Archive for the ‘ascertainment’ category

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/26/08

January 27, 2008

Live Blogging during PEG Congressional Hearing
Free Press Action Network
01/25/08

On Tuesday, Jan. 29 [at 1:00 PM], the Free Press Action Network will hold a live-blogging session during the congressional hearing, “Public, Educational, and Governmental (PEG) Services in the Digital TV Age”.

Activists and community leaders will be discussing the hearing as it unfolds.  Listen to the Audio Webcast and add your comments below.   —>
http://www.freepress.net/actionnetwork/node/401
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City to ask Legislature to revisit Sunday alcohol sales, annexation expansion
by Robert DeWitt
Tuscaloosa News (AL)
01/26/08

Issues ranging from Sunday alcohol sales to extra-territorial zoning will be topics for discussion Monday when the Tuscaloosa City Council meets with members of the Tuscaloosa County legislative delegation.  City Council members will sit down with 10 legislators who represent portions of Tuscaloosa County to discuss its legislative agenda over breakfast at the Jemison Mansion. The city will ask legislators to tackle issues it lacks the power to address…

…The city opposes any blanket statewide franchising for video delivery systems. The law currently requires cable television companies to obtain franchises from cities. Now telephone companies and others are developing alternative delivery systems.  City officials want these companies subject to the same franchising regulations, Maddox said.  “If the telephone companies can provide cable service, they should have to enter into a franchise agreement like the cable companies,” he said.   —>
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/20080126/LATEST/690624097/-1/NEWS03
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If you value public access TV, speak up
Bainbridge Island Review (WA)
01/26/08

Do you watch Bainbridge Island Television?  More precisely, do you watch it for programming besides the City Council meetings?  It’s neither a flippant question nor an idle one. BITV’s  regular viewership is surely amongst the questions in play as the station management and the city wrangle over revenue from a cable franchise agreement and other sources.

As reported Wednesday, station manager Scott Schmidt wants BITV to get a bigger slice – actually, the whole pie – of the approximately $190,000 in franchise fees paid by Comcast to the city for the right to do business on Bainbridge Island. BITV presently gets about $120,000 of that revenue, and half of the $54,000 generated by a dollar-per-month surcharge to subscribers to support public access programming. The balance disappears into the city’s general fund, although some of the money is earmarked for better lighting, cameras and other improvements to the chambers from which public meetings are broadcast.

Schmidt says the station needs more money to pay for services either requested by the city itself (adding a second channel; providing online “streaming” of council meetings) or the community at large. Some of the planned programming is Schmidt’s own inspiration, like the weekly news program BITV hopes to roll out in April. While it’s ambitious, it’s not unprecedented; back in the early 1990s when Texas-based Northland Cable still held the island franchise, news was actually integral to the programming. At one point the station boasted a three-person news team and showed footage from local events almost daily. The presentation could be somewhat clunky; we remember a rash of broadcasts in which colors swirled around like a light show at Bill Graham’s Fillmore. But despite the technical limitations, “Northland Cable News” showed the possibilities of local access television and laid the groundwork for today’s programming. Schmidt believes a new, more professional news show would attract both viewers and – at least as important – underwriting dollars from local businesses.

Thinking back 15 years, it is remarkable how far what was then known as “Bainbridge Island Broadcasting” has come. Modern equipment and a dedicated studio on High School Road mean new opportunities to learn videography. Volunteers contribute countless hours to support daylong programming. City Council coverage has grown into the station’s bread and butter, the point at which the interests of station, city and community most clearly intersect.

Yet in some ways, its profile is unchanged. Schmidt says some people still come into the office thinking they can pay their cable bill. (You can’t; BITV and Comcast are separate entities.) It’s also no easier to gauge what the viewership really is. Schmidt approached the Nielsen folks about tracking the ratings but found costs were prohibitive. With no way to precisely measure just who’s watching, and how often, now’s the time for Bainbridge Island Television viewers to speak up on behalf of the station.

Do you like what you see on our local access station? Do you even watch? What’s the value to you? We’d like to hear from viewers on that point. As their contract negotiations roll on, we suspect BITV and the city would, too.
http://www.bainbridgereview.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=96&cat=48&id=1145744&more=0
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The Winds of Change
Potential Reform of FCC Could Go in Many Directions
by Ted Hearn
Multichannel News
01/28/08

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is shining a spotlight on FCC chairman Kevin Martin’s management of the agency. (See “Watching the Martin Watch,” page 18, Jan. 21, 2008).  But it hasn’t been made clear to him precisely why.

The basis of the investigation has been stated only in vague terms. And there could be something of a public payback involved: Committee chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) is evidently upset that Martin gave the public just 28 days to review the FCC plan to relax the newspaper-TV station cross-ownership ban.

But there is always more than meets the public eye when the winds of change blow in. Privately, Dingell has heard repeatedly from regulated industries — including cable operators and programmers — that Martin has failed to state proposed rules in clear terms, producing a process that lacks transparency and due process.

“I think time is overdue for a serious look at the reform of how the FCC conducts itself,” National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Kyle McSlarrow told reporters in December. “I think everybody recognizes that there is something different about how the [Martin] FCC conducts its business.”

