Archive for the ‘citizen media’ category

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/27/08

April 28, 2008

Spirit Freed II Art Exhibit
Perspective Prisms (TX)
04/27/08

[ comments invited ]

Paintings by San Antonio artist Rita Maria Contreras for an exhibit at the Oblate School of Theology in the Spring of 2008. The theme of the exhibit is the pain suffered by children of sexual abuse. The event was in conjunction with a talk by Patrick Fleming and Sue Lauber-Fleming on their book Broken Trust, dealing with the sexual abuse by priests within the Catholic Church. This clip was for San Antonio public access TV. Espanol-video de pinturas de la artista Rita Maria Contreras, del thema de abuso sexual de ninos.
http://perspectiveprisms.blogspot.com/2008/04/spirit-freed-ii-art-exhibit.html
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Representative Harwell supports cable bill
by Truman Bean
Truman’s Take (TN)
04/27/08

Legislative leaders reached a consensus recently on the much-anticipated “Competitive Cable and Video Services Act.” Representative Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) said she was pleased with the outcome of the strenuous negotiations, but that consumers won in the end.  “Although it has taken a while to get to this point, I am excited about the possibilities that this bill will bring,” said Rep. Harwell. “Consumers are the real winners—anytime competition can be introduced into the market, they are the ones who benefit.”   —>
http://trumanstake.blogspot.com/2008/04/representative-harwell-supports-cable.html
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BE the Media — Free Speech Unfurled
by Lauren-Glenn Davitian
Nonprofit Technology Network
04/22/08

[ comments invited ]

While mainstream media remains under the control of a handful of giant corporations, you no longer have to own a printing press to reach a dedicated audience. Gone are the days when we chose from one of three national nightly newscasts on the living room TV. Free speech, broadband services and mobile handsets are quickly dismantling the “one to many” Broadcast Age and putting media production and distribution directly into the hands of “the people”.

Building on traditions of public access, independent media and peer-to-peer networks, we now communicate, “many to many”, across phone and internet networks with affordable and high powered laptops, PDAs, phones and gaming devices. In this major step forward for free speech, the “network centric” age enables us to “be the media”, tell our stories and make social change happen.

But what media and communication tools will make the biggest impact and have the farthest reach? The choices can be daunting — especially if you are an activist or nonprofit with modest means and limited time. Whether you are planning a demonstration, a print campaign, a web site, a viral video, or a mobile action, you need to start with a goal and a strategy.

To help, we’ve compiled many of the rich resources available to the nonprofit community in these basic steps to strategic communications.   —>
http://www.nten.org/blog/2008/04/22/be-the-media-free-speech-unfurled
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State Chairman’s Prophecy About Ron Paul and Republican Convention Comes True
by Christopher Hansen
Independent American Party of Nevada
04/27/08

I was told by Ron Paul supporters that they would triumph at the Republican State Convention. I told them that the Republican Party leadership would do EVERYTHING to stop them because the Republicans are corrupt and care NOTHING about freedom and Democracy but only about power.  Here is the ONLY report on the Convention I have so far.  […]

At the beginning of the Convention the State GOP/McCain campaign tried to limit who could be considered delegates. This prompted a floor fight that went on for hours. The record crowd wondered why they were there if the people to be voted on were already predetermined.  Already the 3 congressional districts have gone (3 delegates for each Congressional District) One district has awarded all 3 to Ron Paul, the second district went, One for Ron Paul, One for John McCain and One for NV. US Senator John Ensign and the third congressional district is unknown since the convention authorities won’t tell.

Nevada’s US Senator Bob Beers is also permanent chair of the convention. He approached the podium at 6pm banged gavel and said we lost the room, we’re in recess and have to figure out another way another time to elect the remaining 22 delegates to the national convention and left the room…. but a quorum was present and the people were not finished 🙂  After the hotel stated that they had no problem with another 3 hours of room use someone tried turning off the lights.  […]

The entire convention was filmed by SNCAT, an impartial observer whose purpose is to simply report the actual news, no spin, no lies, just the facts.  The convention (subject to time limits) will be broadcast on Public Access Television this Wednesday, April 30th, at 8:00pm. They welcome people who took part in the convention (and they don’t care which candidate you support) to state your observations and comments, on camera, during the broadcast.   —>
http://www.independentamerican.org/blog.php?blog=1164
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Surfing without
by Melinda Welsh
newsreview.com
04/24/08

[ comments invited ]

In 2008, the internet is fair and open to all. Soon, you may have to pay more for simple services like web searches. Do we have your attention now?

You know the routine. Monday morning, 6:30 a.m: You wake up, shower, down coffee and go online to check email and CNN for gossip and news of the world. You forward a proposal you drafted over the weekend to your work email. After skipping around to a few other sites—like YouTube, Facebook or Digg—you dress, breakfast and join the Interstate 80 commute.

When you get to the job, the first thing you do, naturally, is go online. No big deal—just an average, wired morning in the first decade of a century where much of our work and personal lives revolve around being digitally connected to each other and everything almost all the time.

If you’re under 25, you barely remember a time when all this hyperconnectedness didn’t exist. But really … it didn’t. It was less than 15 years ago when the baby boomers among us were buying our first personal computers and starting to send each other glacially slow emails that seemed to move at light speed. Since then, the tech has gotten always faster, cheaper. We are communicating—sending, searching, interacting and creating content—as never before. In the upcoming years, we’re told, this capacity to connect will speed up exponentially as our internet, TV and telephone use moves to a converged platform operating off a super high-speed connection.

Or not.

