Archive for the ‘election programming’ 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
~

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

[ comments invited ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ comments invited ]

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

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

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

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

[ comments invited ]

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

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

I wonder though, should they?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ comments invited ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ … ]

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

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

Saving Pointdexter Ep. 9
411 Show (TX)

[ comments invited ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ comments invited ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 05/04/08

May 6, 2008

Statehouse Secrets: Beacon Hill does its most important business behind closed doors
by Edward Mason
The Eagle-Tribune (MA)
05/04/08

[ comments invited ]

Lawrence resident Bill Collins likes to keep an eye on Massachusetts lawmakers as they find ways to spend his money. So Collins is disappointed the House budget debate that used to be on television can only be found on the Internet. “With the Lawrence City Council, every word uttered is broadcast live on local access Channel 22,” Collins said. “On Beacon Hill, with hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s done in the dark of night.”

Actually, it’s billions of dollars. House lawmakers put together a $28 billion state budget largely out of public view. Much of the deliberations over spending occurred in backrooms, and debates that were once televised were moved to the Internet. —>
http://www.eagletribune.com/punews/local_story_125012519.html
~

Community Media and UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2008
by Fred Johnson
Media-Space-Place-Network
05/04/08

[ 1 comment ]

World Press Freedom Day 2008: Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and Empowerment of People

May 3 was UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day. Checkout the UNESCO Communication and Information site. It is rich with information on the media and development.

Community media is recognized by UNESCO and the UN as a key element in reaching their Millennium Development Goals. At this link there are a few spare paragraphs on community media that express their value and importance. The ease, clarity and thoughtfulness with which the UNESCO writer makes the critical distinctions between mainstream media and community media and notes the obvious logic of new media and community media integration is like a clear, cool drink of water.

Particularly when compared to the contorted language and obfuscations, and barely concealed aggression and turfiness, associated with the US discussion on community media, participatory media and the social web. Rather than seeing community access and community radio portrayed as failures that have fallen under an “old media malaise,” here we find a clear understanding of the role of community media in empowerment and democracy.

Rather than finding community media framed as receding into the past along with the old pre-network society media organizations — as has been the tendency of many new media types in the US — we find in much of the rest of the world an understanding of community media as a pioneer in media participation and open platform media development that rests on a logical continuum with the social web. And we find an understanding that community media organizations are extremely well positioned to become the local cultural institutions needed to realize the democratic potential of the network society.

So then, if you have a moment click your way through the UNESCO site and enjoy being in an information space that sees the value of community media as a prerequisite for development, not as an old media barrier to development.

As I said cool water. —>
http://fredjohnson.mwg.org/?p=73
~

Candidates on TV
Save Our Schools: Change The Board! Vote May 20 (NY)
05/04/08

Our four candidates will be on Sam Mercer’s show on Public Access TV, Channel 23, Sunday May 4, at 6pm.
http://www.saveouronteoraschools.com/2008/05/candidates-on-tv.html
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 05/03/08

May 4, 2008

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

[ comments invited ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ comments invited ]

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

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

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

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

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

[ comments invited ]

County commission and state legislative candidates will appear at a voters’ forum next week in Fairview.The Spring Voters Forum will be held Thursday, May 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the Fairview City Council chambers, 1300 NE Village Street. The forum will also be televised live on MetroEast Community Media.   —>
http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2008/05/east_metro_candidates_to_appea.html
~

Community Media 2.0: It’s Still About Us and Our Physical Communities
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition (MA)
05/02/08

[ comments invited ]

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

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

For example, the picture above from the staff page on the DCTV website shows the visitor that there are people involved at DCTV in a physical community. So, if you’re a worker at a community media center with a presence online show pictures of your access center and the people from your community. It not only humanizes the web technology that you’re using, but it also tells the website visitor there is a physical place and people involved that others can come to learn more about, learn from, and participate with.   —>
http://cmediachange.net/blog/2008/05/02/community-media-20-its-still-about-us-and-our-physical-communities/
~

As AT&T legislation wraps up, city may be first to see U-verse
by John Rodgers
Nashville City Paper (TN)
05/02/08

[ 7 comments ]

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

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

House OKS study on WiMax Internet technology
by Gina Smith
The State (SC)
05/02/08

[ 32 comments ]

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

Citywide Wireless IP Network Launched in New York
by Matt Williams
Government Technology
04/15/08

[ 1 comment ]

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

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

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

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

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

In addition, the wireless network will be a powerful tool for law enforcement and public safety personnel. The NYPD Real Time Crime Center will link into NYCWiN, which will support Internet protocol (IP)-based emergency call boxes and surveillance cameras. Police officers will have access to in-car photos and video.   —>
http://www.govtech.com/gt/articles/286778
~

News from the profit centres
Press freedom: Many fear the internet is killing journalism, but markets may be a more serious threat
by Geraint Talfan Davies
The Guardian (UK)
05/03/08

[ 14 comments ]

Is new media killing journalism?

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

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

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

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

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

Civic Engagement, Empowerment & Respect for Diversity (CEERD)
The World Bank
05/02/08 [?]

