Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/19/08

Radiohead Video

Grassroots Media to Support Local Community TV
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition

[ comments invited ]

The following message is from a post to the Action Coalition for Media Education e-list from Liza Dichter (Center for International Media Action):

“FROM: Chrissy Harmon: mom, teacher and brand-new community media maker….

Can you take 4 minutes to watch some grassroots media and help me fight for my local community TV center? And please, Pass It On! I’d never made creative media before. And until now, I’ve never written an email asking folks to ‘take action.’

“Reckoner Video by Tired People”– BEFORE APRIL 27!

My name is Chrissy Harmon, I’m a mom of three, a public-schoolteacher, and just 3 months ago, I became a producer and volunteer with Franklin Public Access — and it truly changed my life.

I walked into my public access station because I had to speak out against domination of media and education by corporate institutions and ended up 3 months later, producing an animation that we entered in a national music-video competition for the band Radiohead.

We need your vote! High ratings is how to win the contest. The winner of the contest creates the actual video for Radiohead, and will receive international promotion. Most entries are done by professional production companies and animators. We have the idea that our little homemade piece could gain some attention for Public Access and might help light a fire under the negotiation process happening with Comcast here in our town.

We are asking friends and allies who believe in Public Access to view our video, rate and leave a supportive comment.

While Steve Russo, the only staff here at our Public Access station, was teaching me to make media, and I was discovering a new feeling of empowerment I didn’t expect, I also learned that our Public Access station is endangered. I learned that Public Access and community media everywhere is under threat from big-profit cable and phone companies. I am now committed to help community media resist and thrive.

Please pass on this email– and if you have any advice, tools or support you can offer us, isolated here in our tiny town up against big Comcast, I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you,
Chrissy Harmo chrissyjane {at} gmail {dot} com”

A Raw Deal From AT&T?
by David Lay
Brewed Fresh Daily (OH)


When AT&T started pitching its Project Lightspeed, marketed as U-Verse, it was touted as the ‘next generation’ of High Speed Internet, Cable TV and Phone Service.

As AT&T’s competitors eclipse U-Verse’s current maximum speed offering of 6Mbps, some residents in cities like Lakewood are thinking AT&T has seriously overpromised and underdelivered. Not to mention, the 50+ VRAD boxes (more than the originally planned 43) that are all over Lakewood are a serious eyesore. There have also been comments that U-Verse’s Fiber-To-The-Node structure, compared to all-fiber networks like Verizon’s FiOS, have some major limitations.

Meanwhile, back in November AT&T won a state-wide franchise agreement to offer Cable TV service in Ohio. Are cities starting to have buyer’s remorse?

Cable To TV Rescue
Comcast Throws Broadcaster Raycom A ‘Lifeline’
by Ted Hearn
Multichannel News

[ comments invited ]

Cable operators and TV stations are starting to cooperate on ways to help minimize consumer disruption resulting from the legally mandated cutoff of over-the-air analog TV signals next February. Comcast announced an agreement last Monday with Raycom Media, a broadcast company with TV stations in 12 Comcast markets. Both plan to air ads informing viewers about the DTV transition — and that signing up for cable can prevent any analog TV set from going dark. The effort, unveiled at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas this past week, will feature the marketing of a low-cost “lifeline” programming tier limited to just local TV signals in analog format, public-access channels and perhaps a few cable networks.

“We’ve come to an agreement with Raycom to advertise the DTV transition and help [its] stations retain their viewers in our markets,” said Brad Dusto, president of Comcast’s Western Division. “We would encourage other station owners to consider that as well. Any Comcast system would be happy to make that same offer.” —>

Rumford BOS Give WVAC (Ch 7) $17,000 From Cable Franchise Fees
Rumford Reporter (ME)

[ comments invited ]

The Rumford Board of Selectmen approved giving WVAC, Channel 7, $17,000 from the Cable Franchise Fees Account. The Selectmen also addressed why the Finance Committee meetings were not taped. According to Joe Volkernick, he reports that the volunteer requested the camera for all the Finance Committee meetings but he denied the request because he was unable to air the meetings due to a “lack of air time.” Mr. Volkernick explained why he was having a hard time fitting in all the meetings on Channel 7. He stated that he airs meetings for Mexico and Dixfield, too, and that he is required to keep the same programs on a seven day rotation.

The Rumford Board of Selectmen expressed their support for the station given the way that it brings the government process out to the community but they would like to be given priority since they give the station the most amount of money. The Rumford Board of Selectmen also discussed getting their own Live Feed system so that their government processes would be more transparent and reach out to the community in a more timely fashion.

Martha Ma: Food for Thought Film Festival

[ 1 comment ]

Martha Ma is a food and media educator and producer, community chef and health counselor. She is the host and producer of “The Tasty Life,” a bi-weekly television show on Manhattan Public Access channel 57, and the editor of the e-newsletter, “Eater’s Digest.” Martha is also executive producer of the Food for Thought Film Festival. If you’re in the NYC area this weekend, check out the last weekend of the festival at Cooper Union’s Wollman Auditorium, 51 Astor Place at Third Ave. Feature films include King Corn, Black Gold, and Life and Debt. Shorts include The Meatrix I, II and II 1/2 and The True Cost of Food. Here’s Martha… —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, cable vs telco, DTV transition, municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising

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