Archive for the ‘cable franchising’ category

Long Beach CA Council Votes To Support Local Television

May 2, 2009

Long Beach CA: Council Votes To Support Local Television
Grunion Gazette | 04-22-09
http://bit.ly/MjZFv

At the beginning of the year, public access television in Long Beach went dark. Under the Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006 (DIVCA), cable companies no longer were required to pay for such operational expenses as facility maintenance, rent and staffing at public access studios, according to Curtis Tani, technology services director for the city of Long Beach. On Jan. 2, Charter Communications closed its public access studio in Long Beach. By the middle of May, community television could receive a financial boost to help get it back on air.

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Surviving Language Migration From Telecom to Broadband Policy

October 2, 2008

[ posted on behalf of Chuck Sherwood ~ rm ]

Here is a PDF file of the article that I wrote for the most recent issue of NATOA Journal: “In My Opinion: Surviving Language Migration From Telecom to Broadband Policy.”  It puts forth the idea that instead of using the traditional FCC classifications of Title I–Information Service, Title II–Telecom Service and Title VI-Cable Service, which have created such funding and regulatory havoc these past five years for PEG Access Centers and Local Franchising Authorities, that Congress should create a new classification of Title VII-Bit Stream Service, that would collect use fees from all Bit Stream Providers for the use of Public Rights of Way and Public Spectrum to deliver voice, video and data services regardless of whether they use wireline or wireless infrastructure to deliver those services.  Check it out! (more…)

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government September 17th Hearing on PEG Access TV, in YouTube Clips

September 21, 2008

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We thank the House staff and the staff of DCTV for their work in making this footage available.  Persons interested in cablecasting this hearing on their communities’ PEG access channels may obtain a copy by contacting the Alliance for Community Media at 202-393-2650 x 12.  Also, the whole hearing is available for viewing in one online file at http://blip.tv/file/1278920/ .

~~~

01: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) Opening Statement (pdf)

In his opening statement Chairman Serrano expressed support for PEG access, explaining the purpose of the 1984 federal law that gave local franchising entities the authority to require PEG access channels.  “By granting this authority,” Serrano said, “Congress recognized that PEG programming is in the public interest and essential to our communties as an outlet for free speech, local information and opinions, and emergency communications.  PEG supports our democratic ideals by helping to develop a well-informed and educated society.  It benefits all of us to support and encourage PEG programming.”

Chairman Serrano also explicitly took AT&T to task for declining to attend the hearing.  “AT&T’s recent action relating to PEG channels goes to the heart of many of the concerns that will be raised today.  Let the record show that I consider their decision not to send a witness to be indicative of the company’s apparent disregard of the importance of PEG to local communities.”
~~~

Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) & Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R)

02: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R) Opening Statement

In the absence of the Subcommittee Ranking Member Ralph Regula (OH-R), Rep. Mark Kirk (IL-R) made the opening statement for the minority.  He strongly reinforced the Chairman’s comments on AT&T, and the importance of PEG access.  “If there was any thought by AT&T that the Republican member here at the hearing would help them out, let me disabuse them now,” Kirk said.

Kirk continued, “I think this committee should take some action on this.  It does appear that AT&T is in direct violation of Illinois law, and so, whether it is in Springfield or in Washington, we should fix this to make sure that there is a very convenient place, especially for our seniors, to find what’s happening in their local community… I breeze through local access cable like everyone else does, except when we’re doing a zoning or other issue related to my neighborhood, and then we are locked on this like everyone else.”
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03: Monica Desai, FCC Media Bureau Chief, Testimony (pdf)

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04: Barbara Popovic, Alliance for Community Media, Testimony – (Written-pdf) (Oral-pdf)

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05: Howard Symons, National Cable Television Assoc., Testimony (pdf)

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06: Michael Max Knobbe, BronxNet, Testimony (pdf)

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07: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions – Territories

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08: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions

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09: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R); Questions

Rep. Kirk asked Monica Desai, “What are your plans to implement your testimony from the Commission, to make sure that AT&T is forced to bring PEG back to the basic – so that they have a channel, somewhere between 1 and 100, on the basic service tier, and are not exiled to on-demand?”  Desai replied, “I would be anxious to place this issue in front of the Commissioners for them to decide, with our view that this would be a violation of the statute.  But what we would need is to have a specific and formal complaint filed in front of us.  We would need something to act on.”
~~~

10: Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI-D); Questions

Rep. Kilpatrick made mention of the Michigan law suit enjoining Comcast from channel slamming, then said, “I don’t want to see PEG relegated to some substandard something.  It ought to be right up there with the other major channels.  And whatever we have to do to get it there — it sounds like it’s a regulatory something, as well as a people something — and if we have to mobilize America to educate them to what it is, I think we have to do that.”