You don’t have to be a paranoid techie or consumer-rights policy wonk to see that the era of an open, egalitarian and transparent internet could soon come to a screeching halt in America. The nation’s largest cable and telephone companies—the ones that control the wires, towers and switching systems that make up residential broadband in America—seem to be moving with new aggressiveness to figure out ways to establish themselves as gatekeepers on the internet.   —>
http://www.newsreview.com/reno/Content?oid=657914
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What Broadcasters Don’t Want You to Know
Groundswell
04/25/08

[ comments invited ]

For too long, TV stations have made a fortune off of the public airwaves — which they use free of charge — with little accountability to their local community.  In the fall of 2007, the FCC began to address this problem when it approved new rules that would dramatically strengthen and improve reporting requirements for TV stations.  The FCC’s old disclosure requirements asked little of TV stations, ensuring that most broadcasters were easily granted their license renewal every time stations reapplied.

Keeping The Public in the Dark

The public records that stations are supposed to keep were often incomplete and hard to access, making it difficult for local citizens to examine a station’s track record. The FCC’s new rules require that TV stations post their public files on their Web sites and that they file a new reporting form every three months.

The new form will capture more and better information on stations’ programming and will be invaluable to assessing how well they are serving the public. The FCC is asking for minute-by-minute documentation of programming and tying these reports to their programming rules and requirements. The FCC hopes that these steps will help empower local communities to participate in their local broadcast stations and give citizens more control over their airwaves.

However, there are clearly things that these broadcasters don’t want you to know. The National Association of Broadcasters just took the FCC to court to block these important new rules from taking effect. The broadcasters oppose the “scale and scope” of the FCC’s new rules, claiming that they would impose an administrative burden on stations. It would be much more convenient for these broadcasters to keep the public in the dark.   —>
http://stearns.wordpress.com/2008/04/25/what-broadcasters-dont-want-you-to-know/
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The UpTake Awarded Best Citizen Based Media Outlet by City Pages
by Allison
Walker Art Education and Community Programs (MN)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

For those of you who don’t know what or who the UpTake is, let me inform you now. It is definitelyy one of the most rockin citizen journalist efforts to spring from the offices, basements, and living rooms of Minnesota.  It is also the brainchild of St. Paul activist and sculptor Jason Barnett, Minnesota Stories creator Chuck Olsen, and Mike McIntee, producer of Inside Minnesota podcasts. Not only have they stayed up late covering all things Minnesota politics, but they also have loyal bloggers, video journalists, and writers all over the country covering this wacky thing we call the election. Their motto is, “Will journalism be done by you or to you?”   —>
http://blogs.walkerart.org/ecp/2008/04/23/uptake-awarded-citizen-based-media/
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Films for Action.org >> Extensive resource of online documentaries and indy film
by tribalzendancer
guerilla news network
04/27/08

Films for Action is a non-profit group that uses the power of film to raise awareness on important issues not being covered by the mainstream news. Through public screenings, the internet, our lending library program, and public access TV, we’re working to build an independent, grass-roots media network that will provide more meaningful and reliable ways to stay informed on the issues that matter.   http://www.filmsforaction.org
http://tribalzendancer.gnn.tv/blogs/28080/Films_for_Action_org_Extensive_resource_of_online_documentaries_and_indy_film
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TV Party
srsly.tv
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

I am psyched to learn that there was a TV Party DVD released.  From 1978 to 1982, Glenn O’Brien hosted a New York city public access cable TV show called TV Party. Co-hosted by Chris Stein, from Blondie, and directed by filmmaker Amos Poe, the hour long show took television where it had never gone before: to the edge of civility and “sub-realism” as Glenn would put it. Walter Steding and his TV Party “Orchestra” provided a musical accompaniment to the madness at hand, and many artists and musicians, from The Clash, Nile Rodgers, Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Bryne and Arto Lindsey were regular guests. It was the cocktail party that could be a political party.

With 80 hours of disintegrating 3/4 inch videotape as a starting point, we tracked down the trend setting participants still living today and found out what they remember of the period and how the show influenced their lives. This, combined with clips from the orginal show, became the documentary “TV Party.   —>
TV Party on YouTube
http://srsly.tv/blog/2008/04/23/tv-party/
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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 – 04/06/08

April 6, 2008

League of Women Voters Says Yes to E-Democracy
Keeping the Internet Neutral and Supporting Public Access TV
04/02/08

[ “Emerging Media and Internet Issues: E-Democracy for Connecticut” pdf ]

After a year-long study, the League of Women Voters of Connecticut released new position statements on “Internet neutrality,” universal high speed Internet access for Connecticut residents, and community access television for state residents.

LWVCT President Jara Burnett said, “Over the past two decades, the Internet has emerged as the new press—a neutral, nondiscriminatory agent for free speech, democratic participation, and business innovation. The League will work to keep it that way—and to make sure that all Connecticut residents have an affordable way to acquire the high speed Internet service they need to connect to today’s information superhighway.”

Based on survey results from its 27 chapters around the state, League members voiced their support for state policies that will guarantee that their Internet service providers will not block, discriminate against, or slow down customers’ access to any Internet site.

“Once we’ve paid our monthly Internet service bill, we all expect full access to the entire Internet without our Internet service providers “tampering” with our service—controlling which candidate’s Website will load the fastest or which Internet telephone service we can use,” said League Vice-President Cheryl Dunson.

