Archive for the ‘captioning’ category

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/03/08

March 9, 2008

Durham Asks Court to Order Time Warner Government Channel
WRAL (NC)
03/03/08

Durham County has filed an action in Superior Court against Time Warner Cable to get the company to provide a Public/Education/Government (PEG) channel on its cable service. Durham’s complaint cites a state law requiring government access channels. The complaint, filed Feb. 29, also notes that Durham County has submitted in writing a request of Time Warner to provide a second PEG channel to be dedicated for government use. Durham County has the use of one channel for education (Cable Channel 4), however there is not a dedicated government access channel. Durham County is seeking immediate compliance in court hoping to compel Time Warner to provide the second PEG channel.

Time Warner Cable issued the following statement: “It is premature to comment until we have seen the lawsuit and had time to review it. We have been working for months with both the city and county to provide Public Access channels. We already have two access channels on the basic tier cable system, as required by law. It is Time Warner Cable’s position we are operating in full compliance with applicable law.”
http://www.wral.com/news/news_briefs/story/2515543/
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Cable groups cry foul
Want AT&T to have franchise agreements
by Mike Cason & Marienne Thomas-Ogle
Birmingham News (AL)
03/03/08

Cable television companies and the Alabama League of Municipalities say AT&T should be required to sign franchise agreements with cities to set up its new television service, known as U-verse. U-verse provides Internet Protocol, or IP, based video television service over fiber optic cable. U-verse also provides telephone and Internet services. Franchise agreements set conditions for use of public rights-of-way for lines and other equipment. Cable companies are required to sign them.

AT&T has negotiated deals to offer U-verse in eight Alabama cities – Center Point, Clanton, Gardendale, Helena, Hoover, Midfield, Mountain Brook and Tarrant. The company is talking to others, including Birmingham. No start date is set in the state. AT&T says its U-verse agreements are “public benefits video agreements,” not franchise agreements.

AT&T spokeswoman Terri Denard said the company is not required to enter franchise agreements because it has had a statewide franchise to install telephone and telegraph lines since before 1900. Alabama Attorney General Troy King issued an opinion in December that appears to support AT&T’s position. But cable companies say AT&T’s U-verse agreements are less binding than franchise agreements and would give the company an advantage over competitors. —>
http://www.al.com/news/birminghamnews/index.ssf?/base/news/1204535742324950.xml&coll=2
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Fifth annual NPA-TV debates live on TV
Norwood Bulletin (MA)
03/03/08

[ comments allowed ]

Norwood Public Access is proud to announce the live broadcast of its annual debates moderated by Jack McCarthy. This will be the fifth year that NPA-TV will provide Norwood residents access to their candidates. There will be two debates: Board of Selectmen and School Committee.

NPA-TV has invited the three candidates for the Board of Selectmen seats: Jerry Kelleher, Tom McQuaid, and Tom Riolo. This debate will be held live on Wednesday, March 19, at 7 p.m. on NPA’s Town Channel. The second debate will focus on the candidates running for all School Committee seats: David Ford, Mark Joseph, and Bill Plasko Jr., in addition to Ed Morneau, Courtney Rau, Eleanor Travers. This debate will air live on Wednesday, March 26 at 7 p.m.

Viewers at home will be encouraged to phone-in questions live during the broadcast. To leave questions in advance for the candidates call 781-551-0338 or email NPA-TV at staff@npatv.org. Also, please be sure to tune in for the live election results on Election Day, Monday, April 7. For more info, visit www.npatv.org or call 781-551-0338.
http://www.wickedlocal.com/norwood/calendar/x2052204100
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Community Media Weekend (TX)
by Chip Rosenthal
Unicom Systems Development
03/03/08

This has been my weekend of community media. Saturday, I attended the Texas Community Media Summit. There were several highlights of the event for me. For instance, it was nice to see Debbie Austin from The Texas Observer give a shout-out to Austin Bloggers, a site I manage.

I also enjoyed finally meeting U.T. R.T.F. Professor Laura Stein who seems to have a good earthy handle on community media issues. She lead a session on media convergence. It got me thinking about funding for projects such as open source tools. One effect of Texas SB 5 is that many cities will find their PEG (access television) budgets cash rich for capital equipment, but starved for operating funds. Maybe some of those funds can be used for servers and other infrastructure for community media projects.