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

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

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

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

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/29/08

April 30, 2008

Cable bill off to the Senate
Officials hope act will create more competition in Tenn.
by Richard Locker
Commercial Appeal (TN)
04/29/08

[ 3 comments ]

The state House overwhelmingly approved the three-year-old effort to induce more competition for cable television services in Tennessee Monday.  Representatives voted 93-2 to send the “Competitive Cable and Video Services Act” to the Senate, where final approval is expected before the legislature adjourns in two weeks.  In addition to cable competition, state officials hope the bill leads to broader deployment of Internet broadband service to areas with inadequate or no service.   —>
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/apr/29/cable-bill-off-to-the-senate/

also reported at:

House OKs AT&T TV bill; Senate is expected to pass legislation
by Theo Emery; The Tennessean
04/29/08 [ 1 comment ]

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080429/NEWS0201/804290370/1009/NEWS01

Suburbs OK With Cable Measure — Hope It Will Survive Tenn. House Debate
by Clay Bailey; Commercial Appeal (TN)
04/28/08

http://www.blackenterprise.com/yb/ybopen.asp?section=ybsb&story_id=116863886&ID=blackenterprise

House approves AT&T cable deal
by Andy Sher; Chattanooga Times Free Press
04/29/08 [ comments invited ]

http://timesfreepress.com/news/2008/apr/29/nashiville-house-approves-t-cable-deal/?local
~

Hate speech limits fail to gain support
by Mike Monson
The News Gazette (IL)
04/29/08

URBANA – Urbana council members have tentatively decided against taking strong steps to limit hate speech on Urbana Public Television, despite concerns raised by the local Jewish community and other residents about anti-Semitic programming being regularly shown on the station.  Council members, in a voice vote Monday night, tentatively approved a revised public access policies and procedures manual for Urbana Public Television, known as UPTV. Only Alderwoman Lynne Barnes, D-Ward 7, voted against the proposal.  A final vote will take place at next Monday night’s council meeting.

Barnes said she thought the city should drop the public access programming from its PEG channel, which includes public access, education and government programming.  “My trouble with it is, as a city council member, you’re a part of this,” she said. “If you’ve got trash in your yard, even if it’s not your trash, it looks bad. As long as our name is on it, I feel as a taxpayer we’re participating it in.”  Much of the anti-Semitic programming is being submitted by a single resident, 88-year-old Timothy A. Brumleve of Urbana.

Other council members disagreed with Barnes. Dennis Roberts, D-Ward 5, said Urbana has a “reputation for being forward-thinking and supporting the widest range of viewpoints.”  “What this city needs is not less PEG, but more PEG,” Roberts said. “We need a greater and more active public dialogue.”  Roberts said he supports creating a fifth PEG channel, through cable franchise negotiations with Comcast this year, that would be exclusively devoted to public access and would allow Urbana to remove the public access component from its channel.

Roberts also said he recently watched a particular anti-Semitic program and “wasn’t impressed in the least.”  “Let’s not give them the power to control our lives through fear, let’s totally ignore it,” he said. “Let’s change the channel.”  Danielle Chynoweth, D-Ward 2, made similar comments, saying “the decay of society is when a single person can destroy a public amenity.”   —>
http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2008/04/29/hate_speech_limits_fail_to_gain_support
~

World Press Freedom Day 2008 – May 3
Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and Empowerment of People
UNESCO

Freedom of Expression is a fundamental human right as stated in Article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. This is especially worth recalling as we mark the 60th anniversary of that declaration.

At this year’s World Press Freedom Day celebration, UNESCO would like to explore how media freedom and access to information feed into the wider development objective of empowering people. Empowerment is a multi-dimensional social and political process that helps people gain control over their own lives. This can only be achieved through access to accurate, fair and unbiased information, representing a plurality of opinions, and the means to actively communicate vertically and horizontally, thereby participating in the active life of the community.
http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=25875&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html
~

Perspectives TV Show on Sean Bell Verdict
BreaktheChains.info
04/29/08

[ comments invited ]

In the wake of the verdict resulting from the trial of the officers in the Sean Bell case, BronxNet is dedicating the next live episode of Perspectives to discussing and analyzing the outcome of the case.  The special episode of Perspectives will be cablecast on Tuesday, April 29, at 8:30 p.m. We are inviting advocates, activists, and legal aids, to join us as guests for a panel discussion. You can also join our inside studio television audience.  The program will highlight a peaceful quest for justice, help shed light on issues at hand, give viewers a chance to hear the opinions of experts and to call in and express their own opinions.   —>
http://breakallchains.blogspot.com/2008/04/perspectives-tv-show-on-sean-bell.html
~

Free public forum hosts 3rd District County Supervisor candidates
by Sarah Spotten
KSBY.com (CA)
04/29/08

The Citizens Planning Foundation of Santa Barbara County and the League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara Education Fund are co-hosting a 3rd District County Supervisor Candidates Forum.  The purpose of this free forum is to help educate the public about candidates’ positions on issues of concern to them so that they may become better-informed voters.  All five candidates have confirmed they will participate in the public forum.  Simultaneous Spanish translation will be provided, and a video of the forum will be broadcast in both English and Spanish on public access television.   —>
http://www.ksby.com/Global/story.asp?S=8245207
~

