Archive for the ‘Freedom of Information’ 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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/26/08

March 27, 2008

Comcast to Milford: Access still on the way
by Hattie Bernstein
Nashua Telegraph (NH)
03/26/08

[ comments invited ]

Comcast, a local cable services provider, has agreed to honor a contract it made five years ago with the town to provide a second public access channel.  But the commitment, made Monday night during a public hearing at the Town Hall, doesn’t resolve the town’s complaints about poor customer service, including months of being ignored by the company.   —>
http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080326/NEWS01/729596568/-1/OPINION02
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Comcast Takes Heat From BOS, Public
Lack of response and poor performance lead to public hearing
by Nancy Bean Foster
Milford Observer (NH)
03/26/08

Comcast Senior Manager of Government and Community Relations Bryan Christiansen found himself on the hot seat Monday night (March 24), as Town Administrator Guy Scaife, members of the board of selectmen, and even residents, took the cable company to task over poor communication.

Since August of last year, Scaife said, the town has been trying to get Comcast, the town’s cable provider, to install a third public access channel, as required by the franchise agreement between the cable giant and the town. Despite repeated requests, a long chain of correspondence, and numerous phone calls, Scaife said he got nowhere with Comcast.

Per the franchise agreement, Scaife decided to call a Comcast Performance Evaluation public hearing on Monday to get the problems with the cable, phone and Internet provider out on the table. After hearing about the meeting, Comcast finally came through with a date to set up the third channel, Scaife said.

At Monday’s meeting, Scaife didn’t pull any punches. After being told by Christiansen that the reason the launch of the third channel took so long was the company hadn’t budgeted the necessary $30,000, Scaife threw out some numbers of his own.

“I’m certainly glad that you found some money for this, but I find it ironic that a $30.9 billion corporation that just posted a 54 percent increase in (fourth quarter) profits, and announced a significant dividend to shareholders couldn’t find $30,000 for Milford,” Scaife said. “Of course, Comcast is planning to spend $3 billion for stock buy-backs. I guess I can see where it’s hard to find $30,000 when you’ve set aside $3 billion for stocks.”   —>
http://milfordobserver.com/default.asp?sourceid=&smenu=1&twindow=Default&mad=No&sdetail=518&wpage=&skeyword=&sidate=&ccat=&ccatm=&restate=&restatus=&reoption=&retype=&repmin=&repmax=&rebed=&rebath=&subname=&pform=&sc=2117&hn=milfordobserver&he=.com
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Nonprofit hopes to take over tctv2 channel
by Melissa Domsic
Traverse City Record-Eagle (MI)
03/26/08

A local nonprofit and its supporters hope to keep the closing credits from rolling on public access television and launch a new season.  Channel tctv2 will lose public funding and operational support this summer, but local nonprofit Land Information Access Association proposed to take over and keep the station on the air.

“It fits with our overall mission, which is about civic engagement and helping people in communities become better informed about their communities,” said Joe VanderMeulen, executive director.  “Public access television has a long history in the state that is one of providing public access in a free and equitable way,” he said. “We would like to make TV 2 a stronger community service.”

The Traverse Area District Library supplies administrative services and oversees operation of tctv2, but will sever its involvement at the end of June, when area municipalities pull the funding plug.  The channel receives 30 percent of cable franchise fees collected by Traverse City, Elmwood and Garfield townships, the three remaining members of the Cherry Capital Cable Council. Paradise Township and the Village of Kingsley also contribute.  The council is dissolving after changes to franchise agreements dropped Charter Communication’s operational funding responsibilities, leaving local governments to foot the bill. Seven area townships left the council since that change in 2005.

The Land Information Access Association also hopes to take over operation of the new governmental channel 99.  LIAA is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides technical and educational services to local citizens, municipalities and nonprofit groups for land use planning, resource management, emergency management and environmental protection.  The association plans to build a television studio in its office on Munson Avenue in Traverse City.  A citizen’s advisory board would set policies and standards for tctv2 programming and services.   —>
http://www.record-eagle.com/local/local_story_086095049.html
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Comcast viewers speak out
by Terry L. Jones
Hattiesburg American (MS)
03/26/08

[ 5 comments ]

A public hearing to discuss renewal of Hattiesburg’s cable franchise agreement with Comcast turned into a witch hunt against the city’s cable television monopoly Tuesday night.  Tuesday’s hearing was the public’s second chance to address future cable-related needs and interests. The first hearing was held last year in September.  Comcast officials said they service an estimated 18,000 homes in Hattiesburg.

