going on, the Fort Wayne Community Schools communications director told the board Monday night. But the public is not to blame; it’s the district, said Melanie Hall, who oversees the district’s public relations. “We understand that this is a lot our fault,” Hall said. Hall, her staff and the FWCS administration are working to close that gap by reaching out to the community, educating parents and Fort Wayne residents and trying to enhance the district’s image.

… FWCS officials also produced an annual report and fact sheet to distribute to the public and developed videos and documentaries about students and the district to be aired on the public-access channel. Hall plans to add community members to the communications team, develop an electronic newsletter and expand television productions. —>

Production Manager Karen Adams Nominated for an Emmy!
by Stan Ng
Midpeninsula Community Media Center (CA)

The Midpeninsula Community Media Center proudly announces that Riding the Storm, the independent production of Karen Adams, our production manager and staff producer, has been nominated for an EMMY! The 37th Annual Northern California Area EMMY® Award Nominations were announced Thursday, April 10th. Riding The Storm: Landslide Danger in the San Francisco Bay Area, that first aired on KTEH 54, was submitted by U.S. Geological Survey in the Informational/Instructional category. Besides Adams’ leadership as Producer/Director/Editor, credits go to Douglas DeVore, Videographer; Bryan Coleman, Motion Graphics/Animation; and Wendy Van Wazer, Editor.

About the program – Although well aware of the region’s earthquake threat, many San Francisco Bay Area residents are perilously uninformed about another dangerous geologic hazard: landslides triggered by heavy rainfall. In January 1982 a single, catastrophic rainstorm triggered 18,000 landslides throughout the Bay Area. During the drenching winter of 1997-98, El Nino-driven storms triggered a range of landslides in the Bay Area from deadly debris flows to destructive deep-seated slides. Riding the Storm documents these tragic events, the lessons learned from residents, and explores the science behind the hazard with U.S. Geological Survey researchers. It is the first documentary of its kind to detail the landslide hazard in the Bay area. —>

Council hears concerns about Urbana Public TV
by Mike Monson
The News-Gazette (IL)

URBANA – Members of the local Jewish community Monday night denounced what they call hate speech that they say has been regularly broadcast on Urbana Public Television. The overflow crowd, in excess of 60 people, endured a meeting that lasted more than four hours for the chance to tell city council members how anti-Semetic public-access programming had deeply upset them. “We get free speech,” said Rona James. “We love free speech. We are talking about something that is not free speech. It is hate speech.” “This is KKK stuff,” said Lee Melhado of Champaign, executive director of the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation. “It doesn’t happen to be directed at African-Americans … but it is directed at Jews.” —>

Distribution: Public Access Television
by Randy Hansen
May 2008

How to produce video productions with someone else’s gear and get them broadcast – for free!

It’s a federal mandate to local cable companies (the Federal Cable and Telecommunications Acts of 1984, 1992 and 1996, to be exact): depending on your city or county’s franchise agreement with your local cable company, there may be an entire video production organization at your disposal – everything from video gear, video editing computers, studio space and even a way to broadcast your finished masterpiece at no cost to you. All you have to do is provide the labor and brainpower. In the Beginning… —>

This concludes our broadcast…
by Helder Mira
Mira Hartford (CT)

[ comments invited ]

While not as long as the 11 seasons of M*A*S*H*, my broadcasting days at Hartford Public Access Television have now concluded. I have officially resigned from the organization to pursue my own endeavors. It’s been an interesting ride over 7 years, despite the last seasons having ‘jumped the shark’, but it was still the place to be. And it is still the place to tune to find out what’s happening in Hartford. After a brief hiatus, I will be producing programs again (right now, just acting as sponsor on Saturday Fright Special). —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, cable vs telco, channel slamming, educational access, free speech, municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, U-Verse, video franchising, youth media

One Comment on “Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/15/08”

  1. […] MO 04/15/08 1 comment Residents who regularly watch their local city council or board of aldermen City of Destiny Awards May 13 Tacoma Daily IndexThe City of Tacoma will recognize Tacoma’s […]

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