NYC Reaches Cable TV Agreement with Verizon
1010 WINS (NY)
04/29/08

New York City residents may soon get a choice of cable television providers.  The city announced Tuesday that it has reached agreement with Verizon for a cable television franchise contract, which calls for increased channel capacity and funding for all public, educational and governmental channels.  “Our administration is committed to bringing better service and competitive choices for cable television to the residents of New York City, and the proposed agreement would go a long way toward doing that,” Deputy Mayor Robert C. Lieber said.  […]

Under the agreement, Verizon would pay the city a franchise fee of 5 percent of the revenues from the cable service in the city; provide a $10 million capital grant to the city-owned NYC TV and a $4 million grant to expand public access to technology.   —>
http://www.1010wins.com/pages/2091549.php?
~

Public-television revolutionary
WYBE’s new model offers 5-minute shorts
by Joseph N. DiStefano
Philadelphia Inquirer (PA)
04/28/08

WYBE-35, Philadelphia’s tiny, nonprofit, old-fashioned broadcast TV station, is betting its future on digital shows for the YouTube generation.  The station is programming its signals and Web site with five-minute shorts that producers pay to play, set in a new studio built as part of a signal-swapping deal with General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal networks.

“It’s short-form programming, in which we let the community come to us and let them and viewers tell us what they want,” says Howard Blumenthal, the station’s chief executive and a 30-year veteran of the business, including stints as a brand executive for Bertelsmann AG and a senior executive at CDNOW Inc.  “These are not infomercials,” he adds. WYBE’s program affiliate, Mind Media Independence (Mind TV), controls content, with no obligation to use programs it doesn’t want. No home-shopping programs; no racist propaganda.

The station offers technical assistance and training to member-donors who want to make their own programs, for a yearly fee ranging from $75 for individuals to $1,000 for corporations.  The business model reverses the usual TV business patterns. Like Philadelphia-based vanity publisher Xlibris Corp., WYBE is now getting paid to carry content, not paying for it. It’s giving paying members – there are 50 so far, pending the service’s formal launch next month – the power to put their own work on television and the Internet.   —>
http://www.philly.com/philly/business/homepage/18327209.html
~

nick calzoncit Confronts Harlandale ISD school board
Mexican American Peace Project (TX)
04/29/08

[ comments invited ]

Click to play

Local San Antonio Activist nick calzoncit confronts the Harlandale School District about his quest for renaming Stonewall Elementary School to Cesar Chavez Elementary at the board meeting held in April 2008. This clip was for San Antonio Public Access TV, Mexican American Peace Project, Fridays 12:30pm and 8:30pm.
http://mexamerican.blogspot.com/2008/04/nick-calzoncit-confronts-harlandale-isd.html
~

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick tapes own TV show
The Associated Press
Lansing State Journal (MI)
04/29/08

[ 6 comments ]

Kwame Kilpatrick is adding “talk show host” to his mayoral duties.  The Detroit mayor on Monday taped the first installment of his new cable public access television show.  WWJ-AM and WXYZ-TV report Kilpatrick’s first two guests were city Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings and City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers.   —>
http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080429/NEWS01/804290349/1001/NEWS
~

KDHX is looking to hire a Youth Media Production Instructor this summer
by Reggi
St. Louis Audition (MO)
04/29/08

KDHX instructors are working media artists who use the power of digital production to help young people fashion their own multi-media messages. Through music, video and computer technology, young people can create messages that bridge cultural differences and create change in their communities and in their own lives. The KDHX Youth Video Production Instructor teaches basic video production classes focusing on story telling and media literacy to students ranging from middle school to high school age. The rate for this position is $20 per hour.   —>
http://www.stlauditions.com/2008/04/kdhx-is-looking-to-hire-youth-media.html
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/28/08

April 29, 2008

[ Here’s what you call one of them ‘anecdotal’ reports of the positive effects of PEG access programming.  Just as with our friendly smiles and “good morning” greetings to strangers, sometimes we never know the positive effects our actions have.  Stories like this are among the reasons we’re driven to keep these channels alive and flowing. ~ rm ]

Why Bother?
by Amy Gates
Crunchy Domestic Goddess
04/28/08

[ 25 comments ]

This evening as Jody and Ava were out running an errand for me, I attempted to cook dinner while balancing a miserable Julian (due to his four canine teeth coming in at the same time) on my hip. After much fussing (on Julian’s part, not mine), I took a break from cooking, sat down on the couch, flipped on the TV and, hoping to make the poor boy feel a bit better, nursed him.

In skipping through the channels it became clear to me why I rarely watch TV (with the exception of The Office, LOST and occasionally Oprah). There was nothing on. I stopped on the local public access channel long enough to hear someone talking about global warming. My interest was piqued so I lingered.

It turns out it was a woman reading Michael Pollan’s recent New York Times article “Why Bother?” For those of you unfamiliar with Pollan, he is the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food – neither of which I have read yet, but I’ve heard great things about both.

