Archive for the ‘archiving’ category

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/23/08

April 27, 2008

La. Senate panel OKs TV change
nola.com (LA)
04/23/08

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — State government, not police juries and city councils, should control the franchise fee process for television service around the state, a Senate panel voted on Wednesday.  The chief supporter of the bill [Senate Bill 422 – http://legis.state.la.us/ ] , AT&T Inc., said the change would encourage more companies to begin offering TV service in Louisiana, heightening competition and lowering prices for consumers.

The Senate’s commerce committee approved the measure 6-1 despite opposition from parish and city government officials who complained that the state was trying to snatch control over a significant part of their income.  The loss of control would likely mean a drop in revenue, said Dan Garrett, a lobbyist for the Police Jury Association.  “This bill strips local governments of franchise authority,” Garrett said.   —>
http://www.nola.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/news-38/1208986459310880.xml&storylist=louisiana
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Despite compromise bill, cable ads bashing AT&T still ran
by John Rodgers
Nashville City Paper (TN)
04/23/08

[ 7 comments ]

When a compromise was reached between AT&T, the cable industry and local governments over television franchising legislation two weeks ago, House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh made a simple request.  Naifeh (D-Covington), who was instrumental in forging the compromise, urged the parties involved to stop running advertisements bashing AT&T or the cable industry over the legislation, which AT&T says it needs to start offering television programming and competing with cable.

Tennesseans have been exposed to those ads — from both sides but primarily the cable industry — for a good portion of the past two years.  But despite the compromise legislation being agreed upon, the cable industry has continued to run advertisements during the last two weeks bashing AT&T’s effort to get into the television programming business. […]

By: HokeyPokey on 4/23/08
Government meetings are actually quite popular on cable, witness the popularity of C-Span in addition to the PEG channels.  One does not have to think long and hard to understand why neither cable nor telco want you to see what the government’s doing.  Also, those of you in Nashville who enjoy the “Arts” channel on Channel 9 better load up on it, ’cause it’s likely to go far, far away when Comcast gets thrown into the briar patch.

http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=59719
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Book Report Raises Questions About Texas’ SB5
by Jon Kreucher
Blogging Broadband (MI)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

Those keeping score know that the Texas legislature really started the state-mandated video franchise train down the tracks.  SB5 was passed in Texas at the end of 2005.  It was a natural place for the phone companies to get the ball rolling, as SBC, now the new AT&T, called Texas home.  Since SB5 passed, a likely-unprecedented wave of states adopted some form of “shall issue” video franchising — all of it aimed at helping the phone companies get into the cable business.

The idea of creating competition for cable companies was worthwhile.  But now that a little time has passed, some are starting to look at whether this chain of state laws has really served the intended purpose.  One of the more comprehensive reviews has been assembled by Dr. Connie Ledoux Book (Ph.D.) of Elon University. During the fall of 2006 and spring of 2007, students in Elon’s Broadcasting and the Public Interest began to assemble information about the impact of SB5 in Texas.  According to Dr. Book’s draft summary of the work:

“The project started with a simple question: Has SB5 created competition that resulted in lower cable costs for customers in Texas?  What should be a simple yes or no response is actually quite complex and after weighing the variable addressed in this paper, one could argue the following:

“SB5 has created competitive markets in more affluent, wealthier areas of Texas. These residents benefit from having choice between cable providers and the hope that a competitive environment will bring about better customer service and pricing benefits. However, none of the newly established pricing plans ultimately save these Texans more money on a monthly basis (although they may receive more services). At the same time this competitive cable scenario exists for a few communities in Texas, the passage of SB5 has resulted in every Texan subsidizing competition for the few through telecom taxes and regulatory fees.”

This work, unfortunately, confirms many of the fears raised by those who originally opposed state-wide franchising bills — among them, that the pace at which competition develops is dependant on market forces, not regulatory treatment; that the wealthy will be the primary beneficiaries of any competition that does eventually develop; that the benefits of competition manifest themselves in things other than substantially lower cable prices; and that the potential for phone customers to unwittingly pay for their phone company’s foray into video is real.

Many thanks to Dr. Book for sharing her draft report — if you’d like to see a copy, you can download it here.
http://www.bloggingbroadband.com/?p=132
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U-Verse Rollout Continues — But Slowly
by Jon Kreucher
Blogging Broadband (MI)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

AT&T reported its first quarter 2008 earnings yesterday.  As with all such calls, the U-Verse rollout was an active topic for discussion.  AT&T noted that it remains on plan to meet its current 2008 U-verse subscription target — but the rollout must nevertheless appear to be painfully slow to regulators.  Not too long ago, AT&T told every state in its operating area that the need to obtain a service franchise from each local government was the only impediment to the widespread deployment of its new video product.  Time is now proving that the representation wasn’t altogether accurate.    —>
http://www.bloggingbroadband.com/?p=138
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(sob) All that work on the public access TV bill and then this…
by Larry Geller
Disappeared News (HI)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

Lots and lots of testimony in support of SB1789 just went down the drain, as reported by the Maui News in New rules governing public-access TV die at Legislature:

HONOLULU — Despite widespread statewide support, including from those associated with Akaku: Maui Community Television, legislation to clarify rules for public-access television stations has died this legislative session. …  Senate Bill 1789 — drafted by Maui Sens. Roz Baker, Shan Tsutsui and J. Kalani English — would have required the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to create rules for how it awards contracts to “public-access, education and government” (PEG) cable television organizations.

…  The bill was passed from the Senate to the House, and passed out of the Finance Committee in March. But the committee report apparently was never filed, and that inaction prevented the bill from being sent back to the full House for a vote. […]

It’s not just the hours spent testifying (and those coming in from other islands over and over had it worse than I did). There were also hours testifying before the Procurement Policy Board and on and on and on. This bill would have fixed everything.  And it just fell into a crack someplace? Gone, just like that? What can I say?
http://disappearednews.com/2008/04/sob-all-that-work-on-public-access-tv.html
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How come it’s never the manini bills that die by clerical oversight?
by Doug White
Poinography (HI)
04/22/08

[ 7 comments ]

What a bummer. The Maui News reports that a bill to exempt PEG (Public, Educational, and Government) cable access from the procurement code died this year when the House Finance Committee heard the bill, voted to amend the bill, and then failed to file the Committee Report and amended bill by the Second Decking deadline.  Sheesh. I know, I know, Committee staff, and especially the Finance Staff, are responsible for handling huge amounts of clerical minutiae under a tight deadline. I was a Committee Clerk for a few years and at deadlines there is a lot of pressure. It’s a staffer’s nightmare, but mistakes are going to happen. But still…

What’s left unanswered by this article, however, is what the failure of this legislation means for the PEG providers we currently know (Olelo, Akaku, etc.). Will the Department award (or has it already awarded) the PEG contracts to new groups?
http://poinography.com/?p=5797
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Buckland, Shelburne: cable for all
by Jeff Potter
Shelburne Falls Independent (MA)
04/23/08

With the blessing of Shelburne and Buckland selectmen, cable television advisory boards from the two towns will kick off negotiations for a new contract by asking Comcast, current holder of the cable franchise, to offer service to every resident and business in the two towns.  A 22-page document — Cable License Renewal Findings, Report and Recommendations — prepared for the towns by attorney William August of Boston, results from the work of the joint board and reflects comments gleaned from a survey and a Feb. 27 public hearing.  The report will serve as a request for proposal for the cable company, which has until May 22 to submit a new draft agreement to the towns.

Mike Duffy of Shelburne and Glenn Cardinal of Buckland, representatives from the two respective cable advisory boards, appeared before Shelburne selectmen to discuss the document and its findings. Cardinal chairs the joint committee.  “We find, based on extensive testimony at extraordinary public ascertainment hearings, and based on review of more than 40 ascertainment exhibits, there is a compelling and great need for service area expansion and cable system build-out in the towns of Buckland and Shelburne,” reads the document in its introduction. “The overwhelming sentiment expressed at the hearings was that cable service in all its forms is no longer a luxury, but is now an absolute necessity for the long-term viability of our towns, and that no resident should be deprived of such services.”   —>
http://69.93.213.18/~sfindep/site/site07/articleexcerpt.php?id=2376&photodir=/home/sfindep/public_html/site/assets/photos/SFI94/SFI94.sf.cable/source/image/&photocount=0&issue=94
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Films: Preserving ‘Everyday People’ History
Celluloid archaeologists are striving to preserve a fast-decaying historical resource and, at the same time, show the world what they’ve got.
by Barbara Hesselgrave
Miller-McCune
04/23/08

[comments invited ]

A treasure trove of cultural history is deteriorating at this very moment. All across the world, in attics, basements, warehouses and abandoned storerooms, the clock against celluloid is ticking — for the dust-covered boxes and rusting cans of 8mm, Super 8 and 16mm film.  Countless films are languishing forgotten and untended; their very existence often unknown, yet these “orphan films” are valuable documentary and historical evidence of our society and culture. Championing their discovery, preservation and access for the past decade is Dan Streible, film historian and associate professor of cinema studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Video: Watch 10 “orphan films

Streible describes these neglected artifacts as “any film that doesn’t have any commercial value.”  “At one time, archivists informally used the term orphan film to describe any film that had been abandoned, or for which the identity of the filmmaker was unknown,” he said. However, since the 1993 congressional hearings on film preservation, which led to both the National Film Preservation Board and National Film Preservation Foundation, the term is used more often and broadly.

“These are films that can be anything from newsreels to short films, home movies, industrials, independent documentaries, silent movies, surveillance film, outtakes — anything you can imagine,” Streible explained. The problem, he says, is that while we know that film can and does last at least a century, when stored under proper conditions, most orphan films are forgotten or abandoned and can deteriorate quickly.

