Archive for the ‘BitTorrent’ category

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
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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 – 03/31/08

April 1, 2008

Cable TV Options To Widen For Tennesseans
NewsChannel5.com (TN)
03/31/08

State lawmakers are close to passing a bill to give consumers more choices for cable television providers.  Last year, AT&T tried to enter the Tennessee market. There was a lot of resistance from the cable industry, which didn’t want the phone company to just come in and do business wherever they wanted.  Cable providers have spent millions laying the infrastructure and negotiating deals in each of the areas they serve.

It appears that company and lawmakers have worked out a deal.  Last year, state Sen. Bill Ketron tried to pass a bill that would let other cable companies compete in Tennessee.  “I think it would be wonderful,” the Republican from Murfreesboro.  Public support existed, but the bill died.

This year, lawmakers revisited the issue. Private negotiations took place in a conference room, sometimes three times a week since January.  “Comcast, Charter, the cable guys on one side, AT&T on the other side, all the attorneys, working out the details,” Ketron said.  Sources said a deal has been worked out, one that lawmakers will eventually approve.   —>
http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=8096231
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Tennessee Utility Does IPTV With Kasenna
by Todd Spangler
Multichannel News
03/25/08

[ comments invited ]

Tennessee’s Clarksville Department of Electricity has deployed a new digital video service based on Kasenna’s LivingRoom IPTV middleware and MediaBase video servers.  The new video service, called CDE Lightband, is a triple-play offering that features 200 channels of digital video, an interactive programming guide and video on demand service along with 10-Megabit-per-second Internet and telephony services.

The Clarksville Department of Electricity began offering the services early this year and the service is now available to about 5,000 homes. Full deployment to all of the city’s 55,000 homes and businesses is expected by the end of 2008.

“Kasenna stood out among the IPTV companies we considered because its LivingRoom middleware solution allows us to easily brand and customize the TV user interface and to add valuable services such as RSS feeds for local news,” CDE Lightband telecommunications marketing manager Christy Batts said, in a prepard statement.
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6544725.html?nid=2734&rid=1465924339
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AT&T Offers U-verse TV To More Austinites
Telco Ratchets Up Competition On Time Warner Cable In Lone Star State
by Todd Spangler
Multichannel News
03/25/08

AT&T announced that U-verse TV and Internet services are now available to more than 150,000 living units in and around the Austin area, stepping up competition with incumbent Time Warner Cable.  AT&T launched U-verse TV services in Austin in November 2007.   —>
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6544687.html?nid=2734&rid=1465924339
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Gardiner should use cable fees for public access
by Bob Demers
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel (ME)
03/31/08

In “Web Site Seeks Community Involvement,” (March 24), City Manager Jeff Kobrock doesn’t seem to grasp the basics of Public Access TV.  For one thing, he says public access would not be cost-effective for Gardiner. Let’s examine that.

More than 10 years ago, Gardiner received a $30,000 grant from the then-cable operator to set up a Public Access TV studio in Gardiner. The city gave the funds to School Administrative District 11 for its media program.  Later, the city mandated a 5 percent cable franchise fee that collects about $57,000 per year from cable subscribers who have never benefited from this fee in any way related to Public Access TV.

If the cable franchise fees were used as proposed by the Federal Cable Act, the cost of public access could, if well managed, be a wash for the city. You can’t get more cost-effective than that. Of course, it would be awkward to have to move the franchise fee revenue from the general fund to a public access channel fund where it should have gone in the first place. Maybe that’s what Kobrock had in mind as “not being cost-effective.”

Finally, Kobrock says the area already has an Augusta-based channel that serves the area.  Technically true. Functionally, not so. Augusta Channel 9 is a local origination operation, completely commercial, operated by Time Warner solely for profit with no access by the public in any way equivalent to public access.
http://kennebecjournal.mainetoday.com/view/letters/4903576.html
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NPA-TV goes live in April
Norwood Bulletin (MA)
03/31/08

[ comments invited ]

Norwood Public Access TV is excited to announce a series of live broadcasts during the month of April. Tune in on Monday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. on NPA’s Town Channel and join Joe Curran, Jack McCarthy, and Tim McDonough for NPA’s traditional live coverage of the election results.

Also in April, a Special NPA Sports Edition of Norwood Digest will be broadcast live from the Coakley Soccer Fields on Norwood Youth Soccer’s Opening Day; Saturday, April 12. Starting at 9 a.m., host Jack McCarthy will be interviewing representatives from Norwood’s Spring Youth Sports Programs. NPA-TV’s new Digest reporter Katelyn MacLean will be speaking with NHS Athletics Director Brian McDonough about the upcoming spring season.   —>
http://www.wickedlocal.com/norwood/calendar/x1012436171
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It’s Not a Movement Without a Movie
New York City’s activist and advocacy communities are putting themselves and their interests on video like never before.
by Karen Loew
City Limits WEEKLY #633
03/31/08

[ comments invited ]

At a community gathering in Chinatown one stifling hot evening last August, a man sat on a chair holding a stack of newspapers, thrusting the Chinese Staff & Workers’ Association bulletin at passersby, exhorting them to take one.

Whether turned off by the man’s sweaty frustration, or not up for a long read about the latest struggles of low-wage Chinatown workers, the crowd gathered at Roosevelt Park for an outdoor movie night moved on. Children headed for the popcorn and soda table. Women sat on the folding chairs arranged before a screen. Men milled and smoked, their t-shirts pulled up their backs or over their bellies to catch a little relief from the heat.

The occasion was a “digital garden screening” arranged by Manhattan Neighborhood Network, which runs the public access TV channels in the borough and promotes media-making by regular folks. Convened for the purpose of “celebrating community produced social justice media,” the event unspooled – and the surrounding city blocks fell away – as short videos by New Yorkers about local lives and issues were projected on the screen. Homeless people talked about being homeless, teenage girls interviewed teenage boys about notions of femininity, and public housing residents revealed how to participate in public housing decision making. Never quite professional grade, the quality of the sound, camera work and storytelling varied. Some movies felt endless. Attention flickered.

Then two videos about the worker’s life in Chinatown were played back to back. The first, called “Chinatown: Immigrants in America,” was produced by Downtown Community Television and portrayed kitchen staff and seamstresses discussing their overlong work weeks: inhumane schedules allowing for barely any rest or recreation. The second film was made by the Chinese Staff & Workers’ Association – the same group that was having trouble unloading its free newspapers. Called “Celebrating CSWA Victories of 2006,” it showed exactly that – footage of workers alongside politicians announcing advances for neighborhood laborers.

In the mostly Chinese audience, the women watched. The men stopped talking. Children were still. Everyone was rapt, and at a little after 9 p.m. when it was over, they applauded for the first time of the night.

The explosion

Videos made by grassroots documentarians – who often are not professional filmmakers – about local issues and aimed at raising consciousness have risen to a more prominent, even ubiquitous, place in city movements for social change.  Name a cause, and you’ll find an advocacy video on the subject – or you’ll find a few, or at least be told there’s one in the works. With the tools of video production more affordable and accessible than ever before, and more people reflexively turning to video for expression, New York City finds itself awash in a sea of video by the people, about their concerns, for the purpose of affecting the discourse.   —>
http://www.citylimits.org/content/articles/viewarticle.cfm?article_id=3531&content_type=1&media_type=3
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Shaping Canadian Web Access Revisited
by Connie Crosby
slaw.ca
03/31/08

[ 2 comments ]

Last week Simon Fodden caught all of us up on the issue of “throttling” of web access by Bell Canada that broke in the news in his post When It All Goes Peer Shaped. This issue has continued to be the talk of the tech industry all week with no indication of letting up.

