Archive for the ‘freedom of expression’ category

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 05/02/08: World Press Freedom Day

May 3, 2008

“Broadcasting, Voice, and Accountability”
Book Offers Tools to Foster Independent Broadcast Media in Developing Countries
The World Bank
05/02/08

People from the foothills of the Himalayas to small communities in Benin listen to the radio or watch TV. Now a new book seeks to help developing countries foster a diverse broadcasting sector that truly informs and empowers their citizens.

“Broadcasting, Voice and Accountability,” published this week by the World Bank Institute, is a best-practices guide to the kinds of policies, laws and regulations that result in a free, independent and responsible media, greater transparency in government, and more open public debate.

“The enabling environment for the media is crucial to the type of media we have, and that, in turn, has a critical role in development,” says co-author Steve Buckley, President of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters. “The media can play a role as checks and balances ensuring good governance and accountability.”

The 400-page book, the culmination of five years of research by six media experts, was presented just ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3, in Maputo, Mozambique, at a conference on freedom of expression hosted by the United Nations Educational and Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). —>
http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:21753143~pagePK:64257043~piPK:437376~theSitePK:4607,00.html
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Broadcasting, Voice, and Accountability
Steve Buckley, Kreszentia Duer, Toby Mendel and Seán Ó Siochrú
World Bank Institute
05/02/08 [?]

This book provides guidelines, tools, and real world examples to help assess and reform the enabling environment for media development that serves public interest goals. It builds on a growing awareness of the role of media and voice in the promotion of transparent and accountable governance, in the empowerment of people to better exercise their rights and hold leaders to account; and in support of equitable development including improved livelihoods, health, and access to education. The book provides development practitioners with an overview of the key policy and regulatory issues involved in supporting freedom of information and expression and enabling independent public service media. Country examples illustrate how these norms have been institutionalized in various contexts.

* Introduction (PDF 54KB)
* Chapter 1 (PDF 215 KB) –
* Table of Contents (PDF 35 KB) –
* Podcast Interview with Steve Buckley (co-author and President of the WACRB)
Real Media ; MP3
http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/WBI/0,,contentMDK:21747844~pagePK:209023~piPK:207535~theSitePK:213799,00.html
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World Press Freedom Day (Malaysia)
Little Garden of Joy
05/02/08

[ 2 comments ]

World Press Freedom Day is an annual and global event dedicated to press freedom. What is press freedom? Press freedom is a guarantee by the government of free public press for its citizens, and extending to journalists, even bloggers. With respect to governmental information, the government chooses which materials are revealed to the public and which materials that should be protected from disclosure. The purpose of this is to protect national interest as to conceal matters of sensitivity and controversy. Sadly, in Malaysia, much is being concealed from public interests despite continuous appeals from the public for the government to be as transparent as possible. [ … ]

The role of community media
Even though many media outlets have made provisions for audience participation and have therein become more accessible to the people they serve, nowhere is accessibility and specificity of purpose so well defined as with community media. Currently radio is the most widespread form of community media in the developing world because it is cheap to produce and to access, can cover large areas, and overcomes illiteracy. —>
http://sarahliane.blogspot.com/2008/05/world-press-freedom-day-malaysia.html
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World Press Freedom Day: Not there yet, say Hungarian media reps
MTI Daily Bulletin (Hungary)
05/02/08

Budapest – Hungary essentially has a free press, but needs improvement, Hungarian media organisation chiefs told MTI on the eve of May 3, UN World Press Freedom Day. “Freedom of the press is the product of democracy and societal operations: always a conflictive area,” said Pal Eotvos, chairman of the National Association of Hungarian Journalists (MUOSZ). Still unresolved problems include restrictions on court reporting and the manner in which the law determines slander. In addition, he said, the media is at the intersection of two conflicting constitutional rights: the rights of ownership and freedom of speech, adding that most Hungarian media are foreign-owned. —>
http://english.mti.hu/default.asp?menu=1&theme=2&cat=25&newsid=251966
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Liberia: Three Draft Media Laws Advance Through Legislature; CEMESP Urges Their Approval As World Press Freedom Day Approaches
Center For Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP) (Toronto)
05/01/08

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, CEMESP welcomes the introduction in the House of Representatives of three draft media laws, presented to that body on 17 April 2008 by a coalition of media and civil society organisations. Liberia’s House of Representatives introduced three draft Liberian media laws (An Act to Transform the Liberia Broadcasting System into a Public Service Broadcaster, An Act to Establish an Independent Broadcast Media Regulatory Commission and a Freedom of Information Act) during its regular plenary session on 29 April.