I had a blast chatting with public policy superstar Charles Benton. He got me thinking about the impacts the digital television transition will have on community media, and what opportunities there may be. —>
http://www.unicom.com/blog/entry/507
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Gov’t access show to air
by Ronald Leir
The Jersey Journal (NJ)
03/03/08

Bayonne cable subscribers are invited to tune to the government access BAY-TV Channel 78 today for the debut of “Your Town,” a bi-monthly show being launched by interim Mayor Terrence Malloy. Malloy, who pledged in his recent State of the City address to work harder to update the community on events happening around Bayonne, said he hopes to achieve that goal through the airwaves. —>
http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/index.ssf?/base/news-3/1204528230146220.xml&coll=3
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Celebrating ‘Public Access’
by Gordon Baird
Gloucester Times (MA)
03/03/08

We’ve spun off the Public Access Cable TV station from Comcast, and we’re having a huge, marvelous rave-up of a party to celebrate. Everyone in town is invited to see the newly realigned digs at their old location and have a sip and a munch, and drink a toast to freedom of speech. That’s what’ll happen this Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the newly formed cable station that the public owns.

Splitting off from Comcast as a separate entity when the latest contract was renewed last year, Mayor John Bell incorporated the newborn company with the likes of Mark Orlando, Stacey Randell and myself as directors. Orlando and Baird were brilliant enough to elect Randell as president and — teaming up with the award-winning station manager, Sinikka Nogelo — the pair quickly achieved ignition, launch, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, bylaws, policies and so many boiler-plate business items that would make lesser mortals pale. Launch support also came from David Babson, Howard Fritsch, Greg Bach and John McNiff, among many others. The original board threesome then added Rockport’s Ann Patrice-Hickey, Essex’s Daisy Nell, Manchester’s Paul Jermain and Gloucester’s Dave Marsh to the board over the past six months…

So where’s your show? Perhaps when you come to the party, you’ll get an idea. There will be clips of all the shows in our local line-up. Where’s that Glosta cooking show that should be running? Or that rowing show where the rowers take you around Gloucester Habba with camera mounted? Janet Green Garrison does a show on Yoga. How about weight-lifting, sewing, boat building, gardening, plumbing, local house repair, wall building, painting? All are shows waiting to be produced. And you don’t have to make 30 shows. First make one. And the more different the show, the better.

A local politics show, modern dance, tap, clubbing, local bands, a Glosta YouTube show featuring local home-brewed vids on cable. More and different sports shows? Surfing, soccer, more cooking, Italian, French, Brazilian, vegetarian. Imagine a Treasure of Gloucester Archives show, a regular Schooner Adventure Show, Gloucester Museum show, a library show, how about a Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center show?

There could be a tour of the cruise ships show, a rock hopping show, a Gloucester architecture appreciation show, a retrospective photos of The Gloucester Daily Times show, a Cub Scout or Girl Scout show, an exploring wild spaces show. These would be fun shows to have on the air. By the way, all the Cape Ann high schools have great video equipment, too; they should get their own combined school show and promote the heck out of it. Think of the energy resource there.

So come give the new station your shout-out after work Thursday, March 6, at Unit No. 38, Blackburn Industrial Park. Same old place, different look. Come hurrah the Gloucester High School shop class for assembling all our new furniture. Come tipple some wine and munch some goodies with us. Channel 12 doesn’t have as much corporate muscle behind us as we used to, but we can move a whole lot faster and our outlook and policies are ever closer to our public. —>
http://www.gloucestertimes.com/puopinion/local_story_063063003.html?keyword=topstory
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2008 Studs Terkel Community Media Award Winners
Community, Media & You (IL)
03/03/08

[ comments allowed ]

Studs Terkel’s community-driven stories and natural ability to give a voice to us all, no matter what side of the tracks we lived on, makes him one of Chicago’s most iconic journalists. An eclectic disk jockey was who I heard growing up, listening to his weekday morning program on WFMT. A man of many hats, Studs’ diverse life includes careers in TV, radio and of course, Pulitzer prize-winning author.His style and rich legacy inspired Community Media Workshop to offer an annual award. The Studs Terkel Community Media Award honors outstanding media makers who cover Chicago’s diverse communities. In an age when news coverage focuses more on celebrity gossip and less on info citizens need to make good decisions, this award is more timely than ever.