The crux of the story is that Canadians are being denied access to certain aspects of the Internet with ISPs Bell and Rogers making the decisions as to which parts are denied, including access to peer-to-peer downloads of CBC TV episodes to which Canadian taxpayers are legally entitled. This story is quickly making us realize that Canada may not have the web infrastructure we thought we had, and this is one way these companies are trying to deal with it; however, it feels like there has been a lack of transparency in the way they are dealing with it and presenting it to the public.

What has helped me understand this better is a post by Toronto business technology expert Sandy Kemsley on her blog Column 2: Jason Laszlo gives Bell Canada a(nother) Black Eye.   —>
http://www.slaw.ca/2008/03/31/shaping-canadian-web-access-revisited/
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Canadian union decries ISP bandwidth issues
by Etan Vlessing
The Hollywood Reporter
03/31/08

A major Canadian media union on Monday urged the country’s TV regulator to investigate online “traffic shaping” by Internet service providers after an attempt last week by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. to upload a DRM-free TV program to online users via BitTorrent was severely hampered.

“On behalf of the National Union of Public and General Employees … I am asking the CRTC to conduct an investigation into these practices and the implications for Canadian consumers,” NUPGE president James Clancy said in a letter to CRTC chairman Konrad Von Finckenstein that was released to the public Monday.

The NUPGE cited high-speed Internet access provider Bell Sympatico for recent efforts to control its customers’ use of peer-to-peer download and upload technology like BitTorrent.  The union said attempts by online users to upload the CBC TV show “Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister” from BitTorrent were greatly slowed by ISPs, which limited the available bandwith for the file-sharing.  “This means that those Canadians, who are Bell or Rogers Internet service subscribers, wishing to download this show from their public broadcaster will be hampered in their efforts,” NUPGE’s Clancy told the CRTC.

The union head argued that BitTorrent represents legal technology for which “there are many legitimate uses.”  The CBC became the first North American broadcaster to make a TV show available for free and without DMR restrictions for download via BitTorrent.  NUPGE pointed to an ongoing FCC investigation into online traffic shaping by U.S. cable giant Comcast, and urged the CRTC to do likewise with ISPs north of the border.  “Our neighbours to the south are taking this form of interference in Internet service very seriously,” the Canadian media union said.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/international/news/e3i37a2ec580927b428616680073085fe0b
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WAM Addresses Inequalities In Media Representations, Access
Global Wire
03/31/08

[ comments invited ]

The Women, Action and the Media Conference (WAM) began five years ago with a mandate to improve news coverage of women, people of color and other marginalized groups through grassroots media reform. With the advent of popular social networks like My Space, Facebook, You Tube and a deluge of blogs, opportunities has been provided for traditionally shut out voices to get a spotlight…

While there is a revolution taking place in cyberspace, there are still large segments of American society that are being left out of the new digital frontier. With nearly half of Americans not having high speed internet access in their homes and a larger number being forced to switch from analog to digital television by next year, there were also workshops on how to close the digital gap.  In a workshop called “Media, Technology and Social Justice,” attendees had an interactive discussion about what needs to be done to make technology available to all….

What are the key trends preventing Media Justice?
• Lack of diversity
• Equality in access to all mediums
• Fairness and accountability
• Media obsession with celebrity
• Entertainment posing as news
• Mass media appeal to large groups rather than community building
• Privacy at risk
• Glamorization of violence
• Devaluing poor people

Solutions
• More media justice lobbyists in DC to work on these issues
• Universal internet access
• Community training on web tools
• More internet cafes, especially in low income communities
—>
http://globalwire.blogspot.com/2008/03/wam-addresses-inequalities-in-media.html
~

Dar summit to discuss role of media in conflict prevention
by Francis Ayieko
The EastAfrican
03/31/08

The role of the media in providing early warning signs of potential political conflicts in East Africa is to be the subject of a major media summit to be held in Tanzania this April.  Jointly organised by the East African Business Council and the East African Community, the two-day regional summit is to discuss the role of media in the prevention of conflicts and instability, which have the potential to affect business in the region.

Taking the theme Role of the Media in Addressing the Causes of Conflict and Instability and Their Prevention, the summit, which will be held in Dar es Salaam from April 11-12, comes in the wake of post-election violence that hit Kenya recently following announcement of disputed presidential election results.   —>
http://www.nationmedia.com/eastafrican/current/News/news310320084.htm
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/30/08

March 31, 2008

City to begin programming on cable TV channel
by Andy Powell
Gadsden Times (AL)
03/30/08

[ 15 comments ]

Sometime in May, Gadsden City Council President Ben Reed might sit up straight in his chair in the council chambers, pound his gavel and say, “(Almost) Live from Gadsden, it’s the Gadsden City Council meeting,” to debut the new Public Education and Government Channel on Comcast Cable.  The city is scheduled to begin programming on Channel 99 on Comcast in mid-May, communications manager Craig Clark told the City Council last week in a briefing.  He said the channel currently displays graphics explaining what programming will be offered.

Video equipment is being installed and city personnel are training on the equipment.  Clark said in addition to council meetings, the city will be able to tape programs about other city departments, run programs and information provided by the Gadsden-Etowah Emergency Management Agency and run programs provided by the police and fire departments.

The council meetings will not be carried live but will only be edited for profanity, if that occurs, because of FCC rules concerning content, according to Clark.  He said the council meetings will be broadcast at 1 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight the days they take place and again early the next morning.  The meetings will be broadcast on other days during the week, too.   —>
http://www.gadsdentimes.com/article/20080330/NEWS/803300319/1017/NEWS
~

Inside Canada’s Telecom Nightmare
by D
Angry Robot (CAN)
03/30/08

[ 6 comments ]

This week there was news that Bell is slowing down P2P traffic, i.e. bitshaping, even for their resellers. And there was information on Rogers’ new fee structure, with the highest plan costing $100 a month and still subject to a bit cap.  Meanwhile, in the US, Comcast is backing down from bitshaping after a public outcry. What the hell is going on?

At issue here is net neutrality, and in the US there is public debate on the issue, whereas here there has been none. In brief, net neutrality is the principle that the network should treat all content and devices equally – that internet access should behave like electricity or your water supply. And generally that’s how it’s gone up until recently, when gradually the internet providers have been introducing bitshaping (slowing down certain types of traffic, most often BitTorrent) and bitcaps (a limit on how much you can download before incurring extra fees).

Don’t be distracted by the current focus on piracy – the idea that ‘a few bad apples’ are slowing down the internet for everyone else. The real issue is internet video in all its forms: bittorrented TV shows, youtube, and pay-per-download services like iTunes and Xbox Live. Video takes a lot of bandwidth and with the explosion in online video, suddenly ISPs are seeing people actually use some of the bandwidth they are paying for. And they’d rather not, you know, make less money. Let’s not forget that both Bell and Rogers sell TV services, and online video threatens their profits in that business as well. The last thing they want is someone canceling their cable to download shows off iTunes – but if that happens, they want to get their cut. Despite the fact that their broadband services are sold on the promise of fast, rich media.   —>
http://angryrobot.ca/2008/03/30/inside-canadas-telecom-nightmare
~

White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood
by Paul Philbin
Ndugu Habari Zenu (Tanzania)
03/30/08

On Thursday, March 27, The White Ribbon Alliance For Safe Motherhood of Tanzania celebrated its annual event in Dar es Salaam. Unfortunately, there was very little press coverage. I was able to locate Jiang Alipo’s report titled “Maternal mortality rates remain high” in the Daily News.