“Why Bother?” is a question I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’m nowhere near the point of throwing in the towel with regard to the things I do to help the environment, but after reading an article like ‘Enjoy life while you can’ – Climate science maverick James Lovelock believes catastrophe is inevitable, carbon offsetting is a joke and ethical living a scam and watching a YouTube video (which has since been taken down) about Monsanto, you might start to get a little jaded and wonder if all of your efforts are in vain. At least that’s where I’ve been at.

Pollan’s article “Why Bother?” was exactly what I needed to hear (and then read in full on the web since I missed the first half of it on TV) to help lift me out of my funk and I highly recommend you read the whole thing. Here’s just a bit of it.   —>
http://crunchydomesticgoddess.com/2008/04/28/why-bother/
~

Davis criticizes Senate cable bill
by Matthew Penix
St. Tammany News (LA)
04/28/08

[ comments invited ]

Parish President Kevin Davis has joined Slidell city officials in hurling objections at a Senate bill that would provide a statewide-only franchising agreement for cable operators entering Louisiana, a move critics said would increase local cable fees for consumers.  Senate Bill 422, authored by Sen. Ann Duplessis, D-New Orleans, was modified this week to adhere to requests by the Louisiana Municipal Association to scale back the bill. But critics such as Davis still said the bill amounted to a slap in the face for local municipalities.

The bill, aimed to garner more competition from cable providers entering the state, would nix the roughly 400 so municipalities statewide from entering their own non-exclusive franchise agreements with cable providers. Instead, cable companies would adhere to one set of rules, dictated by the state, concerning how municipalities will earn taxes collected from the companies using their right of ways to set up infrastructure.

For instance, St. Tammany Parish and its municipalities collect franchise fees from cable providers, typically a 5 percent fee on total revenue generated in the area, to use for infrastructure or governmental needs. The fee is paid in exchange for those cable providers to use the publicly owned right of ways to set up cable lines and more.

Under the bill, those local agreements would be nixed. Instead of brokering 400 agreements, the interested companies would now broker only one deal, a move 14 others states have already initiated, and one that would attract more companies who don’t want to deal with the headache of brokering numerous deals, Duplessis said. Already AT&T has pumped $400 million into Louisiana’s communications infrastructure in hopes the bill passes, Duplessis said. That figure could not be confirmed as of deadline.   […]

But Davis, in a recent memo, blasted the bill, saying cable companies will be allowed to “cherry pick” which citizens they will serve according to their business model.  “I fully support more and better choices for cable television,” Davis said. “This bill, however, will not provide the competition that we all want.”

According to the National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors, consumers in states that have enacted state-level franchising laws have seen their video service bills go up 8 to 50 percent, depending on the level of service, Davis said. In Texas, which enacted its franchise legislation in 2005, nearly every video provider increased its prices, he said.   —>
http://www.thesttammanynews.com/articles/2008/04/28/news/doc4815dad281a76874331234.txt
~

House passes compromise AT&T bill
by John Rodgers
Nashville City Paper (TN)
04/28/08

[ 6 comments ]

The state House overwhelmingly passed a compromise bill this evening that AT&T says it needs to start offering television programming in Tennessee to compete with the cable industry.   —>
http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=59852
~

Cable Bill Passes House
by Cara Kumari
WSMV Reporter Cara Kumari
04/28/08

[ comments invited ]

I’m driving back to the station from doing my live shot about some TennCare changes, but I popped into the House session to listen to the debate on the cable legislation. (I use the term “debate” loosely.)

You’ve probably heard at least something about the cable bill or seen the nonstop commercials on TV.  This basically allows any company (AT&T for now)  who wants to enter the cable game in the state to bypass local franchising and get their permit from the state.  Lawmakers tout the increase in choices this legislation will bring the cable consumer.  Realistically, they say, don’t expect to see a huge drop in cable prices.

Anyway, the “debate” on the House floor today consisted of several of the main sponsors thanking 10 to 12 people each who made this bill happened.  Then it was a quick vote of 92-2 (with 2 not voting) and then a huge round of applause.

To give you an idea of how intense the lobbying has been on this whole issue, here’s a quip from one lawmaker after it passed: “Well, now all of the lobbyists can officially go on vacation.”  No word on whether or not those commercials will ever stop airing, though.
http://carakumari.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/cable-bill-passes-house/

Election round-tables available on-line
by Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Inside Politics (CA)
04/28/08

[ comments invited ]

Televised election round-tables with June 3 primary candidates for Assembly Districts 14 and 15, the two races for the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and a debate on Propositions 98 and 99 are now posted on-line at the Contra Costa Times’ politics page.  I moderated the six, half-hour segments on April 23 and they will air on your local public access television station starting May 5. (I’ve posted the air date schedule below or you can visit http://www.contracostatv.org.)

