Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/18/08

“Vehemently Opposed” To AT&T’s Law
Lafayette Pro Fiber (LA)


As you were warned on these pages AT&T’s state-wide video franchise bill is back again. The title: “Consumer Choice Television Act” is as deceptive a label as the infamous “Fair Competition Act” that the same corporate players used to attempt to kill competition from LUS when the network was little more than an idea. The idea that any law that the state legislature could pass would change the fundamental economic situation so much that AT&T would change its investment plan for rural Louisiana as consequence is a dumber idea than most that come out of the capital building.

The Louisiana Municipal Association (LMA) has come out as “vehemently opposed” to the proposed law. (They’ve issued a dramatic alert to their members calling for local officials to talk with their senators in advance of the Senate Hearing on the 23rd.)  They are right to do so.  It is an astonishingly bad idea.   —>

What’s in it for the consumer?
Commercial Appeal (TN)


The key question about a bill to spur competition among cable TV providers is whether customers will actually benefit.

When businesses compete, consumers generally win: Better products, better prices, better service.  Let’s hope that proves to be the case with the cable television industry, where telecommunications giant AT&T appears poised to enter the Tennessee market.

State lawmakers are considering a revised version of the “Competitive Cable and Video Service Act,” a piece of legislation that AT&T says it needs to level the playing field with the state’s existing cable TV providers.  The bill pending before the Tennessee General Assembly is a compromise forged after months of complex negotiations involving AT&T, cable companies, the Tennessee Municipal League and legislators.  While the parties involved in those negotiations say the bill is acceptable to them, the real question is whether the legislation will truly benefit the state’s cable TV users.    —>

Changing TV Landscape Complicates Cable Franchise License Renewal
by Tim Wood
Cape Cod Chronicle (MA)

CHATHAM — Officials have begun preparations for the long and often complex process of negotiating renewal of its cable television franchise license with Comcast.  The current agreement is set to expire Nov. 29, 2009.  While the chief issues regulators will face in negotiating a new 10-year license have yet to emerge, it is clear that the television landscape is much different today than it was when the previous agreement was signed in 1999.  What technology will bring in the next decade is an even greater unknown.

“My question is, what’s going to happen to television in 10 years?” said William McClellan, one of two members remaining on the town’s cable advisory committee.  “It’s going to be completely different.  “Things have changed in the last 10 years,” agreed Jennifer Petit, the town’s finance director, who is taking a leading role in the process.  She’s met with McClellan and fellow cable committee member Robert Bourke to review a community survey, which will be done via telephone by UMass Dartmouth in the next few months, to ascertain how residents feel about current cable television services and what changes they would like to see.  Meetings will probably be held to get further public input, she added.   —>

Indybay joins Media Alliance for an Evening in Berkeley (CA)

On Thursday April 24th, Indybay will participate in a panel discussion, sponsored by Media Alliance, about building community in the practice of independent media. The program will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church at the corner of Cedar and Bonita in in Berkeley, at 7:00 p.m.

On the panel with Indybay will be Silicon Valley Debug, Berkeley Community Media and First Voice, the apprenticeship program at KPFA. The program is an effort on the part of Indybay and Media Alliance to promote independent media in the Bay Area. The panelists from Indybay will be Peter Maiden, who is photo coordinator, and Zachary Ogren, a photographer, an editor and the author of much of Indybay’s software. In brief presentations Peter and Zachary will explain the structure of the Indybay site and Indybay as an organization, and relate some of the high points of Indybay’s history.

There will be an opportunity for anyone interested in working with Indybay, from posting to the site to becoming an editor, to connect with the collective. Silicon Valley Debug is a cutting-edge group that relates the reality of working and living on the margin in the South Bay, functioning as both a magazine and a website. Berkeley Community Media is community television at its best. The First Voice apprenticeship program brings women and minorities the skills necessary for professional radio and is one of the underpinnings of KPFA.

Former student media activist combines music, social justice
Texas Media Empowerment Project serves as watchdog.
by Stephanie Mikneus
The Ranger (TX)

[ comments invited ]

DeAnne Cuellar, a former student at this college, is one of the founders of the Texas Media Empowerment Project.  The nonprofit organization was created as an advocate for social justice and to provide support to organizations using all aspects of music, media and technology, according to its Web site at  Texas Media Empowerment Project is a media activist organization working to build partnerships, supporters and progressive victories in the media industry.   —>

Please stand by
by Karen Bazzarri
Times-Tribune (PA)

Editor: In a recent Your Opinion, a viewer noted technical problems with Channels 61/62 cablecasts — specifically poor sound quality, as well as occasionally cutting off public meetings before they have concluded.  Recently a member of City Council leveled similar criticisms. My reply is “Guilty as charged.”