I soldiered on however because I wanted to know more about a family traveling from the UK staying at the same lodging facility, Swiss Garden Hotel. Julia (grand mother), Alison (daughter) and Harriet (grand daughter) were coming back to their roots. Their story can be found in the BBC story, Celebrating 50 by raising awareness of Africa’s highest killer. It turns out that the younger Harriet is “part of a project to teach Tanzanian midwives how to film and edit their own stories in the hope of raising awareness of the biggest killer in Africa” (six million babies a year are stillborn or die in the first week of life).

The project, Birth Aid is supported by Engine Room, a community-based media center in Somerset, England. The outcome is a participatory video titled “Play Your Part”, which earned a Commendation from One World Media Awards 2007 “for an outstanding and unique contribution to the communication of sustainable development and human rights”.
http://marafiki.blogspot.com/2008/03/white-ribbon-alliance.html
~

Public Access TV Discussions
Citizens for Accountability in Jail Expansion (WI)
03/30/08

[ comments invited ]

These were originally broadcast on Eau Claire Community TV.
* Eau Claire Jail Expansion History
* County Board and our ever expanding jail
* Cost of the Jail, Alternatives, and new Data
http://eccaje.blogspot.com/2008/03/public-access-tv-discussions.html
~

Wellesley – Spending Decisions
by Lisa Keen
Boston Globe (MA)
03/30/08

Town Meeting members may not have to face a budget deficit for the next fiscal year, but they have a high stack of financial concerns on the warrant for this spring’s annual session, which opens tomorrow night. Among the issues is whether residents should spend more than $2 million for schematic designs for the new or renovated high school building, and more than $3 million to rebuild one of the town’s most active playing fields, at Sprague Elementary School. Town Meeting convenes at 7:30 p.m. in the Wellesley Middle School auditorium, and will be carried on the local public-access television station, seen on Channel 9 on Comcast and Channel 39 on Verizon, according to the town’s website, wellesleyma.gov.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/03/30/faded_history_on_display/?page=2
~

University of Hawaii, Maui Community College Television, Hawaiian Studies 107, MCCT
Hawaii Community Television Public Access
03/30/08

Watch It!
http://hawaiicommunitytelevision.blogspot.com/2008/03/university-of-hawaii-maui-community.html
~

Into each life some rain must fall…
by Sophia Travis
Pin the Tail (IN)
03/30/08

[ comments invited ]

I mentioned that I would try to blog about the forums that took place last week–  I had two political forums to attend: one at Bell Trace Retirement Home last Wednesday, and one that was sponsored by Democracy for Monroe County last Thursday…  I cited my proven record for having advanced much of the following:

“As a Progressive Democrat my voting record demonstrates that I’ve not only been a part of a sea change through local County Government for Progressives, but that I’ve also often been at the helm of those changes during these past four years. I’ve supported people with disabilities, demanded clarity about our complex local justice systems’ rehabilitative quality level, restored social service funding for the community, augmented funding for outreach to the public for CATS and the Public Library, organized County Government staff and employees by officially bringing them into the process of addressing appalling salary and wage issues, questioned economic development tools efficacy and fairness towards average taxpayers, made environmental issues a visible priority demanding attention, challenged mainstream media—- and I’ve done all this with an unbeatable positivity and receptiveness to my constituents concerns and ideas. When asked to make decisions, speak to issues, and to get things done, I have delivered tangible achievements without making any excuses for anything less to be accomplished. In short I follow-through. I make decisions.”

The forum was formatted to allow a 3 minute opening statement, 2 minute closing statement, and questions from the audience in between…  My answers (not transcribed verbatim here below, and not entirely complete—but you can catch this forum on CATS Television and access it online…) were limited to 2 minute responses and my opponent and I took turns alternating answering the quesitons:   —>
http://www.pin-the-tail.com/?p=847
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/29/08

March 31, 2008

Canadian ISPs Limiting Access To CBC Shows
by kdawson
Slashdot
03/29/08

[ 70 comments ]

An anonymous reader sends word that, even as ISP interference with BitTorrent traffic is easing in the US, the issue is heating up in Canada. Major Canadian ISPs are limiting access to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s shows, made available online using BitTorrent.  This issue has burst onto the scene due to smaller ISPs, such as Teksavvy, blowing the whistle on the fact that Bell was expanding its traffic-shaping policies to smaller ISPs that rent Bell’s network.

These events have sparked a formal complaint by the National Union of Public and General Employees, which represents more than 340,000 workers across Canada, to the regulatory body, CRTC, and calls for change in Parliament.   —>
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/03/29/2217231
~

Fort Collins Public Access may get new home
by Cari Merrill
The Coloradoan
03/29/08

[ comments invited ]

The Fort Collins Public Access Network may soon have a new home.  Following a three-year quest to find office and equipment space, the station has staked out a location at 200 W. Mountain that includes three offices and its own lobby. And if the deal goes through, which those involved are sure it will, FCPAN could move in within the next month.  “It’s wonderful to be able to have a space for offices and storage for our equipment,” said Pete Seel, FCPAN volunteer and associate journalism professor at Colorado State University. “We have a lot of nice gear and no place to store it.”

The channel has searched for a home since leaving the Comcast building on University Avenue in 2006 when Comcast opted out of the public access broadcasting business.  Carson Hamlin, video production director for government access channel 14, helped find the Old Town location and is almost certain FCPAN could move into the space in the next month once the previous tenants move out, the space is cleaned and all electrical needs for the equipment are addressed.

After the move from Comcast, FCPAN stored equipment in the basement of City Hall, said FCPAN president Blue Hovatter, which created access issues for Fort Collins residents who might want to make a show.  “How do you run a station like that?” he said. “It’s the chicken-and-the-egg style of deals. You can’t get the funding until you get the studio, but you can’t get the studio until you can prove you can make programming, which requires funding.”

In addition to the strong possibility of a new home, FCPAN got new equipment last year, enabling the station to continually loop content, such as local artwork and poetry, surpassing the six hours they were able to run before.  That equipment comes thanks to Public Educational and Governmental funds. PEG funds are collected from all Comcast subscribers as part of their bill. The 50 cents on each bill each month adds up to almost $90,000 annually to be distributed between four public access networks in Fort Collins: Poudre School District programming on channel 10, CSU student-run television on Channel 11, government coverage on dial 14 and FCPAN on channel 22.   —>
http://www.coloradoan.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080329/BUSINESS/803290327/1046/CUSTOMERSERVICE02
~

Producers pick up pile of PACCIES
by Wesley Ennis
Plymouth Bulletin (MA)
03/29/08

[ 6 comments ]

Karen and Ken Buechs scored a hat trick at PACTV’s ninth annual Paccie Awards Wednesday night, taking home trophies for Best General Talk Show and Show of the Year for the popular Talk of the Towne, and the PACCIE for Best Community or Informational Show for Karen and Company.  The Buechs invited Talk of the Towne host Loring Tripp to join them at the podium as they – the show’s producers – accepted the awards for that show. When their production won Show of the Year, Ken Buechs thanked Tripp for his work on the show and presented him with the trophy.