In 2007, an annus horribilis for cable at the FCC, Martin at least twice demonstrated his fondness for hide-the-ball tactics. He gave no indication in June that he planned to slash rates that programmers pay cable operators to lease time, and he gave no indication that he supported allowing the NFL Network and other independent programmers to haul cable operators before an FCC-authorized arbitrator to settle their disputes without even a finding of discrimination by cable operators.

Now, Martin is trying to impose wholesale a la carte regulations on cable programmers, forcing The Walt Disney Co. and Viacom to sell their channels at individual prices. That could mean price regulation by the FCC, if Heritage Foundation analyst James Gattuso is right that wholesale a la carte mandates can’t work without government price controls. Since that’s the case, programmers are wondering if Martin plans to regulate wholesale a la carte prices but, as he’s done in the past, hasn’t told anybody.

Cable’s frustration with Martin has made an issue of how the agency is run. From Dingell to Sen. John D. (Jay) Rockefeller (W.Va.) on the Democratic side to Rep. Joe Barton of Texas on the Republican side, attention is now focused on how much power does and should accrue to an FCC chairman, an unelected bureaucrat with the ability to inflict pain on selected opponents, almost with impunity.

NCTA’s McSlarrow goes so far as to call for the FCC to be turned into a forum that adjudicates complaints, with its rulemaking authority taken away in five years.  Rockefeller has indicated support for structural reform, perhaps reducing the five-year terms of commissioners and refocusing its mission toward consumer protection.  But, as the following examples illustrate, reforming the FCC is not a simple task.   —>
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6525874.html
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The Other India and Media
Mainstream Weekly
by Suhas Borker
01/26/08

—>   We know about BPL—Below Poverty Line—but let us also know about Below Media Line—BML. The poor, oppressed, marginalised millions in this country are Below Media Line. If the media does not look at 840 million Indians who do not have more than Rs 20 a day or is not concerned about their future, it is abetting a “Second Partition”,4 which will burst forth like a tsunami of agony and pain, engulfing the whole country. It will be more dehumanising than the one 60 years ago.

Many see it as a wake-up call to the so-called present National Media to connect with the voiceless. To rise above the glitz and razzmatazz of film stars, fashion shows and elitist gizmos that unwrap on advertising which mocks the poor for their poverty, is a choice now. The people’s movements and grassroots organisations which represent the Other India are anyway going to move on regardless. And with them will be a new emerging media—an inclusive media empowered by new technologies encompassing community press, radio, TV and web. It may take some time to link up. Mainstream media or alternative media? It will be the media of the Other India of 840 million Indians.   —>
http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article518.html
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Decision to Shut Down AZN Television a Huge Loss to Asian American Community
PRNewswire
01/26/08

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) today expressed disappointment at the decision by Comcast to shut down AZN Television in April this year, calling it a big loss of yet another important venue through which the American public can learn more about Asians and Pacific Islanders through community-specific news and entertainment.

While understanding that this was primarily a business decision, AAJA lamented the fact that the demise of AZN is the second big blow to the AAPI community in less than six months. In October last year, KQED in San Francisco discontinued its nationally syndicated public radio program, “Pacific Time,” developed to provide news about Asia, Asian American communities and connections across the Pacific Ocean. Like “Pacific Time,” AZN offered broad education through broadcast and online media.

In many ways, “AZN is to the Asian American community just like Univision is to the Latino and BET is to the African American communities, respectively,” said Rene Astudillo, AAJA executive director. He added that AAJA “has partnered with AZN in many ways to ensure that more Asian Americans are given the opportunity to use their journalism and new media skills to enhance the delivery of news and information to the American public.” AAJA’s most recent partnership with AZN involved internship opportunities for students to post journalism-style news and editorial commentary on the network’s Web site.  Astudillo said that AAJA is happy and ready to offer its resources to Comcast and other broadcast networks to develop major programming specifically addressing issues and stories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.    —>
http://sev.prnewswire.com/publishing-information-services/20080126/CLSA01026012008-1.html
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University of Miami: February 26-68
We Media Forum to Explore and Celebrate Innovation in a Connected Society
PR-USA.net

More than two hundred thought leaders, social entrepreneurs and media pioneers are expected to gather next month in Miami, Fla., for the fourth-annual We Media Forum and Festival from February 26 to 28. The two-day event, organized and produced by iFOCOS, the Reston, Va.-based media think tank, will bring together leaders from across industry sectors to jumpstart innovative thinking and new media ventures.  For more details and to register, go to: www.wemediamiami.org.

“We Media is not just an industry conference. It’s a knowledge-sharing network. It’s about being inspired,” says Dale Peskin, co-founder of iFOCOS, which also organizes the We Media Community, an online network of companies and individuals.