To support open and transparent government, League members will also lobby for protecting the future of community access television—the local channels that broadcast town council meetings, board of education meetings, candidates’ debates, and public affairs programs. The Connecticut Network, or CT-N, provides a similar service to the people of Connecticut on a channel dedicated to broadcasting the state legislature live and unedited, as well as other statewide meetings and events. The future of both CT-N and community access television have been the topic of debate with the entry of new video service providers into some areas of Connecticut. The state legislature has held hearings about the funding and broadcast quality of community access channels on these new video services.

Ms. Dunson says that the League uses its member-approved positions to advocate in Hartford for, or against, proposed state legislation.
http://www.lwvct.org/
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Legislature to consider cable TV compromise
Leaf Chronicle (TN)
04/06/08

[ 1 comment ]

Tennessee lawmakers are expected to present compromise legislation on Monday that would create a statewide system for permitting cable TV franchises. The measure is supported by AT&T Inc., which wants to avoid having to seek hundreds of municipal permits as it enters the cable TV business. Similar legislation stalled last year. But lawmakers have scheduled a news conference on Monday to roll out legislation that is the result of behind-the-scenes negotiations between AT&T, the cable industry and local governments. —>
http://www.theleafchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080406/NEWS01/80406005/1002
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To YouTube or Not To YouTube: Human Rights Video in a Participatory Culture
by Henry Jenkins
MediaShift Idea Lab
04/06/08

[ comments invited ]

One of our goals at the Center for Future Civic Media is to identify best practices from existing projects which might inform those initiatives which will emerge from the Center. We want to understand how people out there are using the tools available to them right now to enhance civic awareness, to play informal watchdog functions within the culture, to call attention to problems and force governments and other institutions to respond, to skirt around censorship and other kinds of regulation over communication, and so forth.

We are looking at a range of different models — from serious games to programs to support an independent student press. We’ve done interviews; we’ve brought speakers to our lab meetings; we are hosting public forums (such as one to be held later this week at MIT featuring Yochai Benkler and Cass Sunstein, two of the best contemporary thinkers about the prospects of digital democracy.)

Last week, on my personal blog and on the Future Civic Media Blog we’ve been featuring an interview with Sam Gregory, Program Director at Witness, a human rights organization founded by Peter Gabriel in the late 1980s, designed to put cameras into the hands of everyday people around the world so that they can document abuses by authorities. The organization emerged in the aftermath of the Rodney King video, which had sparked much greater public awareness of police brutality in the United States, and the hope was to create what Gregory refers to as a “participatory panopticon,” as the wide spread availability of media production tools and the expansion of a distribution network for digital video makes it possible for people to record and transmit their own experiences of abuse. Those who might be seen as victims in one context are taking media in their own hands

I met Gregory during a recent DIY Media event at USC where he spoke about the decisions his organization faced between circulating these videos via a site like YouTube and creating their own web portal, The Hub, to create a better context for people to encounter human rights videos. What follows are a few highlights from this exchange, but to get the full account, I encourage you to follow links back to our blog. —>
http://www.pbs.org/idealab/2008/04/to-youtube-or-not-to-youtube-h.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 – 03/28/08

March 30, 2008

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

[ comments invited ]

Verizon’s Ivan Seidenberg wants to cut a broadband deal with Massachusetts – and Mayor Thomas Menino signaled yesterday he’s willing to listen to his offers. The giant telecom’s chief executive, who spoke at yesterday’s Boston College Chief Executives’ Club of Boston lunch, said Verizon is willing to wire rural and other remote areas of the state if lawmakers give the company a “statewide license” to deploy its broadband cable and Internet service without negotiating with individual towns. —>
http://www.bostonherald.com/business/general/view.bg?articleid=1083342
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AT&T, EBR approve TV deal
Action adds new competitor
by Ben Calder
Advocate (LA)
03/28/08

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

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

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

AT&T did so two years ago, but then-Gov. Kathleen Blanco vetoed the bill. The company said House Bill No. 1009 and Senate Bill No. 422 were filed late last week and will enable AT&T to obtain a statewide franchise. Beck said she did not know whether Gov. Bobby Jindal would be more receptive to the bill if it passes again. —>
http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/17077326.html
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“AT&T, EBR approve TV deal”
by John St. Julien
Lafayette Pro Fiber (LA)
03/28/08

[ 2 comments ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(*)Revealing tidbit: The wikipedia section on U-Verse vailability was updated to include Baton Rouge on the 25th, two days before Baton Rouge supposedly concluded the deal and one day before the city-parish council approved negotiations. Not surprisingly, the prescient anonymous editor who added Baton Rouge to the list of cities was operating from a “BellSouth” (now AT&T) URL. The fix was in….
http://lafayetteprofiber.com/Blog/2008/03/at-ebr-approve-tv-deal.html
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Metro Live Television Chat Far More Informative Than Metro Live Online Chat
by Fred Camino
MetroRider LA (CA)
03/28/08

[ 11 comments ]

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

The hour long show proved to be a much better medium for Pam than her monthly home on the Metro Interactive online chat, which is pretty much universally panned for its inability to be either interactive or informative. Metro Live, despite its obviously public access level production values, managed to keep my attention for the entire hour. Pam’s answers came off a lot more candid and sincere than they do on the online chat, which for the most part seem like copy-paste clippings from Metro press releases. That’s not to say she didn’t paint a rosy picture of Metro when faced with some hardballs, from hearing her talk you’d think the TAP card is the second coming and fare gates are neccessary, well, just because. Here’s some highlights (and lowlights). —>
http://metroriderla.com/2008/03/28/metro-live-television-chat-far-more-informative-than-metro-live-online-chat/
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March Madness: Bruins, O’Connor Both Win During TV Showdown
by Damien Newton
Streetsblog Los Angeles (CA)
03/28/08