“PACTV has always been a very positive experience,” Karen Buechs said following the awards show. “The staff is awesome. My husband, Ken, and I are looking forward to producing more quality programming and it’s been an honor to work with Loring. He’s been a terrific host. Most of all, we thank our viewers for all of their support and encouragement.”   —>
http://www.wickedlocal.com/plymouth/fun/entertainment/arts/x1012435661
~

Wallingford Town Council March 25, 2008, Part 2
Wallingford Governmet Television (CT)
03/29/08

[ comments invited ]

Part two of regular meeting held by the Wallingford Town Council on Tuesday, March 25, 2008.
http://wallingfordgovtv.blogspot.com/2008/03/wallingford-town-council-march-25-2008_29.html
~

Santabarbara shares love of cheese
Angelo Santabarbara – County Legistature (NY)
03/29/08

[ comments invited ]

Angelo Santabarbara may not be a big cheese in county politics yet, but the freshman legislator from Rotterdam certainly knows how to produce his fair share of the dairy staple.  The first-generation Italian-American will feature his cheesemaking prowess on “Let’s Cook,” a popular home-cooking program hosted by Delores Scalise on Schenectady’s public access TV station. Santabarbara spent Tuesday afternoon at Channel 16’s Broadway studio, demonstrating a recipe his parents brought to Schenectady County from the old country decades ago.   —>
http://www.angelosantabarbara.com/?p=48
~

Acoustic Music TV: Tom Smith
by Bruce Jones
Acoustic Music TV (MA)
03/29/08

[ comments invited ]

Acoustic Music TV show #4 features Tom Smith, singer, songwriter and performer. Calling himself a “kitchen musician” who enjoys sharing music with other who like simple, direct folk music that has stood the test of time.  Tom has played music since he was five, starting out on the ukulele, and now playing a wide range of instruments, including the guitar, mandolin, harmonica and the Appalachian dulcimer. Tom sings in a wide range of folk traditions including American, English, Scottish and Irish.  For more information check out his website.  Visit Acoustic Music TV.
http://acousticmusictv.blogspot.com/2008/03/acoustic-music-tv-tom-smith.html
~

Salmonella Dwella’
SLV Dweller (CA)
03/28/08

[ comments invited ]

—>   Phase 1 of the 3-phase water flush left Alamosa citizens at a disadvantage when trying to go about their normal routines. Although Alamosa has only begun Phase 1 of the water flush, done with a high concentration of chlorine in the water supply, by Phase 2, citizens can use their showers again – and could turn their hair green. Alamosa Mayor Farris Bervig announced on community access television Channel 10 Thursday that reports of scam artists have surfaced in the city in the wake of the salmonella outbreak.   —>
http://www.slvdweller.com/index.php?/archives/2008/03/28/Salmonella-Dwella.xhtml
~

Serving the Community with a Passion for Truth
by Oskar Wermter
The Zimbabwean
03/29/08

He will not concede defeat even if the votes go against him because that would mean allowing the British colonizer to reconquer the country.  If people are starving that is because Britain has imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe.  Or so says the great leader. And state media repeat these falsehoods ad nauseam.

They are designed to keep power in the hands of the “ruling elite”. They perpetuate the poverty and misery of the vast majority. They drive millions of Zimbabweans out of their homeland  into the “diaspora”.  It takes torture and violence to silence the people who know these lies contradict what they see with their own eyes every day…

Media workers themselves who accept that they serve the public and are therefore answerable to it  are nowadays setting up their own ‘courts of appeal’, media councils and complaints committees to which members of the public can appeal if they feel they have been wronged. Such arbitration councils if accepted by all media houses and the entire media fraternity can administer  justice speedily and effectively in a self-regulatory manner.

There is no need for the state to set up such a body. What the people can do for themselves, the state should not try to control. Government is too partisan, dominated as it is by politicians, to be trusted with this delicate task. The Media Council has to educate its own members about proper media ethics which must be guided by a spirit of service to the community, a passion for truth and respect for the individual person.   —>
http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11830:serving-the-community-with-a-passion-for-truth&catid=31:top%20zimbabwe%20stories&Itemid=66
~

Telesis on Processing
by Nathan Shaw
Neuroplasticity
03/29/08

[ comments invited ]

Telesis is the purposeful use of natural and social forces. It is planned progress. Magickal activism.  Power does not reside in church or state, but in the manipulation of words, images, and symbols. The power of reality engineering. In the past, church and state held a monopoly on this power. Today, this power is in the media. The popular media was first to show people ways of life from outside of the clenched provincialism and parochialism of their family and community.

Cultural currents were able to cross-fertilize each other and media was able to confer a cosmopolitanism on even rural-living individuals. Media is the foundation of the emerging Global Village and the key to the alchemical Great Work of manifesting the Aeon. The common usage of the word “media”, a plural noun, as a singular noun indicates unconscious movement toward that manifestation: an all-inclusive medium growing and progressing in all directions and dimensions simultaneously.   —>
http://www.success-matrix.com/neuroplasticity/telesis-on-processing/2008/03/29/
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/28/08

March 30, 2008

Verizon CEO seeks pact on a state cable license
by Jay Fitzgerald
Boston Herald (MA)
03/28/08

[ comments invited ]

Verizon’s Ivan Seidenberg wants to cut a broadband deal with Massachusetts – and Mayor Thomas Menino signaled yesterday he’s willing to listen to his offers. The giant telecom’s chief executive, who spoke at yesterday’s Boston College Chief Executives’ Club of Boston lunch, said Verizon is willing to wire rural and other remote areas of the state if lawmakers give the company a “statewide license” to deploy its broadband cable and Internet service without negotiating with individual towns. —>
http://www.bostonherald.com/business/general/view.bg?articleid=1083342
~

AT&T, EBR approve TV deal
Action adds new competitor
by Ben Calder
Advocate (LA)
03/28/08

AT&T and the city-parish have reached an agreement to allow the company to offer television service in East Baton Rouge Parish, adding another competitor to a market that includes cable provider Cox Communications and satellite services Dish Network and Direct TV. The agreement, ratified by a unanimous vote by the Metro Council Wednesday night, will allow the company to begin providing Internet-based television programming along with its Internet and phone service through fiber or copper lines using a set-top box.

But AT&T spokeswoman Karen Beck said the company will not say when people can begin using the service, called AT&T U-verse, already offered in 12 states. The city-parish will get 5 percent of AT&T’s gross revenue from subscription fees and 0.5 percent of gross revenue to support the capital costs incurred for the construction and operation of the city-parish’s public, educational and governmental channels.

The mayor’s office did not return a call for comment Thursday. The council approved the deal without comment the evening before. The agreement, which Beck said has been in the works for about six months, is the first between a Louisiana municipality and AT&T. Beck said while AT&T plans to pursue similar agreements with New Orleans and other cities with a home rule charter predating 1974, its next step will be to try to get a statewide franchise.

AT&T did so two years ago, but then-Gov. Kathleen Blanco vetoed the bill. The company said House Bill No. 1009 and Senate Bill No. 422 were filed late last week and will enable AT&T to obtain a statewide franchise. Beck said she did not know whether Gov. Bobby Jindal would be more receptive to the bill if it passes again. —>
http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/17077326.html
~

“AT&T, EBR approve TV deal”
by John St. Julien
Lafayette Pro Fiber (LA)
03/28/08

[ 2 comments ]

Well, that was fast! The day before yesterday we noted here that AT&T through its astroturf subsidary TV4US had launched the public relations champaign to support its statewide video franchise law. This morning we see the first substantial political move in the upcoming battle. Baton Rouge has cut a deal with AT&T and so is taken off the board in an early first move of the chess pieces.

AT&T, according to the Advocate, has reached a franchise agreement with the East Baton Rouge City-Parish government to provide cable TV (aka “video services”) in the parish. Follows a summary of what seems to be going on with the caveat that all I have to go on is the article…I can’t find the ordinance or contract online as I would be able to in Lafayette—anyone have access?