The University of Miami School of Communication is co-hosting the conference, which kicks off with a reception on Tuesday night. The Associated Press, an iFOCOS global partner, is sponsoring the conference, along with Washington.Post.Newsweek.Interactive, Reuters, NewsGator, Topix, Humana and AARP. Additional media sponsors include BlogHer, the Association for Alternative Newsweeklies, Daily Me, the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet, LatinVision Media, PaidContent.org, SourceForge, and the Innovators Network.   —>
http://www.pr-usa.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=61176&Itemid=9
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French Media Reforms
by Rizwan Ghani
American Chronicle
01/26/08

Reportedly, President Nicolas Sarkozy has decided to reform French media. The media shakeup details include scrapping up of Arabic and English languages services of Channel 24 and restricting the Channel to French language, only. The reports show that French National TV will be disallowed annual advertisements worth 800 million Euros.

Keeping French as the only language on Channel 24 in presence of Arab and handful of other minorities in France will add another item to the minorities discontentment list. In wake of 2007 standoff with minorities Paris could used state media to develop better relations with minorities instead of doing away with programs in other languages on Channel 24.

The independent observers are waiting for details of planned shakeup but there is a consensus that the direction of changes does not bode well for the media independence. It is believed that French media´s coverage of Sarkozy´s Egypt tour may have precipitated the reform plan. Otherwise, also there is a growing perception that it is the start of love-hate relationship between Sarkozy and French media.   —>
http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/50291
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-3650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

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Community Media: Selected Clippings – 11/02/07

November 3, 2007

Senate vote on cable TV bill next week, support thinning
New Richmond News (WI)
11/01/07

Wisconsin senators plan to vote a week from today (Thursday) on the controversial cable TV re-regulation bill.
The Joint Finance Committee endorsed it 13-3 Wednesday. But previous union support for the bill is getting thinner.  The Milwaukee chapter of the Communications Workers of America now opposes the measure, although its national union supports it. Local president George Walls says it won’t add the number of jobs supporters claim.  He says carriers might shy away from rural areas and public access channels could go dark.  —>
http://www.newrichmond-news.com/articles/index.cfm?id=84857&section=winews,Wisconsin%20News&property_id=19&freebie_check&CFID=63796696&CFTOKEN=39289500&jsessionid=8830d872fd8f22773275
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Local communications union pulls support of video bill
by Judith Davidoff and David Callende
Capital Times (WI)
11/01/07

Though AT&T says good jobs will go to its workers if the state passes a proposed video franchise bill, the largest union local in its Wisconsin workforce is not buying it.  “We’re very concerned about the future of AT&T jobs in Wisconsin,” George Wells, president of the Communication Workers of America Local 4603, said in an interview Wednesday.

Wells is delivering a letter today to Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, D-Weston, notifying him that the local is pulling its support from the bill.  “While we fully understand the importance of statewide video franchising, the proposed legislation has a significant number of flaws which need to be addressed, especially when compared to the video bill recently passed in the state of Illinois,” Walls wrote in the letter.   —>
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/254557
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Lt. Governor Brings Cable Access Show to WCCA TV
by Tracy Foley
WCCA TV (MA)
11/02/07

Lt. Governor Timothy Murray, who was featured monthly on WCCA TV’s show Soapbox, now has his very own cable access show, “The Commonwealth Report”.  The subject of the first episode is Veterans’ Services.   —>

http://www.wccatv.com/node/11689
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Cable TV to tape, air committee meeting
by Patrick Ferrell
Daily Southtown (IL)
11/02/07

New Lenox’s cable TV local access channel plans to tape and air next week’s meeting of a School District 122 board committee, something the volunteer group doesn’t normally do.  At the committee of the whole meeting, the board plans to further discuss a proposed investigation into board member Maureen Broderick for what the superintendent has called “official misconduct with civil and potential criminal implications.”

“I think it would be appropriate for us to inform the public about what happens at the meeting,” said Tom Arthur, the cable channel’s coordinator. “There’s a lot of information I’m hoping to gain from the meeting.”  Channel 6 typically airs the school board’s regular meetings, which occur on the third Wednesday of every month. But it doesn’t typically show the more informal committee meetings that are held on the first Wednesday of the month.   —>
http://www.dailysouthtown.com/news/632101,110207nltv.article
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Show Me The Money . . . ?
by Donn Swaby
Huffington Post
11/01/07

—>   If we to go a step further and give all candidates equal access to the media via debates televised on public access television, then U.S. citizens may actually be exposed to truly original ideas offered up people they may otherwise not even know about.   —>
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/donn-swaby/show-me-the-money-_b_70815.html
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Public speaks out on cable contract
Cable committee readies for contract negotiations
by Melissa Lattman
SeacoastOnline.com (NH)
11/02/07

NEWMARKET — The cable franchise review committee held a public hearing Monday night on Comcast’s performance and the cable-related needs of the community.  The current 15-year franchise agreement expires in May 2008. The committee plans to initiate negotiations with Comcast later this year and submit a proposed franchise agreement for Town Council consideration in March 2008.