But that’s just film.  While materials science research affirms the longevity of film, Streible said research on magnetic videotape media is just beginning, and there is still less understood about the life span of digital copies. As our images become increasingly miniaturized, the effect of dirt specks and small scratches become magnified and easily render a DVD unplayable.  Technology’s evolution reinforces the need for ongoing preservation of all, even recent, moving images to insure public access. As an example, the events of the Olympics captured on 2-inch videotape that was state-of-the-art in the 1970s are today virtually unwatchable — trapped on a medium for which there is essentially no technology to view them.

While many orphan films might not have commercial value — i.e., they are not a theatrical film for public distribution — Streible said many have tremendous historical value. As “orphans” are discovered, he and his colleagues’ mission is to preserve the images and make the information known to others.  He has a slogan that “most of the films ever made no longer exist” (because of deterioration). Of those that do, the majority are not preserved, and those that have been preserved are often known only to a handful of archivists or researchers.   —>
http://www.miller-mccune.com/article/316
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Los Gatos Rotary event will raise funds for KCAT, charities
by Marianne Lucchesi Hamilton
Los Gatos Weekly-Times (CA)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

KCAT TV-15 in Los Gatos will be among the beneficiaries of the Los Gatos Morning Rotary’s upcoming spring fundraising dinner-dance. The event, dubbed “The Party,” will bring together members of the community for an evening of rock ‘n’ roll-themed entertainment, food and drink, and a “Rockin’ Auction,” all staged at the Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in costumes reflecting the “classic rock” era of the 1960s through 1980s.

The Los Gatos Morning Rotary, whose charter supports the arts and children’s issues in Los Gatos, is joining with the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance to stage the event. LGMR has pledged to distribute a portion of the proceeds to KCAT to help fund the station’s proposed digital literacy center project. This initiative is targeted to encourage proficiency at Los Gatos High School in the areas of visual and electronic media, and to provide students with the types of digital literacy skills needed for success in the 21st century.

The KCAT studio has been situated on the high school campus since 1983, offering students an opportunity to acquire hands-on training in digital media production.  “KCAT’s staff and board of directors are thrilled to be identified as a beneficiary of Los Gatos Morning Rotary’s upcoming fundraiser,” KCAT station manager George Sampson said.   —>
http://www.mercurynews.com/losgatos/ci_9028717?nclick_check=1
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No longer ‘PTTV’: Television for people who don’t like television
by Barney Burke
Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader (WA)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

“People who say, ‘I don’t watch TV,'” says Jonathan Stratman, provide the biggest challenge in programming Port Townsend’s community TV station.  Hired in October as director of Port Townsend Television, formerly known as PTTV, Stratman said the station’s content is being transformed, and not just because of new equipment.  “It’s television for people who don’t like television,” said Stratman of the increase in homegrown media.   —>
http://www.ptleader.com/main.asp?SectionID=21&SubSectionID=21&ArticleID=20680&TM=58613.97
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City, county plan joint Web site
Times Publications (IN)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and the Allen County Commissioners announced that work is underway on the creation of a joint Web site to house information regarding both city and county public meetings. The new Web site will seek to provide information such as meeting dates, times, locations, agendas and minutes.  The Web site will also provide an opportunity for other governmental organizations to make their meeting information available.  The Web site will be fully operational in the near future. […]

“This is an excellent first step in making local government more accessible through the internet,” added Commissioner Nelson Peters.  “We look forward to collaborating with our city partners on similar initiatives such as integrating public access television programming.”
http://www.fwdailynews.com/articles/2008/04/23/times/times_online/doc480f2cc1c877f104652276.txt
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South Africa: IEC Conference Discuss the Role of Media During Elections
BuaNews (Tshwane)
04/23/08

A conference discussing the role of the media during the elections is currently underway in Pretoria.  Hosted by the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), under the theme “the role of the media in promoting electoral democracy,” the national conference on Media and Electoral Democracy is bringing together relevant stakeholders to discuss these issues.   —>
http://allafrica.com/stories/200804230831.html
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Kazakhstan: Media Forum Focuses Attention on Stifling Journalistic Environment
by Joanna Lillis
Eurasianet.org
04/23/08

The opening of the annual Eurasian Media Forum in Kazakhstan stands to highlight a discrepancy in the government’s sweeping reform pledges and its lack of action, political analysts say.  The forum, organized by the president’s daughter, Dariga Nazarbayeva, is scheduled to run from April 24-26. Some local observers express hope that the gathering might revive efforts to liberalize the country’s mass media legislative framework. During their successful lobbying effort to secure the chair the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Kazakhstani leaders gave assurances that they would implement wide-ranging reforms. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Since then, however, little has been accomplished, prompting some foreign experts to question Kazakhstan’s commitment to fulfilling its pledges before assuming the OSCE helm in 2010.

The guarded optimism expressed by some members of the journalistic community as last year’s Eurasian Media Forum opened subsided long ago. A new, more liberal press law that was then in parliament has been shelved, and slow progress on drafting another version essentially precludes the possibility of new legislation being in place before the start of 2009, when Kazakhstan will join the OSCE Troika of past, present and future chairs.   —>
http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav042308a.shtml
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

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Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/17/08

April 20, 2008

Cable access television debate rages on
by Marilyn Moss
The Orange Bulletin (CT)
04/17/08

[ comments invited ]

The view on Sound View Community Media may not be so sound these days. SV is the third-party nonprofit provider of public access television for local area 2, which includes Woodbridge, Orange, Milford, Stratford, Bridgeport and Fairfield. The Committee on Energy and Technology of the Connecticut General Assembly held a public hearing on March 7 for a proposed bill, An Act Concerning Community Access Television bill No. 5814. During that hearing, details of the troubled interaction between SV and area 2 municipalities were thoroughly examined.

The legislation was proposed, in part, to address concerns by area 2 municipalities about the control of the content on their respective government channels. Several towns in area 2 want to feature their own town-specific programming. These towns have met resistance to that by the community access provider, SV. SV prefers to send system-wide programming so that each town in area 2 can watch government in action in every town in the franchise area. According to Paul Davis, a Orange and West Haven state representative, however, “If a community desires to have town-specific programming, the government should grant that choice.”   —>
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19492921&BRD=1661&PAG=461&dept_id=9538&rfi=6
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Public must fight to maintain net neutrality
by Lawrence Lessig and Ben Scott
San Francisco Chronicle
04/17/08

[ 2 comments ]

The Internet is an engine of economic growth and innovation because of a simple principle: net neutrality, which assures innovators that their next great idea will be available to consumers, regardless of what the network owners think about it.  No previous mass media technology has been so remarkably open. Traditional media – newspapers, radio, TV – have gatekeepers standing between consumers and producers, with the power to control content. The Internet eliminates the gatekeeper.  Now, however, the Internet’s unprecedented openness is in jeopardy.

Comcast, AT&T and Verizon have been lobbying to kill net neutrality. They say they won’t build an information superhighway if they can’t build it as a closed system. No other industrialized country has made that devil’s bargain, and neither should we. Without net neutrality, online innovation is vulnerable to the whims of cable and phone companies, which control 99 percent of the household market for high-speed Internet access. And Silicon Valley venture capitalists are unlikely to bet the farm on a whim.   —>
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/16/EDM11064UL.DTL
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FCC Should Send Signal And Take Action Against Comcast
by Therese Poletti
CNNMoney.com
04/17/08

On Thursday, all five members of the Federal Communications Commission will make an usual appearance in Silicon Valley, where they will host a public hearing at Stanford University for a debate on managing Internet traffic.  The hearing is the FCC’s second on “Net neutrality,” a longstanding principle which seeks to treat all Internet content and traffic equally. The principle matches the spirit of the early pioneers of the Internet, who designed a distributed network that could not be controlled by any one entity or company.

In February, Comcast (CMCSA), the largest cable company in the U.S., was in the hot seat at Harvard Law School, where the FCC hosted an all-day hearing over complaints that the cable giant deliberately delays Internet traffic for consumers accessing peer-to-peer file sharing Web sites like BitTorrent and newer ones like Vuze.  The hearing did not go well for Comcast. Even though the cable giant partially filled the room with its own paid attendees who applauded company reps, the FCC intimated it was considering action against the Philadelphia-based behemoth. A month later, Comcast and former foe BitTorrent agreed to collaborate on network capacity and management issues. Bit Torrent of San Francisco wants Comcast to use its file sharing technology and expertise to help alleviate network congestion caused by the downloading of large music and video files.  The two also agreed to work with other Internet service providers and others to explore and develop a new architecture for better distribution and delivery of rich media.

Now just two days before the FCC’s Stanford hearing, Comcast issued yet another press release, probably aimed at dissuading the FCC from taking any action against it. Comcast and another peer-to-peer company, Pando Networks, said they created their own “Bill of Rights and Responsibilities” for file sharing, much to the amusement of some legal experts..  After speaking with Comcast, it appears that their “Bill of Rights,” is really about informing the consumer that their Internet traffic could suffer delays.   —>
http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200804170110DOWJONESDJONLINE000013_FORTUNE5.htm
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Need Help Hosting Citizen Media Outreach Events in Rural Minnesota
Blandin on Broadband (MN)
04/17/08

[ comments invited ]

I’ve heard great things about the training and conferences provided by E-Democracy in the Twin Cities. So I am happy to pass on the following request. It is a great opportunity for the right community!

Wanted: Partners to Help Host Citizen Media Outreach Events in Rural Minnesota (See Examples Below)
Citizen media projects are springing up across the country and the world. Between now and the end of June 2008, E-Democracy.org is hosting Citizen Media Outreach Events across rural Minnesota to showcase some of these exciting projects, and encourage the launch of similar projects in rural Minnesota.  We are looking for organizations or institutions in rural Minnesota interested in co-sponsoring a Citizen Media Outreach Event in their community.   —>
http://blandinonbroadband.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/need-help-host-citizen-media-outreach-events-in-rural-minnesota/
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Local-access TV programs home in on real estate issues
by Denise Taylor
Boston Globe (MA)
04/17/08

Earlier this month, when a home sale in Uxbridge fell through due to what she called “an increasingly common” mortgage snag in Worcester County, realtor Kelley Byrnes-Benkart was one of the first to hear. One week later, she was explaining the cause – not at a seminar, but on public-access television.  Byrnes-Benkart, owner of Realty Executives Tri-County in Bellingham, is one of a handful of area real estate professionals using public-access cable TV to turn a laser focus on the housing market in their communities.