The sponsors organized and paid for the production of the shows at no cost to the candidates. Sponsors include: Contra Costa Times, League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley, Contra Costa Council, Contra Costa TV, Contra Costa County Election Department, Comcast and the East Bay Community Foundation.  To save you a few clicks, I’ve also embedded the links to the shows here.   —>
http://www.ibabuzz.com/insidepolitics/2008/04/28/election-round-tables-available-on-line/
~

BVBL and 9500Liberty Debate On Television
by Greg L
Black Velvet Bruce Li (VA)
04/28/08

[ 33 comments ]

I was invited last week to join George Burke (who is also the Chairman of the 11th District Democratic Committee) on Fairfax Public Access television for a program on “Inside Scoop Virginia” this Sunday.  To my surprise, “documentarian” Annabel Park of 9500Liberty showed up to argue the other side in what was billed as a program on new media and the immigration debate, but ended up focusing mostly on the Rule of Law Resolution.  I think I held my own fairly well against two others that certainly wanted to argue that the Rule of Law Resolution is a bad idea, and the way it turned out the vast majority of callers to this local Fairfax County program ended up agreeing with me.

The first caller was from “Mona” who called in from California, apparently viewing the program on the internet.   —>
http://www.bvbl.net/index.php/2008/04/28/bvbl-and-9500liberty-debate-on-television/#more-2310
~

Council: ‘We gotta work together,’ keep listening
by Craig Peterson
Lake County News-Sun (IL)
04/28/08

[ comments invited ]

WAUKEGAN — The City Council took no formal action last week on censoring audience time from its meetings, but every alderman addressed the issue during alderman’s time.   —>
http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/newssun/news/918724,5_1_WA28_WAUKCOUNCIL_S1.article
~

Show and tell
If Houston school district officials want to improve community relations, televise board meetings
Editorial: Houston Chronicle (TX)
04/27/08

[ 6 comments ]

During a hard-fought campaign last year to pass a bond issue, Houston Independent School District officials were lambasted by opponents for failing to get community input for the spending plan. The issue of school consolidation and some closings in mostly minority neighborhoods generated a voter backlash that nearly defeated the referendum.  HISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra says the district is working on initiatives to improve communications with the public. “Last fall as we did our bond issue,” the superintendent said, “the biggest message to us was ‘you’re not communicating, and when you do, it’s too late. It doesn’t mean anything.’ ”  […]

Although HISD has a fully staffed and equipped audio-visual capability with a public access cable channel at its disposal, the district board remains one of the few elective bodies in Houston that does not televise its meetings. Although the board recently moved its public sessions from 3 p.m. to a more accessible 5 p.m., airing the sessions on cable would allow a much bigger audience to acquaint itself with district policy.   —>
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/5734627.html
~

AT&T still not definite on U-verse here
by Jeff Richgels
The Capital Times (WI)
04/28/08

[ 14 comments ]

AT&T is looking to hire 200 more technicians to install and service its U-verse TV service, which now is available to more than 200,000 homes in the Milwaukee, Racine and Sheboygan areas.  But even though the jobs include positions in south central Wisconsin, indicating that U-verse may be offered here in the near future, the company still isn’t saying when the Madison area might get U-verse.   —>
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/283540
~

Parent Event: Are Your Kids Safe & Smart Online?
by Elliot Margolis
Midpeninsula Community Media Center (CA)
04/28/08

The Media Center is sponsoring a presentation for parents who want to keep up with what kids are doing online and acquire tips to keep them safe and smart internet-users. Patty Page, from the Common Sense Media Volunteer Speaker Bureau will present a media-rich, interactive program in the Media Center’s TV studio on Monday, May 19th beginning at 7:30. Doors open and light refreshments are available at 7 PM at 900 San Antonio Rd. in Palo Alto, near the 101 freeway.  […]  The 90-minute presentation and discussion will be videotaped.   —>
http://midpen-media-center.blogspot.com/2008/04/parent-event-are-your-kids-safe-smart.html
~

Denver 8 TV Announces Updated Online Programming Site
by Jeanne Robb
Congress Park Neighborhood News (CO)
04/28/08 [?]

Denver 8 TV, the city’s Municipal Access Television channel, has launched an improved web site where users can find live programming of the channel and a rich archive of video programs recorded by Denver 8. The programs available include all meeting coverage of Denver City Council, numerous press announcements, community forum coverages and all the weekly and monthly programs produced by the channel.  —>
http://congressparkneighbors.org/WordPress/?p=22
~

Director changes channels: WCAC head hired to lead NewTV
by Jeff Gilbride
Daily News Tribune (MA)
04/28/08

[ 11 comments ]

Robert Kelly, executive director at Waltham Community Access television for the last 18 years, has accepted the same position at NewTV, Newton’s cable access station.  Kelly said Friday he will start his new job on May 12. His last day with WCAC-TV will be May 9.  Kelly said because of his long tenure at the Waltham station he had “mixed emotions” when he applied for the position in Newton. But Kelly said the opportunity of working at a larger organization in a larger community was too good to pass up.   —>
http://www.dailynewstribune.com/news/x2124113393
~

International Summit for Community Wireless Networks: May 28, Washington DC
MuniWireless
04/28/08 [?]