From the public, the committee heard about: channel choices, the desire for an additional public access channel, reception of Channel 13, and questions about digital cable boxes.  Dr. Kenneth George said he would like a real community access channel not just one for government and educational programming. As a chiropractor, George produced an educational video. “A real community access channel, not just government and education. Not just to get my video on. (There’s) a ton of wonderful programming that cannot afford to get on the traditional channels,” George said.   —>
http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071102/NEWS/711020329/-1/rss04
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RCTV seeks help from satellite dish owner
SeacoastOnline.com (NH)
11/02/07

RAYMOND — Raymond Community Television is looking for some help. According to RCTV Chairman Kevin Woods, there are many programs available to public-access stations via satellite.  “NasaTV, Annenberg Corporation and Edtv are just a few providers or quality educational and entertaining programming that community stations like RCTV can air for its residents,” Woods said.  RCTV is looking for someone with a satellite dish that can receive C and or KU band transmissions. “We will assist them with the ability to record the programs for us and can provide the recording media.”   —>
http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071102/NEWS/711020324/-1/NEWS13&sfad=1
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Cable TV show airs news for county
Newport News Times (OR)
11/02/07

“Inside Lincoln County,” the county’s half-hour cable television show, is airing its 11th episode this month, with topics specially selected to captivate a wide range of community members’ interests. The show was designed to keep Lincoln County residents abreast of the programs and services provided by county government.

Liz Sample, the county’s public information officer, has been receiving numerous compliments about the format and content of the cable show.  “Residents have been pleased that the show informs them about services they didn’t even know the county offered,” Sample said. “They are also learning a great deal about Lincoln County itself through its more historical segments. This show illustrates our community’s strong history while looking ahead into the future through new programs and grant opportunities. It’s important for the citizens to know not only where their tax dollars are being spent, but what some of the hurdles are that we are still up against.”   —>
http://www.newportnewstimes.com/articles/2007/11/02/community/community02.txt
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[ Interesting thoughts here about the function and effect of public access television.  If moved, please respond on Professor Gordon’s blog. – rm ]

CCTV MediaMap (MA)
by Eric Gordon
The Place of Social Media
11/02/07

CCTV is a community media center in Cambridge, MA that is doing some fascinating work in the integration of web media to the mission of community television. My grad student, Colin Rhinesmith, is doing his master’s thesis on this topic and has done some exemplary research thus far on the implications of this integration.

While Colin is exploring this topic in extensive detail through analyzing the culture of access centers, I want to take a moment to reflect on just one aspect of CCTV’s efforts – what they call the mediamap. This is basically a Google Map that is placemarked with local video, including everything from a cyclist’s perspective to a promotional video for a new coffee shop. The result of this mediamap is a collection of local video annotated with GPS coordinates. In this context, the video works in service to the map. So what you end up with is really a map that is annotated with video. The primary object of engagement is the map – the video, like place names or boundaries, becomes the data that enhances the map.

Why does this matter? Well, it would seem that this particular model of community television uses ‘television’ to qualify community, as opposed to using community to qualify television. This is a rather distinct shift from previous models of ‘community television’, where localism was premised on the practice of production primarily.

Is Mediamap a push or a pull technology? In other words, does it push the notion of localism out to the globe, or does it pull the globe into the local. Based on what I said above, it is a pull technology. It pulls the map into the video, it pulls television into the community. Localism, I would argue, has long been premised on push technologies. Self-identification happened within defined boundaries and then, if blessed with a media infrastructure, communities could push that identity outward.

Networked media has introduced opportunities to reverse that paradigm. Localism can now be a result of external influences, re-contextualized and reformatted to fit local needs. This is both an exciting prospect and a threat to local cohesiveness. If the ability to pull is that strong, then there is little incentive to produce meaning from the directly proximate. Meaning can be pulled in from elsewhere to define local life. Consider, Facebook’s neighborhood widget as an example.

So, what is the perfect balance between push and pull technologies for localism? I don’t know the answer, but I’m advocating here that we should start asking the question.
http://placeofsocialmedia.com/blog/2007/11/02/cctv-mediamap/
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/26/07

October 28, 2007

FCC to Hold Localism Hearing Oct. 31
by John Eggerton
Broadcasting & Cable
10/24/07

Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin has been getting pushback from Capitol Hill on a proposed timetable for completing the media-ownership-rule review, but the FCC Wednesday confirmed that it will hold the last of its localism hearings Oct. 31.  That was one of the planned elements of a timetable that would result in a Dec. 18 vote on revised rules. The commission has to hold that localism hearing, then release a report on the impact of media consolidation on localism in time for public comment, since Martin has pledged that such a report would precede any vote.

The hearing will be at the FCC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., and immediately follow the monthly open meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.  It will include “a presentation by the Media Bureau summarizing the record that the commission has received on the topic of localism, a panel presentation and a period for public comment. ”   —>
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6494220.html
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Senators threaten to block media ownership plan
by Peter Kaplan
Reuters
10/24/07

Two U.S. senators on Wednesday threatened to introduce bipartisan legislation that would block the U.S. Federal Communication Commission from acting quickly to ease rules governing media ownership.  Sens. Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, and Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, said they were studying possible legislation that would nullify an FCC decision expected on December 18.  “I would expect those of us who feel strongly that this is the wrong approach will attempt to find a way to block an action that we think is inappropriate,” Dorgan told reporters at a press conference.   —>
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071025/media_nm/fcc_mediaownership_dc;_ylt=AkFXvoy8jEOmnqLYf19HcpZxFb8C
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Dorgan, Lott Vow to Invalidate Media-Ownership Vote … Again
FCC Chairman Martin Pressured by Senators to Delay Vote on Media-Ownership Rules
by John Eggerton
Broadcasting & Cable
10/24/07

Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.) made it clear Wednesday that they will do whatever they can to try to stop Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin from holding a December vote on media-ownership rule changes.  If Martin does try to “ram through” that vote, Dorgan said, they vowed to use a rarely seen procedural move, a resolution of disapproval, to invalidate it — so rare that the first time it was used was the last time the FCC tried to deregulate ownership.