~~~

11: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY-D); Questions

Rep. Hinchey asked about possibly establishing minimum levels of support for PEG access.  “I have a public access station back in my district, in the city of Binghamton,” Hinchey said, “that unfortunately is not provided with the facilities and training by its cable service providers.  So I’m wondering what you think could be done so that the Federal Communications Commission would have the authority to enforce perhaps a federal minimum of financial support that could be provided by cable service providers, so that rural areas generally have the same capability for public access as do larger cities?”

~~~

12: Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN-D); Questions

"Oh, don't say that!"

Rep. Peter Visclosky to NCTA's Howard Symons: "Oh, don't say that!"

Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN-D) asked questions of Howard Symons about the cable industry’s commitment to community service.  In response to a question about Comcast’s closing of studios following passage of Indiana’s statewide video franchising law, Symons said: “You know, Congressman, the cable industry didn’t ask the state legislatures to change the law.”  Visclosky instantly replied, “Oh, don’t say that!  Don’t say that! I would suggest that that is not a correct statement — to be polite.”
~~~

13: Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-D); Questions

Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-D) questioned Ms. Desai’s mention of the FCC’s requiring a formal complaint

“I’m surprised that it really requires that.  I would think if you have an oversight responsibility in this area, and you see major companies who are not complying with the statute, that you have the authority on your own to take action, to communicate with the companies that this does not meet the requirements of the statute.”
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14: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions, Round 2

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15: Michael Max Knobbe Answers Chairman Serrano

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16: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R); Questions, Round 2


Rep. Kirk asked Ms. Desai if a joint letter from the Committee would help the FCC expedite an inquiry into these matters.  “I would be willing to sign a letter, with the Chairman, to you, saying, ‘Hey, get on the case here.’  Is that enough for you to get rolling?”