The New America Foundation is holding its International Summit for Community Wireless Networks (IS4CWN) on May 28 – 30, 2008 in Washington, DC. The summit is co-hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) at its downtown headquarters. The event will bring together community wireless networking developers working to build universal, low-cost wireless broadband networks around the world. This year’s Summit will focus on how these networks can better serve their target populations, the policies needed to support broader deployment of community wireless systems, and the latest technological and software innovations.
http://www.muniwireless.com/2008/04/28/international-summit-community-wireless-networks-washingto/
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/27/08

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
~

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
~

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
~

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
~

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
~

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/
~

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/
~

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
~

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/
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/23/08

April 27, 2008

La. Senate panel OKs TV change
nola.com (LA)
04/23/08

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — State government, not police juries and city councils, should control the franchise fee process for television service around the state, a Senate panel voted on Wednesday.  The chief supporter of the bill [Senate Bill 422 – http://legis.state.la.us/ ] , AT&T Inc., said the change would encourage more companies to begin offering TV service in Louisiana, heightening competition and lowering prices for consumers.

The Senate’s commerce committee approved the measure 6-1 despite opposition from parish and city government officials who complained that the state was trying to snatch control over a significant part of their income.  The loss of control would likely mean a drop in revenue, said Dan Garrett, a lobbyist for the Police Jury Association.  “This bill strips local governments of franchise authority,” Garrett said.   —>
http://www.nola.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/news-38/1208986459310880.xml&storylist=louisiana
~

Despite compromise bill, cable ads bashing AT&T still ran
by John Rodgers
Nashville City Paper (TN)
04/23/08

[ 7 comments ]

When a compromise was reached between AT&T, the cable industry and local governments over television franchising legislation two weeks ago, House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh made a simple request.  Naifeh (D-Covington), who was instrumental in forging the compromise, urged the parties involved to stop running advertisements bashing AT&T or the cable industry over the legislation, which AT&T says it needs to start offering television programming and competing with cable.

Tennesseans have been exposed to those ads — from both sides but primarily the cable industry — for a good portion of the past two years.  But despite the compromise legislation being agreed upon, the cable industry has continued to run advertisements during the last two weeks bashing AT&T’s effort to get into the television programming business. […]

By: HokeyPokey on 4/23/08
Government meetings are actually quite popular on cable, witness the popularity of C-Span in addition to the PEG channels.  One does not have to think long and hard to understand why neither cable nor telco want you to see what the government’s doing.  Also, those of you in Nashville who enjoy the “Arts” channel on Channel 9 better load up on it, ’cause it’s likely to go far, far away when Comcast gets thrown into the briar patch.

http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=59719
~

Book Report Raises Questions About Texas’ SB5
by Jon Kreucher
Blogging Broadband (MI)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

Those keeping score know that the Texas legislature really started the state-mandated video franchise train down the tracks.  SB5 was passed in Texas at the end of 2005.  It was a natural place for the phone companies to get the ball rolling, as SBC, now the new AT&T, called Texas home.  Since SB5 passed, a likely-unprecedented wave of states adopted some form of “shall issue” video franchising — all of it aimed at helping the phone companies get into the cable business.

The idea of creating competition for cable companies was worthwhile.  But now that a little time has passed, some are starting to look at whether this chain of state laws has really served the intended purpose.  One of the more comprehensive reviews has been assembled by Dr. Connie Ledoux Book (Ph.D.) of Elon University. During the fall of 2006 and spring of 2007, students in Elon’s Broadcasting and the Public Interest began to assemble information about the impact of SB5 in Texas.  According to Dr. Book’s draft summary of the work:

“The project started with a simple question: Has SB5 created competition that resulted in lower cable costs for customers in Texas?  What should be a simple yes or no response is actually quite complex and after weighing the variable addressed in this paper, one could argue the following:

“SB5 has created competitive markets in more affluent, wealthier areas of Texas. These residents benefit from having choice between cable providers and the hope that a competitive environment will bring about better customer service and pricing benefits. However, none of the newly established pricing plans ultimately save these Texans more money on a monthly basis (although they may receive more services). At the same time this competitive cable scenario exists for a few communities in Texas, the passage of SB5 has resulted in every Texan subsidizing competition for the few through telecom taxes and regulatory fees.”

This work, unfortunately, confirms many of the fears raised by those who originally opposed state-wide franchising bills — among them, that the pace at which competition develops is dependant on market forces, not regulatory treatment; that the wealthy will be the primary beneficiaries of any competition that does eventually develop; that the benefits of competition manifest themselves in things other than substantially lower cable prices; and that the potential for phone customers to unwittingly pay for their phone company’s foray into video is real.

Many thanks to Dr. Book for sharing her draft report — if you’d like to see a copy, you can download it here.
http://www.bloggingbroadband.com/?p=132
~

U-Verse Rollout Continues — But Slowly
by Jon Kreucher
Blogging Broadband (MI)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

AT&T reported its first quarter 2008 earnings yesterday.  As with all such calls, the U-Verse rollout was an active topic for discussion.  AT&T noted that it remains on plan to meet its current 2008 U-verse subscription target — but the rollout must nevertheless appear to be painfully slow to regulators.  Not too long ago, AT&T told every state in its operating area that the need to obtain a service franchise from each local government was the only impediment to the widespread deployment of its new video product.  Time is now proving that the representation wasn’t altogether accurate.    —>
http://www.bloggingbroadband.com/?p=138
~

(sob) All that work on the public access TV bill and then this…
by Larry Geller
Disappeared News (HI)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

Lots and lots of testimony in support of SB1789 just went down the drain, as reported by the Maui News in New rules governing public-access TV die at Legislature:

HONOLULU — Despite widespread statewide support, including from those associated with Akaku: Maui Community Television, legislation to clarify rules for public-access television stations has died this legislative session. …  Senate Bill 1789 — drafted by Maui Sens. Roz Baker, Shan Tsutsui and J. Kalani English — would have required the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to create rules for how it awards contracts to “public-access, education and government” (PEG) cable television organizations.