The Senate voted to approve a similar bill when the FCC passed deregulatory rules back in 2003 — a bill also introduced by Dorgan and Lott. But the Republican-controlled House did not vote on it, and it was superseded anyway by a court’s staying and eventual remand of the rules back to the FCC for better explanation.  It is that review Martin was hoping to vote on by the end of the year after 18 months of review and hearings and comment.

But Dorgan and Lott, at a Capitol Hill press conference Wednesday, said that would be a rush to judgment. They also said they were working on other possible legislative efforts, including requiring the FCC to complete a separate proceeding on the effects of consolidation on broadcast localism.  Dorgan said that they could have that bill done in the next week or so. The resolution disapproving the FCC rules would have to wait for the December FCC vote, if it happens.   —>
http://broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6494090.html?desc=topstory
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Media Briefing: ‘One of radio’s hottest-button issues – consolidation…’
by Bill Baker
Blog Thirteen
10/25/07

One of radio’s hottest-button issues – consolidation – took center stage at the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee’s “Future of Radio” hearing yesterday. Parties representing both sides of each issue had a chance to make their points to Senators who most likely have already made up their minds on the issues. Free Press research director S. Derek Turner called on Congress to “send a message to the FCC to stop its rush toward more consolidation.”

In prepared remarks, Turner said, “Ownership rules exist for a reason: to increase diversity and localism, which in turn produces more diverse speech, more choice for listeners, and more owners who are responsive to their local communities … Our research conclusively demonstrates that more consolidation means less female and minority ownership. The Commission needs to first adequately study the issue of minority ownership before moving forward with any rule changes. It may be hard to believe, but they’ve never even conducted an accurate count of who owns the nation’s radio outlets. How can the FCC conduct any meaningful analysis regarding the effects of its policies if it can’t conduct a basic count of who owns what?”
http://www.thirteen.org/blogs/index.php?itemid=264
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Flint senior centers staring at a blank screen with no cable TV
by Shantell M. Kirkendoll
The Flint Journal (MI)
10/26/07

No soap operas and no football? It’s no joke for Flint senior citizens and others who’ve lost access to cable TV at city community centers.  “It’s been about a week, and in the afternoon when the women want to watch their stories, there’s nothing,” said Fred Bradley, 63, of Flint, a member of the Hasselbring Senior Center. “I offered to pay the bill for them. I’m retired but I could pay the $50 a month or whatever it is.”

Actually, until now there’s been no bill to pay, said Bob Rosenberger, Flint Parks and Recreation recreation supervisor.  Comcast Cable recently ended its freebie service to government agencies, which the city relied on to provide cable to fire stations, Haskell Community Center, Berston Field House and some police stations, Rosenberger said.    —>
http://blog.mlive.com/flintjournal/newsnow/2007/10/flint_senior_centers_staring_a.html
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Town enters talks for new cable contract
by Melissa Lattman
SeacoastOnline.com (NH)
10/26/07

NEWMARKET — Wish something was different about your cable?  Now is the time to let the town know as a new cable access agreement is negotiated. Newmarket is holding a public hearing to hear residents’ views on cable TV and Comcast on Monday at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall Council Chambers. Information gathered will help the Cable Franchise Review Committee in upcoming contract talks with Comcast.  The current 15-year agreement expires in May. The town hopes to negotiate a shorter contract in the three- to five-year range. Technology changes so quickly, longer-term agreements do not make sense, said Town Planner Diane Hardy.   —>
http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071026/NEWS/710260361/-1/NEWS
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Verizon & Cable Board Agree on TV Franchise Terms
If Approved, Would Add Choice of Cable Providers
by Judy Silberstein
Larchmont Gazette (NY)
10/25/07

—>   So what’s in it for Larchmont and Mamaroneck?  The community will get 5% of Verizon’s gross revenues from its local television service. “This is consistent with what we are currently getting from Cablevision,” reported Mr. Millstein. It’s also similar to agreements across the country.  In addition, Verizon will be paying substantial sums for public education and government grants – or PEG money – which is what supports LMC-TV’s capital needs. “I think we did well,” said Mr. Millstein, explaining how the grants will play out. There will be an initial grant of $445K, payable in four installments: $200K within 60 days of the contract’s inception; $95K on the first and second anniversaries; and $55K on the fourth anniversary.   —>
http://www.larchmontgazette.com/2007/articles/20071025verizon.html
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Sponsors to get spot on Fargo public access TV
by Andrea Domaskin
The Forum (ND)
10/26/07

TV watchers got an extra helping of meetings, announcements and cooking shows when Fargo added a second public channel to the CableOne lineup in June.  Now they may start seeing sponsors on Access 12 and TV Fargo, the channels that funnel local government and community news to residents.  The city plans to offer space for underwriting when community billboard announcements run on the two channels. Fargo’s Access Channel Board approved the idea Thursday.