[ 1 comment ]

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

Meanwhile, Metro Board Chair Pam O’Connor was wearing her road pinks at her home court at Santa Monica City Hall for a call-in-show about Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan. Metro Live! was broadcast on LA City Cable Channel 36 and Santa Monica Channel 16. Just like UCLA ended up winning after some shaky moments, O’Connor gave a strong performance despite perhaps over focusing on the benefits of TAP cards. We pick up the action, after the jump. —>
http://la.streetsblog.org/2008/03/28/march-madness-bruins-o%e2%80%99connor-both-win-during-tv-showdown/
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Singer in tune with message
by Kerri Roche
Daily News Tribune (MA)
03/28/08

[ 2 comments ]

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

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

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

Waltham students invited Marcou to their half-hour magazine-style news show because of her vocal and dancing talents, said Patrick Daly, high school television production teacher. Although the student interviewers P.J. Centofanti and Jen Gullotti will likely focus on her career path, the conversation will undoubtedly shift toward Marcou’s more serious work, said Daly. “That’s the cause that she promotes, so we’ll talk about that as well,” said Daly, who added that the segment will air in a few weeks. —>
http://www.dailynewstribune.com/news/x334360812
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One Class
by Will Okun
New York Times
03/27/08

[ 185 comments ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

The final product is telecast every Saturday night on public access T.V. (CAN-TV) and is one of the station’s most popular shows with over 70,000 regular viewers. Students and faculty at my own school regularly watch the telecast. “First of all, they shoot all the best games, they know which games we want to see. But also, the announcers know what’s going on in the schools so you get all these side stories about the players and the fans,” explains student Lazzerick Allen. —>
http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/27/one-class/
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Media Re:public Forum Panel on Participatory Media: Defining Success, Measuring Impact
by Victoria Stodden
Victoria Stodden
03/28/08

[ comments invited ]

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

Duffy is followed by Carol Darr, director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet (ipdi) at George Washington University. She is discussing the “Media Habits of Poli-fluentials” and building on work from the book, “The Influentials” by Ed Keller and Jon Berry. The idea is that one person in ten tells the other nine how to votes, where to eat, etc. The interesting thing Darr notes is that poli-fluentials (her term) are not elites in the traditional sense but local community leaders and ordinary folk who appear to be knowledgable to their peers. She notes that people who seem to know a lot of people tend to be these poli-fluentials. —>
http://blog.stodden.net/2008/03/28/media-republic-panel-defining-success-measuring-impact-of-participatory-media/
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Media Re:Public, part 7
by Nathaniel James
Phase Transitions
03/28/08

[ comments invited ]

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

Nathan: For Ron C: how can cable access centers reach out to, connect, and collaborate with the world of new media and user generated content? There’s a tradition there that needs to connect!
schock: Check out Manhattan Neighborhood Network, and Denver Open Access. They are great examples of public access connecting to new media.
Nathan: Absolutely! But why are MNN, etc the exception? How can we port those models to PEG/access more universally?
schock: Well there’s one thing the funders might think about 🙂 Support extending those models around the country.
http://phasetransitions.blogspot.com/2008/03/media-republic-part-7.html
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Comcast admits it can do the impossible
‘We will stop busting BitTorrents’
by Cade Metz
The Register (UK)
03/28/08

[ 16 commemnts ]

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

Today, with an early morning press release, the big-name American ISP and cable television provider said it would switch to “a capacity management technique that is protocol agnostic” by the end of the year. “We will have to rapidly reconfigure our network management systems, but the outcome will be a traffic management technique that is more appropriate for today’s emerging Internet trends,” Comcast Cable CTO Tony Werner said in a canned statement. “We have been discussing this migration and its effects with leaders in the Internet community for the last several months, and we will refine, adjust, and publish the technique based upon feedback and initial trial results.” Werner did not point out that Comcast also spent the last several months publicly defending its right to bust BitTorrents. —>
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/28/comcast_to_stop_busting_bittorrents/
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Liberating the Electromagnetic Commons
by Andrew Back
carrierdetect.com (UK)
03/28/08

[ comments invited ]

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

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

Up until now such agencies have largely done a good job of managing this resource and ensuring that spectrum is shared fairly and amongst a diverse range of users with varying needs. Of course for this thankless task they have not gone short of a bob or two, as has been demonstrated most visibly via the auctions for spectrum required for operating a 3G mobile service in the UK, which raised in excess of £22billion. —>
http://carrierdetect.com/?p=103
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/09/08

March 10, 2008

An Act Concerning Community Access Television
by Pua Ford
Woodbridge Government Access (CT)
03/09/08

The state legislature meets in short session this year–closing in early May–so everything moves fast. Last year a law was passed to get the AT&T video service started. This year, the Energy & Technology committee started a bill to amend that, to correct some things regarding community access TV. A hearing on the bill (and 18 others) was held on 3/7.  The state public affairs channel, Connecticut Network, recorded the entire 14-hour hearing–viewable on their website. HB 5814 takes up almost 4 hours at the beginning.