…  The bill was passed from the Senate to the House, and passed out of the Finance Committee in March. But the committee report apparently was never filed, and that inaction prevented the bill from being sent back to the full House for a vote. […]

It’s not just the hours spent testifying (and those coming in from other islands over and over had it worse than I did). There were also hours testifying before the Procurement Policy Board and on and on and on. This bill would have fixed everything.  And it just fell into a crack someplace? Gone, just like that? What can I say?
http://disappearednews.com/2008/04/sob-all-that-work-on-public-access-tv.html
~

How come it’s never the manini bills that die by clerical oversight?
by Doug White
Poinography (HI)
04/22/08

[ 7 comments ]

What a bummer. The Maui News reports that a bill to exempt PEG (Public, Educational, and Government) cable access from the procurement code died this year when the House Finance Committee heard the bill, voted to amend the bill, and then failed to file the Committee Report and amended bill by the Second Decking deadline.  Sheesh. I know, I know, Committee staff, and especially the Finance Staff, are responsible for handling huge amounts of clerical minutiae under a tight deadline. I was a Committee Clerk for a few years and at deadlines there is a lot of pressure. It’s a staffer’s nightmare, but mistakes are going to happen. But still…

What’s left unanswered by this article, however, is what the failure of this legislation means for the PEG providers we currently know (Olelo, Akaku, etc.). Will the Department award (or has it already awarded) the PEG contracts to new groups?
http://poinography.com/?p=5797
~

Buckland, Shelburne: cable for all
by Jeff Potter
Shelburne Falls Independent (MA)
04/23/08

With the blessing of Shelburne and Buckland selectmen, cable television advisory boards from the two towns will kick off negotiations for a new contract by asking Comcast, current holder of the cable franchise, to offer service to every resident and business in the two towns.  A 22-page document — Cable License Renewal Findings, Report and Recommendations — prepared for the towns by attorney William August of Boston, results from the work of the joint board and reflects comments gleaned from a survey and a Feb. 27 public hearing.  The report will serve as a request for proposal for the cable company, which has until May 22 to submit a new draft agreement to the towns.

Mike Duffy of Shelburne and Glenn Cardinal of Buckland, representatives from the two respective cable advisory boards, appeared before Shelburne selectmen to discuss the document and its findings. Cardinal chairs the joint committee.  “We find, based on extensive testimony at extraordinary public ascertainment hearings, and based on review of more than 40 ascertainment exhibits, there is a compelling and great need for service area expansion and cable system build-out in the towns of Buckland and Shelburne,” reads the document in its introduction. “The overwhelming sentiment expressed at the hearings was that cable service in all its forms is no longer a luxury, but is now an absolute necessity for the long-term viability of our towns, and that no resident should be deprived of such services.”   —>
http://69.93.213.18/~sfindep/site/site07/articleexcerpt.php?id=2376&photodir=/home/sfindep/public_html/site/assets/photos/SFI94/SFI94.sf.cable/source/image/&photocount=0&issue=94
~

Films: Preserving ‘Everyday People’ History
Celluloid archaeologists are striving to preserve a fast-decaying historical resource and, at the same time, show the world what they’ve got.
by Barbara Hesselgrave
Miller-McCune
04/23/08

[comments invited ]

A treasure trove of cultural history is deteriorating at this very moment. All across the world, in attics, basements, warehouses and abandoned storerooms, the clock against celluloid is ticking — for the dust-covered boxes and rusting cans of 8mm, Super 8 and 16mm film.  Countless films are languishing forgotten and untended; their very existence often unknown, yet these “orphan films” are valuable documentary and historical evidence of our society and culture. Championing their discovery, preservation and access for the past decade is Dan Streible, film historian and associate professor of cinema studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Video: Watch 10 “orphan films

Streible describes these neglected artifacts as “any film that doesn’t have any commercial value.”  “At one time, archivists informally used the term orphan film to describe any film that had been abandoned, or for which the identity of the filmmaker was unknown,” he said. However, since the 1993 congressional hearings on film preservation, which led to both the National Film Preservation Board and National Film Preservation Foundation, the term is used more often and broadly.

“These are films that can be anything from newsreels to short films, home movies, industrials, independent documentaries, silent movies, surveillance film, outtakes — anything you can imagine,” Streible explained. The problem, he says, is that while we know that film can and does last at least a century, when stored under proper conditions, most orphan films are forgotten or abandoned and can deteriorate quickly.