“It’s kind of a PBS approach,” said Heather Mitzel, Fargo’s communications manager.  Underwriters receive their own postings when the public access channels run community billboard announcements.  The written announcements can list the name of the product or service and contact information, but they can’t contain prices, promotions or comparisons to other products.  Businesses offering alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs aren’t eligible. Neither are adult book stores, political parties, gambling businesses, manufacturers of firearms or services that provide satellite TV and competitive media.

Prices range between $50 to $190, depending on whether a business chooses one or two channels and a six-month or 12-month agreement.   —>
http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=181849&section=News&freebie_check&CFID=62365612&CFTOKEN=31367916&jsessionid=8830661728ac125e4a69
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ACTV has a new executive director
by Phyllis Lehrer
Amherst Bulletin (MA)
10/26/07

Increased service to the community, programs on regional and national issues and more local programming: Those are some of the goals articulated by James Lescault, the new director of ACTV, Amherst Community Television. He was hired earlier this month as the new full-time director at the station, which had been led by a series of interim appointments for the past two years.  Sitting in the conference room at ACTV on College Street, Lescault spoke of his background, plans for the station and protecting the freedom of the air waves.   —>
http://www.amherstbulletin.com/story/id/64226/
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Denver OpenMedia : 27 minute show (CO)
Network-Centric Advocacy
10/26/07

There are some great overviews in this video. 10,000,000 blog post created everyday. Denver openmedia is thinking of the way public access is getting changed by web2.0. These guys are flipping public access TV to a training people how to use the web and get across the digital divide because then public media is digital. It is a smart plan for public media. They are looking at building the network and community to put the power of the media in the hands of the people.

Advocacy and social change groups need to think about the content form about min 14 to 19. The introduction is interesting but shifting landscape demands we also think about the way to do communication in this media environment. Will our groups eventually be sending out request to volunteers to produce or push 30min shows onto local public access media. You bet.    —>
http://www.network-centricadvocacy.net/2007/10/denver-openmedi.html
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CHILE:  Breath of Fresh Air for Community Radio Stations?
by Daniela Estrada
Inter Press Service
10/26/07

SANTIAGO (IPS) – After a seven year wait, community radio stations in Chile are celebrating a draft law that would regulate and promote their activities, which the government of President Michelle Bachelet has sent to Congress. But they remain aware of the hurdles that still lie ahead.   —>
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=39827
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The Report ‘2007 South Asian and South East Asian Convergence Market’ Takes an Overall Look at the Digital Media Markets and the Phenomenon of Convergence in These Markets
BusinessWire.com
10/26/07

Research and Markets has announced the addition of 2007 South Asian and South East Asian Convergence Market to their offering.  This annual report offers a wealth of information on the Digital Media and Convergence in South Asia and South East Asia. South Asian countries include:- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. South East Asian countries include:- Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.

Subjects covered include:  Early convergence activity and regulatory issues; Broadband TV (IPTV) where applicable; Video-on-Demand (VoD); Interactive TV (iTV); Triple play networks;  Digital Media developments.   —>
http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20071026005020&newsLang=en
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Want Ad for em-PowerArchitecture-ment
by Raquel and Bill
Evolution of the Species
10/26/07

Proficient and diligent companies, developers and users (a community) seek progressive National level leadership to endorse and support community internet-based media development by mobilizing and training youth and youth organizations….

In this context, it is important to emphasize that youth are the primary Internet users in Morocco. The websites visited and consulted however, are usually produced outside of Morocco: 95% of the Moroccan traffic is directed towards international sources,  in other words, to sites which might not reflect Moroccan culture and values.

The Internet is still a tool that is both underutilized and under-explored in the training and informing of youth about issues related to local culture, citizenship, social development and economic productivity. In addition, almost no one is harnessing the potential of youth and their evident interest in the Internet and new technologies to enable them to become producers of local content.

Young Moroccans could quickly move from the status of simple consumers of foreign media to the more enviable position of producers of local content and multimedia, thereby enabling them to express their points of view and share their own experiences actively engaging them in the life of their community.   —>
http://bbrv.blogspot.com/2007/10/want-ad-for-em-powerarchitecture-ment.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/19/07

September 19, 2007

Election Forums Are Coming!
Waycross Community Media (OH)
09/19/07

In the month prior to an election brings out Waycross Election Forums. The purpose of these forums is to help our residents become better informed voters and encourage participation in the democratic process. Residents are encouraged to call-in or e-mail questions to the candidates or issue representatives during the live forums. WEF cover those local, county, state and federal candidates and issues that appear on the ballots in Forest Park, Greenhills and Springfield Township. Live forums can be carried on the Government Access Channel or the Metro Access Channel. Candidate & Issue Profile programs are also presented.  To read more about the Rules for Participation, please click here .
http://www.waycross.tv/node/34300
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Audit of Charter Cable uncovers short payments to Sullivan County
by Mac McLean
Bristol Herald Courier (TN)
09/19/07

Sullivan County residents could see a slight increase in their monthly cable bills after an independent audit revealed Charter Communications owed the county government almost a half-million dollars in back franchise fees.  “From this point on, we’ll be getting the correct franchise fees,” said County Mayor Steve Godsey. “The cable industry isn’t regulated, so they can do whatever they want to do.”