“We hear a lot of talk in the media about the real estate market, but many times it’s painted with a broad brush. It’s often from a national perspective or a state perspective,” said Milford resident Michael Shain, a mortgage consultant with Medway Co-operative Bank. “But I wanted to do something that focused on specific towns because every market is different. What’s happening in Milford may not be the same as what’s happening in Newton, Brookline, Pittsfield, or LA.”

In September, Shain began taping “Real Estate Roundtable” at Access Bellingham-Mendon. The program, which he cohosts with Byrnes-Benkart and two other realtors and is produced monthly, airs on local-access channels in Bellingham, Milford, Medway, Upton, Grafton, and Mendon, and covers market news in those towns as well as in Franklin and Wrentham.  Guests also appear on each episode to discuss general real estate topics ranging from the short sale process to how to stage your home using feng shui. But the core of the show is the panel discussion of emerging local issues. Recently they focused on the increasing affordability and availability of single-family homes being offered for rent (by homeowners unable to sell). Next month, they’ll delve more deeply into those Worcester County mortgage issues.

“Worcester County has been declared a declining market” by commercial lenders, “which means they are requiring larger down payments,” said Byrnes-Benkart. “In Uxbridge . . . the buyer could not afford to move forward because they would have had to put 15 percent down,” after expecting to pay 10 percent.  “I try to pick topics that are important to homeowners and potential homeowners,” said Shain, whose other cohosts are Joshua Lioce, owner of Realty Executives Lioce Properties in Milford and Whitinsville, and Judy Leonelli, owner of Century 21 Millennium in Mendon.

In Millis, Joe Luker recently taped his first two episodes of “The Home Show” at Millis Community Television. A home appraiser based in Medway for 20 years and a former real estate broker, Luker said he plans to produce two shows per month.  “There’s so much turmoil in the real estate market. That’s why I’m doing this now,” said Luker.  With local lawyers, realtors, and other industry professionals as guests, Luker will cover the Millis housing market and real estate how-tos. Upcoming subjects include the foreclosure process, home inspections, and hidden issues for home buyers (such as easements, deed restrictions, and convicted sex-offenders living in the area).  “I’m not going to be out there entertaining. My goal is to produce something useful,” said Luker. “There are a lot of people in trouble right now because they didn’t know what to watch for. But I’ve seen the things that people need to know.”   —>
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/04/17/local_access_tv_programs_home_in_on_real_estate_issues/
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Beverly’s history now available free on DVD
by Cate Lecuyer
Salem News (MA)
04/17/08

[ comments invited ]

More than a century worth of local history — chronicled on video by resident Ted Josephs over the last 20 years — is now available to the public on DVD.  BevCam, the city’s local cable access station, has been consistently airing Joseph’s show, “Beverly’s Times Past,” since he started making it back in the 1980s. But for the past 21/2 years, BevCam staff has been converting the footage from the original, now obsolete, video cassettes onto DVDs.

They recently completed the project and yesterday presented copies of all 183 hourlong shows to both the Beverly Public Library and the Beverly Historical Society, where they will be available free to the public.  “If we were to lose this, we would have lost so much,” said BevCam Associate Director Walt Kosmowski.  Beverly Historical Society Interim Director Darren Brown and Beverly Library Director Pat Cirone said having immediate access to the shows, instead of having to wait for them to air on BevCam, will be valuable to the community.

The shows are centered on interviews with local people talking about their past. There’s a series that includes stories told by World War II veterans and shows actual footage of fighting that they took while oversees.  Another series focuses on the freight trains that came in and out of the United Shoe Machinery Corporation, now the Cummings Center.  The stories people tell go back to the late 1800s and are complemented by old photos, newspaper articles and other archives that Joseph found in the historical society.   —>
http://www.salemnews.com/punews/local_story_108003233.html
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Local students promote reading on TV program
by Scott Stafford
Berkshire Eagle (MA)
04/17/08

[ comments invited ]

NORTH ADAMS — Eight-year-old Noah Boucher of Cheshire likes dinosaurs. He even likes reading about them, and he’s not afraid of saying so — not even on television.  He was one of 17 second-grade students at Cheshire Elementary School who stopped by Northern Berkshire Community Television studios yesterday morning to make their opinions known about their favorite books.  “Do you like books about dinosaurs?” Noah asked the would-be television audience during the taping session. “Then you will love the book ‘How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?’ by Jane Yolan. The dinosaurs hug and kiss their moms.”

After the taping, Noah said he liked being on camera.  “I liked the book very much, and I think it is pretty cool that I get to tell my story to everyone in the world, and to my friends,” he said.  Teacher Eric Brown’s second-grade class has been writing, editing and rehearsing their presentations, inspired by public television show “Reading Rainbow,” for about three weeks.  Brown said the idea occurred to him while the class was watching an episode of that television program. He used his idea to get students excited about reading, and used the technology to enhance that motivation.   —>
http://www.berkshireeagle.com/localnews/ci_8955082
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Providence City Council meetings to begin airing on TV
WPRI.com (RI)
04/17/08

The Providence City Council will soon be on the tube. The City Council will begin televising its biweekly meetings, starting with Thursday night’s gathering.  The meetings will air nine days later, on Saturday mornings, on public-access TV. Council Majority Leader Terrence Hassett says televising meetings will allow residents who can’t make it there in person to stay informed about what’s happening in the city.  The city has purchased $4,000 of new video equipment, and five students at Mount Hope High School in Providence will be trained to film the meetings and then package them for television.
http://www.wpri.com/Global/story.asp?S=8180702
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Napa school district to show meetings online
by Tony Burchyns
Times-Herald (CA)
04/17/08

[ comments invited ]

Anyone with Internet access might be able to watch the Napa school board in action this week, district officials said Wednesday.  The Napa Valley Unified School District is testing out new software to provide live streaming video of its meeting at 7 p.m. today.  The goal is to expand public access to school board meetings. Also, the technology will allow people to watch meetings on-demand, which could be the wave of the future for the video platform.  “It’s another avenue to reach people,” said Laurel Krsek, director of technology for the Napa school district. “And it gives the public a chance to go back and watch meetings they missed.”

A consortium including the district, Napa Public Access Cable Television and the cities of American Canyon and Napa allowed for considerable savings on the new technology, officials said.  “We got a group deal that saved us tens of thousands of dollars for the entire group,” said Dan Monez, executive director for Napa public access TV.  Monez started the initiative last year when the cable channel wanted to begin streaming and archiving its programs. He said he mentioned the idea to Napa city employees and learned the city was also interested.   —>
http://www.timesheraldonline.com/todaysnews/ci_8957348
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Underground Radio: Is Salt Lake City big enough for two KRCLs?
by Ted McDonough
Salt Lake Weekly (UT)
04/17/08

[ 15 comments ]

In a cavernous basement deep beneath the Dakota Lofts on Salt Lake City’s 200 South, a group of radio enthusiasts are sweeping up cobwebs, unpacking audio equipment from boxes and trying to make a comfortable space for Utah’s newest community radio station.  “It’s real underground radio,” jokes Troy Mumm, one of the forces behind Utah Free Media, a planned Internet-only radio station that has gone from concept to flipping the switch in a few months.

Some volunteers manning the brooms come from the ranks of volunteers at KRCL 90.9 who have—or soon will—lose their on-air DJ spots to a format change scheduled to take place May 5 at the community radio station. Others, like Mumm, one-time KRCL music director, staffed KRCL in an earlier era.

Their big idea is a big experiment. Scads of radio stations now stream on the Internet. But instead of music-on-demand streaming, Utah Free Media will attempt a live broadcast hosted by volunteers. That is, freeform radio, like KRCL. Or, as some Utah Free Media volunteers say, like KRCL before the eminent format switch.   —>
http://www.slweekly.com/index.cfm?do=article.details&id=57D41F3C-14D1-13A2-9F188B4D76D07182
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Support Community Radio
by Roy Kasten
Living in Stereo (MO)
04/17/08

[ comments invited ]

I first moved to Saint Louis, Missouri in August 1987. I was 22, a student of literature and a writer. I spent most of my days and nights in the stacks and study rooms of Olin Library at Washington University.  I moved to the river city from Utah. As a teen I had discovered something called “community radio” in the form of KRCL, a volunteer-based music and talk station that broadcasted (and still broadcasts) along the Wasatch Front from the far left end of the FM dial. I think I first heard Bob Marley, the Grateful Dead, Bill Monroe, Hank Williams and John Coltrane on that station. It was a part of my secret teenage life, something no one else would understand, a place and space of solace and discovery.

In Saint Louis, I turned again to the left end of the dial, and in October of 1987, I found KDHX, which had just begun broadcasting at 88.1 FM. I couldn’t believe my ears. The programming was even more eclectic, even more passionate, smart and free than KRCL. I heard country, jazz, punk, new wave, bluegrass — and especially, soul, deep soul, spun by some guy named Papa Ray, “The Soul Selector.” I’m sure it was on his show that I first heard, or really heard, ZZ Hill, Bobby Blue Bland, Joe Tex, Bettye LaVette, Jr. Parker, Johnny Taylor, Fontella Bass, O.V. Wright and Oliver Sain. In the mostly desolate radio wasteland of Saint Louis, I’m sure I wasn’t alone in that.