AT&T will have the right to offer its new “U-verse” services (site, overview) in the parish for 5 percent of revenues to the general fund and .5% of revenues to support public, educational, and governmental channels (PEG channels). Presuming that turns out to be correct (and enforceable) its a good deal on two of the three major issues that any locale should consider: a fair price for the rental of public land and support for local media. Realizing any actual benefit from those two will depend on the third leg: the product being offered to a sizeable number of citizens.

AT&T has long made it clear that they do not intend to offer this product to just anyone…instead they want to offer it chiefly to their “high value” customers and less than 5% of their “low-value” purchasers. (Fiber To The Rich, FTTR) If you figure out the implications of what they told investors back when this plan got underway they only intend to offer this product to about half of their current population base. Baton Rouge and other wealthy centers in generally cash-poor Louisiana might get U-Verse in rich neighborhoods but I’d be surprised if it went much into North Baton Rouge and Scotlandville. That might prove a difficult thing for Mayor Kip Holden to explain.

A bit of unease about the part AT&T was unwilling to promise might well, in turn, explain the secrecy with which this deal was constructed and the stealth with which it was executed. Holden received the council’s blessing to negotiate on Wednesday with no (that’s NO) discussion, and was able close and announce the deal on Thursday. The fix was in. (*) What didn’t happen was any public discussion of the pros and cons of the deal offered by AT&T–discussion which might well have lead to uncomfortable demands that the city-parish require AT&T to actually serve the citizens whose property AT&T wants to use. Such a requirement is part of Cox’s deal…but not, I have to strongly suspect, part of the deal with AT&T. —>

And, speaking of Cox, what about the cable companies? Where do they play in this game? A smart reporter will try and delve into that question. AT&T is using its extraordinary influence in the legislature to push two very bad video bills through the legislature. By comparison the cable companies have relatively little influence. What’s curious is that Lafayette is the state’s largest community to whom these bills will apply. Should Lafayette succeed, as she did two years ago, in getting herself excluded along with other older home rule communities the five largest metro areas of the state comprising the wealthiest 35-40% of the state’s population will have to have local franchises anyway. Since no one (except deliberately naive legislators) actually believes that AT&T is going to provide video in rural regions the question has to be who will really benefit?

One devious answer would have to be: the cable companies. They will be able to drop their local franchises with the communities that actually own the land they want to use, pick up a state franchise at a 30% discount in fees and NO local obligation to serve PEG channels. In other states like North Carolina where the phone company waged a bitter war to win the right to a state video franchise they didn’t make use of it and filed few such requests. On the other hand their supposed cable opponents made out like bandits snatching up state franchises which allowed them to drop the more demanding local ones. The end result was no significant new competition, no price drops, and a huge drop in income to local municipalities.

Somebody in North Carolina got taken…..and the grifters are on the prowl here

(*)Revealing tidbit: The wikipedia section on U-Verse vailability was updated to include Baton Rouge on the 25th, two days before Baton Rouge supposedly concluded the deal and one day before the city-parish council approved negotiations. Not surprisingly, the prescient anonymous editor who added Baton Rouge to the list of cities was operating from a “BellSouth” (now AT&T) URL. The fix was in….
http://lafayetteprofiber.com/Blog/2008/03/at-ebr-approve-tv-deal.html
~

Metro Live Television Chat Far More Informative Than Metro Live Online Chat
by Fred Camino
MetroRider LA (CA)
03/28/08

[ 11 comments ]

Last night, Metro Board member Pam O’Connor answered questions and spoke about the Long Range Transit Plan on Los Angeles Public Access Television. I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch the live show last night, but watched it on the web this morning. You can check out the show on LA36’s website, right here.

The hour long show proved to be a much better medium for Pam than her monthly home on the Metro Interactive online chat, which is pretty much universally panned for its inability to be either interactive or informative. Metro Live, despite its obviously public access level production values, managed to keep my attention for the entire hour. Pam’s answers came off a lot more candid and sincere than they do on the online chat, which for the most part seem like copy-paste clippings from Metro press releases. That’s not to say she didn’t paint a rosy picture of Metro when faced with some hardballs, from hearing her talk you’d think the TAP card is the second coming and fare gates are neccessary, well, just because. Here’s some highlights (and lowlights). —>
http://metroriderla.com/2008/03/28/metro-live-television-chat-far-more-informative-than-metro-live-online-chat/
~

March Madness: Bruins, O’Connor Both Win During TV Showdown
by Damien Newton
Streetsblog Los Angeles (CA)
03/28/08

[ 1 comment ]

LA Streetsblog picks up the action as UCLA holds a 28-15 lead over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in their Sweet Sixteen match up in the NCAA Tournament. UCLA is wearing their home whites despite being miles from Westwood. The game is being broadcast nationally at CBS.

Meanwhile, Metro Board Chair Pam O’Connor was wearing her road pinks at her home court at Santa Monica City Hall for a call-in-show about Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan. Metro Live! was broadcast on LA City Cable Channel 36 and Santa Monica Channel 16. Just like UCLA ended up winning after some shaky moments, O’Connor gave a strong performance despite perhaps over focusing on the benefits of TAP cards. We pick up the action, after the jump. —>
http://la.streetsblog.org/2008/03/28/march-madness-bruins-o%e2%80%99connor-both-win-during-tv-showdown/
~

Singer in tune with message
by Kerri Roche
Daily News Tribune (MA)
03/28/08

[ 2 comments ]

Unlike many celebrities and stars, Renee Marcou is not waiting for fame to envelop her before she gets puts her name next to an important cause. While she puts together her second album, Marcou, 19, also serves as the spokeswoman for the Baby Safe Haven New England Foundation. Yesterday morning, she belted out her latest tunes for a student-produced segment on Waltham Education Television, combining her passion for pop, rhythm and blues with a less than Hollywood-glamour conversation about abandoned babies…

A Wilmington native, Marcou, who has family, including Councilor at-large David Marcou, living in Waltham, has performed at Gillette Stadium and in Los Angeles and Chicago. When she’s not performing, she is a guest on radio and television shows throughout New England, promoting her songs and the options for reluctant parents.

Although WE-TV won’t get the audiences of NECN, where Marcou has previously appeared, Morrisey said local cable television and radio shows generate attention from their target audience – young adults. “You would think a high school TV station wouldn’t be important, but actually we found … they’re probably the most important media outlets to get the message out to. That’s what kids listen to,” said Morrisey. “She’s done every genre of radio of format from punk rock to sports talk.”

Waltham students invited Marcou to their half-hour magazine-style news show because of her vocal and dancing talents, said Patrick Daly, high school television production teacher. Although the student interviewers P.J. Centofanti and Jen Gullotti will likely focus on her career path, the conversation will undoubtedly shift toward Marcou’s more serious work, said Daly. “That’s the cause that she promotes, so we’ll talk about that as well,” said Daly, who added that the segment will air in a few weeks. —>
http://www.dailynewstribune.com/news/x334360812
~

One Class
by Will Okun
New York Times
03/27/08

[ 185 comments ]

The average Chicago Public School freshman misses 20 school days a year and fails more than two semester classes. At my high school on the Westside of Chicago, attendance trumps intelligence, work ethic and economic background as the most important indicator of achievement versus failure. In this case, Woody Allen is correct: “Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

In most communities, students attend school every day because they are convinced that educational achievement is essential to their future success. For many unfortunate reasons, however, this expectation does not exist for most low-income students in Chicago and other urban areas. How do we improve attendance at low-income schools where the current incentive of “a better future” is not sufficient?

According to high school junior Mark Hill, “One special class can make the difference. I know people who come to school just because they are involved in a sport or a certain extracurricular program or they have one great class that they are interested in.”