Government access–the main concern here for Woodbridge at this time–is only one branch of community access. The others are educational (channel 78 for Woodbridge cable subscribers) and public (channel 77). Sometimes we say “PEG access” because it’s easier.  There is a comparison of PEG access on cable and on the U-Verse here. Be patient, it takes time to launch. It’s interesting.
http://wgatv.blogspot.com/2008/03/act-concerning-community-access.html
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Bill would give TV viewers more choice
by Bill O’Boyle
Times Leader (PA)
03/09/08

[ 2 comments; one below ]

Peter and Sylvia Reiss like to watch certain television channels, like Hallmark and The History Channel.  But to get those stations, they have to buy a special package from their cable company or satellite provider. They think that’s unfair.  “These companies have the market pretty much sewn up, and that’s not fair to consumers,” Peter Reiss said. “I think if I’m paying for the service, I should be able to choose which channels I want to watch.”  The Sugarloaf Township couple, along with most consumers in Pennsylvania, don’t have a choice when it comes to cable providers…

A bill pending in the state Legislature seeks to change that. House Bill 1490, introduced by state Rep. Todd Eachus, D-Butler Township, would allow consumers to choose their cable television provider, programming and service level. It proposes state oversight of an industry that currently offers customers no independent arbitrators when disputes occur.  “This proposal is all about giving the public a voice and giving the public the chance to get informed about expanding their power to choose,” Eachus said…

Opponents say the legislation isn’t needed; they maintain the current system is working. Attorney Daniel S. Cohen of Pittsburgh, who represents approximately 250 municipalities in Pennsylvania in cable and telecommunications matters, testified at the Feb. 7 committee hearing on the bill, arguing against statewide franchising.  “In short, House Bill 1490 would undermine municipal franchising authority, eliminate consumer service standards, potentially decelerate the build-out of competitive networks, reduce franchise fee revenue and accountability for municipalities’ legal exposure, and weaken enforcement of cable operator violations,” Cohen testified…

Comment on Article: Akbar Mytie, March 9, 2008 at 9:08 AM:
You folks had best be careful what you wish for. This “promise” is still getting a lot of attention among people who don’t know any better, but a growing body of evidence is showing that these efforts to give viewers “choice,” are worse than pipe dreams, they are ham-handed attempts to further screw the consumer.

http://www.timesleader.com/news/20080309_09_CHOICE_ART.html
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Public Access Video on FCC Hearing
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition (MA)
03/09/08

[ comments allowed ]

Somerville Community Access Television Executive Director Wendy Blom produced this short video (12 min 11 sec) above from the February 25 FCC hearing on Broadband Network Management Practices at the Harvard Law School.  The video, found online at SCAT’s Vlog!, includes some of the voices not heard by the FCC during the hearing on the controversial issue of network neutrality.   —>
http://cmediachange.net/blog/2008/03/09/public-access-video-on-fcc-hearing/
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Kingston Resident Donates $500 to KPA
by Jeremy Blaber
Blaber’s News and Commentary (NY)
03/09/08

[ 1 comment ]

I received a call on Thursday from a friend of mine that has decided to donate $500 to Kingston Public Access TV. The donor wants to remain anonymous and is a concerned resident of the 8th Ward in the City of Kingston. The generous donation was prompted after hearing “disappointing commentary” about funding KPA from Alderman Teetsel on Kingston Community Radio last week. I thank this donor for supporting Kingston Public Access!

Money Raised So Far:  $ 5000.00 Town of Ulster; $ 500.00 Supervisor Nick Woerner; $ 250.00 Councilman Eric Kitchen; $ 500.00 Private Donor. Total= $6250.00

With a bare bones budget of $9000.00, only $2750 is needed to keep KPA open this year… make sure that you call your local township and ask them to support your local access station.   —>
http://blabernews.blogspot.com/2008/03/kingston-resident-donates-500-to-kpa.html
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So you want to be a DJ…
Radio dreams bring eclectic tastes to Portsmouth Community Radio training session
by Dan Lorenz
SeacoastOnline.com (NH)
03/09/08

For fans of low-power community radio, expect big things in the near future.  A recent training session at WSCA 106.1 FM in Portsmouth drew more than 20 DJ hopefuls, each representing unique talents, experiences and musical interests.

YOUR TURN: Do you want to be on the radio?  WSCA is holding another Training Module 1 on April 17 at 7 p.m. For information, visit www.wscafm.org.

With ideas ranging from bluegrass to a “conservative talk show run by liberals,” the trainees all appeared eager to have a shot at running their own radio program.  Jason Brown, a DJ with the station since it first began broadcasting in 2004, says that this year’s training group represents a chance for new, unique programs.  “We have people from all ages, and all interests. There are all kind of opportunities,” Brown said. “We love bringing different people in and gaining a sense of community.”

Brown is no stranger to the dedication needed to operate an all-volunteer radio program. As a student at the University of New Hampshire, Brown volunteered at WUNH, the university’s low-power station. For six months, Brown held a nightly show from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m.  “That might have caused me to skip some classes,” Brown said.

The experienced DJ offers additional advice to new members.  “None of us here are pros by any stretch,” Brown said. “We don’t expect you to become Casey Kasem right off the bat. Each programmer and DJ has their own style and nuances.”

Bjorn Turnquist, general manager of Portsmouth Community Radio, says that he is impressed with how many people attended the training session.  “It’s unbelievable that we have this turnout,” Turnquist said. “It’s helping us really get on the map.”  Portsmouth Community Radio began broadcasting on Sept. 12, 2004, completely through an all-volunteer effort. Today, with the aid of a 25-foot radio transmitter on the top of The Music Hall, the station reaches a wide listening audience in the Seacoast area. The station is also streamed live on the station’s Web site.   —>
http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080309/LIFE/803090305
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Marshall Economics Professor Returns to Huntington on TV
World Bank Retiree now Producing Public Access Television
HuntingtonNews.net (WV)
03/09/08

After a 39 year absence, former Marshall University faculty member and student Tom Hoopengardner has returned to Huntington, at least figuratively, via cable television. Hoopengardner produces “America’s Best Student Shorts”, a weekly, half-hour program that now appears on Comcast Cable TV Channel 20 (Huntington Public Access TV) on Thursday nights at 9:30 P.M. and 12:30 A.M..

