Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/21/08

State video franchising: Where are the competitors?
by Bill Callahan
Callahan’s Cleveland Diary (OH)

[ comments invited ]

This post and comments at BFD got me wondering: How’s that brave new world of competitive IPTV and sizzling broadband that Ohioans were promised last summer — when the General Assembly overwhelmingly approved and the Governor happily signed SB 117, AT&T’s “cable franchise reform” bill — coming along?
Here’s a PUCO map of Ohio’s local telephone service areas. The colored-in areas are covered by VSAs held by telephone companies (”Local Exchange Carriers”) as of yesterday. The uncolored areas — not.

Since the map doesn’t show them, it’s probably useful to name (again) some of the cities and villages in that uncolored area — communities that now have neither local government oversight nor the prospect of IPTV competition for their cable services any time soon, thanks to all those fine folks who voted for SB 117. Here are a couple of dozen: Cincinnati, Athens. Newark. Mansfield. Ashtabula. Brunswick. Portsmouth. New Philadelphia. Lorain. Elyria. Norwalk. Hudson. Medina. Marion. Wapakoneta. Lima. Defiance. Bryan. Van Wert. Oregon. Bowling Green. Ashland. Wooster. Carrollton. Piketon. Lorain. Amherst. Oberlin.

If you live in one of these places — or in Cleveland, for that matter — it’s probably time to call your State Representative and Senator and ask them when you can expect that cable competition they promised you.

So about that Washington State news outlet…
by Aneurin
Politics Is a Blood Sport (WA)

[ comments invited ]

State Rep. Deb Wallace makes a good observation regarding lack of basic news information in Southwest Washington, after the demise of Comcast Channel 14 and broadcast of KIRO Seattle news:

The College Bound scholarships paid for by the state Legislature should be a dream come true.  After all, up to 56,000 seventh- or eighth-grade students who sign up by June 1 will be eligible to receive free college tuition and $500 for college books when they are ready for higher education.  But Rep. Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver, was concerned to find out that just 4,000 students have signed up so far.  “People’s lives are so busy, particularly when you’re working a job or two, and it’s really difficult to get information out to people,” Wallace said. “I also think that so much of our media comes from Oregon, so information about programs like this don’t get out as they do in the Seattle area.”

That’s a great point, and it reminded me of promises made to get KIRO or some other Seattle news outlet on basic cable. Why this isn’t in the local franchise agreement between CVTV and Comcast is a bit odd, especially knowing the unique media condition of Clark County.  Tracie Looney at CVTV informs me that there are discussions with KIRO to get broadcast permission on to Channel 21, one of the government channels in the basic cable range. I asked her if there’s a time limit for them to respond and she indicated that they’ll open it up to other Seattle news stations, most likely KOMO, unless KIRO responds by this week.   —>

What The Heck…Local News?
by Alan
A Round World Through Square Glasses (OH)

[ comments invited ]

Here in Cincinnati, there is a census being taken on whether or not a local t.v. station should drop sports from their newscast. Having worked in the news industry for awhile (14 years), there are also a few things that can definately be changed about local news…but dropping sports ain’t one of them. Of course I have to give my 2 cents worth. I did it when I worked in news and no one cared. I see the same thing happening here…so here I go.
For years stations have been depleting their sports departments. Most have, at best, a sports director and maybe a photographer that is dedicated to sports. My feeling is you’ve dropped the ball here. Look at the thousands of fans who go to a Reds/Brewers game every night? Granted, 25,000 ain’t a lot compared to the Cubs who sell out every night, but still it’s 25,000 viewers who might not have watched your newscast that night. But you send a photog and a reporter down there, interview about 20 people, edit something together and you set yourself up as a presence at that stadium.

At your local high school, nothing garners more excitement than the possibility that you might end up on t.v.. There are high school games being broadcast on local Fox Sports Network programming. There are local games being broadcast on public access. People want to see their kids play sports on t.v. The same goes for highlights. You send a tv crew to a few games a night, you get viewers.

Of course, this is just my opinion…but you got it all backwards. Maybe local news should start figuring out that it’s not about what’s killing us that we’re interested in these days. It’s what is keeping us alive that matters…and we like our sports and weather and feel good stories.   —>

The Poets & the Party at Luminaria
by South Texas Media Access
And Media Access for All (TX)

[ comments invited ]

Footage from the Poets Corner at the 2008 Luminaria Arts Event in San Antonio Texas. This clip was for San Antonio Public Access TV.  —>

Chatting with Eva
by Eva the Deadbeat
Dead Beat Club (VT)

[ 1 comment ]

The very talented Winooski photographer and videographer Dan Higgins was kind enough to make a little documentary about me. I have to admit, watching it makes me blush…  THANKS DAN!

“Chatting With Eva” will broadcast Wednesday, April 23, at 6:00 pm on Channel 17, Town Meeting Television, on Comcast Cable and Burlington Telecom systems.  This 21-minute video, by Dan Higgins, looks at behind-the-scenes working methods of Eva Sollberger, videographer and editor extraordinare, as she prepares her weekly web feature “Stuck in Vermont”. Eva also talks about the origins of her visually creative Public Access TV show, “The Deadbeat Club”.   —>

Could the BBC co-design its new community services?
by David Wilcox
Socialreporter (UK)


Here’s a try-out for socialreporter as collaboration co-ordinator, on the lines of “wouldn’t it be a good idea if…” rather than “here’s a problem, let’s stir things up”.  I wonder if it’s possible to organise a get-together between people interested in how new BBC services may support social action, local democracy and online communities.

It seems timely because the BBC is planning something substantial which could, for the first time, link their “professional” services to online material produced by citizen journalists and other local community media projects. Proposals will soon be put to the BBC Trust, which has to approve the plans.  Before that happens it seems to me important that all parties take a realistic look at what’s possible, and think out how to co-design something useful to local democracy.

The problem is that the community side of the deal may not hold up. Recently Charlie Beckett, champion of networked journalism, raised the issue of what happens if no-one comes … that is, the citizen journalists don’t materialise in the form the professionals hope. The BBC’s Robin Hamman offered some useful insights from the Manchester blogging experiment, including: “People don’t necessarily blog or post content about the topics, stories and events that media organisations might hope they would – and, in our experience anyway, rarely post about news and current affairs.”

Now another media commentator, Martin Moore, has trawled through the Annex 8 of OFCOM’s Public Service Broadcasting Review similarly trying to work if there’s a future for local news, community and social action on the web. —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, cable vs telco, citizen journalism, community journalism, localism, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising

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