The existing franchise agreement between the city of Hattiesburg and Comcast expires on Dec. 7. Comcast submitted a letter and a renewal franchise agreement to the city on May 2, 2006.  Should an agreement between Comcast and the city not be reached by Dec. 7, Hattiesburg will continue to operate under the current agreement until the city adopts a resolution terminating the contract, said Ken Smith, chairman of the city’s cable advisory board…

The board expects to have a proposed agreement ready for the City Council to review sometime in June, he said.  The board is recommending the city enter into a 5-year agreement with Comcast instead of the 10-year agreement Comcast asked for.  Smith said their recommendation will also include televising City Council meetings.   —>
http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080326/NEWS01/803260310
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Teen film project offers television studio and field production classes
Argus Observer (OR)
03/26/08

[ comments invited ]

Vale — Are you a film maker? Do you want to work in television or make movies someday?  The Drexel H. Foundation is providing an opportunity for teens to participate in television production and film-making classes this spring.  This program has provided students, since 2004, with the opportunity to create film and videos and learn about television studios.

It is once again time to dust off that old camera, grab a friend, enjoy the weather and create a film.  The Teen Film Project is a great opportunity to learn about the amazing world of film.  Registration is simple and one can participate by attending classes at TVTV (a Boise public access channel) in May, June and July, or by attending classes offered in Vale during the summer.

The classes include a “field production”and “studio production” class at TVTV, Boise.    The lighting, film editing, sound, camera work and composition classes will take place in Vale.

There is no cost to the students. The Drexel H. Foundation provides classes in Vale, pays for the TVTV classes and provides transportation to the studio in Boise. Because there is no cost to participants, registration space is limited.  The Drexel Foundation is a registered producer with TVTV and will give out scholarships for these classes to the individuals.   —>
http://www.argusobserver.com/articles/2008/03/26/news/us/doc47ea7fc4d9298798080831.txt
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WT-TV moving to new channel
Courier-Post (NJ)
03/26/08

WASHINGTON TWP. – The township’s public access cable station, WT-TV, is moving from Channel 13 to Channel 9 on April 12.  Comcast Corporation plans to add new high-definition channels to its lineup and needs to reserve Channel 13 for the new stations.   —>
http://www.courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080326/NEWS01/80326003/1006
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United Nations Meets Web 2.0 Seminar taking place this week in the UN HQ in New York.
Rialtas.net – Government 2.0
03/26/08

In February 2007, the Global Alliance organized “United Nations Meets Silicon Valley” in Santa Clara, California, which explored how the technology industry and business community in Silicon Valley can bolster development. Attended by prominent members of industry, academia, and the venture capital community alongside members of the Strategy Council of the Global Alliance, the meeting discussed challenges and partnerships between the public and private sectors in the area of ICT for development.  “UN Meets Web 2.0″ is a follow up to the meeting in Silicon Valley and is being held in New York City.

The event  consists  of a series of policy dialogues and panel sessions on the first day (yesterday),which showcased a variety of perspectives on key issues, including the use of technology to drive development; understanding what is in the mind of ICT entrepreneurs; and how the new media and content are shaping the landscapes of business and economics in developing countries. Today’s session  will include an Investors Forum, showcasing emerging business and investment opportunities in information and communication technologies in developing nations, including ICT initiatives from countries across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, the Pacific, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe.