Ms. Desai answered, “I’m sure a letter from you and Chairman Serrano would be taken… act on it post haste.”
~~~

17: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY-D); Questions, Round 2

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18: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) Closing Statement

“We stay committed to the commitment I made before to Mr. Kirk and the Committee that the issues that have been discussed here will be placed by this Committee officially in a formal fashion before the FCC, to make sure that we begin to look at the whole issue and how best we can stick to the intent of the law, notwithstanding some changes that have taken along the way.”
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
http://alliancecm.org

Alliance for Community Media’s Statement for the Platform Committees of the Democratic & Republican National Committees

July 15, 2008

The Alliance for Community Media today is asking the Platform Committees of the Democratic and Republican National Committees to embrace policies protecting local cable franchising authorities’ ability to require PEG access channels and adequate mechanisms for supporting them within their franchise agreements.  From the Alliance’s Platform Statement:

In summary, the ACM proposes a national policy of “community reinvestment” through Public, Educational, and Government access organizations which includes funds and bandwidth and/or spectrum that will be used for public purposes by:

• Allowing the local community which owns the public right-of-way to franchise and determine the best use of the community’s property. This principle must be protected by Federal law.

• Dedicating ten percent of the public airwaves and capacity on communication facilities that occupy public rights-of-way to PEG use for free speech, diverse points of view, local programs, community based education and political speech.

• Mandating funding of five percent of gross revenues from all infrastructure and service providers and spectrum licensees to support PEG equipment, facilities, training and services.

• Making PEG access universally available to any consumer of advanced telecommunications services capable of full-motion video.

The Alliance strongly encourages its members and all other community media advocates to actively engage and insist upon, at every available opportunity, these “Keep Us Connected” policy goals – at every meeting of every appropriate local, state, regional, and national policy-considering body — Democratic, Republican, and otherwise.

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 07/13/08

July 13, 2008

Seven-Year-Old To Use Cable Show To Protect Sound
by David Funkhouser
Hartford Courant (CT)
07/12/08

[ 4 comments ]

Seven-year-old Daphne Tucker will be hosting a segment of her family’s cable TV show to recruit 100 fellow third-graders to become junior oceanographers and advocates for Long Island Sound.  Daphne’s father is naturalist and videographer Scott Tucker, of Haddam, who produces “Expedition New England,” a cable show about nature shown on local access channels in 68 towns. Her family’s project is one of 14 proposals to win grants this week from the Long Island Sound Fund.

A total of $311,000 has been awarded for projects to help preserve and enhance public access to the Sound, including a handicapped-accessible fishing pier on the Niantic River, new hiking trails in Old Saybrook and a study of the genetics of blueback herring.  The Tuckers’ share of the grants is $24,450.  The money comes from the sale of “Preserve the Sound” license plates, proceeds from a special affinity credit card and private contributions.

Daphne will host “Listening to the Sound,” a segment on her father’s show that will teach children about the importance of protecting the Sound.  Tucker said he and his daughter will visit schools and solicit applications on the show’s website from third-graders who want to sign up to serve as junior oceanographers. He, his wife Ava, and Daphne will select the 100. Each child will receive a DVD and a kit so they can test water temperature and salinity, and better understand tides and sea levels, Tucker said.
http://www.courant.com/community/news/mr/hc-ctlisgrants0712.art0jul12,0,426835.story
~

Public-access channel may face 50 percent funding reduction
Great Falls Tribune (MT)
07/13/08

[ comments invited ]

People don’t need to drive, bike or walk to the Civic Center to watch Great Falls City Commission meetings.  They can sit at home and, if they have a Bresnan cable subscription, watch the meetings live on Cable Channel 7.  However, the channel’s future is up in the air as the city slashes its budget and its board tries to cope.  City officials are planning to cut Channel 7’s budget in half this fiscal year.  [ … ]  In contrast, the city of Missoula puts 65 percent of its franchise fees into public-access station Missoula Community Access Television under a contract that runs through 2010. In Great Falls, 65 percent would amount to $400,000, which is more than enough to keep Channel 7 afloat.

For now, franchise dollars are dumped into the general fund, which pays for police and fire services, recreation, public works and other services.  Last year, the channel received $44,059 from the city, and this year’s budgeted figure was $46,565. The proposed amount for next budget year is $22,939 — about a 51 percent cut.  Five years ago, the city provided Channel 7 with $15,000 annually to cover the costs of broadcasting city meetings. At the time the channel was housed at Montana State University-Great Falls College of Technology, and later at KTGF-TV, but it has no home this summer.  “They are residing in a closet,” Cable Channel 7 backer and volunteer John Watts said last week.  [ … ]

A 2006 survey of cities done for the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors showed that more than half of cable franchise money nationwide went into cities’ general funds, while 11 percent went strictly to public-access TV channels and another 17 percent went to both overseeing cable operations and supporting public-access stations.
http://www.greatfallstribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080713/NEWS01/807130305
~

Recycling old media materials
The Herald (WA)
07/13/08

Question: I buy more music and movies online and my CDs, videos, cassette tapes and even some DVDs are now just taking up space on the shelf. How can I recycle old media materials?   —>
http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20080713/BIZ/39143337/1005
~

Indymedia Access for the DNC in Denver
by Kelli Refer
Indybay.org
07/12/08

[ comments invited ]

Coming to Denver for the DNC but need a workspace for your video and audio? Denver Open Media and KGNU studios are opening their doors as a workspace for indymedia journalists. There will be opportunities for live broadcast from the studio, audio streams and radio interviews. This will be a great workstation for all indymedia journalists.

—>  The Colorado Independent Media Center, together with KGNU, Denver Open Media, and MicroBusiness Development, is announcing their plans for media access and services before and during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.  [ … ]  Denver Open Media will be opening its channels and webstreaming to the entire community during the DNC. DOM is temporarily waiving annual membership fee is required to cablecast content on Denver’s local access channels, 56, 57, and 219. For the week of the DNC every VOICE can be heard in Denver and throughout the world via the internet!

Denver Open Media will also be broadcasting live from our studios at 700 Kalamath following each day of the convention, from 5-9pm, allowing any independent journalist to drop-in and share photos, video and audio recordings, and in-person accounts of the day live on TV. DOM will also have production, editing, and uploading resources available from 1-10pm for Indymedia producers.   —>