America’s Best Student Shorts showcases “shorts” –short films and videos — produced by college students from all over the U.S. The program has been running on sixty campus and public access television stations from coast to coast, and Huntington’s Comcast Channel 20 becomes the sixty-first. America’s Best Student Shorts celebrates the creativity, energy and imagination that college film and video students are pouring into class projects and MFA theses. The short movies featured include all genres: drama, comedy, animation, biography, documentary, and even music videos. “The one thing they all have in common,” Hoopengardner explained, “Is that they are enormously entertaining.”

Public access TV channels provide air time non-commercial programming of all descriptions. The program content is usually created by grassroots producers — artists, entertainers, filmmakers, civic groups, non-profit organizations, churches, etc. In the Huntington area, public access programming is aired daily between 8pm and 10 p.m. on Comcast Channel 20, and the daily program block later repeats between 11 p.m. and 1 am. “Huntington Public Access TV is available to everyone,” said Richard Bartram, the public access TV community liaison who has championed public access television in the Huntington viewing area. “Yet participation has been very limited so far. Hopefully, community involvement will increase in many ways, including greater participation by Marshall students.”   —>
http://www.huntingtonnews.net/local/080309-staff-localtomhoopengardnerontv.html
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Lisa Beatman: A poet for the unsung workers of the Ames Safety Envelope Factory
Off The Shelf by Doug Holder
Somerville News (MA)
03/09/08

[ comments allowed ]

Lisa Beatman has penned a new poetry collection “Manufacturing America: Poems from the Factory Floor ( Ibbetson Press) that was inspired by her stint as an Adult Literacy teacher at the Ames Safety Envelope Factory in Somerville.

Beatman, after being outsourced from the factory, now manages the adult literacy program at the Harriet Tubman House in Boston. She has won honorable mention for the 2004 Miriam Landberg International Poetry Peace Prize, and was awarded a Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant, as well as a fellowship to Sacatar Institute in Brazil. Her work has appeared in Lonely Planet, Lilith, Harvard Pacific Review, Rhino, Ibbetson Street and others. Her first collection of poetry was titled “Ladies Night at the Blue Hill Spa.” I spoke with Beatman on my Somerville Community Access TV show “Poet to Poet: Writer to Writer.”   —>
http://somervillenews.typepad.com/the_somerville_news/2008/03/lisa-beatman-a.html
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Newspapers Must Innovate or Die
by J.D. Lasica
Mediashift Idea Lab
03/09/08

[ comments allowed ]

—>   On Friday, Beatblogging.org’s David Cohn pointed to Clay Shirky’s new book, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, and quoted this excerpt from Shirky’s book:

“A good deal of user-generated content isn’t actually “content” at all, at least not in the sense of material designed for an audience. Instead, a lot of it is just part of a conversation.

“Mainstream media has often missed this, because they are used to thinking of any group of people as an audience. Audience, though, is just one pattern a group can exist in; another is community. Most amateur media unfolds in a community setting, and a community isn’t just a small audience; it has a social density, a pattern of users talking to one another, that audiences lack. An audience isn’t just a big community either; it’s more anonymous, with many fewer ties between users. Now, though, the technological distinction between media made for an audience and media made for a community is evaporating; instead of having one kind of media come in through the TV and another kind come in through the phone, it all comes in over the internet.”

University of Florida new media professor Mindy McAdams chimed in :

“Newspapers used to be centered in communities. Now they are mostly not. People in much of North America don’t even live in communities.  Is this why newspapers are dying? Because there are no communities? …  It’s about what Shirky said: Audiences are not the same as communities, and communities are made up of people talking to one another.  What does a community need? How should journalists supply what communities need?”

Indeed, this is perhaps the key question for the survival of newspapers, but one that’s rarely heard in newsrooms or corporate media offices.  I was once optimistic about the resiliency of newspapers and the promise of their online news divisions. But that optimism has faded as media companies circle the wagons and hunker down, intent on shoring up short-term profits with few attempts to boldly experiment.

A handful of exceptions like the Beat Blogging project — a collaboration among 13 news organizations to determine how social networks can improve beat reporting — only prove the rule. The Mercury News seemed on course to embrace a new direction with its Next Newsroom Project, coming to Duke University on April 3-4. I hope I’m proved wrong, but the odds appear stacked against the paper’s Denver-based corporate owners embracing the kinds of still-evolving, far-reaching, disruptive changes on the table at Next Newsroom.

Most of the innovation in news continues to occur outside of the newspaper industry, ranging from Digg, Newsvine, NowPublic and Facebook (rivers of personalized news) to Placeblogger’s list of citizen media sites and David Cohn’s citizen newspaper network BrooWaha.   —>
http://www.pbs.org/idealab/2008/03/newspapers-the-innovation-chal.html
~

10 Promotion Opportunities for Mitt This Week 3/9
by unitethegop
Romney for VP
03/09/08

[ comments allowed ]

I’ve numbered and listed some ways you can help this week.  If you are able to attend to any or some of them please post the status of your task via comment. Let’s accomplish as many of these as possible.  I would love to see hundred comments that say, “I’ve finished number …..”

—> 5. Gather free use video footage (not copyrighted) and photos of Romney and McCain that we could use to argue our position for Romney as the best possible choice for VP, and  make YouTube and Google videos to post on these sites and Public Access Cable TV.