When rap superstar Kanye West explained the purpose of his education foundation, he stressed that music production classes could inspire “at-risk” kids to attend and remain in school in the same manner as athletics often do. “We have to involve kids in their education,” he told the reporters. “Kids will go to school if they have the opportunity to study something they love. Right now, they are not motivated by the curriculum.”

In my own nine years of teaching, students enrolled in my photography class boast a 90% daily attendance rate while students enrolled in my English classes maintain a daily attendance rate of only 70%. However, an even better example of the positive effect of a single class is Jeff McCarter’s Free Spirit Media video production program at North Lawndale College Prep.

McCarter’s students produce the insanely popular television show “Hoops High,” which features play-by-play game coverage of Chicago high school athletic events. The students are responsible for all aspects of production: they shoot, edit, and announce all of the action themselves. The students even conduct sideline interviews. “Everything you see is us — we’re doing it all,” brags freshman Daryl Jackson. “Most kids’ programs are run by adults where they control the final project, but here we are in charge.”

The final product is telecast every Saturday night on public access T.V. (CAN-TV) and is one of the station’s most popular shows with over 70,000 regular viewers. Students and faculty at my own school regularly watch the telecast. “First of all, they shoot all the best games, they know which games we want to see. But also, the announcers know what’s going on in the schools so you get all these side stories about the players and the fans,” explains student Lazzerick Allen. —>
http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/27/one-class/
~

Media Re:public Forum Panel on Participatory Media: Defining Success, Measuring Impact
by Victoria Stodden
Victoria Stodden
03/28/08

[ comments invited ]

Margaret Duffy is a Professor from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and she is speaking at Berkman’s Media Re:public Forum. She leads a Citizen Media Participation project to create a taxonomy of news categories and get a sense of the state of citizen media via sampling news across the nation. They are interested in where the funding in coming from, the amount of citizen participation, and getting an idea of what the content is. They are also creating a social network called NewNewsMedia.org connecting seekers and posters to bring together people interested in the same sorts of things…

Duffy is followed by Carol Darr, director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet (ipdi) at George Washington University. She is discussing the “Media Habits of Poli-fluentials” and building on work from the book, “The Influentials” by Ed Keller and Jon Berry. The idea is that one person in ten tells the other nine how to votes, where to eat, etc. The interesting thing Darr notes is that poli-fluentials (her term) are not elites in the traditional sense but local community leaders and ordinary folk who appear to be knowledgable to their peers. She notes that people who seem to know a lot of people tend to be these poli-fluentials. —>
http://blog.stodden.net/2008/03/28/media-republic-panel-defining-success-measuring-impact-of-participatory-media/
~

Media Re:Public, part 7
by Nathaniel James
Phase Transitions
03/28/08

[ comments invited ]

Media Re:public is hosting this back channel. I got into this conversation with Sasha Costanza-Chock.

Nathan: For Ron C: how can cable access centers reach out to, connect, and collaborate with the world of new media and user generated content? There’s a tradition there that needs to connect!
schock: Check out Manhattan Neighborhood Network, and Denver Open Access. They are great examples of public access connecting to new media.
Nathan: Absolutely! But why are MNN, etc the exception? How can we port those models to PEG/access more universally?
schock: Well there’s one thing the funders might think about 🙂 Support extending those models around the country.
http://phasetransitions.blogspot.com/2008/03/media-republic-part-7.html
~

Comcast admits it can do the impossible
‘We will stop busting BitTorrents’
by Cade Metz
The Register (UK)
03/28/08

[ 16 commemnts ]

Faced with continued scrutiny from the US Federal Communications Commission, Comcast has agreed to release its choke hold on BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer traffic. It says it will soon adopt an alternative method of controlling upload traffic on its cable-based internet service. This also means that Comcast has acknowledged there’s an alternative method of controlling upload traffic on its cable-based internet service.

Today, with an early morning press release, the big-name American ISP and cable television provider said it would switch to “a capacity management technique that is protocol agnostic” by the end of the year. “We will have to rapidly reconfigure our network management systems, but the outcome will be a traffic management technique that is more appropriate for today’s emerging Internet trends,” Comcast Cable CTO Tony Werner said in a canned statement. “We have been discussing this migration and its effects with leaders in the Internet community for the last several months, and we will refine, adjust, and publish the technique based upon feedback and initial trial results.” Werner did not point out that Comcast also spent the last several months publicly defending its right to bust BitTorrents. —>
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/28/comcast_to_stop_busting_bittorrents/
~

Liberating the Electromagnetic Commons
by Andrew Back
carrierdetect.com (UK)
03/28/08

[ comments invited ]

I’ve always been fascinated with radio and it’s many applications: from Rugby’s MSF time signal and long-wave broadcast radio, through HF amateur radio and VHF PMR, to television, wireless networks and satellite navigation systems. Yes, I’m a radio geek.

So it should be of no surprise that I take a keen interest in how our incredibly scarce resource – the electromagnetic spectrum – is managed. And let’s be clear it is our resource as it truly belongs to the people and is not the product of the labours of an organisation or state, despite what some would rather have us believe. But since it is a finite resource and one of such value there is no avoiding the fact that it must be carefully managed. And this comes down at a top level to government agencies such as the FCC in the USA and Ofcom in the UK.

Up until now such agencies have largely done a good job of managing this resource and ensuring that spectrum is shared fairly and amongst a diverse range of users with varying needs. Of course for this thankless task they have not gone short of a bob or two, as has been demonstrated most visibly via the auctions for spectrum required for operating a 3G mobile service in the UK, which raised in excess of £22billion. —>
http://carrierdetect.com/?p=103
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/19/08

March 21, 2008

City Council Moves Closer To Backing AT&T Bill
Littlefield Says He Welcomes Cable TV Competition
The Chatanoogan (TN)
03/18/08

The City Council is moving closer to backing a bill sought by AT&T allowing it statewide franchise rights leading to development of a cable TV system. The council heard an endorsement from Mayor Ron Littlefield, then directed that a resolution of support be prepared for later action. Mayor Littlefield said some concerns he had about the bill appear to be cleared up. —>
http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_124164.asp
~

CBC to release TV broadcast as high-quality, no-DRM BitTorrent download
by Cory Doctorow
Boing Boing
03/18/08

[ 18 comments ]
[ 31 comments at original post site: Michael Geist – 2nd link below ]

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is about to follow Norway’s NRK and become the first major North American broadcaster to release one of its shows as a DRM-free torrent:

“Sources indicate that the CBC is set to become the first major North American broadcaster to freely release one of its programs without DRM using BitTorrent. This Sunday, CBC will air Canada Next Great Prime Minister. The following day, it plans to freely release a high-resolution version via peer-to-peer networks without any DRM restrictions. This development is important not only because it shows that Canada’s public broadcaster is increasingly willing to experiment with alternative forms of distribution, but also because it may help crystallize the net neutrality issue in Canada.

“The CBC’s mandate, as provided in the Broadcasting Act, requires it to make its programming “available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means.” Using BitTorrent allows the CBC to meet its statutory mandate, yet with ISPs such as Rogers engaging in non-transparent traffic shaping, millions of Canadians may be unable to fully access programming funded by tax dollars. If the CBC experiment is successful, look for more broadcasters to do the same and for the CRTC to face mounting pressure to address net neutrality concerns. ”
http://www.boingboing.net/2008/03/18/cbc-to-release-tv-br.html
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/2767/125/
~

FCC Debates Open Internet at April 17 Stanford Hearing
Free Press
03/19/08

Today, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it will hold a second public hearing on the future of the Internet on April 17 at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. The Stanford hearing promises to bring consumers and producers of innovative online content together to educate the FCC about the future of video on the Internet. The field hearing is also linked to the FCC’s ongoing investigation into the blocking of legal content by Comcast and other Internet service providers. At the first hearing last month at Harvard, Comcast admitted hiring seat-fillers, blocking interested citizens from attending the event.

Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, which coordinates the SavetheInternet.com Coalition, issued the following statement: “Just as the Internet benefited from widespread public participation, so will the debate over its future. The hearing at Stanford — the birthplace of our Internet economy — gives Web innovators a chance to weigh in on the policies that will shape the industry for a generation.

“We look forward to working with the FCC to ensure that all interested parties are accommodated. With the future of the Internet at stake, no one should be shut out of the conversation. At this defining moment in the Internet’s history, the threat posed by would-be gatekeepers like Comcast is very real and getting worse. Open Internet policies are urgently needed. We hope this important hearing will lead to immediate and accelerated action at the FCC.” —>
http://freepress.net/node/37696
~

Clearing the air on digital TV converters
by Jonathan Takiff
Philadelphia Daily News
03/19/08

Last week’s column scooped the nation with the first hands-on review of low-cost, digital TV tuners/converters. These set-top boxes will become essential to receive over-the-air TV on older, pre-digital television sets next year, after broadcasters are required (on Feb. 17, 2009) to shut off their analog signals. Not surprisingly, I got a flood of reader comments and questions. Today, let’s deal with some of them…

Q: I’ve got cable TV. Some of my sets are hooked up to cable boxes, others just use the TV’s cable-ready tuner to receive non-scrambled cable channels. Will I be able to connect one of the new digital boxes to a cable line to bring in digital TV channels?

A: There’s been a whole lot of concern and misinformation about cable TV reception after the Feb. 17, 2009, conversion/cut-off. Locally, I’ve heard stories of Comcast phone reps telling customers they MUST upgrade to a digital cable box or they won’t get any TV signals come 2009.

THAT’S JUST NOT SO!

It is true that cable companies are eliminating as many analog channels as they can – even public access channels – by moving them to a digital transmission “tier” that requires an upgraded cable box and higher monthly fee for reception. This is being done because digital signals use much less bandwidth, so cablers can increase the number of channels they offer on a system.

But at the urging of the Federal Communications Commission, cable companies have committed to continue delivering an essential core of local broadcast stations to customers in a down-converted fashion that can still be tuned by an old, analog cable box or directly by a cable-ready TV, for “at least three years,” Comcast senior executive David L. Cohen assured me. —>
http://www.philly.com/dailynews/columnists/jonathan_takiff/20080319_Jonathan_Takiff__Clearing_the_air_on_digital_TV_converters.html
~

Marlboro council meetings to air on cable TV channel
by Rebecca Morton
News Transcript (NJ)
03/19/08

Sometime in the near future, residents are expected to be able to watch Township Council meetings from the comfort of their own home. Council members adopted an ordinance on March 6 that will allow municipal cable channel 77 to broadcast regular or special public meetings. Channel 77 is available for Marlboro residents who subscribe to Cablevision for their cable television service.

Prior to the adoption of the ordinance on March 6, the local cable television ordinance prohibited council meetings from being broadcast. The municipal channel has aired special events and public information from the township and from the Marlboro K-8 School District, including notification of school closings. Having council meetings aired on the local access channel was one of 50 goals set by Mayor Jonathan Hornik in his 100- day plan upon taking office Jan. 1. —>
http://newstranscript.gmnews.com/news/2008/0319/Front_Page/004.html
~

Assessing success in the FCC’s 700MHz auction
by Marguerite Reardon
CNet News
03/19/08

[ 10 comments ]

The Federal Communications Commission generated $19.6 billion in the 700MHz spectrum that ended Tuesday, but the true success of the auction will take months or even years to assess. There’s no question that the auction, which began on January 24, was a monetary success for the government–it raised a record $19.6 billion in 261 rounds of bidding. During a conference call with reporters Tuesday after the bidding closed, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said the 700MHz auction was the most successful auction the agency has ever conducted, raising more money than all previous auctions put together, excluding the Advanced Wireless Services, or AWS, auction in 2006.

“The $19.6 billion generated by the auction nearly doubled congressional estimates of $10.2 billion,” Martin said. “All other 68 auctions conducted by the FCC in the past 15 years collectively generated a total of only $19.1 billion in receipts. Even with open-platform and aggressive build-out obligations, each of these blocks sold for more than AWS-1 blocks with comparable bandwidth and license areas.”

Despite the obvious financial success of the auction, it will be a long time before it’s clear whether the FCC was successful in achieving some of its broader policy goals, such as creating a more open wireless marketplace and a nationwide interoperable public safety wireless network. —>
http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9897722-7.html?tag=newsmap
~

Redrawing the Map
Consolidation Continues to Change Cable’s Local System Landscape
by George Winslow
Multichannel News
03/17/08

Despite efforts by the Federal Communications Commission to put limits on the footprint of cable companies, the impact of consolidation and clustering continues to redraw the Multichannel News list of the 100 largest cable systems. Several Insight Communications systems have disappeared into nearby Comcast divisions and the large cable operators continue to consolidate some of their divisions into larger groups. Time Warner Cable, for example, has 22 systems on this year’s list, down from 31 in 2005. As a result, only 88 systems from last year’s list appear this year with the same name and a similar footprint. —>
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6541250.html
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/17/08

March 18, 2008

U-Verse’s Sorry Excuse For Public Access TV
CT’s version of public access CSPAN a little annoyed….
by Karl
Broadband Reports
03/17/08

[ 27 comments ]

As Verizon and AT&T lobbyists worked to eliminate the local video franchise system, consumer advocates pointed out that such moves resulted in the death of public access. In States where lawmakers insist, AT&T has to carry public access — but localities haven’t been all too thrilled with the results. In Connecticut, AT&T is trying to pass preferred “franchise reform” legislation that would change how PEG channels are offered. The free, 24-hour local government policy public access channel (Connecticut Network), worried that the bill would kill off viewership, has created a video showing what locals have to do in order to access the channel in Michigan.   —>
http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/UVerses-Sorry-Excuse-For-Public-Access-TV-92721
~

Franchise, Phone Bills Percolate In Pa.
Cable, Verizon Put Lobbying Voice Behind VoIP Deregulation
by Linda Haugsted
Multichannel News
3/17/08

Pennsylvania lawmakers may consider a state franchising-reform bill, but the industries most affected by that bill, the cable and telephone companies, are teaming up to put their lobbying muscle behind deregulating voice-over-Internet protocol phone service.

Cable operators and Verizon officials testified last week before the state Senate’s consumer affairs committee in favor of SB 1000, which would prevent any government agency from trying to regulate the product.  Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware have already written into law that VOIP can be deployed without regulatory hurdles.

The state video franchising proposal — HB 1490 — was drafted in part by labor groups and neither cable operators nor phone companies like the bill.  “HB 1490 is a bad idea. You don’t amend or negotiate a bad idea,” Broadband Cable Association of Pennsylvania president Dan Tunnell said.

Most states adopting statewide franchise require a new provider to submit the names of executives, state office locations and a description of the intended franchise area. Pennsylvania’s draft bill goes further, requiring an applicant demonstrate the legal, financial, technical and managerial qualities needed to build and operate a system — much like the deep level of operating data local communities demand for cable franchises.

HB 1490 would also give the state Public Utility Commission up to four months to act on an application, a period during which three public hearings must be held. At the end of that period the PUC has the option to deny the application.