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/07/12/18515532.php
~

“Mass audiences” and citizen journalism
by Sanjana Hattotuwa
ICT for Peacebuilding – ICT4Peace (Sri Lanka)
07/13/08

[ comments invited ]

“Sri Lankan participatory media projects do not yet have mass audiences.”

Burning Bridges makes this statement in a recent post on participatory media’s impact on abductions in Sri Lanka.

I wonder though, should they?

Does it require a “mass audience” to make an impact? I think the answer to this depends on place, context, issue, content quality and other factors but I think that in some (or many?) cases of user generated content / participatory media / citizen journalism the fact is that it has an impact more than what one would associate with mere audience numbers. In other words, perhaps who is aware of CJ / reads it / bases their decisions on it is oftentimes more important than how many have access to and consume CJ?

As an aside, articles on Groundviews are republished regularly on the Daily Mirror, leading to one aspiration of mine to facilitate the creation of and publish citizen journalism of a standard comparable to and even on occasion exceeding mainstream English print media being fulfilled to a degree two years since I introduced the concept to Sri Lanka. Also noteworthy is the fact that blog posts / blogosphere content are increasingly featured in Sri Lanka traditional / mainstream media, oftentimes without prior permission of the original content producer.

But Groundviews is perhaps the wrong example. Many other blogs I read on Sri Lanka aren’t republished in a newspaper to reach hundreds of thousands, but I would argue that many of them have a loyal readership, that this readership often clicks through to links that the post refers to and that is from a large age and location demographic. As Burning Bridges goes on to note in this regard,

They do, however, have the attention of the policy world, and of elites in and diaspora from Sri Lanka. Increasingly, they have strategies to get their work into mass media outlets, whether as columns in newspapers, or as reports about their work. Cumulatively, they have managed to both raise the profile of the issue of abductions, and to help direct resources and energy into better research and monitoring. It remains a question as to whether they’ve managed to affect the political landscape.

That I manage to regularly frustrate, inter alia, the Government’s Peace Secretariat as evinced by their assertion earlier this year that I “provide solace and relief to terrorists” is a good thing keeping in mind the nature of the Rajapakse regime, which is largely and viciously intolerant of competing narratives on war, peace, human rights and governance in Sri Lanka.

CJ also has a long tail. Articles I’ve published two years ago are still being read and have, over the months, accumulated hundreds of thousands of page-views cumulatively. When speaking about affecting the political landscape, it’s important to think of what that actually means.   —>
http://ict4peace.wordpress.com/2008/07/13/mass-audiences-and-citizen-journalism/
~

[ One discussion among PEG access providers concerns the pros and cons of placing offender notices on their communities’ channels at the request of local authorities. ~ rm ]

MA: Sex offender’s family opposes law on ‘predator free’ zones
Sex Offender Research & News by a Voice of Reason
by J.J. Huggins
07/13/08

[ comments invited ]

Another politican touting a “sounds-good” residency law which statistics proves protect no ones, short of the politican’s votes.

METHUEN — There’s no buffer zone separating Charles and Claudia Bobb from a Level 3 sex offender.  In fact, the offender lives in their house. He is Charles Bobb’s 64-year-old father.  Howard Bobb is a pedophile who was convicted of molesting four children over a span of 16 years. Now, as Methuen joins a nationwide debate over whether the government should tell sex offenders where they can and cannot go, Charles and Claudia Bobb are speaking out against a proposed law.  City Councilor Kenneth Willette wants to ban sex offenders from traveling within 1,000 feet of public schools, parks and the Nevins Memorial Library.

Charles and Claudia Bobb, both 43, say the law would violate the civil rights of sex offenders and make it tough for them even to bring the ailing Howard Bobb to the doctor.  “These guys come up with these rules and laws and initiatives, and they don’t bother, I don’t feel, to do their homework to learn how it’s going to affect people or their families,” Claudia Bobb said.

Willette is not concerned with a sex offender’s right to enjoy a public park or visit the library.  “They forfeited their right to travel to these facilities,” he said in a recent interview.  Willette wants to place fliers from the state Sex Offender Registry Board, showing the photographs and addresses of Level 3 offenders, in school offices, City Hall, the Quinn Building, on the city’s Web site, and more prominently at Nevins Memorial Library. He also wants to hang signs declaring schools, parks and the library “predator free zones.”  His proposal went before the City Council on Monday. It received initial approval and will require one more vote by the City Council to be enacted.

Charles and Claudia Bobb moved to Methuen from San Jose, Calif., in January 2007. They live at 18 Russ St. with their 16-year-old daughter. They brought Howard Bobb into their home in November, after discovering he was living in a crummy apartment in Akron, Ohio, with no food or clean clothes.  Howard Bobb was convicted of two counts of indecent assault and battery for molesting two children under age 14 in 1979. He spent 41/2 years in prison.  He was released from prison and re-offended, his son said. This time, in 1987, Howard Bobb was imprisoned for 18 months for one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.  He was released from prison and re-offended again in 1995. He was convicted of the same charge and spent another 18 months in prison.

“My father was wrong for what he did in the past,” Charles Bobb said.  But, he said, the man “did his time” and never committed a crime in Massachusetts. His last conviction was 13 years ago.  Howard Bobb, a paranoid schizophrenic, is in a rehabilitation facility in Salem, Mass., suffering from an infection and paralyzed from the waist down. Charles and Claudia Bobb said it will be a few weeks before he’s able to go home. When he does, they say, he will not go anywhere without one of them.  Charles Bobb said his father no longer notices children.  “He’s not the same person he was back then,” he said.

[ … ]

Police officers showed up at the Bobbs’ home in April and informed the family that Howard Bobb had to go to the station to register. Fliers soon were created, showing Howard Bobb’s photograph and address, and labeling him a “Level 3 Sex Offender.” They were distributed and aired every 15 minutes on public access television.  Charles and Claudia Bobb say they have been shunned since the public learned the elder Bobb is a convicted pedophile. Some people have mistaken the younger Bobb for the sex offender.  A man driving by the house honked his horn and flipped the middle finger at Charles Bobb, he said. A jogger cursed at him. Children looked at him and asked if “that was the guy.”