I became a programmer for KDHX in 2004. My show is called Feel Like Going Home, it airs Wednesday mornings, from 8:00 – 10:00 am Central Time. I try to mix indie rock, singer-songwriters, country, soul, blues and Americana in some way that makes connections, maybe even makes sense.

There are around 200 volunteers that contribute to KDHX–I’m one of them. We all believe that “community media” (and KDHX includes a local access cable TV station, an expanding web site, educational efforts and work with film and video) is more than a noble concept. It’s a practical, viable, meaningful way of building and transforming our community. Saint Louis wouldn’t be Saint Louis without the station.   —>
http://livinginstereo.com/?p=428
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Seminar on Peoples Voices, Peoples Participation and Community Radio – 04 May, 2008
Waves of Change
04/17/08

[ comments invited ]

We would like to appreciate that the present non-political Care Taker Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh recently formulated Community Radio Installation, Broadcast and Operation Policy – 2008 and then asked for applications from interested initiators to install Community Radio in the country. In order to facilitate the application and registration process of the organizations for Community Radio, Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) immediately opened a national help desk in its secretariat in Dhaka. As a result, BNNRC is receiving huge response from the interested development organizations for technical support in this regard.

To accelerate the Community Radio Policy 2008, we are going to organize a national seminar on Peoples Voices, Peoples Participation and Community Radio at 09:30 AM -5:00 PM on Sunday, 04 May, 2008 at UNB Auditorium (7th Floor), Cosmos Centre, 69/1, New Circular Road, Malibagh, Dhaka-1212.where resource persons from Singapore, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh will present their respective papers.  The seminar is jointly organized by Asian Media Information Communication Center(AMIC), United News of Bangladesh (UNB) and Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC).   —>
http://deepdishwavesofchange.blogspot.com/2008/04/seminar-on-peoples-voices-peoples.html
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Cable TV operations will not be blocked
Information minister says no blackout of opposition proceedings in parliament
Daily Times (Pakistan)
04/17/08

ISLAMABAD: Cable operators are the primary source of information for the public and the new democratic government will not allow anyone to block cable TV operations in the country, Information Minister Sherry Rehman said on Wednesday.  “The government believes in freedom of information and public access to information, therefore, no one will be allowed to disrupt the free flow of information,” she told a delegation of the Cable Operators Association of Pakistan, which called on her under the leadership of its chairman, Khalid Sheikh. Sherry said that the government had already tabled a bill to remove the ‘black’ media law and would take further measures for the freedom of the media. “To ensure smooth running of the cable TV network throughout the country, a hotline service would be set up at the Information Ministry, where cable operators would register their complaints of any external pressure for blocking their system or a particular TV channel,” she added.   —>
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008%5C04%5C17%5Cstory_17-4-2008_pg7_18
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/13/08

February 17, 2008

Bush asked to use Olympics to push for media freedom
AFP
02/13/08

Reporters Without Borders, a global media watchdog, on Wednesday called on US President George W. Bush to use his attendance of the Olympic Games in Beijing to push for press freedom and other democratic reforms in China.  Bush should “push for change and urge the Chinese authorities to release political prisoners and end censorship,” Lucie Morillon, director of Reporters Without Borders USA, told a forum in Washington where the group’s annual report was released.  “This could be an important part of his legacy,” she said, referring to Bush’s last year in office after being first elected in 2000.

The annual report said 2007 was a tough year for the media with 87 journalists killed, the highest since 1994.  Eighty-two journalists, Internet users and bloggers are currently imprisoned in China, according to Reporters Without Borders.  Chinese authorities promised “total press freedom” when awarded the Olympic Games, which will officially open on August 8, “but none of their promises were kept,” Morillon said.  Chinese journalist He Qinglian, author of “How the Chinese government controls the media,” told the forum that even journalists who wrote on health and pollution issues were not spared in her country.  “The government is shameless. China is not a respectable member of the international community,” she said.   —>
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5irUNO7Nis-3k2Sttpn2tds1cir2g
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Hope may be dimming for public access TV
by Alicia Petska
The News & Advance (VA)
02/13/08

[comments allowed]

The possibility of lending city support to Lynchburg’s public access station is still on the table, although City Council unanimously approved a contract that could have the channel off the air as early as this week.  On Wednesday, Ward II Councilman Ceasor Johnson said he was willing to champion community television’s cause during this year’s budget hearings if there was interest in keeping the programming.  He made no promises of success, though, noting the city was facing a tight financial year.  “Kaine, he’s got a $1 billion loss right now,” Johnson said, referring to the state’s budget deficit. “That trickles down to local government and everyone’s going have to tighten their belts. I don’t know what people will be willing to do for public access.”

City Manager Kimball Payne, who’s finishing his budget proposal now, told council members at Tuesday’s meeting that support for public access will not be included.  At the meeting, City Council unanimously approved a new franchise contract for cable provider Comcast. Under the terms of that deal and in compliance with recent changes to state law, Comcast will no longer be required to support local public access programs, which run on Channel 7.  Hosts still have the right to broadcast their programs, but will now have to pay to produce them – a possibility that could spell the end of Lynchburg’s 30-year public access  tradition.   —>
http://www.newsadvance.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=LNA%2FMGArticle%2FLNA_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1173354602451&path=!news!archive
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New Lynchburg cable franchise drops public access
by Alicia Petska
The News & Advance (VA)
02/13/08

[comments allowed]

Lynchburg City Council has unanimously approved a new cable franchise contract that drops support for public access programming.  Council, which previously voted against stepping in to save the city’s public TV station, did leave the door open for possible city funding in the future.  Ward II Councilman Ceasor Johnson asked that the issue be brought up again during this year’s budget talks, which kick off next month.

Prior to council’s vote, which was cast Tuesday night, 15 people came forward during a hearing to speak in support of public access. Lynchburg’s had public access TV since 1978.  In the past, its been supported by the city’s cable provider, currently Comcast. Changes to state law approved in 2006 no longer require companies to carry that burden.
http://www.newsadvance.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=LNA%2FMGArticle%2FLNA_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1173354593364&path=!news!archive
~

Mayor leans toward state licensing on cable TV
by Andy Sher
Chatanooga Times Free Press (TN)
02/12/08

[1 comment]

Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield said Monday he is “basically comfortable” with legislation that would create a statewide cable licensing process although he noted he will need to see final language before making a definite commitment.  “I know a lot of maneuvering, a lot of writing and rewriting is going on and so when I see the final bill we’ll decide,” Mr. Littlefield said. “But right now I’m basically comfortable with AT&T’s latest proposal.”  Mr. Littlefield’s comments came as he and mayors from Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville visited with House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington, and Gov. Phil Bredesen on a variety of issues.   —>
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2008/feb/12/littlefield-leans-toward-t-state-cable-fight/
~

League of Women Voter Returns – LWV discusses internet issues
by Kara O’Connor
Stamford Times (CT)
02/13/08

The Connecticut League of Women Voters gathered at Ferguson Library Monday to discuss the openness of the Internet.  In June 2007 the LWV began a state-level study on the emerging media issues, their relevance to democracy and the importance to Connecticut residents.  Cheryl Denson, the vice president for public affairs and Carol Young, the vice president for communications put together a presentation on the collected data for the members of the LWV.  “You don’t have to be an Internet wiz to care about this issue,” said Denson. “The media has changed so much in the 21st century, there is a whole array of electronic media that we all depend upon.”

The LWV spoke about three different issues; Internet neutrality, universal Internet access for Connecticut and community access TV and public affairs programming. The LWV asked their members if they agreed or disagreed with these three issues.  There are three levels of the LWV, the local, the state and the national level and all three levels conduct studies, according to Yara Burnett the President of the Connecticut LWV. These particular issues are state-level studies.   —>
http://www.thestamfordtimes.com/stamford_templates/stamford_story/292808632528005.php
~

Medway officials fuming over Comcast contract
by Aaron Wasserman
Milford Daily News (MA)
02/11/08

Comcast has overcharged its 3,600 cable subscribers in town about $150,000 total in the last 10 years for a station manager who did not exist, said Selectman John Foresto yesterday.  Additionally, negotiations with Comcast on a new 10-year cable contract with the town have stalled, Foresto informed selectmen at their meeting last night, in part because the town wants a settlement for the $150,000. He is leading the talks for the town.

The current contract expires Feb. 22. It will not affect subscribers’ cable service, said Foresto, but will determine how much money the town receives to run its public access channel and studio at the high school.  The main hurdle is how much Comcast contributes for those operations. Verizon, in a 10-year contract negotiated last September, paid about $160,000 for equipment and gives 4 percent of revenue to the town for public access – costs it passes on to consumers, Foresto said. The town wants Comcast to agree to the same conditions, but the cable company wants to tie its payment entirely to revenues, Foresto said.   —>
http://www.milforddailynews.com/homepage/x1282062004
~

City Receives $300,000 in Comcast Payment
Decatur Tribune (IL)
02/12/08

The City of Decatur recently received almost $300,000 in payments from the local cable company to help maintain local cable service and provide residents better access to government and the community.  City staff in recent months successfully negotiated a new cable franchise agreement with cable provider Comcast after years of delay from Insight, the city’s former provider.  Terms of the agreement call for Comcast to pay about $750,000 over the next 10 years to fund public programming in addition to its regular access fee. The city on Feb. 4 received a payment of $296,500, which includes a portion of the franchise fee and a payment of $75,000 as part of the settlement agreement with Comcast.