This year’s winners, Dawn Turner Trice, columnist for the Chicago Tribune, Tom McNamee editorial page editor at the Chicago Sun-Times and Dulcé {Doohl say} Mora, representing the youth-driven Latino radio station Radio Arte, represent a mix of ethnicities and talent that exemplify exceptional journalism – Studs style. On this episode of Community, Media & You, we’ll talk with Dawn, Tom and Dulce about their unique take on journalism and what it means to to the future of news making
http://communitymediaworkshop.org/vlog/?p=28
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Amesbury: TV host aims to keep viewers in touch with commmunity
by Charles Frost
Newburyport News (MA)
03/03/08

By day, Larry Frost is a licensed massage therapist, but at night he takes on a completely different role — as a televison program host. The Amesbury resident hosts a weekly local cable access television program called “Our Town” that focuses on all things involved with the community, from the people to the events. “The whole show’s theme is for elderly people and disabled people so they can feel in touch with the community,” said Frost.

In recent weeks, the program has focused on the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center and domestic abuse awareness, subjects that coincided with White Ribbon Day, and he also featured Opportunity Works in an episode. Frost said he has completed 32 episodes of “Our Town” thus far and has no plans to stop making new shows. He alternates each week with a new episode and a rerun. The shows air Thursdays on Channel 12 at 7 p.m. —>
http://www.newburyportnews.com/punews/local_story_063063728.html
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[California Supreme Court arguments on public access tv]
The Tin Man
03/03/08

[ 1 comment ]

Tomorrow the California Supreme Court hears arguments in the state’s same-sex marriage equality case. You’ll be able to watch the oral arguments online here at 9:00 a.m. California time (12 noon East Coast), or if you live in California you can find them on public access TV here. —>
http://www.tinmanic.com/archives/2008/03/03/california-supreme-court-and-marriage/
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The Obama Presidential Campaign comes to San Antonio
The 411 Show (TX)
03/03/08

[ comments allowed ]

The excitement of the Barack Obama campaign comes to San Antonio TX, February 2008 for the presidential primary. Includes intro by Congressman Charlie Gonzalez, son of Henry B. Gonzalez. This clip aired on San Antonio Public Access TV
http://411show.blogspot.com/2008/03/presidential-campaigm-comes-to-san.html
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TV on ‘lookout’ for Montgomery’s ‘most wanted’
by Sterling Meyers
Washington Times (DC)
03/03/08

Montgomery County’s cable-access TV station now has its own version of the long-popular “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted” shows to help catch local criminals. The bimonthly program, “Be On the Lookout,” started last month and features criminal investigations in the county, including a recent homicide in Gaithersburg. “Somebody out there knows something,” said Lt. Paul Starks, director of the county police department’s media division. “We want to close that case and get those people off the streets.” —>
http://washingtontimes.com/article/20080303/METRO/58379732/1004
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Digital closed captioning issues
by Jeffrey Krauss
CedMagazine.com
03/01/08

Although the transition from analog to digital TV offers some wonderful new capabilities for closed captioning, there are two issues that are causing confusion, and it could get worse. They deal with the must-carry decision to deliver analog programs after the 2009 end of the digital transition, and the limitations of the popular HDMI interface.

Analog captions conform to CEA-608-D “Line 21 Data Services.” CEA-608 (“native 608”) closed captions are captions designed for the analog television system and carried on the two fields of line 21 of the vertical blanking interval. The common look and feel of native 608 captions is limited to white block letters within a box-like black background field. Color (non-white) characters, while possible, are only occasionally used due to the 13-year legacy of set-top decoders and TV sets which cannot display colored captions.

CEA-708-C “Digital Television (DTV) Closed Captioning” is the standard for captions carried in a digital television signal. Because the DTV signal does not have a vertical blanking interval, the captions are carried as data within the MPEG-2 bitstream. CEA-708-C captions have greatly enhanced formatting and display capabilities compared to native 608 captions. “Native 708” captions are those authored and encoded for CEA-708-C use.

In addition, the CEA-708-C standard provides a way to carry native 608 captions within the 708 captioning data stream. Most digital cable programs today carry both the native 708 captions, which are displayed on digital TV receivers, and the native 608 captions, which are displayed on analog TV sets, within their data stream.

One issue, which will become more apparent after the cessation of over-the-air analog broadcasting, is that there is no standard way to downconvert 708 captions to the 608 format, and there are many features of 708 captions that are simply not supported in the 608 format. This limitation is particularly important during the three years that cable operators have agreed to deliver analog versions of the broadcast signals to subscribers with analog TV sets that understand 608 captions but not 708 captions. —>
http://www.cedmagazine.com/Article-Capital-Currents-030108.aspx
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Venezuelans to Create Alternative Community Media
Prensa Latina
03/03/08

Representatives from more than 240 Venezuelan media organization will set up the Social Movement of Alternative and Community in Caracas next week, organizers said. The initiative is aimed at strongly and efficiently countering the media campaign against the Venezuelan people’s democratic and revolutionary achievements over the past nine years, according to a press release published in alternative publications.