“We know that we wouldn’t have brought him here if there was any danger to anybody,” Claudia Bobb said.   Charles Bobb’s parents were divorced when he was 12, after his mother accused his father of molesting a child. His mother moved to California.  “My father was in prison and my mother was in California, so I basically lived on the streets until I joined the military,” Charles Bobb said.  He joined the Navy at age 17. He didn’t accept that his father was a child molester after the first two times he was accused, “because I couldn’t believe he would do something like that.”  After the third accusation, he came to grips with reality. But despite the past, Charles Bobb wants to take care of his father.  “He’s my father. I just do what’s right by him, even though he’s done me wrong with his convictions and everything and leaving me abandoned,” he said.
http://sexoffenderresearch.blogspot.com/2008/07/ma-sex-offenders-family-opposes-law-on.html
~

Saving Pointdexter Ep. 9
411 Show (TX)

[ comments invited ]

Episode 9 about the lost dog Pointdexter, and the quest to find him a new home. Pointdexter has a close call with the dog catcher. This clip was for San Antonio Public Access TV. Produced by 411 Productions. Espanol: Salvando al perro perdido Pointdexter, episodio 9.
http://blip.tv/file/1073198
~

Portland Community Media hires new Executive Director
Portland Community Media (OR)
07/07/08

The Portland Community Media (PCM) Board of Directors has announced that Sylvia McDaniel will assume the role of PCM Executive Director.  McDaniel will start at PCM on July 14.  McDaniel, who recently returned to Portland after 10 years, expressed that the PCM Executive Director position was an ideal fit for her. “I am passionate about what community media stands for,” says McDaniel. “At PCM, we connect to communities and value one’s right to be heard,” McDaniel added.   —>
http://www.pcmtv.org/?q=news/highlights
~

CCTV Takes Home Many Awards in Hometown Video Festival
Cambridge Community Television (MA)
07/12/08

CCTV staff attended the annual Alliance for Community Media conference, held this year in Washington DC, from July 10-12. Thursday night featured the Hometown Video Festival, and we had to repeatedly return to the stage to collect CCTV members’ awards: Laura Asherman’s SMI 2007 Documentary, Quentin James and Zach Martin for The Quiet Generation, Amy Mertl for her mini-doc on the CRLS photography program, and two for Max Lewontin for City in Motion and Nobody Knows Us. And then, for the grand finale, CCTV collected the top prize, Overall Excellence in Public Access Programming!

It wasn’t all play though; CCTV staff presented in a number of workshops: Clodagh Rule moderated “Launching a Youth-Focused Media Program at Your PEG Center,” Colin Rhinesmith taught vlogging in “Vlogging 101,” Sean Effel talked about Drupal in “updates in Drupal development for CMC’s,” and Susan Fleischmann sat on the panel “Learning New Technologies to Save Money and Deliver Better PEG Access Services.”
http://www.cctvcambridge.org/node/4126
~

Catch the hot summer at TV3
by Dawn Natalia
Medford Transcript (MA)
07/12/08

[ comments invited ]

Come in from the heat to TV3 Medford and stay cool this July.  Our Fathers Day Shout Out was a big hit with the kids from the Medford Family Network, and we are looking forward to planning another event with them soon. Any ideas? Call us at 781-395-5993.  The Kids’ Film Club film “He Said, She Said” is now in production. Look out, Kevin Bacon! Our intern James Williams finishes shooting with the girls this month.  This film is partially funded by a grant from The Medford Arts Council.

This July TV3 Medford travels to Washington D.C. to accept our three national awards from the Alliance For Community Media.  The Hometown Video Awards are presented to creative programs that: 1. Address community needs 2. Develop diverse community involvement 3. Challenge conventional commercial television formats, and 4. Move viewers to experience television in a different way.
Our awards are:

· Overall Excellence in Public Access/ Budget under $200,000: The Overall Excellence award recognizes the access organization with the best overall operational activities and programming efforts for the year 2007.

TV3 submitted answers to questions about our history, special programs such as PSA Days, MACI exhibits, Team Medford (our international award-winning filmmaking team) and student programs. We submitted a reel for 2007 that included clips from everything from reality to sports to PSA to documentary, etc., which showcased our membership and programming.

· Making A Difference — Professional: The Making A Difference award is given to a program created to achieve a specific social, political or community goal. The results, impact or actions resulting had to be documented in the support materials.

We submitted “Wise Boyz,” our 30-minute film about a confused teen who wants to join a gang. This was produced in conjunction with Medford High School and the non-profit Scene:Teens, which mentors teens at moviemaking. Because of the local problem with graffiti and gang violence, we wanted to provide an outlet for the teens to voice their feelings about the subject.  The teens were coached by adult volunteers and ad-libbed a narrative film that was picked up by a national film Web site and earned $3,500 for TV3 Medford. But more importantly it provided our Medford teens with a real sense of accomplishment.  One mother (in tears) wrote to us about how her special needs kid now has confidence to pursue her dreams.

· Original Teleplay – Professional. The Original Teleplay award is given to the best original comedy or dramatic script written for television. We submitted PC Noir, which was a short film produced through the Columbus School Film program, and partially funded by The Medford Arts Council.  This was a politically correct film noir, with a message that all entertaining films need not contain violence or anything age inappropriate.

In all cases the submissions involved many, many people from the Medford community. Congratulations to our members, staff, board and all volunteers who participated in these projects.  The Overall Excellence award is the highest honor that TV3 Medford could achieve from our peers, and we are extremely proud of the community as a whole for earning it!   —>
http://www.wickedlocal.com/medford/news/lifestyle/columnists/x2043504957/Natalia-Catch-the-hot-summer-at-TV3
~

Millis: Comcast Pact Renewed
by Calvin Hennick
Boston Globe (MA)
07/13/08

Selectmen last week approved a 10-year extension of the town’s contract with cable-television provider Comcast. Under the deal, the town’s community-access television station will continue to receive 4.5 percent of Comcast’s local revenues. The company also will pay $100,000 to the station for equipment, with $50,000 to be paid within the next two months and $10,000 to be paid each year for the next five years.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/07/13/movies_at_the_park/?page=2
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 05/03/08

May 4, 2008

Sirius/XM Merger an Opportunity for Openness & Access? LPFM for Satellite?
by Paul Riismandel
mediageek
05/03/08

[ comments invited ]

Matthew Lasar continues his excellent reporting for Ars Technica with an article on a recent letter from House Energy and Commerce Chair John Dingell (D-MI) and Internet subcommittee Chair Edward J. Markey (D-MA) to the FCC urging an open platform for satellite radio if the Commission approves the Sirius/XM deal. What they’re calling for is the ability for any manufacturer to make Sirius/XM compatible satellite radios, without the ability for the merged company to prevent things like iPod docks or HD Radio capability.

Lasar also notes the gathering steam in support for setting aside some of the merged company’s channel capacity for noncommercial programming, similar to what has been required for direct-broadcast satellite TV. Apparently even Clear Channel wants 5% of capacity set aside for “public interest” programming, whatever Cheap Channel means by that.