You see, the volunteers operating Ch. 61/62 are not television professionals. Far from it. They are just dedicated citizens who believe strongly in democracy and the public’s right to know. They give their time without compensation, but with great conviction. And yes, on occasion they do make mistakes.  For the past 10 years Scranton Today has employed a business model that stressed content over craft and always aimed to provide this public service in the most economical way possible. Recently, the city of Scranton chose to award the operation of Ch. 61/62 to a new group with a very different approach.

The new operators, a group known as Electric City TV, have requested startup funding from the city in excess of $300,000 to cover equipment, salaries, building renovation and maintenance.  According to ECTV’s proposal (see, operating funds in the following four years would total an additional $597,000 from the city. While I do believe that public access television can be a worthy investment for any city, the wisdom of this magnitude of funding at this point in our city’s history is a subject for each citizen to decide. I can say this, though: Had Scranton Today received even a fraction of these operating funds, “technical glitches” would have been rare events indeed.   —>

Graduation Help
Current Eevents in Community Access (KS)

[ comments invited ]

As a friendly reminder: Brown Mackie’s Graduation Commencement is coming up on April 26th. Crew call is at 2:30, and it is located at the Bicentennial Center.  We still need about 5 volunteers to help out with the shoot, so anyone can assist in the production, please let Marnie know as soon as possible.   —>

Access Auction!
Current Events in Community Access (KS)

[ comments invited ]

It is time for the monthly Access Auction! Support Community Access Television by bidding in this month’s auction. Choose from a family meal in Lindsborg, a portrait setting, and even a hand crocheted baby afghan. A complete list is available online at or by calling 823-2500. Place your bid today and get great gift ideas in return.   This auction will run for 7 days and bids may be submitted by email or phone.   —>

Video contest returns after hiatus
by Hoyt Elkins
The Union Democrat (CA)

Calaveras County Public Access Television is reviving its Best Video Contest after a five-year hiatus, and finds that the winners of the last competition are now making a feature-length western.  A short, quirky, sci-fi-horror video conceived, produced and directed by a Valley Springs brother and sister team won the previous competition.  “I’ve been distracted by other projects for the past few years,” said Ed Lark, manager of the Public Access Television Studio in San Andreas, “but I decided to get busy and revive the contest.”   —>

Media Access Guide For Non-Profit Organizations
04/18/08 [?]

Want to learn about the free public service time available for your volunteer organization or non-profit group? If your answer is yes, read on, because this was written for you.KRON 4 regularly provides air time to non-profit community groups as do most other television and radio stations. The competition for time is fierce, so a good presentation is essential.In this access guide you’ll find tips on how to organize publicity campaigns as well as information on how to write and format a public service announcement (PSA) and press release. You’ll also find a list of helpful organizations for the media mavens among you, including an index of Bay Area television and radio stations.Doing your homework is the best way to ensure your announcement will be aired. That means knowing your audience, paying attention to station formats and writing the best possible announcement. So sharpen your pencils, put a new ribbon in the typewriter or boot up your computer. You’re going on the air!   —>

Community Media – April 20
Daily Camera (CO)
04/18/08 [?]

[ 1 comment ]

Following is a list of highlights of programming in Boulder community media over the coming week.   —>—20pmedw/

Nationally aired radio show host will speak in Salida Sunday
by Jonathan Schwab
The Mountain Mail (CO)

Amy Goodman, host of the national award-winning radio and television news program, “Democracy Now! The War and Peace Report,” will visit Salida Sunday with her brother, David.  Their visit is in support of independent, community media such as event sponsor KHEN Radio.  “The idea of these precious public spaces, whether they’re small or large, is to have a power for local voices,” Amy said. “Even the smallest issue has global implications.”  It’s this concept that defines true democracy, she said.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

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

One Comment on “Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/18/08”

  1. […] video franchise bill is back again. The title: ???Consumer Choice Television Act??? is as decep Square Forum Palo Alto WeeklyGood thing these two robbers were not in wheelchairs- they would […]

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