Nine months ago, Godsey hired John Howell with the Waynesville, N.C.-based Telecommunications Consulting Associates, to audit Charter’s franchise agreements with the county.  Charter is required to pay the county government 3 percent of the money it earns providing cable services to county residents each year.  Howell’s audit found the company neglected to include nearly $15 million in revenues when it calculated these payments, also known as franchise fees, between 2000 and 2006.   —>
http://www.tricities.com/tristate/tri/news.apx.-content-articles-TRI-2007-09-19-0008.html
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Washoe County TV station available on the Internet
Reno Gazette-Journal (NV)
09/19/07

Washoe County programming community cable station TV-17 is available on the Internet.  You can find it at the county’s website, http://www.washoecounty.us  If you click on the WCTV-17 online link at the right of the screen, you can view a live stream of the county’s channel as well as selected “video on demand” programs that have been archived.

“This new online service will make access to information about county programs and services more accessible to all 400,000 of our citizens,” said Kathy Carter, county community relations director.  Previously, county programming could be viewed only by Charter Communications customers who had access to TV-17. Public meetings are indexed and archived within two days of the actual meeting.
http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070919/NEWS10/709190425/1016/NEWS
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Public’s thoughts on future cable services sought by town
License renewal meeting set for Sept. 19
by David Still II
Barnstable Patriot (MA)
09/19/07

If you have ideas about what should be included in the the town’s next cable contract, then Wednesday is your day. Town Manager John Klimm, along with the town’s cable advisory committee and special counsel, will hold a meeting to hear what the community, both through its institutions and residents, sees as its cable-related needs. It is part of the federal “ascertainment” process in advance of renewing cable franchise licenses.

David Cole, chairman of Barnstable’s cable advisory board, said there are six areas that the town’s consultant would like the Comcast company to address. Some testimony has been lined up related to areas such as government and educational access channels, emergency alert systems and maintaining a customer service office in Barnstable.

The town is working well in advance of the Dec. 31, 2009 expiration date for the license. Barnstable has negotiated in tandem with other towns in the past, but will be going it alone this time out.    —>
http://www.barnstablepatriot.com/publics_thoughts_on_future_cable_services_sought_by_town_news_12_13121.html
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TV for the people: Public-access cable finally coming to Phila.
by Mark McDonald
Philadelphia Daily News (PA)
09/19/07

More than two decades after it was promised, Philadelphians finally will get public-access television, with five community channels coming early next year.  Mayor Street yesterday announced an agreement among the city, Comcast and the spunky Philadelphia Community Access Coalition to create a nonprofit corporation to run the new public-access channels.

Comcast will provide $1.8 million to help turn the vacant art deco Widener branch of the Free Library at 28th Street and Lehigh Avenue into a modern studio and meeting place.  Comcast will make a second grant of $900,000 by 2010 and pay an annual $500,000 subsidy to support analog Channel 66 and four digital channels.  The city will pay the new corporation’s utility bills for five years as part of the deal. The Street administration will send legislation to City Council in the next two weeks to codify the agreement.   —>
http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/20070919_TV_for_the_people__Public-access_cable_finally_coming_to_Phila_.html
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Public Access TV Coming To Philadelphia
by Jenny DeHuff
The Bulletin (PA)
09/19/07

With combined efforts from Comcast Corporation and the Philadelphia Community Access Coalition (PCAC), public access television is one step closer to staking a claim in the airwaves  Mayor John F. Street made the announcement yesterday from the podium inside his reception room in City Hall, joined by Managing Director Loree Jones.  “This project is nearly a quarter of a century in the making,” she said, citing years of negotiation battles between the city and television companies.

…The Philadelphia Public Access Corporation will conduct business through a 15-member board of directors comprised of the president of the city council, the commissioner of public property, six mayoral appointees, six city council president appointees and one PCAC appointee. This board will serve until October 2008, when a new 19-member board will be selected at the Philadelphia Public Access Corporation’s first annual meeting.
http://www.thebulletin.us/site/news.cfm?newsid=18831176&BRD=2737&PAG=461&dept_id=576361&rfi=6
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Philly PEG Progress Proves Persistanse Pays! (PA)
Waves of Change
09/18/07

This is a picture of Inja Coates who has lead the fight for public access in Philadelphia, the last major US city to have PEG (public, educational and government) access. For years she, Media Tank and other activists have held forums, have challenged the city council, have marched in the streets to demand their rights to community media. This week was a huge victory for everyone in Philadelphia!   —>
http://www.deepdishwavesofchange.blogspot.com/
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Digital Bridge Camp
by Freeman Murray
where’s freeman
09/18/07