I oppose the merger on the principled basis of the fact that such a merger was specifically prohibited as a provision of the original authorization of the service. Nevertheless, I recognize that principle rarely rules the day in DC. Therefore I very much support setting aside channel capacity for non-commercial broadcasters as a necessary condition if the FCC chooses to approve the merger.

Obtaining a non-commercial channel on Dish Network was vitally important for Free Speech TV and has allowed that organization to distribute its radically critical grassroots programming in a way that it simply could not before, feeding public access TV stations around the country.

Although internet distribution is still more practical for radio programming than for TV programming, having several nation-wide progressive and grassroots radio channels nonetheless would be a great opportunity, and could be of great service to community radio stations.   —>
http://www.mediageek.net/?p=1619
~

SPARKY VIDEO CONTEST
by Roger Green
Friends of the Albany Public Library
05/03/08

[ comments invited ]

Competition showcases student productions, offers instructors a fun and thought-provoking class assignment

Six library, student, and advocacy organizations today announced the Second Annual Sparky Awards, a contest that recognizes the best new short videos on the value of sharing and aims to broaden the discussion of access to scholarly research by inviting students to express their views creatively.

This year’s contest is being organized by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) with additional co-sponsorship by the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Association of Research Libraries, Penn Libraries (at the University of Pennsylvania), Students for Free Culture, and The Student PIRGs. Details are online at www.sparkyawards.org.

The 2008 contest theme is “MindMashup: The Value of Information Sharing.” Well-suited for adoption as a college class assignment, the Sparky Awards invite contestants to submit videos of two minutes or less that imaginatively portray the benefits of the open, legal exchange of information. Mashup is an expression referring to a song, video, Web site, or software application that combines content from more than one source.   —>
http://aplfriends.blogspot.com/2008/05/sparky-video-contest.html
~

East Metro candidates to appear at forum May 8
by Gosia Wozniacka
The Oregonian
05/02/08

[ comments invited ]

County commission and state legislative candidates will appear at a voters’ forum next week in Fairview.The Spring Voters Forum will be held Thursday, May 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the Fairview City Council chambers, 1300 NE Village Street. The forum will also be televised live on MetroEast Community Media.   —>
http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2008/05/east_metro_candidates_to_appea.html
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Community Media 2.0: It’s Still About Us and Our Physical Communities
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition (MA)
05/02/08

[ comments invited ]

My co-workers and I had a meeting today to discuss plans for our new website. Two important things caught my attention in thinking about how to frame the work we’re doing through our visual and semantic design.

First, visual design. The thing that sets us (community media centers) apart in a REALLY important way from social network websites (e.g., Facebook, MySpace, etc.) is our focus on the physical communities we serve. We need to represent that both in our stories and in our visual images online.

For example, the picture above from the staff page on the DCTV website shows the visitor that there are people involved at DCTV in a physical community. So, if you’re a worker at a community media center with a presence online show pictures of your access center and the people from your community. It not only humanizes the web technology that you’re using, but it also tells the website visitor there is a physical place and people involved that others can come to learn more about, learn from, and participate with.   —>
http://cmediachange.net/blog/2008/05/02/community-media-20-its-still-about-us-and-our-physical-communities/
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As AT&T legislation wraps up, city may be first to see U-verse
by John Rodgers
Nashville City Paper (TN)
05/02/08

[ 7 comments ]

Nashvillians and residents of neighboring counties will likely have the first crack at AT&T’s television programming later this year now that legislation is close to becoming law, a lawmaker close to the telecom said.  Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro), the Senate sponsor of AT&T’s legislation to start offering television programming, said Davidson County and the “doughnut counties” around Nashville would be the first areas where AT&T will offer its U-verse television services.

“Some people in the state will be able to start using U-verse by Dec. 1,” Ketron said.  In addition, Ketron said AT&T was prepared to invest more than $350 million in Tennessee.  So far, for competitive reasons, AT&T officials have not said where they would be offering U-verse if pending legislation became law.  Ketron’s pronouncement didn’t change that.  “We have not made any formal announcement at this point at all,” said AT&T spokesman Bob Corney on Thursday.   —>
http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=59939
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House OKS study on WiMax Internet technology
by Gina Smith
The State (SC)
05/02/08

[ 32 comments ]

A fight is looming over whether South Carolina should become the first state to adopt the next generation of broadband communication — and who should have access if it does.  WiMax would allow extremely fast connection to the Internet from anywhere in the state and access to never-before-seen interactive tools.  House lawmakers voted Thursday to appoint a panel of seven tech experts from the private sector to study the options and make recommendations to the State Budget and Control Board.   —>
http://www.thestate.com/local/story/392973.html
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Citywide Wireless IP Network Launched in New York
by Matt Williams
Government Technology
04/15/08

[ 1 comment ]

Leave it to America’s biggest city to launch an equally big high-speed data network.

The New York City Wireless Network (NYCWiN) was rolled out to 70 percent of the city’s police precincts and firehouses on April 1, giving the city’s first responders and employees a unique public safety and public service network.

“It’s the first network of its scope certainly anywhere in the country in terms of the amount of area we’re covering,” said Nick Sbordone, spokesman for the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), referring to New York City’s 322 square miles. “The network is solely dedicated to city use, specifically not just for public safety, but for public service as well. It really is historic in that sense.”

NYCWiN will run on 400 nodes across five boroughs — with many of the access points perched on rooftops. New York City CIO Paul Cosgrave, in testimony to the City Council in February, said NYCWiN can support a diverse array of functions:

* Nineteen city agencies developed about 53 unique applications for the network, including an expansion of automated vehicle location, a real-time technology to track the city’s fleet.
* The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is developing an automated water-meter-reading program.
* The city Department of Transportation will use the wireless network to synchronize and time traffic signals to ease traffic congestion. Cosgrave testified that NYCWiN also will provide photos and video of traffic incidents and emergencies.