The UN hope Participants will learn how new media and content are shaping the landscapes of business, economics and policy in developing countries; learn about global ICT opportunities; and understand what is in the mind of ICT entrepreneurs and investors.  The event will be attended by representatives of governments, business and industry, academia and professional institutions, non-governmental organizations and media.  View the event programme (pdf)
http://www.rialtas.net/blog/2008/03/26/united-nations-meets-web-20-seminar-taking-place-this-week-in-the-un-hq-in-new-york/
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The New York Times Company Foundation to Sponsor ‘Ethnic Media Watchdog Workshop’ in May
Ad-Hoc-News
03/26/08

Journalists from The New York Times and Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc will conduct a two-day workshop on investigative and enterprise reporting for reporters and editors from foreign-language newspapers in New York City. The Ethnic Media Watchdog Workshop will also invite enrolled college students studying journalism to participate. The workshop will be held at The New York Times Building, the newspaper’s new headquarters in New York City, on May 9 and 10.

The workshop will include sessions on covering the police and the courts; how to use the Internet for enterprise stories; how to investigate immigration issues; and how to obtain background information on people and businesses. Sessions will examine how best to exploit laws that provide access to government records and explore the rights of journalists when dealing with legal issues.   —>
http://www.ad-hoc-news.de/drucken.html?art_id=16062697
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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 – 03/22/08

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
~

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
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/18/08

March 18, 2008

Keeping the Public in Public Access TV
Senate Bill would exempt TV stations from bidding process.
by Jennifer Smith
The Molokai Dispatch (HI)
03/1808

[ comments invited ]

Years of battles to keep Akaku Maui Community Television a true vehicle for freedom of speech will soon come to a head.  The State wants to put the job of providing public access television up for bid, a process which some say could take the community out of public media.

Public access stations in Hawaii hope to find shelter in the form of legislation. If passed, Senate Bill 1789 would exempt Public, Education and Government (PEG) access television stations from going to bid.  SB 1789 passed in the Senate and now heads to the House Finance Committee.  “This is the single most important event that has happened in the last 20 years, that if successful will preserve Molokai’s Akaku operation as we know it,” former Akaku board member DeGray Vanderbilt said.

For almost two decades, the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) has held contracts with PEG access stations in each Hawaiian county. “PEG Access has a broad mission that involves community building, support for local programming and involvement of all of Hawaii’s diverse ethnic and cultural communities,” Milianai Trask said in a written testimony to the Senate.

In 2005 the Attorney General’s office advised the DCCA to regulate PEG stations under the state’s procurement code by creating a request for proposals (RFP). However, an abundance of protests and lawsuits filed by PEG access providers placed procurement procedures on hold and led to the development of SB 1789.  “PEG is not a commodity that should be bought or sold,” Trask said. The testimony echoes the view of hundreds of other concerned citizens who regularly enjoy programming on public access stations.

Opponents of the bill in the State Procurement Office (SPO) argue that the Hawaii Public Procurement Code should apply to PEG stations. “Open procurement procedures assure that the State obtains value, and potential vendors/contractors are treated fairly and that no preferential treatment is provided,” SPO administrator Aaron S. Fujioka said in his testimony.

However, supporters say the proposed procurement process would not be truly open to the public, and that it opens up the bid for the stations to special interests. “I can think of no PEG selection process any less “public” or more harmful to the concept of using the television medium to engage each other for the common good than the secret, inept, punative and breathtakingly destructive RFP process now being used by the DCCA and SPO,” Akaku CEO Jay April said in written testimony.   —>
http://www.themolokaidispatch.com/node/1828
~

Stayton City Council Considers More Local TV Programming
by Ken Cartwright
KENC Community Radio AM 1620 (OR)
03/18/08

[ comments invited ]

—>   The first presentation of the evening to the council, made by this reporter, regarded the need for a community access television system. In the presentation it was noted that the designated channel 19 that was set aside for this purpose is under-utilized.