“Staff from day one has realized the importance of television and video in providing useful information to the public in this day and age,” said City Manager Steve Garman. “We fought very hard with Insight to make sure that they would provide funding for this service for our residents, city government and the school district and Comcast has been exceptional to work with as we’ve moved forward with the specifics of this agreement.”   —>
http://news.mywebpal.com/news_tool_v2.cfm?show=localnews&pnpID=469&NewsID=876290&CategoryID=7026&on=1
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On Radio: Independent Bellevue station turns 35
Variety of music, local news, keeps KBCS-FM going
by Bill Virgin
Seattle Post-Intelligencer (A)
02/13/08

[2 comments]

As a radio station manager and programmer, Steve Ramsey knows all about the distractions that “take me away from our signal.” He’s got an iPhone, and through his computer and an Internet connection, he can listen to a friend’s station in California.  So what will motivate listeners to tune in to a small radio station such as KBCS-FM/91.3, out of all the media choices — or distractions — available?  Ramsey believes the answer is a combination of the latest technology and an old-fashioned radio model. “We’ve focused pretty intently on making KBCS the community radio station for Seattle,” he says.

As it marks its 35 birthday this month, KBCS, based at Bellevue Community College, seems to be having some success with that combination. Ramsey, KBCS’ general manager, says the station’s weekly audience has been growing.  Although dwarfed by such noncommercial/public-radio stations in this market as KUOW-FM and KPLU-FM, KBCS-FM still manages to draw enough listeners to show up in the quarterly ratings tables (behind the two NPR stations, KEXP-FM and KNHC-FM in fall quarter, according to the Radio Research Consortium).

KBCS hopes to build on that by rolling out new technology. This year it started an audio archive featuring programs from the previous two weeks that can be streamed an hour at a time, as well as a real-time playlist.  Next up is its digital transmitter, which the station hopes to have operating by the end of this summer. That will enable KBCS to use HD technology’s capabilities to provide three channels of programming — two for KBCS itself, the third a student-run channel tied to a curriculum program to be developed with BCC.

But lots of stations boast the same technology. What will set KBCS apart, Ramsey says, is its community focus, with a rich mixture of specialty music programs (featuring everything from vintage jazz to bluegrass, zydeco and Hawaiian) and public-affairs programming (nationally syndicated as well as local).  The local content is produced by about 200 volunteers who come through the station each month. KBCS has built that army of volunteers with training courses through BCC’s continuing education program to turn almost anyone into a radio producer.  “What I tell my students is, that piece of music you’re in love with, listeners can access from 10 different sources,” Ramsey says. What makes them and KBCS unique is their ability to weave that piece of music together with others, as well as conversation and information, “to tell a story.”   —>
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/tv/351195_radiobeat14.html
~

MEDIA-INDIA:  Community Radio Stifled With Red Tape
by Keya Acharya
IPS
02/13/08

BANGALORE – Aspiring community radio operators from various parts of the country are complaining of long delays, frustration and bureaucratic red tape in obtaining licenses to run radio stations.  Following a landmark Supreme Court judgment in 1995 that declared airwaves to be public property for public good, members of civil society organisations as well as United Nations agencies such as UNESCO and UNDP held several consultative meetings to expand the eligibility criteria for community radio.

In 2006, the Indian government amended its broadcasting rules to allow independent radio operators set up non-commercial, community-based stations in rural and urban areas.  But the new rules do not allow community radio stations to network with one another and limited broadcast range; no news content is allowed and only five minutes per hour is allowed for advertisements.

“The low 100-watts capacity is fit only for a 10-km distance while urban community radio does not come about because of a lack of frequency,’’ says Stalin K, founder-member of a networking organisation called Community Radio Forum and of the Drishti Media Collective in Gujarat.  The radio frequency allowed by the government in urban areas has to be shared with commercial FM radio, wireless and cell phone operators, leaving community radio with very little frequency bandwidth to operate.

“It is clearly better to have specific frequencies to be allocated for community radio, like other countries such as Thailand or the United States,” says Stalin.  Steve Buckley, Asia-Pacific president of the World Association of Community Radio, (AMACR) says Australia has an active and lively tradition of community-based radio, while Indonesia follows as actively despite political upheavals.  The Philippines too has active community-radio, but with legal constraints, says Buckley.

In India, the Community Radio Forum, a network of NGOs in community radio had been advocating for some years for the Indian government to free the airwaves, still under State control, in spite of the Prasar Bharati Act 1990 which set up an ostensibly independent broadcasting corporation in India.  Though the government had intentions of allowing 4,000 community radio stations by 2008, no operators have yet been given licenses to broadcast. Seven community radio stations have been given a ‘letter of intent’ by the government to operate, pending final approval.   —>
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=41174
~

North Carolina Democrats Go After FCC Chair Kevin Martin
by Matt Stoller
OpenLeft.com
02/13/08

[1 comment]

There’s some really interesting news on the open internet front.  First of all, FCC Chair Kevin Martin is now under genuine political attack.  He’s been setting himself up for a political run with his current tenure at the FCC for some time, buttering up powerful industries and acting as a Bush loyalist.  And so this criticism from the North Carolina Democrats is a big deal.  “The North Carolina Democratic Party today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Office of the Inspector General to obtain a detailed list of Chairman Kevin Martin’s recent travel.”   —>
http://openleft.com/showDiary.do;jsessionid=03D3B5D31C0E661A436F43E3F69DEC25?diaryId=3899
~

He’s Had Enough of You
FCC’s Copps Wants His Media Smaller, Newsier — and Less Cluttered With Ads
by Mya Frazier
02/11/08

[2 comments]

It’s Jan. 12, 2007, in Memphis, Tenn., and Mr. Copps, preaching to the proverbial choir of nearly 3,500 self-described “media-reform activists,” proceeds to tell them what taxpayers get for that half trillion: “Too little news, too much baloney passed off as news. Too little quality entertainment, too many people eating bugs on reality TV. … Too much brain-numbing national playlists. Too little of America, too much of Wall Street and Madison Avenue.”

It’s not the kind of fiery rhetoric you’d expect from a 38-year Washington insider with a job title that can basically be summed up in one word — bureaucrat. Is this the same guy who dons a suit and tie each day and heads to a rather boring and morose building that wouldn’t look out of place in the middle of an office complex in, say, suburban Iowa?

Worthy adversary

Yes, but it’s also likely that few things keep Rupert Murdoch and Sam Zell up at night more than the prospect of Michael Copps becoming FCC chairman. Unlike Chairman Kevin Martin, Mr. Copps surely would not be a friend to Big Media.  So far, as one of only two Democratic commissioners — outvoted at practically every turn by three Republicans — he’s had little ability to actually push his vision of “media democracy” and has instead been limited to writing scathing dissents and firing up activists outside the Beltway. But it’s been an effective strategy nonetheless.

“He has been, by far, the most effective FCC commissioner in a minority role that I have seen in 37 years of working with the FCC,” said Andrew Schwartzman, president-CEO of the Media Access Project, which has fought media consolidation via the courts. “I have never seen anyone play a bad hand as well as he has.” He added: “I would hate to be in a poker game with him.”

Come 2009, the new president will appoint his or her own FCC chairman. And a Copps appointment would give him power to set the agenda, block media mergers with some help from Congress and overhaul the license-renewal process for broadcasters, a process he has called “slipshod.” (He proposed shortening the eight-year cycle to three in a New York Times editorial last year.) In other words, every three years the likes of Messrs. Murdoch and Zell would be asked if they were serving the public interest and should keep their broadcast licenses.   —>
http://adage.com/article?article_id=124973
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ACA: A La Carte Would Be Status Quo
Group Says Many Content Providers Already Offer This Option
by Ted Hearn
Multichannel News
02/12/08

[comments allowed]

Big cable programmers shouldn’t have a worry if the Federal Communications Commission adopts so-called wholesale a la carte rules because many content owners claim they make their channels available in that manner today, the American Cable Association said Tuesday.  “Many programmers say they already offer channels on a stand-alone basis. ACA’s proposals would simply codify this practice, and give a remedy in case stand-alone channels were not offered on reasonable terms,” ACA told the FCC in a filing. “As programmers and broadcasters claim they already do this, they should have no legitimate objection to the [FCC’s] incorporating this into its regulations.”

ACA – which represents 1,100 cable companies with 8 million customers – has been battling Viacom, The Walt Disney Co. and other big programmers for many years on the wholesale distribution of cable programming. Small MSOs complain that the bundling of channels, also called tying, forces them to buy more programming than they want and pass along unwanted costs to unhappy consumers.   —>
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6531815.html?nid=4262
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Academic Community Takes a Long Look at Archival Project
by Avi Webb
Chabad.org News
02/13/08

For an academic body studying the nexus between religion and the media, a Chabad-Lubavitch archive and production outfit have become something of a test case of how a Chasidic Jewish community has embraced modern technology to document and preserve its modern legacy.

At their regular gathering in late December, 20 members of New York University’s Working Group on Jews, Media and Religion examined Jewish Educational Media, which controls an archive of 4,000 hours of audiotapes and video footage of the Sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, of righteous memory, and the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, dating back to the 1920s.

In its research, the working group – part of the university’s Center for Religion and Media – struggles with a conspicuous gap in available resources. Chasidic communities tend to hold out against technological advances, making it difficult to find documentation of their early growth in America. Until recently, the consensus was that, save for a burst of activity in the 1990s among young Jewish artists who took up various mediums to explore several Chasidic communities from the outside looking in, documentary evidence of such group’s early development in the United States was lacking.

Then Jewish Educational Media embarked on a preservation effort called “The Living Archive,” which over the past two years has attracted the interest of academics and such bodies as the National Endowment for the Humanities.  “There is absolutely nothing to compare with the video and audio documentation of a religious Jewish community that [JEM] has collected,” said Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, a professor of performance studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a co-convener of the religion and media working group at NYU.   —>
http://www.chabad.org/news/article_cdo/aid/637543/jewish/Looking-Ahead-in-Preserving-the-Past.htm
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Brookline Access TV show mixes current events with hometown humor
by Neal Simpson
Brookline Tab (MA)
02/13/08

[comments allowed]

You can call him the Jon Stewart of public access television.  For more than a decade, Mike Sallen has bought his own brand of political humor to the Brookline airwaves. Although the production has gotten smaller over the years, Sallen and two friends still meet every Monday night to poke fun at politicians and tease celebrities on “The Fun Show.”  “We’re having a good time,” said Sallen, a Thorndike Street resident. “We’re trying to get people to sit back and have some fun.”