In addition, the wireless network will be a powerful tool for law enforcement and public safety personnel. The NYPD Real Time Crime Center will link into NYCWiN, which will support Internet protocol (IP)-based emergency call boxes and surveillance cameras. Police officers will have access to in-car photos and video.   —>
http://www.govtech.com/gt/articles/286778
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News from the profit centres
Press freedom: Many fear the internet is killing journalism, but markets may be a more serious threat
by Geraint Talfan Davies
The Guardian (UK)
05/03/08

[ 14 comments ]

Is new media killing journalism?

The first question to ask is whether this is the right question. The new media need kill nothing. The question is how we choose to use the web. How do we respond to its strengths and to some of its weaknesses?

What I do know is that a luddite approach to the web would be plain ludicrous, even for those of us who still prefer to settle down with a newspaper than flash around the screen.

Instead of bemoaning the web, let’s seek a more positive response. It is possible that the advent of the new media may shake journalism out of a self-deprecating complacency that insists on it being a trade rather than a profession. Journalism will need to better establish its worth in the face of free, unchecked, unverified “user-generated material”. Similarly, the new media might have a beneficial effect on the Press Complaints Commission which, if it is to safeguard self-regulation – a valuable concept in a professional world – will have to do so with greater rigour and transparency in its operation and governance.

It is no accident that an organisation such as the Media Standards Trust has come into being at just this time to address constructively some of the consequences of these developments.

But there are more important questions buried in Unesco’s briefing paper, Freedom of Expression, Access and Empowerment, which says that the role of open and pluralistic media in holding a mirror to society “has fallen increasingly to the smaller community media sector as financial imperatives drive corporate media away from these core principles and into profit centres that do not cater to smaller or marginalised populations.”   —>
http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/geraint_talfan_davies/2008/05/news_from_the_profit_centres.html
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Civic Engagement, Empowerment & Respect for Diversity (CEERD)
The World Bank
05/02/08 [?]

The Program to Develop New Bank Practices in Civic Engagement, Empowerment and Respect for Diversity (CEERD) is a coalition effort involving all of the World Bank’s technical networks and regions, for which the secretariat resides in the World Bank Institute (WBI). The effort is currently focused on the Voice and Media Technical Assistance Program, which provides expert analyses and how-to advice, carried out in close collaboration with country assistance teams, to improve the enabling environment for pluralistic broadcasting in the public interest, and develop community radio prototyping and sector investment.

In the past the CEERD Program has also supported promoting respect for diversity through education, traditional knowledge and empowerment for poor producers; legal empowerment of the poor; and value-based participatory planning.

The Program currently supports analyses of the broadcasting sectors, particularly the enabling environment for community radio, in several countries, including Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Liberia.  Well experienced teams, including international, regional, and national experts advise during stakeholder deliberations on proposed reforms, assist in development of new broadcasting legislation, provide “how-to” guidance to improve regulatory procedures in order to distinguish between non-profit community broadcasters and commercial ones, and design community radio sector investment programs in close collaboration with national stakeholder coalitions for community radio development.  South-south mentoring and communities of practice support participatory development of community radio stations, as well as capacity development in programming, reporting, and management/resource mobilization.

An important thrust of this agenda is to help build sustained policies, practices and institutions that are megaphones for citizen’s voice and demand for good governance. Community radio development is being given special attention because it has proved to be a sustainable and interactive medium for poor and illiterate populations to articulate issues important to them, mobilize information, learn the give and take of informed discussion and debate, and become more decisive agents in their own development.  These non-profit, non-partisan stations are owned and operated by the communities they serve, and perform an important public service for poor constituencies, eliciting their views and concerns, and encouraging them to speak out, both among themselves and to local government.
http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/WBI/EXTCEERD/0,,menuPK:542912~pagePK:64168427~piPK:64168435~theSitePK:542906,00.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 05/02/08

May 4, 2008

Public-access TV
LTE by Mark Hart, Statewide Organizer, Florida Media Coalition
Miami Herald (FL)
05/02/08

The state Legislature apparently will miss the opportunity to revisit the Consumer Choice Act of 2007 and address its unintended consequences on public-, educational- and government-access cable TV (PEGs).

The bill has potentially legislated out of existence PEGs, once the great promise of cable-TV franchise agreements with local governments. Only one public-access channel remains in Florida. In addition, PEGs now may be voted away with a majority vote of not just all poll respondents, but all subscribers, in a service area.

PEGs are burdened with programming requirements not applicable to commercial TV; they must be on air at least 10 hours every day, and with at least five hours of nonreruns and not including ”bulletin board” announcements.

Meantime, states such as Illinois have ensured that PEGs can’t be ”channel-slammed” into hard-to-find, triple-digit, high-tier channels unavailable to basic subscribers who don’t have converters.

Florida should do the same by adding a provision to the bill that PEGs not be numerically separated from other basic service channels. In addition, the state Legislature should delete the provisions allowing for elimination of PEGs, as well as for minimum programming requirements.

Further reductions in the ranks of professional journalists in the state of Florida, like those announced recently by Media General in Tampa, make causes such as PEGs, which relate to open government, all the more important now.
http://www.miamiherald.com/456/story/517943.html
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Sprouting between the channels
The garden of public access TV is anything but secret.
by Becky Lang
Minnesota Daily
05/02/08

[ comments invited ]

For an entire week, I watched only public access TV. We’re not talking PBS shows about mushrooms in the rainforest and girls in cargo pants traveling in Europe and mispronouncing several versions of “excuse me.”

What I watched was Minneapolis Television Networks, a hodgepodge of shows made by anyone who walks into their studio on Southeast Main Street. Some choose to take their free filmmaking classes and cart around town in their production van, and some sit in the rooms in the studio and stare at the camera like it’s their waiting lover, or their cooling dinner.

