Community Media: Selected Clippings – 05/04/08

Statehouse Secrets: Beacon Hill does its most important business behind closed doors
by Edward Mason
The Eagle-Tribune (MA)

[ comments invited ]

Lawrence resident Bill Collins likes to keep an eye on Massachusetts lawmakers as they find ways to spend his money. So Collins is disappointed the House budget debate that used to be on television can only be found on the Internet. “With the Lawrence City Council, every word uttered is broadcast live on local access Channel 22,” Collins said. “On Beacon Hill, with hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s done in the dark of night.”

Actually, it’s billions of dollars. House lawmakers put together a $28 billion state budget largely out of public view. Much of the deliberations over spending occurred in backrooms, and debates that were once televised were moved to the Internet. —>

Community Media and UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2008
by Fred Johnson

[ 1 comment ]

World Press Freedom Day 2008: Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and Empowerment of People

May 3 was UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day. Checkout the UNESCO Communication and Information site. It is rich with information on the media and development.

Community media is recognized by UNESCO and the UN as a key element in reaching their Millennium Development Goals. At this link there are a few spare paragraphs on community media that express their value and importance. The ease, clarity and thoughtfulness with which the UNESCO writer makes the critical distinctions between mainstream media and community media and notes the obvious logic of new media and community media integration is like a clear, cool drink of water.

Particularly when compared to the contorted language and obfuscations, and barely concealed aggression and turfiness, associated with the US discussion on community media, participatory media and the social web. Rather than seeing community access and community radio portrayed as failures that have fallen under an “old media malaise,” here we find a clear understanding of the role of community media in empowerment and democracy.

Rather than finding community media framed as receding into the past along with the old pre-network society media organizations — as has been the tendency of many new media types in the US — we find in much of the rest of the world an understanding of community media as a pioneer in media participation and open platform media development that rests on a logical continuum with the social web. And we find an understanding that community media organizations are extremely well positioned to become the local cultural institutions needed to realize the democratic potential of the network society.

So then, if you have a moment click your way through the UNESCO site and enjoy being in an information space that sees the value of community media as a prerequisite for development, not as an old media barrier to development.

As I said cool water. —>

Candidates on TV
Save Our Schools: Change The Board! Vote May 20 (NY)

Our four candidates will be on Sam Mercer’s show on Public Access TV, Channel 23, Sunday May 4, at 6pm.

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: community media, election programming, televised state legislatures

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