A former public school superintendent, Sallen launched his TV career in 1997 with a black-comedy skit show called “Shorties” that involved props, costumes and a rotating cast of actors. The show was scrapped when the station changed studios.   “The Fun Show,” which airs live every Monday at 7 p.m., is a much simpler production. Sallen rarely leaves his chair, and his two co-hosts, actor Archer O’Reilly and radio journalist Kevin McNicholas, read from paper scripts in their lap.

The highlight of the show is Sallen’s scripts, which O’Reilly introduces each week as a production of the “BATV Unrehearsed Thespian Society.” O’Reilly and McNicholas rarely see the script before Sallen hands it to them minutes before the show.  “What Mike loves to do is put words in my mouth that I would never on earth have said,” said O’Reilly, Sallen’s neighbor on Thorndike Street.  “The Fun Show” starts each week with playful banter between the three men. Then, when Sallen signals, they begin to read, taunting each other and trading snappy responses that are never more than a few words long.   —>
http://www.wickedlocal.com/brookline/fun/x182025778
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannls.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/09/07

October 10, 2007

DRAFT NARA DIGITIZING PLAN AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC COMMENT
Posted for comment: September 10, 2007
Comments due: November 9, 2007
Send comments to: Vision@nara.gov or by fax to 301-837-0319

Draft Plan pdf

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is seeking public comment on its draft Plan for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access, 2007-2016. This draft plan outlines our planned strategies to digitize and make more accessible the historic holdings from the National Archives of the United States.

The document is divided into several sections. The first section, INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND, provides information on NARA’s mission, our archival holdings, and our past experience with digitization, to give you the context of the draft Plan for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access, 2007-2016. Section II, PLAN OVERVIEW, describes our planned goals, activities, and priorities for digitization. Sections III through V provide listings of current digitization activities being carried out by NARA and through partnerships to digitize and make available archival materials.

Appendix A contains draft operating principles that we are using as we enter into partnerships and Appendix B references relevant NARA guidance that applies to handling of archival materials being digitized and the technical guidelines for image creation and description. We particularly invite your comments on Sections II, III, V, and Appendix A.
http://www.archives.gov/comment/digitizing-plan.html
~
Connecticut franchise battle continues
FierceIPTV.com
10/09/07

The attorney general in Connecticut is not backing down in his quest to make sure AT&T’s U-verse is subject to the same requirements as cable TV operations. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s latest volley is a public request that AT&T’s franchise application be rejected, which seems counterintuitive on its face. Blumenthal fought to make AT&T obtain a franchise license from the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control in August. The PUC was all about letting AT&T slide, but a federal judge suggested otherwise.

The PUC later denied Blumenthal’s petition to make AT&T get a franchise license, but it appears that the resurrected Bell did so anyway, because Blumenthal issued statement urging its denial. “This new application by AT&T seems to accept that they must seek a franchise, but makes a sham of meeting the franchise requirements,” he said. Blumenthal wants AT&T to have build-out requirements typical of cable franchise agreements. —>
http://www.fierceiptv.com/story/connecticut-franchise-battle-continues/2007-10-09?utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss
~
Verizon seeks exemption from pro-competition rules
by Matthew G. Feher
Massachusetts Municipal Association
10/01/07

Verizon Communications, which repeatedly claims that barriers to competition in Massachusetts limit its ability to provide cable services here, is petitioning the Federal Communications Commission to exempt it from rules designed to encourage competition in the telecommunications market. Verizon has asked the FCC for an exemption from requirements that it lease network access to competitors at reduced rates, pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Verizon is using a little-known provision of the Telecommunications Act – known as a “forbearance” – that allows a provider to seek relief from its obligations to competitors. Verizon is petitioning for the exemption in six major Eastern U.S. markets, including the Boston metropolitan service area. “There’s a tremendous amount of competitive choice in Boston in particular,” Verizon’s Vice President and Associate General Counsel Edward Shakin told the Boston Globe recently when asked to justify the petition.

Incumbent phone companies such as Verizon, however, control more than 75 percent of the market, and several independent government authorities (including the FCC, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office) have found that Verizon continues to exert preemptive market power, especially in the business market.

Qwest Communications was recently granted a similar forbearance from loop and transport requirements in part of the Omaha, Neb., region. In granting the forbearance, the FCC said it expected the company to voluntarily keep the market open to competition by continuing to allow access to necessary parts of its system. Instead, Qwest has effectively shut down the market, and its largest competitor has announced plans to exit the Omaha region.

At a recent FCC oversight hearing conducted by the U.S. House Telecommunications Subcommittee, Chair Ed Markey of Massachusetts said, “The effect of granting these [forbearance] petitions would be to usurp congressionally enacted statutes in a sweeping manner. I have great concerns about the effect on competition and consumers that these petitions pose.”

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley shares these concerns. “The ‘market forces’ alleged are not sufficient to protect the interests of consumers,” she said. The Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable added, “Verizon fails to show that any of its competitors have established a sufficient level of facilities-based competition in any of the wire centers of the Boston [region].” The city of Boston filed its opposition to Verizon’s petition with the FCC last month.

Others opposing Verizon’s request include the city governments of New York City and Philadelphia as well as numerous state consumer and public service agencies in Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates also opposes the move by Verizon.
http://www.mma.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2193&Itemid=82
~

[ These are just the concluding ‘graphs of Isenberg’s comments at NATOA last week. Follow the link to read his comments in full. – rm ]

My NATOA Talk on Network Neutrality
by David S. Isenberg
Isen Blog
10/08/07

Last Friday morning I was part of a panel on Network Neutrality at the annual NATOA conference. NATOA is the “National Association of Telecommunications Operators and Administrators.” Its members are mostly municipal employees who operate their town government’s telephone systems, Internet systems and information systems. My fellow panelists were Josh Silver, co-founder of Free Press, and Matt Wenger, President of The Americas for Packetfront. The panel was ably moderated by Ken Fellman, Mayor of Arvada, Colorado and long-time telecom activist…. I was the first speaker. Here’s what I prepared for Opening Remarks:

… Now we’re just beginning to see these unregulated, undisciplined, uncompetitive monoliths abandon all public duty. They decide which organizations can and can’t put messages on their networks. They arbitrarily block access to competing services. They reserve the right to terminate service if they decide — in their sole discretion — that our use of their facilities “is objectionable for any reason, …”, or if it, “damages their reputation,” or even if we post “off topic messages” to newsgroups. They’ve announced plans to police the Internet for copyright materials, and they will decide — in their sole discretion — what to do about them. They’ve announced plans to create fast-lane services for Web sites they decide — in their sole discretion — that they like, and regular Internet service for the rest of us.

Our use of the Internet should be at **our** discretion, not **theirs**. The NATOA board correctly advocates restoring the law against such behavior.

But Caution! Telephone companies have a long history of manipulating the law for their purposes. My friend Bruce Kushnick wrote a book called The 200 Billion Dollar Broadband Scandal where he documents how telcos have gotten tax breaks and rate relief in return for promises of improved services that they don’t keep. For example, they got at least $11B for promising that every customer in New Jersey would have 45 MBit symmetrical service by now. Today **no** household in New Jersey has 45 MBit service, but they kept the money.

Other scandals are brewing — for example, AT&T promised [.pdf] to offer DSL for $10 a month in its agreement to acquire Bell South, but you can’t find their $10 DSL offer anywhere. Are they going to recind the AT&T-BellSouth merger as a result?

Finally, I remind you that the Bells systematically gutted each pro-competitive position even though the 1996 Act established that competition was the Law of the Land.

So I’m not optimistic that a law that simply mandates Net Neutrality will survive the depredations of the monoliths to actually BRING us Network Neutrality. I think we’ll need to restore their sense of public duty too, and I’m not quite sure how to do that.
http://isen.com/blog/2007/10/my-natoa-talk-on-network-neutrality.html
~

Entrepreneur Aims to Overthrow TV, Not Get Rich
by Bryan Gardiner
Wired.com
10/08/07

Most software entrepreneurs’ ambition is to sell out for a huge wad of cash, or maybe go public for an even bigger pile. Not so Nicholas Reville: He wants to overthrow the television industry, and he doesn’t care if he gets rich. In fact, as executive director and co-founder of the Participatory Culture Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Reville is unlikely to make much money at all.

Reville oversees the PCF’s core project: a free, open-source video player called Miro. Formerly known as Democracy Player, Miro is a desktop video application that lets you search and view videos. It uses RSS, BitTorrent and media-player technologies. But the PCF’s ambitions go far beyond making and distributing a popular internet video platform. Ultimately, the foundation’s goal is to promote and build an entirely new, open mass medium of online television.