6. Be a dedicated Radio Talk Show caller.  Try to get on with Rush, Coulter, Beck, Hannity, Ingram and other Conservative talk shows who supported Mitt.   —>
http://blogromneyforvp.unitethegop.com/2008/03/08/help-us-with-promotion-opportunities-for-mitt-this-week-39.aspx
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/01/08

March 8, 2008

Astroturfs, Now Fighting for Cable
Side Cut Reports
03/01/08

[ comments allowed ]

Is there such a shortage of news around telecom public policy that normally respectable information outlets still fall so easily for astroturf announcements? If you are a Comcast lobbyist you just have to love the official sound of the lead graf in this non-news missive from IDG “news” service, which asserts that “a coalition of seven civil rights groups” is now banding together to fight off the resurrection of network neutrality, mainly in reference to the recent FCC hearing about Comcast’s network management practices.

C’mon. Please. Does anyone really believe anymore that the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association, League of Rural Voters, and National Council of Women’s Organizations just happen to have the same viewpoints on net neutrality and cable network management? Or maybe, they are all BFF and on Facebook together, and said “hey, we really need to work together to ensure our voices are heard.”

Right.  Or maybe, they are all organizations that get substantial contributions from large telecommunication companies or cable providers, whose legislative agendas just happen to mesh with those of the civil rights groups. (Or maybe they all just use the same policy PR firm, whose prinicpals have been at this a long time.)

C’mon, InfoWorld. C’mon, Mike. Do some digging before you post — the scoop on these outfits is already out there thanks to the fine work of Bruce Kushnick and many others.   —>
http://sidecutreports.com/2008/03/01/astroturfs-now-fighting-for-cable/
~

Lawsuit holds back digital cable switch
Public access channel still widely available
by Nicholas Deshais
Times Herald (MI)
03/01/08

[ comments allowed ]

Comcast announced a slate of programming changes Friday, including the removal of some channels from standard cable in order to move them to a high-definition format.  As part of the changes, effective March 27, Channel 900, the simulcast of public access standard-definition Channel 12, has been moved to Channel 901, which carries a digital signal. The announcement says programming available on Channel 12 will remain there but does not indicate if that could change after a lawsuit regarding moving public, educational and government channels is resolved.   —>
http://www.thetimesherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080301/NEWS01/803010308/1002
~

Lights, camera, school board
by Stephen Sacco
Times Herald-Record (NY)
03/01/08

The Port Jervis School District now has its own educational public-access television station — Time Warner Cable Channel 20 in the Port Jervis viewing area. The channel was launched Feb. 8 and features live coverage of Port Jervis school board meetings.   —>
http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080301/NEWS/803010323
~

Board of Supervisors meetings airing on TV
Residents may now view county Board of Supervisors’ meetings on the city’s public channel, City TV.
SignOnSanDiego.com (CA)
03/01/08

[ comments allowed ]

The meetings take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but will be aired in their entirety each Friday morning. The stations, Channel 24 on Cox and Time Warner cable and Channel 99 on AT&T, also air City Council and committee meetings, news conferences by city officials and some county programming.  Until now, television broadcasts of supervisors meetings were available only through the County Television Network, which does not appear on Cox. –J.V.
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20080301-9999-1m1b2briefs.html
~

City near long-delayed cable deal
by Amelia Flood
Kane County Chronicle (IL)
03/01/08

[ comments allowed ]

ST. CHARLES – A seven-year stalemate over a franchise agreement between St. Charles and its cable provider, Comcast, soon might be over, but it will have little impact on customers.  The new contract still must be approved by the City Council.  The city will continue to collect a 5 percent franchise fee from Comcast. That comes to about $375,000 a year.  In the future, residents could see a 35-cent monthly charge added to their bills. The money would go toward increasing public access programming. The city has no plans to implement the fee at this time, City Administrator Brian Townsend said, and it would require additional council action.   —>
http://www.kcchronicle.com/articles/2008/03/01/news/local/doc47c9330c412b2835593590.txt
~

Goodies up for bid to assist GHS-TV
Student-run public-access station sets $40,000 goal
by Lela Garlington
Commercial Appeal (TN)
03/01/08

[ comments allowed ]

Interested in a five-day hotel stay in Orlando? Or getting your closet reorganized? How about VIP passes to the Stanford St. Jude Golf Championship?  This weekend, the award-winning Germantown Community Television hosts its 15th annual auction from 2 to 9 p.m. today and again from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Germantown residents can watch the auction on Channel 17. Viewers outside of Germantown can see a portion of Auction 2008 on Comcast Cable Channel 30 from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday. DirectTV viewers will not be able to see the cablecast, but anyone can bid online at ghstv.org.

“Last year we raised about $35,000 and this year we hope to make $40,000 or more,” said publicity co-chairwoman and student Johnnalee Kutzke. “The money from the auction will benefit the television studio and also contribute to our senior scholarships awarded at the end of the year.”   —>
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/mar/01/goodies-up-for-bid-to-assist-ghs-tv/
~

Community Organization with Digital Tools
by Dan Schultz
MediaShift Idea Lab
03/01/08

[ 4 comments ]

Last week I took a digital-communication-oriented glance at the war on Scientology being led by the nontraditional online group called Anonymous. I’m not exactly writing a part 2, but I want to start a follow-up discussion on a few of the comments made and questions posed by Anonymous about how digital media affects the dynamics of community organization. That being said, if you haven’t had the chance to browse the comments of that post it’s probably worthwhile.