The organizers said alternative media plays a major role in the democratization process, as they allow the excluded and their struggles for social justice and equal rights to be heard. The organization will include the media from the community, workers, farmers, women and students. The movement will be founded by 400 delegates who will meet from March 7-9 at the Bolivarian University of Venezuela, where they will debate a draft bill on alternative and community communication.
http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID=%7B8FCBB4D8-F6C7-47C0-9FA3-4519141C98FF%7D&language=EN
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/05/08

February 7, 2008

Preserve PEGs in Hawaii
by Cynthia Thomet
Akaku (HI)
02/04/08

HB3417 & SB1789 are two bills in the Hawaii State Legislature that would help preserve PEG access and ensure that community access cable channels answer to you. Public access channels (made up of content-contributors and cable subscribers like you) need your support in the Hawaii State Legislature House of Representatives! You can help by taking action two ways!   —>
http://www.akaku.org/?p=38
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To attend or not to attend
by Andy Sher
Times Free Press (TN)
02/04/08

Tennessee House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh held a news conference today about private negotiations he is helping oversee that involve AT&T and the cable television industry.  AT&T wants state lawmakers to adopt a franchising process that would allow the company to offer cable television anywhere it wants across the state. Local governments currently control franchising.

When questioned about the gatherings, Rep. Naifeh said the behind-the-scenes meetings among AT&T, cable interests and a handful of lawmakers have been “transparent” although reporters have not been invited to attend.  “Do you want to go in there and sit through those meetings?” Rep. Naifeh asked a reporter.  “No you don’t,” Rep. Naifeh replied when the reporter answered yes to the speaker’s initial inquiry.    http://timesfreepress.com/news/2008/feb/04/attend-or-not-attend/
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Lawmakers meet with reps on cable bill (TN)
Associated Press
MSN Money
02/05/08

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh on Monday denied there’s been a lack of transparency in the handling of a contentious proposal to change cable permitting rules in Tennessee to encourage broadband access around the state.  Naifeh, a Covington Democrat, told reporters Monday legislative leaders from both parties have been meeting with representatives from AT&T Inc. and other cable businesses for the past five weeks to work on compromise legislation, but the media has not been invited to any of the meetings.

Naifeh said about 15 representatives from AT&T and other cable businesses and several lawmakers have been present during the meetings.  When questioned about the matter, Naifeh said there’s no hidden agenda but that all parties want to first work out the “technical issues” of the proposal.  “Let’s get it all worked out … then let us as legislators go over it and determine what we want to be the bill,” said Naifeh, who was joined by Republican sponsors of the legislation from both chambers.   —>
http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.aspx?feed=AP&date=20080205&id=8141833
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Naifeh wants AT&T, Comcast to agree
Governor doubts rival cable businesses will compromise
by Naomi Snyder  (11 comments)
The Tennessean
02/05/08

House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh and a bipartisan group of legislators vowed Monday to press ahead on legislation to allow AT&T to sell video services across Tennessee, despite doubts that a deal can be worked out with rival cable providers.   —>
http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080205/BUSINESS01/802050335/1003/NEWS01
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CWA Calls on Pennsylvania Legislators to Support High Speed Broadband Buildout
Communications Workers of America
Earthtimes.org
02/04/08

A broad coalition of labor, consumers and community groups strongly supports The Consumer Choice Cable Franchising and High-Speed Broadband Promotion Act, H.B 1490, and the Communications Workers of America is urging members of the House Consumer Affairs Committee to approve this measure.  CWA research economist Debbie Goldman will testify before the committee at a hearing on Thursday, February 7.   —>
http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/cwa-calls-on-pennsylvania-legislators-to-support-high-speed-broadband-buildout,269776.shtml
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Public Access Channel goes on without county funds
by Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Evening News Tuesday (FL)
02/05/08

Listen

After attempting to cut funding for years, the Hillsborough County Commission last fall pulled the plug on financing the county’s Public Access Channel.  Forced to reduce the budget dues to mandates from the state Legislature last year, the board also cut in half funding of the county’s Education Channel, and warned station operators that there may not be any funding at all next year. The third channel, the county’s Government channel, also saw its budget cut by more than $200,000 – but it’s entire budget is just a little less than $2-million.