“We see TV as moving online in a lot of ways,” Reville explains. “There’s a chance to make it really open, or there’s a chance that companies are going to build proprietary systems and try to lock in users to creators. We think that video RSS is a really good way of making it a level playing field, so our goal is to push the video industry in the direction of openness — towards using open standards.” —>
http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/news/2007/10/nonprofit_software
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/21/07

September 21, 2007

Community Forum Video Series
Media Issues Come To Marin (CA)
blip.tv
09/18/07

Media Action Marin and Be the Media present:
“Media Issues Come To Marin – a panel discussion”

[blip.tv ?posts_id=392197&dest=-1]

David Mathison – Moderator
Julie Akins – Executive Director, Petaluma Community Access
Flor Emert – Board of Directors, Community Media Center of Marin
Larry Bragman – Fairfax Mayor, Member MTA
Peter Franck – Chairperson, Media Action Marin
http://blip.tv/file/387134
~

Hillsborough cuts funding for public access
by Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Evening News Friday (FL)
09/21/07

The Hillsborough County Commission unanimously approved a $4-billion budget last night, their first since the state mandated budget cuts to cities and counties provide property tax relief. The budget eliminates 442 jobs, including 97 positions currently held by full-time employees. Overall, it cuts nearly $56 million from the budget. One of the biggest losers in the battle for fewer taxpayer dollars is the county’s public access channel, Speak up Tampa Bay. —>
http://www.wmnf.org/news_stories/show/4743
~

Public access loses battle in Hillsborough County
Hillsborough County commissioners voted to cut funding for the public access cable channel on Thursday night.
My Fox Tampa Bay (FL)
09/21/07

An ongoing battle over public access television ended Thursday night at the meeting of the Hillsborough County Commission on balancing the budget. The cable channel lost all its public funding from the county, but those with their own shows are trying to stake a claim on the cable programming. —>
http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=4419783&version=2&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1
~

County Approves $4 Billion Budget
by Anthony McCartney
Tampa Tribune (FL)
09/21/07

—> Virtually all the speakers Thursday night lobbied the board to restore spending for certain projects, while a few asked commissioners to make changes that would further lower property tax bills. Some asked for both. Most said they wanted $874,000 restored to two nonprofit television stations, The Education Channel and Tampa Bay Community Network.

Commissioners approved giving The Education Channel $250,000 next year, less than half of the $519,000 it received in this year’s budget. Ann Goldenberg, the station’s executive director, expressed gratitude, saying the money will help her station continue production of numerous local educational programs. “It’ll have to be enough,” Goldenberg said.

TBCN, also known as public access, was not as lucky. A bid to give the station $250,000 next year failed on a 4-3 vote, with Commissioners Jim Norman, Ken Hagan, Al Higginbotham and Brian Blair rejecting the motion. Joe Ramsey, who hosts the Gospel Music Hour on the network, raised his hand and prayed for commissioners to continue funding TBCN during his three-minute speech during public comment. “Continue public access and let freedom ring,” he said. “I’m very, very disappointed,” Louise Thompson, the station’s executive director, said after the vote. She said she would consider suing the county to get funding restored.

Commissioner Mark Sharpe, who made the motion to restore money for The Education Channel, said it may be the last time Hillsborough could help pay for the station’s operations. “I say to the advocates, times are changing,” he said. “The cheese is gone.” —>
http://www2.tbo.com/content/2007/sep/21/county-approves-4-billion-budget/?news-breaking
~

Mild relief brings pain
The county budget cuts 442 jobs while only lowering taxes slightly.
by Bill Varian
St. Petersburg Times (FL)
09/21/07

TAMPA – Hillsborough commissioners unanimously approved a $4-billion budget Thursday that eliminates hundreds of county jobs while providing residents with modest property tax relief. Thursday’s losers include the county’s public and education access cable television, its planning agency, its parks maintenance and after-school programs, and employees who review building permit requests.

Commissioners voted 4-3 against giving the public access channel any money, without explanation, and gave the education channel one year on a scaled-down budget to allow time to find other fiscal patrons, that on a 5-2 vote. The final budget vote means dozens of parks, library and permit review jobs get slashed. —>
http://www.sptimes.com/2007/09/21/Hillsborough/Mild_relief_brings_pa.shtml
~

Regional council wins freedom over local access programming
by Jared Newman
Wilton Villager (CT)
09/21/07

It may not be as popular as ESPN, HBO or NBC, but local access programming was the focus of a recent disagreement between Cablevision and the Area Nine Cable Council, which represents 10 Fairfield County municipalities including Wilton. When renewing a franchise agreement with the council, Cablevision added a stipulation that would prevent local access channels from being broadcast by other cable providers, should they move into the area. Town government coverage, such as board of selectmen and board of education meetings, would be seen on Cablevision only.

The council disputed the new rule with the state Department of Utility Control, which last week released a draft decision in the council’s favor. In other words, videos of town government and board of education meetings can be provided to any cable provider that moves into the area. An official decision is expected in October. —>
http://www.wiltonvillager.com/wilton_templates/wilton_story/289906196218144.php
~

City Council approves increased cable franchise fee
by Emily Rusch
Columbia Missourian
09/20/07

COLUMBIA — On the surface, Monday night looked to be a watershed moment for Columbia’s chronically underfunded public access channel. The City Council approved raising the cable television franchise fee, a measure initially recommended to better fund Columbia Access Television. And to boot, the council signed off on $15,000 to keep CAT TV running until the end of the year.

But what could prove more important for CAT TV, and the city’s other access channels, is what the council didn’t decide Monday: Who will benefit from the extra funds, estimated at $260,000 in 2008? “Nothing’s written in stone right now,” CAT treasurer Steve Hudnell said. “We want to be funded properly. We never intended to continue on $30,000 a year. That has been something that we never intended to go on this long.”

Both CAT and Columbia Public Schools, which runs the city’s educational access channel, have expressed interest in the money generated by the franchise fee increase. Video service providers, or cable and telephone companies, will now be charged 5 percent of their gross revenue earned within Columbia city limits to use public right-of-way. The 2 percent increase, according to a report to the council written by City Attorney Fred Boeckmann, would generate an extra $260,000 in 2008 and about $330,000 more in subsequent years.

In a memo to the council, Toni Messina, director of public communications, laid out a couple of options for the extra revenue. Funding city services or supporting some or all of the cable access channels are among the options. –>
http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2007/09/20/city-council-approves-increased-cable-franchise-fe/
~

CATEC highlights career opportunities with guest lecture series
by lbanner
c-note (VA)
09/21/07

On September 25th & 26th the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) will begin its second season of producing the Guest Lecture Series for high school students and community members. The September lectures focus on Communications and Audio/Video Technology. Featured speakers include Andy Huffmyer and Tom La from CBS 19; Cass Cannon from Charlottesville City Schools; Denny King and Kent Williamson from Paladin Pictures; and Jeffery Hanna from UVA Public Affairs.

CATEC began sponsoring these programs last year as an opportunity to expose students to career opportunities. CATEC students, along with other Albemarle and Charlottesville students who register with their counselors, can attend the sessions which will take place in the Charlottesville Public Access studio from 1:30 – 3:15 p.m. The shows, which are aired on Charlottesville Public Access TV, are filmed, edited and produced by CATEC TV Video Production students. —>
http://cvillecnote.wordpress.com/2007/09/21/catec-highlights-career-opportunities-with-guest-lecture-series/
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Media Minutes: September 21, 2007
Free Press

Public interest groups want to know why the DOJ submitted a filing to the FCC against Net Neutrality – six weeks after the deadline. And OneWebDay’s founder talks about why we need to take time to appreciate the Web.
More Info | Download (3.6MB) —>
http://www.freepress.net/mediaminutes/
~

PODCAST 114 – PUBLIC ACCESS TV
PhillyFeed.com (PA)
09/21/07

Shownotes for the 114th PhillyFeed, about the long-awaited arrival of public-access television in Philadelphia.
http://www.phillyfeed.com/archives/003824.html
~

NYC Subway Finally Gets Wireless
Transit Wireless to serve 277 stations within six years (NY)
by Karl
Broadband Reports
09/20/07

The New York Times notes that New York City residents will finally be getting cell and wireless data access in all 277 city subway stations. Transit Wireless will pay New York City Transit $46.8 million over 10 years, on top of the estimated $150 million to $200 million the network will cost to build. Transit Wireless got the deal because they offered so much up-front cash; the report notes that the major industry players didn’t try very hard:

A consortium of the major cellphone providers, including Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, offered a total payment over 10 years of just $40, according to a summary of the deal that will be provided to the authority’s board members. (A transit official said the figure was not a typo.)

Six stations will be online within two years for testing: 23rd Street and 14th Street on the Eighth Avenue line, 14th Street on the Seventh Avenue line, 14th Street on the Sixth Avenue line and Eighth Avenue and Sixth Avenue on the L line. The company has six years to get all 277 stations up and running. —>
http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/NYC-Subway-Finally-Gets-Wireless-87716
~

Scottsdale company teams with UPS to preserve cherished images
by Donna Hogan
East Valley Tribune (AZ)
09/20/07

A local audio-video processor for consumers is piloting a program with The UPS Store that could have the shipping giant selling the Scottsdale company’s services nationwide. Audio Video Editor, based in Scottsdale with additional stores in Mesa, Chandler and Surprise, provides various audio and video services. But the shop’s primary product is conversion of old, out-of-date visual formats such as 35mm slides, 8mm home movies, VHS, Betamax and the like into DVDs for preservation of cherished images, said company president Ron Stilwell.

The local company signed a national contract with The UPS Store that lets customers bring their image collections in any combination of formats to a UPS Store, which will pack it up and ship it free to Scottsdale for DVD replication. Audio Video editor will process the package and mail it back, Stilwell said. —>
http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/97831
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/10/07

September 10, 2007

AT&T=Sauron

[ photo credit: Mike Byrd – used with permission. Please contact micchiato at gmail dot com for permission to reproduce. ]

AT&T Waves Investment Dollars to Leverage Favorable State Legislation
by S-town Mike
Enclave – Nashville North-by-Northwest (TN)
09/10/07

As a former lobbyist, AT&T Tennessee’s new President must understand the power of money in the General Assembly. Now he seems to be using it to resurrect “video franchise reform” (VFR) which would not just promote competition for the cable industry; it would also centralize the marketing process by establishing state-wide franchising, effectively removing the power of municipalities to broker their own deals.

Conservatives seem to love VFR*, perhaps because they are sensitive to being drummed by others for their blind eyes to or rationalizations of the ills of monopolies. But VFR allows them both to support corporate control of markets (by “The New AT&T,” or “Botoxed Ma Bell”) and to oppose corporate control of markets (by Comcast).

… Conservatives seem to be straying from their principles at this point, both because they claim local autonomy and because the move seems to necessitate regulation of the market at the state level. On the contrary some of us see no contradiction between more competition, local autonomy, and strong regulations.