I have mentioned in the past that I want to see digital media facilitate local impact; to do that well we need to understand some of the nuances of many-to-many digital communication and look at how those nuances might change the way communities can plan, organize, and ultimately act on the issues they find important. This post lists a few traits of online communication and what they might mean for digitally driven movements, including the one being led by Anonymous.   —>
http://www.pbs.org/idealab/2008/03/community-organization-with-di.html
~

Cable’s Class Act
CIC Boosts Its Profile as Education Leader
by Stuart Miller
Multichannel News
03/03/08

[ comments allowed ]

After nearly two decades, the Cable in the Classroom educational foundation continues to work closely with networks and operators to provide cable technology and programming to schools and libraries nationwide…

People often thought there was a catch to CIC, said Donna Krache, executive producer of CNN Student News. “They’d look at you sideways and just not believe that it was free.”  Overall, CIC was welcomed with open arms: Peggy Charren, the outspoken president of the advocacy group Action for Children’s Television, said at the time, “I’ve got problems with everything when it comes to children and television. I have no problems with this.”…

CIC is placing a growing emphasis on broadband access to provide schools with study guides, clips and even games. “Teachers are very busy and don’t have time to slog through material,” O’Connell said. “This is something that really works and it’s a good, reliable resource.”

Among CIC’s latest initiatives is eLECTIONS, which offers video from C-SPAN, CNN Student News and The History Channel to teach about the election process and lets students run their own campaigns in a multiplatform game. “The depth of resources with something like this is so great you almost don’t need the textbook,” said Krache.   —>
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6537156.html
~

Russia: NTV’s Past Points Toward REN-TV’s Future
by Robert Coalson
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
03/01/08

When independent experts this week released their assessment of media coverage of the Russian presidential election, there were few surprises. On Channel One, First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev got 32 percent of election-related airtime; on Rossia, he got 26 percent; on TV-Tsentr, he got 35 percent; and on NTV he got 43 percent.

The other three official candidates all got single-digit coverage on all four national networks, with figures ranging from 6.8 percent to 0.1 percent, according to figures released by the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations. Also unsurprisingly, President Vladimir Putin — who isn’t running, of course — got more airtime even than Medvedev, ranging around 50-60 percent.

The one oddity in this bland picture, however, was REN-TV, a small, but still-private national network. REN-TV’s figures are truly startling: 31 percent of the airtime went to Putin, followed by 21 percent for Medvedev, 22 percent for Liberal Democratic Party of Russia head Vladimir Zhirinovsky, 21 percent to Communist candidate Gennady Zyuganov, and 6.3 percent to Democratic Party head Andrei Bogdanov.

Such even-handedness is unheard of in Russian national media these days. The reduced percentage to Bogdanov can easily be justified by the facts that his support consistently polls at about 1 percent, that his party received less than 1 percent of the vote in the December Duma elections, and that his candidacy is widely seen to be a Kremlin-inspired stratagem to create the impression that at least one liberal politician is in the race.

The contrast between REN-TV and NTV is particularly noteworthy. NTV, it should be recalled, is the once-private and once-respected national television network that was taken over by Gazprom in 2000-01 as one of the first major steps in Putin’s dismantling of civil society. At the time, Gazprom claimed the takeover was merely a business dispute and senior managers pledged endlessly the network would be sold off in short order.

Now, seven years later, Medvedev is the chairman of Gazprom’s board of directors and that channel is outdoing even the formally state-controlled Channel One and Rossia in violating the law ensuring equal media access to all candidates and in contributing to what the liberal-posing Medvedev has eloquently described as “legal nihilism.”   —>
http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2008/03/A111BAE5-42D5-4F2E-8AD8-26E4E9D96723.html
~

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

New Voices Grant App Deadline; LSE Conf Call for Papers

February 17, 2008

Apply Now: Funding to Start Community News Projects
Contact Kira Wisniewski – (301) 985-4020  kira [at] j-lab [dot] org
New Voices
12/04/07

APPLY NOW! Applications due: Feb. 20, 2008.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism invites U.S. nonprofit groups and education organizations to apply for funding to launch community news ventures in 2008 and to share best practices and lessons learned from their efforts.

The New Voices project will help fund the start-up of 10 innovative local news initiatives next year. Each project may receive as much as $17,000 in grants over two years. Thirty New Voices projects have been funded since 2005.

Eligible to receive funding are 501(c)3 organizations and education institutions, including civic groups, community organizations, public and community broadcasters, schools, colleges and universities – and individuals working under the sponsorship of a nonprofit fiscal agent.

Grant guidelines and online application can be found at www.J-NewVoices.org. Project proposals are due February 20, 2008.   —>
http://www.j-newvoices.org/site/story/apply_now_funding_to_start/
~

Community and Humanity Conference
by Charlie Beckett
Charliebeckett.org
02/06/08

[ 1 comment ]

In celebration of the LSE Department of Media and Communication’s 5th year, my colleagues are inviting critical thinking about how the media and communications environment is implicated in shaping our perceptions of the human condition. How is it mediating human values, actions and social relations? We welcome proposals for papers and panels offering theoretical insight and/or empirical work on this theme. Abstracts or panel proposals may focus on one or more of the areas below.

* Communication and Difference
* Democracy, Politics and Journalism Ethics
* Globalisation and Comparative Studies
* Innovation, Governance and Policy
* Media and New Media Literacies

The conference is at London School of Economics and Political Science, London, Sunday 21st – Tuesday 23rd September 2008.  Abstracts should be submitted by 1st March 2008. Go here to submit abstract and/or register.
http://www.charliebeckett.org/?p=406
~

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