For the past 3 months the only thing shown on it was a November county commissioners meeting. It was proposed that a local group of individuals take over the control and programming of this channel and produce and schedule both local, county and state programming of relevant television programs as well as using the cable access channel for the use of radio audio from our local community radio station KENC.   —>
http://www.salem-news.com/articles/march182008/stayton_council_3-18-08.php
~

Dartmouth Cable Television Airs Dept. Head Interviews on Town Ballot Questions
News from Dartmouth Public Libraries (MA)
03/18/08

[ comments invited ]

Local Cable’s access channel in Dartmouth, DCTV Channel 18, has begun airing interviews of Dartmouth town officials outlining the Override Questions on the April 1st 2008 ballot and the expected impact of a yes or no vote. Departments featured include: Council on Aging; Town Hall Departments; Department of Public Works; School Department; Police Department; Library; Park & Recreation.  View the Schedule for when these interviews air and learn more about the changes in town services that will result depending on the election.   —>
http://southworth732.wordpress.com/2008/03/18/dartmouth-cable-television-airs-dept-head-interviews-on-town-ballot-questions/
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Push made for improved public access to government in N.J.
by Tom Hester, Jr.
Newsday.com
03/18/08

[ comments invited ]

TRENTON, N.J. – Modernize rules for government bodies holding public meetings. Make copies of government records affordable. Create a law to require governments to show _ on television or via the Internet _ unedited broadcasts of all their meetings.  Such were the ideas touted Tuesday by New Jersey lawmakers and citizens looking to make it easier for citizens to learn what their elected officials are up to.

“Openness is a hallmark of democracy,” said Beth Mason, a Hoboken councilwoman and the president of The New Jersey Foundation for Open Government, which sponsored a Statehouse forum in conjunction with Sunshine Week, a nationwide effort by media organizations to draw attention to the public’s right to know.

Wayne Tarus doesn’t have to be convinced of such sentiment.  The state Supreme Court last year ruled the public has a right to videotape government meetings, a case that stemmed from Tarus’ efforts in 2000 to tape Pine Hill Borough Council meetings.  He was twice charged with disorderly persons offenses for taping meetings. He sued borough officials and won, but warned on Tuesday the fight for open government goes on.

Tarus said local governments could easily put their meetings on cable television, but chose against doing so to keep the public unaware of their activities.  “To them, ignorance is bliss and job security,” Tarus said.

Tarus called for legislation mandating public bodies televise public meetings, an idea Assemblyman Joseph Cryan, D-Union, said he has already been considering. Cryan noted how his hometown, Union Township, posts videos of meetings on its Web site.   —>
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj–sunshineweek-newj0318mar18,0,4007044.story
~

Sunshine Week Arrives
OMB Watch
03/18/08

The week of March 17 marks the third annual national Sunshine Week, a nonpartisan campaign to promote openness in government and access to public records.

The core of Sunshine Week, led by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, is a massive coordinated media blitz around the country and across print, radio, and television to highlight the importance of government transparency and ongoing problems with the issue. As the annual event has become more established, many outside the journalism community have scheduled open government events to coincide with the week, including elected officials, public interest groups, schools, civic groups, and many others.

Sunshine Week is scheduled in March each year to coincide with James Madison’s birthday, who is celebrated as a strong proponent of open government among the Founding Fathers. This year’s Sunshine Week includes several prominent events and releases.   —>
http://www.ombwatch.org/article/articleview/4197/1/1?TopicID=1
~

Happy St. Patrick’s day, indeed.
by Anne (netmouse) (MI)
LiveJournal
03/18/08

[ comments invited ]

I had a wonderful time last night at a house party celebrating the 10th anniversary of local band North. My favorite part was actually during the jam session post the North-only performances, when Jim Novak (a local poet and musician who runs a monthly open mic and is a terrific performer), whipped out some of his William Butler Yeats. It was wonderful…

Interested in the open mic idea?  There is an open mic each Tuesday night at Oz’s Music. On the FIRST Tuesday of each month, Jim Novak hosts “Songwriters Open Mic.” Performers are videotaped and edited for a community-access TV show seen weekly in Ann Arbor (also in Grand Rapids and other places). This open mic, and the TV show of the same name, are for original songs, played unplugged. “Songwriters Open Mic” is in its 10th year at Oz’s.   —>
http://netmouse.livejournal.com/473425.html
~

Verizon’s fiber-optic rollout leaves cities behind
By Jon Chesto
The Patriot Ledger (MA)
03/15/08

If you’re wondering when your neighborhood will be graced with Verizon’s new fiber-optic wiring, you might get a sense of the timing from just looking out your window.  If you happen to live in a dense city neighborhood – especially one with underground wires and multifamily homes – you probably have a long wait ahead of you before Verizon’s FiOS trucks show up on your street.