Now comes the possibility that the channel may try to allow commercial ads on the channel. At their board meeting tomorrow, Hillsborough commissioners are scheduled to receive a report from the County Attorney’s office regarding a proposal to allow commercials on HTV.   —>
http://www.wmnf.org/news_stories/5180
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Public access TV still relevant
by Doug Moe
The Capital Times (WI)
02/05/08

A Wisconsin state senator has done a grave disservice to one of the true stars of Madison television. And in a national magazine, at that.  The February issue of Governing magazine contains an article on what it calls the “blurry” future of public access television in the United States due to the many states, including Wisconsin, that have passed laws shifting much of the regulation of cable television from individual cities to the state.

“In the process,” the article notes, “public, educational and government channels — the so-called ‘PEGs’ — are getting hammered. Many are losing funding or studio space, and in a few places PEGs are being shut down altogether.”

The situation in Wisconsin is discussed toward the end of the article and includes this: “Wisconsin state senator Jeff Plale, who sponsored that state’s new cable franchise law, has seen some public access shows that left him unimpressed. ‘We have a channel in Madison of a guy grilling a chicken; sometimes he grills lamb chops,’ says Plale. ‘Should the ratepayers really pay for that?'”

The answer to that question is an unequivocal yes.  Yes to helping fund public access TV in general and yes to the particular show, which airs on Madison’s WYOU-TV, referenced by Plale in his quote.  I will return to that show momentarily. First, let me put in a good word for public access TV as a concept. Actually, the Governing article does a pretty good job of summing up its appeal, and why these new laws are potentially harmful.   —>
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/columns/270959
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City to pay out $200,000 a year for CAT operating costs
by Emilie Rusch
Columbia Missourian
02/05/08

Funding problems could finally be a thing of the past for Columbia Access Television after the City Council voted early Tuesday morning in favor of a five-year contract that would pay out $200,000 a year for operating costs starting next fiscal year.  But the council stopped short of guaranteeing any capital funding to renovate CAT’s studio at Stephens College and went ahead with plans to create a competitive application process for any additional public communications funding.

“CAT has worked with very minimal funds, but they could accomplish a lot more,” Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe said. “I think we owe them the funds to get a good second start.”  The contract, which will not go into effect until both sides sign, will provide CAT with $150,000 for the rest of fiscal 2008 and $200,000 a year through fiscal 2013.

The money comes from the extra revenue generated by the 2 percent increase of the city’s cable franchise fee, approved in September by the council. The city estimates the increase will generate an additional $300,000 to $400,000 in fiscal year 2009.  Before the increase, the franchise fee, which the city charges video providers in exchange for use of public right-of-way, was 3 percent of the provider’s gross receipts within city limits. In 2004, the city’s Cable Task Force recommended to raise the franchise fee to the federal maximum of 5 percent to help fund the public access channel.

CAT members approached the contract with mixed feelings. Without guaranteed capital funding, it will be hard to attract any candidates for the staff positions the city-funded operating budget creates, said Beth Pike, CAT volunteer and member of the Cable Task Force, before the meeting. It just doesn’t make sense to have operating funds without the money to buy equipment, she said.  “We would be spending the money from the city foolishly if we spent what they gave us for operating costs without having any capital,” she said.   —>
http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2008/02/05/city-pay-out-200000-year-cat-operating-costs/
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AT&T U-verse rolls into Chicago
FierceIPTV
02/05/08

AT&T remains committed to its aggressive IPTV roll out and this week comes to Chicago for its biggest ever deployment and remains on track to hit one million users by the end of the year. The launch of the U-verse TV service in parts of 175 suburbs is the largest single rollout in the history of the U-verse service, which currently has 230,000 users. —>
http://www.fierceiptv.com/story/t-u-verse-rolls-chicago/2008-02-05?utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss
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League of Women Voters of Portland To Host Media Reform Forum (OR)
by davy
Open Sources
02/05/08

The League of Women Voters of Portland is hosting a media and democracy forum on Wednesday, February 13, 2008. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Board Room of the Multnomah Building, 501 SE Hawthorne, Portland. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend.

The democratic ideal of informed public participation in government can be enhanced by a vibrant media that values diverse voices and in-depth discussion of the many issues facing our society. Do we have such a media? Have you heard enough about movie stars and want to learn more about community concerns on TV news? Do you want radio stations to play more tunes by local artists? Those are some of the issues the panel will address.

