Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/20/08

Video franchise bills all take; where’s the give?
by Mike Stagg
Lafayette Pro Fiber (LA)

[ comments invited ]

The statewide video franchise bills up for consideration in the Louisiana Legislature are, in fact, bad news as John and the LMA (pdf) have made clear. But, based on the 2006 experience where only Governor Blanco’s veto prevented a version of this legislation from becoming law, I also believe it is clear that some form of this legislation is going to pass again this year and Governor Jindal will sign it into law.

First, let’s make clear that while AT&T is the prime mover of this legislation, the cable industry is on board. That’s because this legislation or a subsequent package will ultimately give cable companies the same freedom to cherry-pick and red-line neighborhoods that the phone company is seeking with these bills. They’ll demand a level playing field.

It was no accident that Cox Communications announced its latest rate increase just as the Legislature was heading into its Regular Session. That enabled the various astroturf movements to begin flooding newspaper editorial pages with letters to the editor, condemning the cable companies and singing the praises of competition.  Think of this as a choreographed fight for the benefit of the viewing audience, rather than a brawl. The cable companies and AT&T are partners in this dance. Cox stepped on a lot of consumer toes in order to make them receptive to the competition paeans that the phone company allies would produce.


That ability to selectively deploy new network technology is the heart of the issue.  How do I know this? Because John and I sat in on the 2006 negotiations on that year’s version of these bills when the phone company (still called BellSouth at the time) flatly refused to deal on offers that did not free them from community-wide build-out obligations.   —>

Westborough: Verizon Now Has Access
by John Dyer
Boston Globe (MA)

Cable television customers in Westborough who subscribe to Verizon’s service can now see local-access channels 24, 26, and 28, said Maria Sheehan, Westborough TV’s general manager. Since January, Sheehan said, Verizon had been promising it was going to provide viewers with the local access channels, which cover municipal meetings, school events, and locally produced programming. Late last month, Verizon subscribers still couldn’t see the channels, so Town Counsel Gregory Franks sent Verizon a letter saying its contract to operate in Westborough would be revoked if it didn’t provide the channels, as its contract stipulates, Sheehan said. Verizon had been in negotiations with rival cable provider Charter Communications on the issue. Charter owns the connections between Westborough TV and the wires that deliver the cable signal to homes.

Bolton: Candidates Night
by Matt Gunderson
Boston Globe (MA)

Local candidates running for election this spring will square off at a candidates forum tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Davis Hall. The two candidates vying for a seat on the Board of Selectmen, Stan Wysocki and Connie Benjamin, have said they will attend the event, which is sponsored by the Friends of the Bolton Public Library.  Bolton Access Television will televise the candidates night.

Shrewsbury: Candidates to Debate
by Lisa Kocian
Boston Globe (MA)

Seniors for Responsible Taxation will host a debate for selectmen candidates to be aired live Tuesday at 7 p.m. on Channel 28. —>

Cable show celebrates five years
Eagle Tribune (MA)

METHUEN — “Call To Serve,” a locally run television show on Methuen Community Television, celebrated its fifth anniversary with a special show taped last week.  “Call to Serve” has interviewed 56 veterans as part of its effort to preserve oral history of Methuen veterans. The show is hosted by Kathleen Corey Rahme and co-produced by Albert Grant and Corinne LaCharite. The show won third place in the 2004 Alliance for Community Media annual northeast fall video festival.   —>

More Government on TV: WOOOOOOOO!
by Melissa Griff
Sweet Melissa (CA)


As you may know, this past Tuesday an ordinance passed on its first reading that will require more San Francisco political commissions, committees and conversations to be filmed and made available for public viewing. Now, there appears to be some fuzzy math surrounding the funding source for one of the part-time positions that this ordinance will create (according to Ron Vincent from DTIS, it will otherwise be paid for by the “cable franchise fund”), but you know I am generally all for more government on TV. And, while I know that watching it is doing nothing for my love life, every so often I get to see something truly great.

Take this video below (, for example, in which professional rassler Nature Boy Ric Flair was finally given his due on April 15 in the US House of Representatives.  I just love that the phrase “Figure Four Leglock” is now in the Congressional Record.   —>

Our children will never know refreshment
by christa t
Pecanne Log (GA)


Everyone knows what an unmitigated disaster New Coke was. What most people don’t realize is that it was RuPaul and his Atlanta public access television friends who saved generations of children around the world from perhaps never knowing the taste of a Coca-Cola Classic.  The day New Coke was introduced in 1985, RuPaul and The American Music Show host Potsy Duncan took to the streets of Atlanta, leading other protesters in pouring out bottles of the new concoction and waving signs that said things like, “We want the real thing” and “Our children will never know refreshment.”   —>

Students demand greater transparency in the legislature
by Loa Iok-sin
Tapei Times

“No more blindfolds! We want a transparent legislature,” students representing schools and student organizations shouted yesterday as they demonstrated in front of the legislature.  “We are here to demand public access to the video-on-demand [VOD] system, so that everyone can monitor the legislature from home,” Lin Pin-chun, president of Citizen Congress Watch’s (CCW) youth caucus and a sophomore at National Taiwan University (NTU) told a press conference.

Although legislative committee meetings are recorded and broadcast live online through the VOD system, it can only be viewed from within the legislature.  “As a concerned citizen, I only see lawmakers when their physical or verbal clashes are broadcast on TV — I want to know what they’re doing the rest of the time,” another NTU student, Lee Shao-tang said.

However, current restrictions make their wishes impossible.  “The time allowed for sitting on the balcony to hear the general assembly meeting is limited to 30 minutes per person,” said Ho Tsung-hsun, executive director of the CCW. “As for committee meetings, you must have the convener’s permission to be allowed into the meeting room.”   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, cable vs telco, election programming, government access, interconnection, municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, redlining, video franchising

One Comment on “Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/20/08”

  1. […] bills up for consideration in the Louisiana Legislature are, in fact, bad news as John and the Will Win the Next Battle for the Desktop? SYS-CON MediaThe computer desktop is to people today […]

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