Late last month, the telecom giant unveiled its FiOS plans for 2008 in Massachusetts. The company plans to add 30 communities to the list of places where it offers high-speed Internet and TV service over fiber-optic lines. However, only two of those 30 are cities. That follows two years in which Verizon has obtained TV franchises in 66 municipalities in the state – nearly all of them suburban towns.

As Verizon expands its FiOS service from Greater Boston to smaller towns in the outer suburbs, it is largely skipping over the big cities in its path. Sure, the company has wired Lynn and Lawrence. But residents in places like Quincy, Brockton and Boston have been left scratching their heads as their cities remain off Verizon’s lists for the third straight year.   —>
http://www.patriotledger.com/business/x1923998762
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FCC Spectrum Auction Ends, Successfully
by Chloe Albanesius
PC Magazine
03/18/08

[ comments invited ]

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) much-hyped 700-MHz spectrum auction closed Tuesday after nearly eight weeks of continuous bidding with $19.6 billion in bids. Every block but the ill-fated public safety d-block reached their reserve prices, calling into question the future of public safety spectrum.   —>
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2277146,00.asp
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/16/08

March 17, 2008

The Future of American Communications Working Group
Institute for Information Policy, College of Communications
Pennsylvania State University

The Future of American Communications Working Group (FACT) will produce a volume outlining a new vision for communications policy in America and the practical steps needed to achieve it. The goal of the project is to produce a volume of work prescribing a comprehensive telecommunications policy agenda for the new federal administration to  be entering office in January 2009, an agenda that emphasizes the potential of information technologies for improving democratic discourse, social responsibility, and the quality of life, and the means by which information technologies can be made available to all Americans. —>
http://www.comm.psu.edu/FACT/
~

Media center making MAX headway
by Mark Anderson
Kiowa County Signal (KS)
03/14/08

The Kiowa County Media Center Advisory Board came away from a 90-minute meeting last Thursday with community media center project lightning rod Bert Biles of Kansas State with an appreciation of how rapidly Biles and his colleagues have been moving forward in recent weeks on the matter.  The media center itself, as outlined in The Signal last week, would eventually occupy the second floor of a two-tiered building—tentatively named the Kiowa County Commons—that would house the county library, county historical museum and county extension offices on the ground level.

At the heart of the media center concept of providing Kiowa County residents with around-the-clock access to community information via the Internet, is the establishment of the newest wireless technology, known as WiMAX, within the county.  WiMAX features a considerably stronger signal than the conventional Wi-Fi currently used.  Placing a WiMAX transmitter, in fact, atop the county’s three grain elevators in Haviland, Greensburg and Mullinville should, according to Biles, reach 90 percent of the county’s population with a dependable wireless signal…

Biles, however, disclosed a plan for the media center to “get on the air” broadcasting, via the Internet, live coverage of events before the completion of the Commons building through the use of a portable, television production trailer.  He shared drawings of the proposed trailer, at 24 feet in length and eight feet in width.  Such events broadcast would range from county commission meetings to high school athletic events.   —>
http://www.kiowacountysignal.com/homepage/x1775730622
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Weymouth: Traffic on TV
by Johanna Seitz
Boston Globe (MA)
03/16/08

Mayor Susan Kay is taking on traffic in her next televised public affairs broadcast, which will air next month on local cable WETC, Channel 11. “The town is almost at gridlock,” Kay said. “We have incredible traffic issues that we need to address – Weymouth Landing, Route 3A, everywhere.” She said she plans to invite representatives from the community and the state Highway Department to participate in the program. “We will certainly know the issues and will develop a plan from there,” she said. Kay’s first program, on a state affordable-housing law that affects Weymouth, is running on cable this month. She plans to discuss the town’s finances and budget in May.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/03/16/override_for_trash/?page=5
~

March 18 Information Forum on Impeachment at Studios of MCAM Manchester, NH
by Nancy White
Democracy for New Hampshire
03/16/08

[ comments invited ]

Brookline, NH – NH State Representative Betty Hall will be the featured panelist at the last in a series of informative forums centered on our Constitution. The forum entitled, “Defending Our Constitution: Let’s All Come Up For AIR—Accountability, Impeachment and Responsibility” will be carried live in the Manchester Community Access Media (MCAM) TV 23 studio in Manchester, 540 North Commercial Street at 7:30pm-9:30pm, Tuesday, March 18.