Andrea Cano, board member of OC, Inc. (Office of Communications of the United Church of Christ), will discuss last December’s hearing of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Seattle and explore opportunities for public involvement in broadcast media policy development…

Rob Brading, CEO of MetroEast Community Media, will discuss challenges facing local access cable providers that air programs produced by local organizations and individuals…

David Olson, Director of Portland’s Office of Cable Communications & Franchise Management, will discuss the future of broadband in the metro region…

League member Janice Thompson, Executive Director of Democracy Reform Oregon, will moderate the discussion. —>
http://opensources.davy.us/index.php/b/2008/02/05/league_of_women_voters_of_portland_to_ho
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Non-profit media: Bread for the City’s ambitious community vision
We Media Miami 2008
02/05/08

One of the perks of my new job as communications editor at iFOCOS is listening in on conversations that Andrew and Dale are having. Yesterday, Andrew told a colleague he sees a dynamic future for non-profit media. He pointed out that for years, human rights and advocacy organizations have been producing in-depth investigative reports that journalists then publicize. Digital media, of course, opens the door for non-profits orgs to actually become media-creators themselves: no need to wait around for journalists to call.

One project in iFOCOS’ own Washington, D.C., metro area that has caught Andrew’s attention is Bread for the City, which is planning to launch a Community Media Project. Luckily for all of us, Bread for the City’s development associate, Adrienne Ammerman, will be at We Media Miami to share her thoughts and experience. Here’s what she has to say about her work:   —>
http://ifocos.org/2008/02/05/non-profit-media-bread-for-the-citys-ambitious-community-vision/
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Government-only access  channel in Prescott’s future
by Paula Rhoden (1 comment)
The Daily Courier (AZ)
02/05/08

Prescott city officials are looking into a government-only public access television channel. City Manager Steve Norwood told the city council Tuesday afternoon the city has the opportunity to break away from Channel 13 and move to Channel 15.  Norwood said Prescott Access 13 is a Public Education and Government (PEG) channel.   —>
http://www.dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=52234&TM=3330.223
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Mayor plans cable TV show on zoning law
by Jack Encarnacao
The Patriot Ledger (MA)

WEYMOUTH – Weymouth Mayor Sue Kay said she likes the idea of rezoning a Middle Street property under a state law that would put about $200,000 into the town’s coffers and allow 46 condos to be built there under a design process the town would control.  Kay said she plans to explain the law, called Chapter 40R, which allows the dense development in a single-family neighborhood, as the first topic of a new roundtable television show she plans to launch on local access WETC Channel 11.   —>
http://ledger.southofboston.com/articles/2008/02/05/news/news12.txt
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Viewers Question Infomercial’s Airing
by Marcia Chambers (3 comments)
New Haven Independent (CT)
02/01/08

What belongs on a town or a city’s public access television?  In the aftermath of the infomercial “New England Estates v. the Town of Branford,” starring the lawyers who won a huge $12.4 million verdict and “reporters” Duby McDowell and Tanya Meck, residents in Branford have asked if an infomercial that pretends to be a news show should be allowed on public access television.

The 30-minute video, accepted for airing by the seven Comcast towns that make up a shoreline franchise, ran in December and January. Its run ended in East Haven on Jan 26. The video is a thinly disguised advertisement for the law firm’s positions on a variety of topics that go far beyond the Tabor land trial. It was designed to serve the interest of the sponsor, Shipman & Goodwin, one of the state’s best known law firms. Branford’s community cable station, BCTV, has received complaints from viewers.  Yet it was aired. Why?

The short answer is that short of obscenity, pornography or outright commercialism in which a program sets out to make money, anything goes. Public access television encourages viewers to learn how to put on television programs that are of interest to viewers. It is the very essence of First Amendment speech. By and large it works.   —>
http://www.newhavenindependent.org/archives/2008/02/lawyers_lobby_o.php#comments
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Tracking Durham’s capital bond projects: You wanted your new park when?
by KS Davis (5 comments)
Bull City Rising (NC)
02/05/08

—>   In Monday’s Council meeting, a $121,000 contract with Time Warner for RoadRunner business Internet service was postponed to Thursday’s work session while the administration continues to duel with TWC over the fate of church programming on community access TV. The RoadRunner contract amount is higher than Baker’s current $100,000 spending limit but below the proposed new $150,000 threshold. But I digress.   —>
http://www.bullcityrising.com/2008/02/tracking-durham.html
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Public Works and Government Services Canada: House of Commons Launches Innovative Captioning Service
MarketWire
02/05/08

OTTAWA, ONTARIO– Did you know that the House of Commons is one of the first parliamentary institutions in the world that, in addition to televising its proceedings, now provides live closed captioning simultaneously in two languages? Since the fall of 2007, the Translation Bureau of the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), with its recognized expertise as a provider of language solutions, has provided French captioning through voice recognition for the television broadcast of Question Period in the House. The new service enables Canadians who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing to participate more fully in the political process by virtue of this renewed civic commitment.   —>
http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release.do?id=817901
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SNCAT spin-off targets business
by Pat Patera
Northern Nevada Business Weekly
01/28/08

Business needs a controlled-access version of the popular social networking sites, says Les Smith, executive director of SNCAT.  He figures Interactive Media Technologies, a planned spin-off from SNCAT, could provide it. SNCAT— the shorthand name for Sierra Nevada Community Access Television, a not-for-profit television and Internet production company — derives 80 percent of its funds from contracts with Reno, Sparks and Washoe County.