To many, public television is cathartic. They can tell their life stories, reveal that their kid’s friend got shot eight times, how they got their buff bod, their master’s degree, or $500 for selling their soul on eBay. It can act as a street vendor of individualism, roping in whoever might walk by, hoping they stay a minute as they channel surf.

To others, public television is a means of keeping a community together. Ever notice that there are basically zero shows on television about recently migrated families who don’t speak English? The Somali community isn’t exactly represented on “Gossip Girl.”

For a week, I explored the climate of public TV. No “Top Modelthons” for me. I even gave up my “No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain” lunch hour. My experience culminated in a late-night watch-whatever’s-on marathon. Sure, it can get tricky to keep the fingers from channel surfing, but with the right beer and snacks, you can feel right at home. In case you venture to try, I provided a recipe for public access quesadillas, which I like to pair with a Blue Moon or two.   —>
http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2008/04/30/72166998
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YouTube AND Public Access Television
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition (MA)
05/01/08

[ comments invited ]

On my way into work this morning, I noticed an article in the Boston Metro entitled, “Pol eye YouTube for city life.” In it, Greg St. Martin talks about how Boston City Councilor, Rob Consalvo is interested in using YouTube to “broadcast” PSA’s to reach younger audiences. Martin adds,  “Consalvo said the city could use the new Boston Neighborhood News (BNN) studio to film the announcements, which he envisions spanning topics such as education, voting and summer jobs.”

This would be an excellent use of a community media center to provide residents with locally relevant information using web video platforms such as YouTube. The access center could also share the content on its website, while inviting community members to be involved in the production process.

It might also encourage residents to work with the city to create a more democratic communication process through their involvement on such a project. In any case, it’s an interesting model that access centers might consider particularly in working with local non-government and non-commercial organizations.
http://cmediachange.net/blog/2008/05/01/youtube-and-public-access-television/
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Where will SCAT go?
City plans to sell local station’s home
by George P. Hassett
Somerville News (MA)
05/02/08

[ 15 comments ]

The city’s cable access television station, the oldest in the state, is facing an uncertain future as city officials plan to sell off the station’s building in Union Square.  At the April 25 Somerville News contributors meeting, Somerville Community Access Television Executive Director Wendy Blom said the station has a temporary contract to remain in the old Union Square fire station free of charge until June. She said city officials assure her they will not displace SCAT but will not agree to anything in writing.

“There is some uncertainty there. We don’t know what may happen at City Hall. But we do have support in the community,” she said.  Blom said that support comes from SCAT’s efforts to be “embedded” in Somerville. More than 30 percent of the station’s shows are in languages other than English, she said, and programs such as Next Generation Producers offer teenagers opportunities to create their own movies, music videos and documentaries.   —>
http://somervillenews.typepad.com/the_somerville_news/2008/05/the-citys-cable.html
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AT&T mum about cable plans
For competitive reasons company not ready to disclose rollout details
by Larisa Brass
Knoxville News Sentinel (TN)
05/02/08

[ 1 comment ]

A bill paving the way for AT&T to introduce cable television services in Tennessee now awaits the governor’s expected signature, but the telephone giant is staying mum about what happens next.  “We’ve not made a specific announcement about our (rollout) plans at this point,” said AT&T spokesman Bob Corney, and he declined to indicate when such an announcement might come, what time frame the company is considering for launching a digital television product and what communities would first be targeted.

“For competitive reasons we really don’t get into the specifics of that,” he said.  Corney reiterated the importance of the legislation to AT&T’s strategic business efforts in the state, saying the company worked closely with state legislators to hammer out what he called a “very technical bill.”  “Clearly this is something we’ve put a lot of time in ourselves,” he said. But, “as is our policy, we will announce (specific plans) at the time we’re prepared to announce. I’ve got no formal announcement.”   —>
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/may/02/t-mum-about-cable-plans/
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Verizon Deal Could Lower Cable TV Rates
by Peter Kiefer
The New York Sun
04/30/08

[ comments invited ]

New Yorkers could see a short-term drop in cable television rates and enhanced service after the Bloomberg administration reached an agreement yesterday with Verizon for a new citywide cable television franchise.

Time Warner has had a virtual monopoly on the city’s cable television market except in the Bronx and eastern Brooklyn, where Cablevision offers service. The agreement would allow Verizon to offer its FiOS TV service over its new fiber optic network.

The city in turn would receive 5% of all new cable fees generated by Verizon, the maximum percentage permitted by federal law, and the same rate applied to the city’s other cable franchise agreements. Verizon will also make a $10 million donation to the downtown Brooklyn studios of NYC TV as part of the agreement.   —>
http://www2.nysun.com/article/75528
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Local boy’s success has taken a circuitous route through entertainment
In his own words, Michael Furlong’s life has gone full circle.
by Sue Morrow
Reno Gazette-Journal (NV)
05/02/08

[ comments invited ]

The Carson City native started out in the television business when he was hired in 1973 as Educational TV director at Carson City High School, writing a grant for the closed circuit TV system and managing the program. In 2006, he became general manager for Access Carson City community public television operated by the Brewery Arts Center.  However, before his job with the school district, and to this day, he has been heavily engaged as a performing musician — he sings and plays guitar — and as a song-writer.   —>
http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080502/CARSON/805020337/1003
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Public Informational Meeting on the Plains area Sewer Project
Easthampton Community Access Television (MA)
05/02/08

[ comments invited ]

May 1, 2008 – WBMS
http://easthamptoncitycouncil.blogspot.com/2008/05/public-informational-meeting-on-plains.html
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Whatever Happened To Back Porch Video?
by Big Wave Dave
Motor City Rocks (MI)
05/02/08

[ 2 comments ]

Back in the early 1980’s two revolutions met in a head on collision; the music video and public access. Here in metro Detroit, the king of this combined revolution was none other the Back Porch Video (BPV).  Last week I sat down with Lance Rosol; former Back Porch Video producer and music director, and talked about his recent Back Porch Video YouTube channel on what exactly made BPV so influential.   —>
http://www.motorcityrocks.com/2008/05/whatever-happened-to-back-porch-video.htm
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannel.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org