The laws, produced under the banner of the Liberia Media Law and Policy Reform Group, itself an outgrowth of the internationally sanctioned Partnership for Media Development and Conflict Prevention in West Africa, have been four years in the making, during which there was a series of consultations involving civil society, the media, government and the international community. —>
http://allafrica.com/stories/200805020122.html
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Southern Africa: SADC Sliding Down Media Freedom Scale
by Kaitira Kandjii
Financial Gazette (Harare)
05/01/08

The Media Institute of Southern Africa, a regional media and freedom of expression advocacy organisation, based in Windhoek and working through national chapters in 11 Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries joins the rest of the world in marking the World Press Freedom Day on Saturday.

MISA commemorates May 3 under the theme “Press Freedom, Access to Information and empowering the people.” This theme captures all we expect from our media, and the role our governments should play in promoting media and freedom of expression rights.

The 2008 World Press Freedom Day comes at a time when the enjoyment and respect for media and freedom of expression rights in Southern Africa is on the slide. We mark May 3 under the shadow of a crisis in Zimbabwe and the deterioration of media freedoms throughout the region notably in Lesotho, Angola and Swaziland. May 3 comes at a time when the international spotlight is once again on Southern Africa, home to some of the world’s archaic and repressive media environments with Zimbabwe taking the lead.

We mark May 3 with mixed feelings, while we have made substantive strides since the Windhoek declaration in 1991, the last three years have witnessed a steady deterioration of media freedom, reminiscent of Africa’s one party state era of the 70’s and early 80s, characterised by the suppression of the basic fundamental rights of freedom of expression, assembly and human dignity. —>
http://allafrica.com/stories/200805020644.html
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USAID Supports World Press Freedom
PRNewswire
05/02/08

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) salutes the bravery and professionalism of journalists throughout the world and condemns all actions to suppress press freedoms.

May 3 marks World Press Freedom Day, a date set aside to reflect upon the key importance of freedoms of media and information. Free media perform critical checking functions on governments, raising the quality of governance. A free press also provides voice to citizens, creates public forums to discuss key issues, and contributes to social-economic development. But journalism can be a challenging, even dangerous profession, as witnessed by the killings of over one hundred journalists during 2007.

The U.S. government, through USAID, has supported enabling conditions for media to freely provide objective news and information to citizens in more than 50 countries. USAID will continue to support those individuals and organizations that are committed to freedom of the press and looks forward to the day when independence throughout the media can be found worldwide. Examples of USAID efforts include: —>
http://sev.prnewswire.com/publishing-information-services/20080502/DC2129902052008-1.html
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[ The communications infrastructure is not unrelated to the content capable of flowing over it. Hence, the relevance of broadband policy to world press freedom… ~ rm ]

Explaining International Broadband Leadership
by Robert D. Atkinson, Daniel K. Correa and Julie A. Hedlund
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
05/01/08

Executive Summary (PDF)

It is hard to follow broadband telecommunications policy without hearing almost weekly that the United States ranks 15th out of 30 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations in broadband adoption. But it is much less apparent why the United States is behind. Indeed, relatively little work has been done to understand why some nations are ahead, and why some, like the United States, are lagging. By examining OECD nations through statistical analysis and in-depth case studies of nine nations, including the United States, this report attempts to do just that.

In identifying factors that have spurred broadband performance in other nations, we present key findings that government and the technology industry must recognize if we are to find the right course for the United States. And we propose key policy recommendations that will drive greater broadband performance. —>
http://www.itif.org/index.php?id=142
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[ Technology may always dazzle and divert, promising grace and glory, but in human nature lies our salvation or curse, if either there be. ~ rm ]

In Medias Res: Brilliant, Scary, Visionary, and Strange
The Parasitic Meme
by Rob
05/02/08

[ comments invited ]

Russell has some thoughts about a speech by Clay Shirkey in which he discusses his observations about social surpluses. He makes a certain case there by recounting a conversation with a person who couldn’t understand where the people who edit wikipedia articles find the time to do so. And in a speech which likens television sitcoms of the mid to late 20th century to gin pushcarts of the late 19th to early 20th century, he points out that those people have found that kind of time by not watching as much television as they used to.

I confess to being weary of tech visionaries. I don’t agree with Clay Shirkey about the transcendence of what he’s seen. Either that or I simply can’t get excited about tech progress any longer. Or I see his anecdotes as data points in much larger trends which have “changed the world” in superficial ways, but not in fundamental ones.