Smith sees a greater demand, and the carrier would be the Internet rather than the cable television wires that carry SNCAT programming.  For example, he points to global behemoths such as International Game Technology that could build a company-wide community. Or multilevel marketers that would build community among customers and sales associates — they could both blog and post videos. He points to business colleges that could offer self-contained social education networking systems.

Interactive Media Technologies will be funded by equity shares or preferred stock, says Smith, with SNCAT among the investors. A slim staff, marketing and administration, will hand off jobs to the existing production staff at SNCAT studios. The company should be operational within the year.   —>
http://www.nnbw.biz/ArticleRead.aspx?storyID=10375
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/04/07

October 4, 2007

Express yourself at CCTV, Concord and Carlisle’s public access tv station (MA)
http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1213804709

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If you boo too acidly, we will cut off your TV
by Howard Troxler
St. Petersburg Times (FL)
10/04/07

Hillsborough County has decided to shut down its public-access cable TV channel. In response, the group that operates that channel, Speak Up Tampa Bay Inc., is suing the county in federal court. If that were the total description of the fight, then I’d say that the county deserved to win. After all, nobody has any “right” to force the government – meaning the taxpayers – to provide them with their own TV channel. But the case is about more than that. —>
http://www.sptimes.com/2007/10/04/Columns/If_you_boo_too_acidly.shtml
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Judge Won’t Force County To Fund Public Access TV Channel For Now
by Ellen Gedalius
The Tampa Tribune (FL)
10/04/07

TAMPA – With its funding eliminated and a judge’s ruling against it, a public access television network is unable to allow county residents to produce programming, at least for the time being. U.S. District Judge James Moody on Wednesday denied Speak Up Tampa Bay’s request for Hillsborough County to immediately restore funding to the network while the station pursues legal action against the county. —>
http://www.tbo.com/news/metro/MGBD394LC7F.html
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Blumenthal celebrating Internet TV ruling (CT)
by John O’Brien
LegalNewswire.com
10/04/07

HARTFORD, Conn. – A federal judge decided Tuesday that she will not reconsider her July ruling that requires AT&T’s budding Internet television service be regulated like cable TV. U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton issued the order, much to the delight of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Blumenthal says AT&T must now apply for a cable television franchise.

“AT&T can no longer justify its law breaking. It must immediately get a lawfully required franchise to comply with federal and state law,” Blumenthal said. “The federal court has reconfirmed what AT&T should have acknowledged: AT&T has been operating a cable service illegally without a franchise for almost a year, despite our repeated objections and petitions to the (Department of Public Utility Control).” —>
http://www.legalnewsline.com/news/202190-blumenthal-celebrating-internet-tv-ruling
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AT&T won’t halt TV services
by Gregory B. Hladky
New Haven Register (CT)
10/04/07

HARTFORD — AT&T executives insisted Wednesday that an adverse federal court ruling won’t curtail operation of their new television service, saying they will continue to offer alternative TV to more than 100,000 consumers. The federal decision issued this week would require AT&T to obtain a state cable TV franchise for its service. But top company officials say the impact of that ruling has been negated by a state law that took effect Monday.

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, however, insisted AT&T’s application for a separate license under the new law is “fatally flawed” and the federal ruling takes precedence over state law. Blumenthal demanded AT&T immediately halt signing up new customers and he called on the state Department of Public Utility Control to act in the case. —>
http://www.nhregister.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18882107&BRD=1281&PAG=461&dept_id=7546&rfi=6
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ATT franchise issue not yet resolved
NewsTimesLive.ocm (CT)
10/04/07

State regulators will continue to review AT&T’s application to provide Internet TV despite a federal court ruling Tuesday saying the service should be regulated as a cable franchise. Beryl Lyons, a Department of Public Utility Control spokeswoman, said the agency is aware of Tuesday’s court ruling but, because of a new state law that governs video service, the issue of licensing AT&T as a cable franchise is moot. —>
http://www.newstimeslive.com/news/story.php?id=1186572159
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Community TV coming to town
by Randy Hanson
Hudson Star-Observer (WI)
10/04/07

Cable television customers in the town of Hudson are finally going to receive community access programming. After going without the local government, education and community programming that residents of the city of Hudson and village of North Hudson have had available for years, town residents will be able get it, too, under deals recently signed by the parties involved.