As AT&T and Comcast continue to flex their muscle with the state government, our elected officials need to keep an eye first on consumer protection, rather than look to the competitive advantage of one giant over another. Let the conservatives choose up sides with the giants. Tennessee should only centralize the video franchising process if it protects us consumers lost in this land of the giants.
http://enclave-nashville.blogspot.com/2007/09/at-waves-investment-dollars-to-leverage.html
~

Bill Stalls in Wisconsin
Multichannel News
09/10/07

While most state legislatures have concluded action on cable-franchising bills, the one in Wisconsin is stuck, awaiting the outcome of a fight over the state budget. The bill, which will move franchising authority to the state Department of Financial Institutions, was approved by the Assembly on a 66-28 vote in May. It was sent to the Senate, where it will be heard, possibly in the fall, by the Joint Finance Committee. But that apparently won’t happen until the Democrat-ruled Senate and Republican-controlled Assembly can agree on a state budget.

… A consumer coalition has formed also, branding itself TeleTruth Wisconsin. Its members hope to convince the Senate to revise what they state is a “very anti-consumer bill,” said its Cynthia Laitman, executive director. Laitman, a former communications professor, has also served on Madison’s city broadband regulatory board. Nothing in state law prevents AT&T from launching video service today, she said. She noted her municipal panel extended an invitation to the telephone company 18 months ago to service Madison, but said AT&T has refused.

The group, which includes the state’s League of Women Voters, the Wisconsin Association of PEG Channels, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and WISPIRG, question industry assertions that prices will fall due to deregulation. Laitman cites research by Texas communities, noting that prices have not fallen in two years of state regulation there; and comments by AT&T executives that the telco does not intend to compete on price. —>
http://animationartist.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=181202
~

Youth Advisory Council Promo
by Dfunk
Mid-Peninsula Media Center (CA)
09/10/07

Watch this short video to learn more about the Youth Advisory Council and see them in action! (4 mins)
http://midpen-media-center.blogspot.com/2007/09/youth-advisory-council-promo.html
~

Seniors, MCTV celebrate completion of public-safety spot
by Gayle Simone
Valley Dispatch (MA)
08/31/07

METHUEN — Accomplishing a goal can be cause for celebration, and when that deed is a successful public-service commerical, it justifies having a party. And that’s just what Methuen Community Television and the TRIAD Council — a partnership between law enforcement and senior citizens through the Essex County Sheriff’s Department — did on Aug. 23 when they held a premiere party at the Methuen Senior Activity Center for the “Is Your Number Up?” commercial, which will air in September on MCTV. —>
http://www.thevalleydispatch.com/methuen/ci_6770071
~

Digital Filmmaking Workshops set for November
Film New Hampshire
09/10/07

All-day seminars focusing on Independent Film Production return to the Manchester Community Access Media (MCAM) Studios in Manchester, NH. The Digital Filmmaking Workshops announces its fall schedule of extensive all-day seminars on Independent Film Production, held again at Manchester Community Access Media, 540 Commercial St. in Manchester, N.H. —>
http://nhfilmoffice.blogspot.com/2007/09/digital-filmmaking-workshops-set-for.html
~

Openings Aplenty on County Volunteer Boards
Kitsap Sun (WA)
09/10/07

—> Bremerton Kitsap Public Access Television Advisory Committee-BKAT: The committee acts as an advisory body to the Bremerton City Council and the Kitsap County Commissioners to promote public access television. The current openings are to represent community at large and youth. The committee meets at least once a month and makes recommendations on general policy relating to services and facilities. The committee also promotes community outreach and provides a forum for citizens regarding the use of facilities, programming and other related issues. —>
http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2007/sep/10/openings-aplenty-on-county-volunteer-boards/
~

Dispersed media ownership serves democratic values
by C. Edwin Baker
Seattle Times
09/09/07

The Federal Communications Commission is considering whether to reduce restrictions on broadcast-station ownership, an action that would permit greater media and press concentration. This is a bad idea. Bad for audiences, for citizens, and for democracy. Dispersed media ownership, ideally local ownership, serves democratic values, while conglomerate ownership and media mergers, which would be the result of reduced ownership restrictions, do the opposite.

Equality — one person one vote — provides the proper standard for the distribution of power and voice in a democracy. Maximum dispersal of media ownership can enable more people to identify a media entity as in some sense speaking for and to them.

Dispersed ownership also reduces the danger of inordinate, potentially demagogic power in the public sphere. As the FCC once recognized, many owners creates more independent decision makers who can devote journalistic resources to investigative reports. Finally, dispersal reduces — without eliminating — potential conflicts of interests between journalism and an owner’s economic interests. —>
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2003874286_bakerop10.html
~


[ Maybe you’ve heard of Gather.com. I had not. It’s no surprise that candidates are now seeking every possible forum for meaningful conversations. However, community mediamakers may want to read further about Gather’s “People’s Press Corps” contest. – rm ]

Gather.com Launches Election 2008 Community
Social Media Site Empowers Voters to Get Involved in the Political Discussion, Connect with the Candidates and Participate in a National Search for “The People’s Press Corps”
BusinessWire.com
09/10/07

Gather.com, the leading social media site for adults, today announced that seven presidential candidates have launched groups within its new Election 2008 community, http://election08.gather.com . Gather.com has a highly educated, engaged, and informed adult membership – a demographic elusive to most social networking sites. This demographic has made Gather.com an exceptional choice for presidential candidates to facilitate ongoing, interactive conversations with American voters. In addition to live conversations with the community, campaigns will leverage Gather.com’s article, image, and video-publishing tools. A recent poll of Gather.com members indicated that 98.8% plan to vote in the 2008 presidential election.

Unlike most social media sites whose memberships consist of a very young demographic of members, Gather.com gives candidates from both political parties a platform to connect with an older, more life-experienced American voter. Registered member demographics include:

* 46% male, 54% female
* 73% of audience 30-59 years old; median and mean age 42
* 72% college educated or higher (3X national norm)
* 86.3% of audience has $50K+ household income
* 20% of audience has $100K+ household income
* 77% own a home

“In partnering with Gather.com, the presidential candidates will engage in sophisticated and interactive dialogue with a highly desirable demographic of American voter,” says Tom Gerace (tom.gather.com), founder and CEO. “Candidates will harness the power of social media to communicate with adult Americans who vote at the polls and support candidates financially.”

Recently launched presidential campaign groups within the Election 2008 community can be found at the following URLs:
http://biden08.gather.com; http://dodd08.gather.com; http://edwards08.gather.com; http://giuliani08.gather.com; http://kucinich08.gather.com; http://obama08.gather.com; http://romney08.gather.com

Today, Gather.com also announced a nationwide search for six bloggers to cover the 2008 presidential election as its People’s Press Corps.

Potential pundits are invited to develop and submit an article and/or video on an election topic of their choice at http://election08.gather.com . Finalists will be selected by the Gather.com community, with the final six bloggers chosen by the Gather Editorial Team. The winning bloggers (2 Democrats, 2 Independents, 2 Republicans) will report on the 2008 presidential election for Gather.com throughout the primary season, and will receive exclusive access to candidates, experts, and events. Each blogger will be assigned to cover a particular primary territory for the Gather community. Winners will also receive an all-expenses-paid 3-day trip to report directly from their assigned primary election as Gather’s official media representative.

In order to be considered in the Gather.com Election 2008 Blogger Search, entrants must join Gather.com, which is free, and post an article (500 words or less) and/or a video (3 minutes or less) to the Election 2008 group at http://election08.gather.com . Multiple entries will be accepted, but all entries must relate to the 2008 presidential race. Entrants must also be able to cover the election for their party without personal bias toward a particular candidate.
– Submission period: 09/10/07 – 10/10/07
– Community Voting: 09/10/07 – 10/19/07

http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20070910005098&newsLang=en
~

Gift helps center preserve film, audio recordings
by Frank Davies
San Jose Mercury News
09/10/07

CULPEPER, Va. – The nation’s film and audio treasures, from Thomas Edison’s first moving pictures in 1893 to the latest digital music, will be preserved and restored in a vast, new complex thanks to at least $150 million from David W. Packard’s Humanities Institute – the largest gift ever received by the Library of Congress.

Tucked into a hillside about 70 miles from Washington, D.C., the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center is more than a repository for the fragile reels of “Casablanca,” “Gone With the Wind” and other films, which are stored in renovated vaults once used by the Federal Reserve to stash $3 billion in cash during the Cold War in case of nuclear emergency.

Curators and technicians also are starting to transfer collections that were stored in four states and the capital – hundreds of thousands of items, including highly flammable nitrate-based film – to digital files in a new building, known as the Packard Campus, that Packard’s Los Altos-based foundation donated to the Library of Congress in July. —>
http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_6850210?nclick_check=1
~

Internet streaming: five U.S. television networks compared
by Daniel Langendorf
The Last 100
09/10/07

The good news: Major U.S. television networks continue to embrace Internet technology and are putting their shows on the Web for online viewing, just like they did last year. The bad news: Their online offerings remain sporadic; their Internet strategies feel like “we have to” rather than “we want to”; and — worst of all — they still haven’t embraced the idea that we are living in a new digital world, with different rules, participants, and expectations all around.

We’ve looked at the online offerings of the five major networks — ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and The CW — and sadly no one is blowing the game wide open, although they’re trying. To their credit, the networks are offering some of their top-rated shows online, viewable on their own websites.

But to their discredit, the networks don’t provide streaming for all of their shows, prime time or not, and streaming schedules vary widely. While video quality continues to improve, many networks have crowded and difficult to use interfaces, which detracts from the fun of watching a favorite TV show. Sometimes it’s just not worth the effort. Here’s our journey through the land of network streaming. —>
http://www.last100.com/2007/09/10/internet-streaming-five-us-television-networks-compared/
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org