Consider, for example, the rhetoric that used to swirl around the invention of various devices we now take for granted. Perhaps the telephone is a good example. At first, people were shocked and appalled at a device, essentially the very first automation network, which could utter sounds made before then only by a human throat. Leave aside the notion that a human was still required to make the sound, he was still making a machine imitate it an appreciable distance away.

So, looking “from 30,000 feet” at the growth of the phone network, first, there was resistance, sometimes lots of resistance, then embrace by the wealthiest or most technologically inclined of the population, followed by a general acceptance of the tool by commercial interests, followed by general acceptance by all the population, followed by a worldwide build-out of the network.

But during those first years, the rhetoric was of a revolution in the way humans interacted. Some even declared that it would end wars, because people could then talk to one another more easily and misunderstandings could be resolved with the new gizmo far easier than with the old.

Since then the human race has fought the bloodiest wars in the history of civilization, and endured the most brutal tyrannies, alongside some of the highest and most noble expressions of lovingkindness and humanitarianism. Good and bad, but no fundamental change in human behavior, because there were now telephones.

The same sorts of things can and have been said about any subsequent innovation. Television was supposed to be a premier educational tool, bringing teachers to far-flung places. Hopefully the primary use of television today illuminates the absurdity of that assumption.

FM Radio was supposed to supplant AM Radio as a better technology than before. But RCA undertook to destroy its inventor personally, rather than buy shares in its technology.

The attitude towards the computer was that it would eventually become “machines that make big decisions / Programmed by fellows with compassion and vision” with the promise that “we’ll be clean when their work is done / We’ll be totally free, yes, and totally young, mmmm…”

What a beautiful world that will be, indeed. Donald Fagin’s “IGY” (for the International Geophysical Year declared by world scientists) captured the rhetoric of the revolutionary, common when we Americans were reaping the low-hanging fruit of the second large network to be built after the telephone, namely, the electric power grid. It was the attitude that got my American society to agree to send a man to the Moon and return him home again. [ … ]

It is ironic that Fagin released “IGY” in 1982, when the shine had come off the electric grid, after one energy crisis and during the tail end of a second, and when pollution, global climate change (then called global cooling, actually!), and peak oil were starting to be on everyone’s mind. By then the Internet was a connection network for large computers owned by the military and the universities affiliated in one way or another with DARPA.

Ten years from that point I would be of age, and be participating in a small way in the build out of that fourth internetwork, following the voice, power, and transistor networks which had already been designed and built. At that time I was fully enraptured by the revolution the Internet and computers could provide.

Since then, I’ve seen the same things happen “over the Web” that happened with the first telephone network, and the upheavals of the power grid and the rollouts of various, faster, and smaller computers. Resistance to the new technology is most often followed by attempts by established powers to own the new technology and shape it to their benefit. Witness the fights between Western Union and Alexander Graham Bell. Farnsworth and RCA. Steve Jobs and Microsoft. Any number of music publishers and the anarchists who use the Internet to duplicate their intellectual property against all laws. Efforts by movie companies to control through the DMCA. The “Net Neutrality” debates.

That ought to be enough of a body of examples to showcase what I think is true: Visionaries can’t see the future. Bell’s prognostications about the phone network, Kurzweil’s and Gates’ about computers, Roosevelt’s about the power grid, all were partly true and partly appallingly false. The telephone network was built, the power grid, television broadcast networks, but we are not “totally free” nor “totally young”.

Instead, basic human nature continues to rule. Now, Shirken talks about a tiny fraction of all the people participating in media interactivity, blogs and online votes and Web 2.0 stuff. As a revolution, because people were choosing to “wake up” from the 20th century’s equivalent to the gin cart, namely, broadcast television entertainment.

He isn’t alone in this kind of thinking, obviously, both since it is plain to see the ease with which young people obtain cheap computers and use them to communicate with one another, and to see how baffling these new approaches to communication are to those of us who are used to older technologies.

Hopefully, though, I’ve been able to demostrate why I don’t see those things as “revolutionary” or even very important for changing society or the world. Instead of sudden, the changes he highlights appear to me to flow apace, as society behaves the same about every new innovation as it did about all the old ones. As a very early adopter of what people now call text messaging and of the power of the so-called “social networks” (I used Unix “talk” and still use Usenet, for two examples), coupled with my study of modern history (for which I am not lettered, merely educated), I claim armchair expertise in the field as a social observer.