But that’s just film.  While materials science research affirms the longevity of film, Streible said research on magnetic videotape media is just beginning, and there is still less understood about the life span of digital copies. As our images become increasingly miniaturized, the effect of dirt specks and small scratches become magnified and easily render a DVD unplayable.  Technology’s evolution reinforces the need for ongoing preservation of all, even recent, moving images to insure public access. As an example, the events of the Olympics captured on 2-inch videotape that was state-of-the-art in the 1970s are today virtually unwatchable — trapped on a medium for which there is essentially no technology to view them.

While many orphan films might not have commercial value — i.e., they are not a theatrical film for public distribution — Streible said many have tremendous historical value. As “orphans” are discovered, he and his colleagues’ mission is to preserve the images and make the information known to others.  He has a slogan that “most of the films ever made no longer exist” (because of deterioration). Of those that do, the majority are not preserved, and those that have been preserved are often known only to a handful of archivists or researchers.   —>
http://www.miller-mccune.com/article/316
~

Los Gatos Rotary event will raise funds for KCAT, charities
by Marianne Lucchesi Hamilton
Los Gatos Weekly-Times (CA)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

KCAT TV-15 in Los Gatos will be among the beneficiaries of the Los Gatos Morning Rotary’s upcoming spring fundraising dinner-dance. The event, dubbed “The Party,” will bring together members of the community for an evening of rock ‘n’ roll-themed entertainment, food and drink, and a “Rockin’ Auction,” all staged at the Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in costumes reflecting the “classic rock” era of the 1960s through 1980s.

The Los Gatos Morning Rotary, whose charter supports the arts and children’s issues in Los Gatos, is joining with the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance to stage the event. LGMR has pledged to distribute a portion of the proceeds to KCAT to help fund the station’s proposed digital literacy center project. This initiative is targeted to encourage proficiency at Los Gatos High School in the areas of visual and electronic media, and to provide students with the types of digital literacy skills needed for success in the 21st century.

The KCAT studio has been situated on the high school campus since 1983, offering students an opportunity to acquire hands-on training in digital media production.  “KCAT’s staff and board of directors are thrilled to be identified as a beneficiary of Los Gatos Morning Rotary’s upcoming fundraiser,” KCAT station manager George Sampson said.   —>
http://www.mercurynews.com/losgatos/ci_9028717?nclick_check=1
~

No longer ‘PTTV’: Television for people who don’t like television
by Barney Burke
Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader (WA)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

“People who say, ‘I don’t watch TV,'” says Jonathan Stratman, provide the biggest challenge in programming Port Townsend’s community TV station.  Hired in October as director of Port Townsend Television, formerly known as PTTV, Stratman said the station’s content is being transformed, and not just because of new equipment.  “It’s television for people who don’t like television,” said Stratman of the increase in homegrown media.   —>
http://www.ptleader.com/main.asp?SectionID=21&SubSectionID=21&ArticleID=20680&TM=58613.97
~

City, county plan joint Web site
Times Publications (IN)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and the Allen County Commissioners announced that work is underway on the creation of a joint Web site to house information regarding both city and county public meetings. The new Web site will seek to provide information such as meeting dates, times, locations, agendas and minutes.  The Web site will also provide an opportunity for other governmental organizations to make their meeting information available.  The Web site will be fully operational in the near future. […]

“This is an excellent first step in making local government more accessible through the internet,” added Commissioner Nelson Peters.  “We look forward to collaborating with our city partners on similar initiatives such as integrating public access television programming.”
http://www.fwdailynews.com/articles/2008/04/23/times/times_online/doc480f2cc1c877f104652276.txt
~

South Africa: IEC Conference Discuss the Role of Media During Elections
BuaNews (Tshwane)
04/23/08

A conference discussing the role of the media during the elections is currently underway in Pretoria.  Hosted by the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), under the theme “the role of the media in promoting electoral democracy,” the national conference on Media and Electoral Democracy is bringing together relevant stakeholders to discuss these issues.   —>
http://allafrica.com/stories/200804230831.html
~

Kazakhstan: Media Forum Focuses Attention on Stifling Journalistic Environment
by Joanna Lillis
Eurasianet.org
04/23/08

The opening of the annual Eurasian Media Forum in Kazakhstan stands to highlight a discrepancy in the government’s sweeping reform pledges and its lack of action, political analysts say.  The forum, organized by the president’s daughter, Dariga Nazarbayeva, is scheduled to run from April 24-26. Some local observers express hope that the gathering might revive efforts to liberalize the country’s mass media legislative framework. During their successful lobbying effort to secure the chair the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Kazakhstani leaders gave assurances that they would implement wide-ranging reforms. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Since then, however, little has been accomplished, prompting some foreign experts to question Kazakhstan’s commitment to fulfilling its pledges before assuming the OSCE helm in 2010.

The guarded optimism expressed by some members of the journalistic community as last year’s Eurasian Media Forum opened subsided long ago. A new, more liberal press law that was then in parliament has been shelved, and slow progress on drafting another version essentially precludes the possibility of new legislation being in place before the start of 2009, when Kazakhstan will join the OSCE Troika of past, present and future chairs.   —>
http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav042308a.shtml
~

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