—>   Yesterday, Sapna Shahani who worked at the Berkeley Community Media Center before moving back to India talked about her plans to set up a community media center in Mumbai.   —>
http://wheresfreeman.blogspot.com/2007/09/digital-bridge-camp.html
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Haiti: Internews Launches Community Radio Project
Internews press release
09/18/07

Internews Network launched a community radio programme in Haiti last week with a focus on building the technical and journalism skills and overall capacity of some 40 community radio stations around the country in an effort to strengthen citizens’ involvement in community affairs. The programme includes training for journalists on how to report accurately on HIV/AIDS, other health issues and gender-based violence.   —>
http://www.apria.com/resources/1,2725,494-666592,00.html
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A Montreal cable access channel?
Fagstein
09/19/07

The CRTC is currently accepting public comments in advance of hearings to be held on new broadcasting applications. Among them is an interesting proposal for a new television station out of Montreal.  Télévision communautaire Frontenac is an organization of about a half-dozen people who live within three or four blocks of the Frontenac metro station. They want to put together a low-budget cable access channel specifically for their neighbourhood (but also the city).

The application (ZIP file with PDFs) is for a French-language Category 1 specialty channel for cable/satellite service. Such a designation, if granted, would require the channel be available on all services that can provide it (They seem to be specifically targetting Bell Canada’s ExpressVu satellite service, which is nationwide) — though it would not require them to be necessarily provided as part of basic packages.

The station’s plan is to broadcast 25 hours a week, with 60% locally-produced community programming, of which 1 hour every week is new. Naturally, because of the bare-bonedness of the operation, it would not provide luxuries like closed-captioning or descriptive audio.

Montreal currently has a few low-budget non-profit channels, though none seem to conflict directly with the proposal:

* CFTU-TV 29 (Canal Savoir), an education channel run and produced by Quebec’s universities
* CIVM-TV 17 (Télé-Québec), a provincially-owned network with a variety of shows but with emphasis on educational programming for children
* CJNT-TV 62 (CJNT Montreal/E!), a CanWest-owned multicultural station that fills its remaining schedule with much-needed celebrity gossip shows and second-rate U.S. network programming simulcasts.   —>
http://blog.fagstein.com/2007/09/19/a-montreal-cable-access-channel/
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TVbytheNumbers.Com Launches With Panel Interview on Internet Video Metrics
Online Destination for Television Metrics and Analysis Now Available
BusinessWire
09/19/07

TVbytheNumbers.com, your home for all the numbers about television launches today with a “virtual” panel on Internet Video Metrics consisting of respected Internet leaders and representatives from the measurement companies that play a critical role in the measurement of television and video audiences.  The Internet Video Metrics panel is live and available today at www.TVbytheNumbers.com. Featured industry leaders include:

* Ted Leonsis (Vice Chairman Emeritus, AOL)
* Mark Cuban (President and co-founder HDNet/HDNet Movies)
* Dave Thomas (President, Nielsen Media Client Services)
* Gian Fulgoni (Chairman, comScore)
* Konrad Feldman (CEO, Quantcast)

TVbytheNumbers.com, founded by Internet veterans Bill Gorman and Robert Seidman, provides television industry professionals, enthusiasts and ‘stats addicts’ with TV ratings, overnights and trend analysis of today’s most popular programs. Designed to be the de-facto daily information destination for people interested in the data that drives the television industry, TVbytheNumbers.com also features insight into key metrics on time-shifting, website traffic, video streaming, advertising and business.

“There’s a lot of useful information on the television audience available, and yet the demand for topline industry intelligence grows. Our aim is to fill that void by centralizing the available data and providing thoughtful and timely visual analysis of the numbers, news and issues that drive the industry,” said Gorman, a co-founder of AOL International and former “Mayor” of AOL’s Digital City San Francisco.

“We hope to make the wealth of audience data easier to understand through both analysis and useful charting techniques,” said Seidman, who is a well regarded Internet analyst and newsletter author, chronicling the online world from its pre-web days to mass adoption.

Site Debuts with Panel of Industry Luminaries Discussing Online Video

The Internet Video Metrics panel focuses on many of the issues that will dominate measurement of online video content.    “There will be challenges with metrics due to the current lack of technology and advertising standards, but there is also tremendous opportunity as the advertising market for it is expected to grow to $4.3 billion in less than five years,” said Seidman.

“Measurement of any new medium is difficult, but it is especially so in a hyper-growth market like internet video. Internet video has a variety of challenges when it comes to measurement, the biggest of which is measuring the relative value of one video over another,” said Ted Leonsis, Vice-Chairman Emeritus, AOL and owner of the Washington Capitals NHL franchise.

“Reach and user-engagement are going to be the most important metrics for Internet video. When a new video suddenly gets popular – as did Funny or Die’s ‘The Landlord’ – it becomes a very valuable commodity,” said Konrad Feldman, co-founder and CEO, Quantcast. “But real-time speed and resolution are required if advertisers and publishers are to capitalize on such transient opportunity. At Quantcast, we have started supporting all of these measures for video content producers, free of charge.”

The panel – along with the site’s rich data resources and breaking analysis of real-time trends – is available today at www.TVbytheNumbers.com
http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20070919005158&newsLang=en
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org