Hence, the observation he offered is pedestrian, and not terribly inspiring to me. I claim this even as I buy new iPhones and flat screens and computers for my own use, because they are dead useful tools. But they will not help us transcend ourselves. —>
http://www.parasiticmeme.com/?p=22
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannel.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

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Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/22/08

March 23, 2008

Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You?
by Chris Albrecht
NewTeeVee
03/18/08

[ 104 comments ]

If you have some tinfoil handy, now might be a good time to fashion a hat. At the Digital Living Room conference today, Gerard Kunkel, Comcast’s senior VP of user experience, told me the cable company is experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know who’s in your living room.

The idea being that if you turn on your cable box, it recognizes you and pulls up shows already in your profile or makes recommendations. If parents are watching TV with their children, for example, parental controls could appear to block certain content from appearing on the screen. Kunkel also said this type of monitoring is the “holy grail” because it could help serve up specifically tailored ads. Yikes.   —>
http://newteevee.com/2008/03/18/comcast-cameras-to-start-watching-you/
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City takes business to airwaves
by Susan Larson
The Daily Journal (MN)
03/22/08

[ comments invited ]

As a cameraman films, Community Development Director Gordon Hydukovich tells Lynne Olson, assistant to the city administrator, about an exciting new project happening in the city. Later in the day, the whole community will know about it when they watch, “City of Fergus Falls Update” on PEG Access channel 18.

Call it Regis and Kelly with a local twist. Implemented in February, the program is an effort by the city to keep residents informed about what’s happening around them in an entertaining way.  “We’ve heard from council that a concern they hear among the people is they want improved communications,” Olson said.  What better way to do so than through television?

“We highlight different departments, a project or special event,” Olson said. “We try to pick a timely topic.”  In this most recent case, the subject was a tabletop planning session set for April 10 regarding the west river area of the city. Hydukovich, who will lead the meeting, finds the show to be a means of making such meetings more effective.  “I can explain (a project) to people in a room while they’re sitting there,” he said. “But this gets it out and gets people thinking about it before, so they can come prepared and ask questions.”

Each episode airs the same day it is filmed, Jim Francis PEG Access executive director, said. It is played about 14 times until the next segment is filmed. Go to PEG access website — www.pegaccess.com — and look under “schedule” for the schedule.   —>
http://www.fergusfallsjournal.com/news/2008/mar/22/city-takes-business-airwaves/
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Tuned In: What do you want in local TV news?
by Rob Owen
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
03/21/08

—>  When I asked two weeks ago what viewers expect of local newscasts, I knew I would get some feedback. But I honestly didn’t expect the outpouring of response from more than 100 viewers, many of them frustrated with the state of local TV news.  Many of those responses — about 35 printed pages’ worth — have been posted in Tuned In Journal at post-gazette.com/tv. The recurring complaints were these:

• Too much news time…
• Too many teases; too much hype…
• Too many Steelers stories as news…
• Too much weather…
• Too many stories with no relevance to the average viewer…
• Too many references to Web sites…
• Too few stories on the arts…
• More serious news…
—>
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08081/866779-237.stm
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Hopes for Wireless Cities Fade as Internet Providers Pull Out
by Ian Urbina
New York Times
03/22/08

PHILADELPHIA — It was hailed as Internet for the masses when Philadelphia officials announced plans in 2005 to erect the largest municipal Wi-Fi grid in the country, stretching wireless access over 135 square miles with the hope of bringing free or low-cost service to all residents, especially the poor.

Greg Goldman is chief executive of Wireless Philadelphia, a nonprofit organization set up to help administer the program. He said that about $4 million was needed to cover the rest of the city.  Municipal officials in Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and 10 other major cities, as well as dozens of smaller towns, quickly said they would match Philadelphia’s plans.

But the excited momentum has sputtered to a standstill, tripped up by unrealistic ambitions and technological glitches. The conclusion that such ventures would not be profitable led to sudden withdrawals by service providers like EarthLink, the Internet company that had effectively cornered the market on the efforts by the larger cities.  Now, community organizations worry about their prospects for helping poor neighborhoods get online…

“The entire for-profit model is the reason for the collapse in all these projects,” said Sascha Meinrath, technology analyst at the New America Foundation, a nonprofit research organization in Washington.  Mr. Meinrath said that advocates wanted to see American cities catch up with places like Athens, Leipzig and Vienna, where free or inexpensive Wi-Fi already exists in many areas.