The Hudson Town Board has agreed to turn over the 2 percent franchise fee it collects from the town’s cable provider, Baldwin Telecom, to the Hudson/North Hudson Community Access Board in exchange for the programs on the board’s government Channel 15 and education Channel 6. Baldwin Telecom also will begin charging customers a PEG (public, education, government) fee of 50 cents per month that will be used to offset the cost of equipment purchases. —>
http://www.hudsonstarobserver.com/articles/index.cfm?id=26025&forumcomm_check_return&freebie_check&CFID=57100791&CFTOKEN=31929193&jsessionid=88303dfa11203738265c
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Community access television more than just ‘Wayne’s World’
by Don Gronning
Daily Record (WA)
10/03/07

ELLENSBURG- “Wayne’s World,” first the Saturday Night Live sketch, then the feature movie, brought the concept of public access television to the forefront. That show featured two guys doing a cable television show from their basement. The show may have made fun of the amateur nature of such shows but public access television provides a service. From city council meetings, to cooking shows to local history, cable television viewers can catch a variety of public access shows in Kittitas County, on channel 2 in the Ellensburg area and on channel 40 in the Upper County.

Some of the shows, such as the various plays and concerts that are televised, have an entertainment value. Others are educational. But perhaps the most-watched shows are the government meetings. “A lot of people have told me they watch the council meetings and school board meetings,” said Ellensburg Mayor Obie O’Brien, who became involved with community access television long before he became mayor. He said televising government meetings can be a double-edged sword for sitting elected officials, some of whom lost elections after the public saw how meetings were conducted. “When there is that close a scrutiny, things can change,” said O’Brien. —>
http://www.kvnews.com/articles/2007/10/03/news/doc470410b5d79b7028841340.txt
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AOL, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! Unite for Online Media Captioning
by Paula Rosenthal
HearingExchange.com
10/04/07

In an effort to overcome technology and production barriers, the leading providers of Web-based video have joined with media access pioneer WGBH/Boston to develop solutions that will increase the amount of online video accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. AOL, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! have asked WGBH and its Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) to establish and manage the Internet Captioning Forum (ICF). The ICF will initially address the technical challenges presented by online video repurposed from broadcast or other previously captioned sources, as well as video created specifically for the Web. —>
http://www.hearingexchange.com/blogs/?p=75
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Music to Your Ears
by Laura Marrich
Alibi.com (NM)
10/04/07

Wayne Campbell, the character created by Mike Myers on “Saturday Night Live”‘s “Wayne’s World” sketches, could have been based on Mike Trujillo. Like his NBC Doppelgänger, Albuquerque’s Mike T. hosts a public access music show, worships hard rock and righteous babes with equal reverence, even sports long hair crowned with an ever-present baseball cap. Mike and Wayne both made their Public Access debuts in 1992.

That’s where the similarities end. “Wayne’s World” is a fictional television program that’s long since disappeared from the SNL roster. Mike’s “Zero Hour 2 ” is very real and still kicking every Friday night at 9 p.m. Besides hosting one of Community Cable Channel 27’s most popular shows, Mike serves as president on the board of directors that runs the public access station (a nonprofit called Quote … Unquote). —>
http://alibi.com/index.php?story=20666&scn=music
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Public access hosts find celebrity can be a local thing
by Mark Melady
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)
10/03/07

When it comes to public access television, celebrity is in the eye of the beholder. One night, Henry Grampietro, host and writer of “Shrewsbury Yesterday” and former sports talk host on SPAC, Channel 28 in Shrewsbury, was running late to pick up a fax machine cartridge for his wife. He wheeled into Staples five minutes before closing and asked the first clerk he saw where he could find the cartridges.

“The guy looks me over and says, ‘Hey, you’re on TV, aren’t you?’ I told him I do a small show on local access. Could you tell me where to find — by now he’s calling over all the other employees saying, ‘You have to meet this guy.’ At the end he asked me for an autograph. I said, ‘Nooooo. I’m not famous enough to give out autographs.’ ” —>
http://www.telegram.com/article/20071003/NEWS/710030566/1008/NEWS02
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org