The bill also would establish:
• A six-year franchise;
• A requirement incumbents can’t be state franchised until their current pacts expire, unless the local franchiser consents;
• A build-out schedule that requires new providers to reach 35% of their declared franchise areas within three years of launch. A quarter of those customers would have to meet a low-income test. By year six, 70% of the franchise would have to be served, including 30% low-income households. If the franchise is renewed for another six years, the provider would have to serve the all households in the franchise by the end of year 12;
• And a rule that all installations, maintenance and customer service be done within the state.
—>
http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2008/03/17/3331198.htm
~

Bridgeport schools showcased on TV
by Linda Conner Lambeck
Connecticut Post
03/17/08

[ comments invited ]

BRIDGEPORT — “Great Expectations,” a 30-minute news magazine showcasing all the good things happening in city schools, premieres this week on public access television.  The Bridgeport Public Education Fund is bankrolling the program, along with seven others, at a cost of about $5,000 per episode.

The program is hosted by Gina LeVon Simpson, a school system outreach worker with a background in television, and is produced by Borres Productions of Bridgeport.  Others involved in the production include students working in front of and behind the camera. They include: Justin Flores and Ahlaam Abdul, both students in Bassick High Schools Arts and Media Academy; and Rondique McLeon and DeSheena Kinney from Harding High.

The first episode features Hernan Illingsworth, parent of a fifth-grader at Classical Studies Academy and president of the citywide Parent Advisory Council.  “I hope this TV show starts to change expectations,” Illingsworth said. “Sometimes the expectations are bad. I hope this TV show shows a lot of the good stuff.”

A camera crew followed Illingsworth around for about three hours one day, filming him at work, during school and community activities, and at home.  “I believe the message was to get the aspect of me as a parent leader,” Illingsworth said. He hopes the show will get more parents involved and show the general public that Bridgeport parents care.   —>
http://www.connpost.com/breakingnews/ci_8601676
~

Does Big Media’s One-Two Punch Knock Out the Internet?
by Jonathan Rintels
SavetheInternet.com
03/17/08

[ one comment ]

Last week saw Big Media deliver a powerful one-two combination of punches that may knock out today’s wide open Internet. First, in a speech delivered by Motion Picture Association of America President Dan Glickman, the nation’s media conglomerates vowed to fight increasingly vocal calls from policymakers and the public for “network neutrality” — a requirement that broadband Internet consumers be permitted to access the lawful content of their choice.

That’s hardly a revolutionary concept, unless you’re a broadband gatekeeper like Comcast that makes its customers’ choices for them by discriminating against some websites and favoring others.

To justify allying with Comcast, ATT, and their ilk in a mega-million dollar lobbying campaign to beat back government action that might prevent such anti-competitive, anti-consumer discrimination, the media congloms cited the need to combat piracy of their valuable content over broadband networks.

But as much as we also support fighting piracy, the MPAA’s invoking that fight here is a diversionary smoke screen for what’s really going on. The existing FCC policy principles that call for network neutrality, as well as every proposal to turn those principles into enforceable rules, speak to ensuring that broadband providers allow consumers “to access the lawful Internet content of their choice.”

By definition, pirated content is not “lawful content.” Big Media’s claim that Net Neutrality rules will prevent it from combating piracy goes way too far, as evidenced by Comcast’s recent blocking and slowing of its customers’ access to content distributed by BitTorrent. In kneecapping BitTorrent, Comcast didn’t just block pirated content, but all BitTorrent content, including legitimate un-pirated content such as a file containing the text of the King James Bible, and video that BitTorrent was distributing on behalf of its clients Fox, Time Warner, and Viacom – all card-carrying members of the MPAA!

Now consider the second powerful blow Big Media leveled against the open Internet last week. On Wednesday, Hulu.com went “live” after months in beta, streaming video of film and television produced by most of the media congloms that make up the MPAA.

[BTW, as Nikki Finke asked, how is it that this NBC-Universal and News Corp. (FOX) “joint venture” to distribute via Internet content owned by these companies, plus that of Sony, Warners, MGM-UA, and others, doesn’t violate antitrust laws? After all, not even the Bush administration’s “anything goes” antitrust regulators would allow these same alleged competitors to create a “joint venture” to distribute their content via movie theaters or a Dish Network-type satellite system.]

Allowing Comcast, ATT, and other broadband gatekeepers to discriminate against video content delivered by the BitTorrents of the Internet world vastly strengthens Hulu’s competitive position as the leading and “safe” web distribution method for video.

And can there be any doubt that as a condition of Big Media’s allying with the broadband providers to fight net neutrality that there is a clear understanding between them that Hulu will never be discriminated against in the way BitTorrent was? Look for all the Big Media companies currently using BitTorrent and other distribution over the Internet to sign up soon with Hulu.

Following that, to ensure they are not discriminated against by broadband gatekeepers and placed at a competitive disadvantage, look for many more video content creators to place their content on Hulu. In a world without Net Neutrality, linking up with Big Media’s Hulu — and its insulation from Comcast-style discrimination and degrading — will be a matter of self-preservation.

Kudos to the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA) for immediately calling out the MPAA and exposing its anti-competitive collusion. Writes the IFTA:   —>
http://www.savetheinternet.com/blog/2008/03/17/does-big-medias-one-two-punch-knock-out-the-internet/
~

MIT’s Jenkins, Johnson Talk Community, Creativity
by Jessica Maguire
Gamasutra
03/17/08

[ one comment ]

MIT’s Jenkins, Johnson Talk Community, Creativity Amidst accusations of the dumbing-down of American youth, Henry Jenkins stands as a profound defender of popular culture, and a notable commentator on media and video game-related issues.

The Co-Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT, author of numerous books including Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide and Fans, Bloggers and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture, shared the stage with Steven Johnson, author of Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software, Everything Bad Is Good for You, and other popular books about emerging technology, for the opening remarks at SXSW 2008.

The Decline Of Youth Culture?

To begin their conversation about the impact of new media and gaming culture, Johnson asked Jenkins about the emergence of books like The Dumbest Generation and the big NEA report about the decline of reading among kids today.   —>
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17829
~

NCVO: Over 120 MPs demand local TV on freeview
politics.co.uk
03/17/08

Over 120 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion demanding that the Government introduce a local television network on Freeview before switching off the analogue TV signals.

Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum are backing a plan put forward by United for Local Television, a coalition of local TV operators and campaigners. This would see the introduction of “Channel 6” as a new local channel broadcasting on the Freeview platform. No matter where you live in the UK, Channel 6 would be a local channel offering local news, local programming and local advertising. Channel 6 would also carry ‘networked’ public service content covering interests such as the arts, business, industry, rural affairs, tourism, health and social issues.

The Early Day Motion has been proposed by Ian Stewart MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Community Media, and is rapidly gaining support from MPs.  Ian Stewart, MP for Eccles, said:  “UK citizens are amongst the least well served in the entire democratic world for access to local news and information from television. It is vital that at least one channel (out of a potential 30+ channels on Freeview) is protected as a local channel providing a forum to debate and discuss local issues. I feel very strongly that local TV must be extended so that everyone has access to a local channel on Freeview no matter where they live and without the need to subscribe to pay-TV or the internet.”

The Government is committed to the expansion of local TV. Section 244 of the Communications Act 2003 gives the Culture Secretary the ability to enact a Local Digital Television Order which would roll out local TV services across the UK. MPs are now calling on the Government to enact these provisions.   —>
http://www.politics.co.uk/press-releases/ncvo-over-120-mps-demand-local-tv-on-freeview-$1213353.htm
~

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