He said that true municipal networks, the ones that are owned and operated by municipalities, were far more sustainable because they could take into account benefits that help cities beyond private profit, including property-value increases, education benefits and quality-of-life improvements that come with offering residents free wireless access.  Mr. Meinrath pointed to St. Cloud, Fla., which spent $3 million two years ago to build a free wireless network that is used by more than 70 percent of the households in the city.   —>
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/22/us/22wireless.html?_r=2&th=&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&emc=th&adxnnlx=1206288773-PL75ZM9YC3lgl8yEPjCHww&pagewanted=all
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An ideal future communications infrastructure, how do we get there, and what is stopping us!
by Russell McOrman
itWorldCanada
03/20/08

[ comments invited ]

Whenever the discussion of “Net Neutrality” comes up we often get stuck with how the current network is configured, who provides it, and other historical issues. I would like to toss out that history for a moment and offer what I believe to be an ideal, talk about transition issues, as well as some of winners and losers in that transition (and thus who the greatest opponents are)

Future network infrastructure

Imagine a municipal ultra high speed network (Fiber to the premises/Home, or whatever future technologies may be even faster) that allowed the city residents to make arbitrary connections from their home to other points in the city. Sometimes they would connect to other citizens, and other times they would connect to companies.  These companies would offer a wide variety of services, mirroring many legacy services and having the ability to innovatively create more.

What we currently think of as “phone” service would be handled by competing companies that offered directory services and voice (and possibly video for video phones) connectivity between municipalities, as well as gateways to legacy “phone” networks (domestically and internationally). Voice communication between municipal residents could go point-to-point without the need of an additional intermediary.

What we currently think of as “television” service would be handled by people being able to directly subscribe and connect to various networks individually. I may be a fan of CBC and thus I would have a subscription with them. Individual community based stations would be relatively cheap to set up compared to the current system which either needs wireless transmitters or an agreement with both a cable company and the CRTC. Like the voice services, there would be competing companies offering the service of bringing in “television” stations that are not part of the networks who offer their stations directly in the municipality.

Switching from any service a company offers to a competitor should be very easy given the connection to ones home is entirely neutral to any company.

Transportation and utilities offer a path to this ideal

What I consider to be the ideal should sound familiar, as it is the system we use for our ground transportation system and many utilities including electricity. We have municipally owned/managed road infrastructure which allow us to travel between any two destinations within the city. We don’t have a “Walmart road” as well as a “Canadian Tire” road running to our homes like many of us in Ontario have a “Rogers” and a “Bell” wire running into our homes. The municipality — unlike the legacy phone and cable companies — doesn’t claim some alleged right to actively inspect the contents of all our vehicles or “traffic shape” roads based on whether they like the contents of our vehicles or not.   —>
http://blogs.itworldcanada.com/insights/2008/03/20/an-ideal-future-communications-infrastructure-how-do-we-get-there-and-what-is-stopping-us/
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Tibet could be a public relations fiasco for Beijing
by Ken Kamoche
NationMedia
03/23/08

The Tibetan crisis is once again revealing some serious weaknesses in the way China handles threats to its much-vaunted quest for harmony. The riots in Tibet have also put to the test China’s slogan for the games: “One world, one dream”. In one part of the Himalayas at least, that dream is fast turning into a nightmare…  Imposing a media ban, ordering foreign journalists out of Lhasa, demonising the Dalai Lama and the hardline approach the government has taken all suggest that China has some way to go if it is to achieve internal harmony and gain the respect of the international community…

Beijing ought to have learnt some lessons from the collapse of the former Suharto regime and in particular how deceptively simple technologies like text messages played such a pivotal role in mobilising a street revolution. The same goes for Tibet.  You can cut off the formally constituted communication channels, chase away foreign journalists, block access to the Internet and foreign TV channels; but it is a losing battle.

Information seems to have a life of its own. It seeps through the cracks, bypasses the controls and gets to those who need it, or is dispatched by those who have to. The mess that is going on in Tibet cannot be swept under the carpet. If it continues to simmer, it will also further alienate the Taiwanese who fear they might go the way of Tibet.   —>
http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/nmgcontententry.asp?category_id=25&newsid=119614
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Think You’re Not an Anarchist? Download This Book!
by Phil Grove
A Cooperative, Unending Endeavor
03/22/08

[ comments invited ]

Anarchism is political philosophy of radical humanism that commends itself to Quakers and many others who should give it more attention. It’s a vision of human relations that is egalitarian as opposed to hierarchical; communitarian as opposed to individualistic; and ecological and sustainable as opposed to extractive and doomed. Anarchists assess the modern condition as slavery to modern instutions of dominance and oppression; and they seek freedom for all.

The anarchist vision is not an unconstrained, chaotic nightmare that replaces modern institutions with nothing; it is a highly organized, nonheirarchical web of community-scale institutions within which to conduct human activities. By far, it is the political philosophy most compatible with Quaker testimony and practice; and also most compatible with the values of many advocates of participatory democracy, equal rights, feminism, environmentalism, and holistic health and living.

Anyone interested in anarchism should read Getting Free: Creating an Association of Democratic Autonomous Neighborhoods by James Herod. In this succinct work, Herod makes the case for some form of anarchism as the only viable alternative to the current system of global capitalism. But more importantly, he addresses the question of strategy in a straightforward manner. He conducts an unblinking critical survey of the failed past and current strategies of the left, rejecting them all as unable to defeat the capitalist system.

Our alternative parties, our vigils and demonstrations, our civil disobedience, our single issue campaigns, and our educational efforts are all ineffective against capitalism, in Herod’s view. The most they can achieve is to temporarily curb the worst abuses of capitalism. Depressing stuff, but I would suggest that a lot of the torper we feel on the left stems from our repressed understanding that Herod’s criticism is correct. We have not been getting anywhere.

But Herod doesn’t leave it at that.  In place of past strategies to overthrow or reform capitalism, Herod advocates a strategy of the gradual abandonment of capitalist institutions and substitution of alternative, community-based democratic structures. Here is the list of specific strategies he proposes:   —>
http://philgrove.blogspot.com/2008/03/think-youre-not-anarchist-download-this.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/07/08

March 10, 2008

Regular channels on AT&T sought for community access
by George Moore
MyRecordJournal.com (CT)
03/07/08

HARTFORD – Public television officials and others argued before the state legislature Friday that AT&T should be required to offer community access and government television as regular channels in its new U-verse television service.  AT&T’s new “internet protocol” television service plans to offer all of the state’s local community access stations under a drop-down menu accessed from a single channel, 99.

Community access officials said it would take as long as a minute to find a community access program and that the signal quality would not match that of commercial stations.  Officials discussed AT&T’s new service as a part of hearing on a bill before the General Assembly’s Committee on Energy and Technology.

The U-verse presentation of community access programming “looks like YouTube on TV,” said Jennifer Evans, production manager for West Hartford Community Television. The law, she said, should “insist that public access be delivered at equivalent capacity.”
http://www.myrecordjournal.com/site/tab1.cfm?newsid=19372062&BRD=2755&PAG=461&dept_id=592708&rfi=6
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Schedule for Durham’s public access shows
The News & Observer (NC)
03/07/08

[ comments allowed ]

For nearly 20 years, church folk in Durham have been broadcasting their sermons and ministries on cable Channel 8.  You might have caught the story Tuesday on the city and county’s agreement with Time Warner cable. The news, essentially, is that due to changes in cable franchise laws, the city and county will now have to pay $12,000 a month for public access programming to be aired. These are shows that used to be broadcast for free in Durham.

In tomorrow’s issue of The Durham News, you’ll read more about how ministers have used the public airwaves to spread The Word.  Meanwhile, here’s a schedule of the variety of shows coming up this weekend. We couldn’t fit the schedule in the newspaper.   —>
http://blogs.newsobserver.com/bullseye/index.php?title=schedule_for_weekend_church_shows&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1
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VT Edition Interview: Tim Nulty & Bill Shuttleworth on the East Central Vermont Community Fiber Network
by Jane Lindholm
Vermont Public Radio
03/06/08

Town Meeting voters in more than 20 towns, from Montpelier to Windsor, gave overwhelming support to the East Central Vermont Community Fiber Network on Tuesday. The broadband project is a subscriber-based service that would be supported by residents and the non-profit ISP ValleyNet. The network would offer high-speed internet, telephone, and cable services. VPR’s Jane Lindholm speaks with ECFiber Chairman ,Tim Nulty, and Vermont Telecommunications Authority Executive Director, Bill Shuttleworth about the next step for these towns, and what their approval means for other broadband projects across the state.
http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/79638/
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Police, fire officials join for community TV show
Marin Independent Journal (CA)
03/07/08

[ comments allowed ]

The Novato police and fire officials are joining forces with the city’s public access television station to air “On the Scene,” a community awareness show.  The first show is set for production next week, said Liz Greiner, Novato police department community services officer. The topics will be varied, from child car-seat safety, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, disaster preparedness, bicycle safety and smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.   —>
http://www.marinij.com/marin/ci_8498457
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Weston Speak Up is on television
by Kimberly Donnelly
The Weston Forum (CT)
03/07/08

Want to hear what’s on the minds of Westonites? Tune in to Cablevision Channel 79 and find out.  Weston’s Speak Up 2008, the League of Women Voters of Weston-sponsored event that took place in February, will be streaming this weekend on the town’s public access television station.  Tune in anytime, Friday afternoon, March 7, through Sunday evening, March 9. Speak Up 2008 will be playing on a continuous loop.

The 16th annual Speak Up featured town and state officials answering questions from the public in an “anything goes” question-and-answer format.  Topics ranged from school start times, the status of the Revson baseball fields, the future of a town cemetery, and the possibility of a community center in town, among others.  Speak Up 2008 is also available online at www.aboutweston.com.
http://www.acorn-online.com/news/publish/weston/29940.shtml
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Film About Coney Island Wins High School Film Prize
by Ben Badler
Kinetic Carnival – The Coney Island Blog (NY)
03/07/08

[ comments allowed ]

First place in Tuesday night’s BK 4 Reel competition – in which local high school students submitted 2-3 minute videos depicting ‘their Brooklyn’ – went to Park Slope teen Derek Garcia, for his film about taking the F train down to Coney in the wintertime.  Tied for second place were Shalik Wilson for his film about life in Bushwick’s Borinquen Houses, and Axel Lindy for his film about sneaking out at night to hang out on the Brooklyn Promenade.  All three films will be shown on the BK 4 Reel program and Brooklyn Community Access Television.
http://kineticcarnival.blogspot.com/2008/03/film-about-coney-island-wins-high.html
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[The subject is a documentary film, “King Corn”…]
by Lulu McAllister
Lulu’s User-Friendly Guide to San Francisco (CA)
03/07/08

[ comments allowed ]

My good friend Elizabeth Carroll has become a local talking head on San Francisco Public Access television!… Here is a clip of Liz’s debut on a show called SF Live. The subject is a documentary film, “King Corn”, and her guests are from an organic garden organization in the city:   —>
http://blueyedlu.blogspot.com/2008/03/my-good-friend-elizabeth-carroll-has.html
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Letter: Veto the FCC’s Big Media Handout
by Alexandra Russell, Free Press
Missoula Community Radio
03/07/08

Dear Missoula Community Radio,

Congress can overturn the FCC’s bad rules to further consolidate local media.  Veto the FCC’s Big Media Handout   Now’s your best chance to stop media consolidation in Montana.  The Senate introduced legislation earlier this week that would reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to let the nation’s largest media companies swallow up more local and independent news outlets.  Congress has just 60 legislative days to pass this bill. By acting now, you can help make it happen:   —>
http://mcrfm.wordpress.com/2008/03/07/veto-the-fccs-big-media-handout/
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ACTION ALERT: Senators Seek to Overturn New FCC Media Ownership Rules
by Dibya Sarkar
The Community Bridge Blog (KS)
03/07/08

[ comments allowed ]

A bipartisan group of senators today introduced a resolution to stop regulators from easing media-ownership rules in the nation’s 20 largest cities.  They fear the Federal Communication Communications (FCC) rule would leave newspaper readers, radio listeners and TV viewers with fewer choices. Several consumer groups are challenging the rule in federal court.

The “resolution of disapproval” was introduced by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., along with 13 Democratic and Republican co-sponsors  to stop the FCC from implementing the new rule that the agency approved in December. The FCC published the cross-ownership rule in the Federal Register on Feb. 21.

“When nearly half of the people in this country are told that in their cities and towns the media will get the green light to consolidate, they will not be happy,” said Dorgan in a release. “The proposal would also create a greatly relaxed approval process for newspapers to buy TV stations in any U.S. media market and spur a new wave of media consolidation in both large and small media markets.”   —>
http://communitybridge.blogspot.com/2008/03/action-alert-senators-seek-to-overturn.html
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The FCC & Censorship: Legendary Media Activist Everett Parker on the Revocation of WLBT’s TV License in the 1960s for Shutting Out Voices of the Civil Rights Movement
Democracy Now!
03/06/08

JUAN GONZALEZ: We take a look now at the only time a television station had its license revoked for failing to serve the public interest. It was in the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi. TV station WLBT had its license revoked for attempting to squelch the voices of the civil rights movement of the time.

The station first came under scrutiny by the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ. The Office was founded and headed up by media activist Everett Parker. He identified WLBT as a frequent target of public complaints and FCC reprimands regarding its public service. Parker filed a “petition to deny renewal” with the FCC, initiating a process that eventually got the station’s license revoked by a federal court and had far-reaching consequences in American broadcasting.

AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Everett Parker joins us now in our firehouse studio. He has been a media activist for more than six decades, currently an adjunct professor of communications at Fordham University. He’s ninety-five years old. Welcome to Democracy Now!   —>
http://i4.democracynow.org/2008/3/6/the_fcc_censorship_legendary_media_activist
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Community TV faces blackout
by Sally Jackson
The Australian
03/06/08

Community TV stations would close before the end of the year unless the federal Government moved quickly to guarantee their digital future, the sector warned yesterday.  Perth’s Access 31 and Brisbane’s Channel 31 were most at risk, said Andrew Brine, general manager of Access 31 and president of newly-formed peak body the Australian Community Television Alliance.

The five capital-city stations announced yesterday they had split from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia and joined forces in ACTA to more effectively lobby the Government.  “There are over 300 community radio stations and only five community TV stations (in the CBAA),” Mr Brine said.  “We were to some degree getting lost in the mix and we felt as a sector we would be better doing it by ourselves.”

While the commercial and public TV networks were already simulcasting in analog and digital ahead of the switch-off of the analog signal in December 2013, community TV was marooned on the analog signal, with no government plan or funding to go digital. Uncertainty over the stations’ future was deterring program-makers and sponsors, and audiences were dwindling as viewers migrated to digital TV sets, Mr Brine said.

“Perth has lost on average 12,000 viewers a month over the last year or so (and) 90 per cent of it would be because of digital take-up,” he said.  “For Brisbane and Perth especially it is stretching the ongoing viability of the services. Unless there is something done in terms of a digital future for us, within a year we will lose one or two services.”   —>
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23325518-5013871,00.html
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Media Watchdog Calls for More Pressure on China Over Human Rights
by Tendai Maphosa
NewsVOA.com
03/07/08

With just five months to go before the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, there has been increasing scrutiny of China’s foreign policy as well as its human rights record. The media watchdog group, Reporters Without Borders has issued a statement saying it has not seen any evidence that human rights and freedom of expression have improved in China. Tendai Maphosa has more in this report from London.   —>
http://www.voanews.com/english/2008-03-07-voa58.cfm
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The Pearson Foundation and the Jane Goodall Institute Form Digital Arts Partnership
Relationship To Support Institute’s Roots & Shoots Global Youth Program
CSRwire
03/07/08

The Pearson Foundation today announced commitments to support digital arts and environmental and humanitarian education for youth around the world. Pearson Foundation President Mark Nieker made the announcement at the WNET/Thirteen and WLIW21’s Teaching & Learning Celebration in New York City alongside renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE.

The Pearson Foundation announced that the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) has joined the Digital Arts Alliance, a consortium that promotes digital arts in K-12 education through fully funded and staffed programs that deliver technology and curricula directly to schools and community centers nationwide. The Pearson Foundation is the founding partner in the Digital Arts Alliance. Other members include Nokia, Adobe, The National Academy Foundation, and the American Red Cross.

The Pearson Foundation and JGI will kick-off their partnership at Jane Goodall’s Global Youth Summit in Orlando, Fla., on Earth Day, April 22, 2008. Working through the Digital Arts Alliance, the Pearson Foundation will introduce digital film making, media strategies and leadership skills to 100 young people from around the world attending the summit. In addition, the Pearson Foundation will give participating youth the tools they need to create video messages about their commitment to making a difference in the world, and to share these short films with each other and the thousands of youth participating in its other programs.

The Pearson Foundation has also committed to bring its digital media curriculum to Roots & Shoots groups in five locations around the world. Roots & Shoots is JGI’s environmental and humanitarian youth education program. By extending youth engagement beyond the summit itself, the Pearson Foundation is creating a global dialogue among young people regarding the critical issues facing our planet.

“Dr. Jane Goodall embodies the idea of global youth education, and Pearson shares her passion for inspiring young people around the world and for giving them unique learning opportunities,” said Nieker. “By providing digital technology to the Institute’s Roots & Shoots program and Jane Goodall’s Global Youth Summit this April, Pearson Foundation supports the spirit of environmental and humanitarian learning with a world leader in this field.”

“In the Internet age, technology is critical to advocacy, which is why we are so excited about our partnership with the Pearson Foundation,” said Goodall. “Like the Pearson Foundation, we support the use of digital arts for youthful self-expression. Working together, we hope to empower young people around the world to address the issues facing their communities and, ultimately, create the next generation of leaders.”   —>
http://www.csrwire.com/News/11316.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
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