Joining Representative Hall will be John Kaminski, chairman for Maine Lawyers for Democracy; former US Senate candidate in 2006, Jean Hay Bright; current candidate for US Senate in Maine, Herbert Hoffman; Newfane, Vt. Selectman, Dan DeWalt; and US Congressman Dennis Kucinich via live connection.   —>
http://www.democracyfornewhampshire.com/node/view/5574
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Inaugural – VideoCast March 10
by WPAA
OnTheParadeGround_Wallingford (CT)
03/09/08

[ comments invited ]

What better day to start a TV show about bringing sunshine to local topics of interest than the day after we loose an hour of sleep in preservation of daylight. On the Parade Ground is planned to be a forum for gathering knowledge about topics of public interest.  Callers will be encourage to share their knowledge, brainstorm ideas, and suggest if/then scenarios.The program will be facilitated by a resident of Wallingford. On the Parade Ground facilitator and crew will try to synthesize the topic in TV shorts that will run on WPAA’s Bulletin Board. The discussion will hopefully build on each other. One topic may lead to the another On the Parade Ground theme.   —>
http://ontheparadeground.blogspot.com/
~

looking for ideas to blog about?
by zen
blogAsheville (NC
03/15/08

[ 5 comments ]

We just had a wonderful 2nd meeting of Asheville Community Media and there will be interesting things to post, but for now, we’d like to promote a little cross-posting.

Who reads blogs? Mostly bloggers. Who watches URTV? Mostly TV gear heads. We’d like to get some crossover, some swapped thinking to get people looking at the wider range of Asheville media. If you blog and there’s a WPVM radio show you’ve heard that interests you, blog about it. If you have a URTV show that deals with local ideas, promote a blog that you read or give some support to a WPVM radio broadcast. The idea has always been to keep Ashevillians informed of the local goings on, and we are blessed with many forms of media. Many locals read the Mountain Xpress and the AC-T and feel informed or entertained. But the idea here is to cross-pollinate between print and net and sound and vision to form a more complete community. One in which YOU have some input.   —>
http://blogasheville.blogspot.com/2008/03/looking-for-ideas-to-blog-about.html
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Sunshine week brings issues to light
Media studies of open government help expose community problems
by Cara O’Brien
The Reporter-Herald (CO)
03/16/08

[ comments invited ]

“A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps, both.”  — President James Madison, Aug. 4, 1822

“Press releases tell us when federal agencies do something right, but the Freedom of Information Act lets us know when they do not.”  — Sen. Patrick Leahy, 1996

The federal Freedom of Information Act went into effect in 1967 after President Lyndon B. Johnson, begrudgingly, signed it.  The federal act, as well as myriad state sunshine laws, protect the right of access to government records.  The law, much-touted by journalists, is actually utilized 95 percent of the time by the public, for whom it is intended.  “The more transparent and open government activities are, the more confidence people have in their government,” said Ed Otte, executive director of the Colorado Press Association. “This is a public issue, not a press issue.”

The city of Loveland’s 28 official requests for information in 2007 — many requests are handled without formal paperwork — included just two from reporters.  Governments, law offices, organizations doing studies and citizens all made formal requests to the city over the course of the year.

The media can, however, bring issues to light in a way private citizens often do not.  A survey of stories originating with Freedom of Information Act requests from 2004 to 2007 included: a Minneapolis Star-Tribune story on high salmonella levels at a turkey-processing plant in Minnesota; a Ventura County Star report of at least a dozen women’s deaths related to the use of a birth control patch; a Washington Post story of noncompliance with Medicare at many hospitals; and the list goes on.   —>
http://www.reporterherald.com/news_story.asp?ID=15607
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Zimbabwe to screen foreign journalists covering polls
AFP
03/16/08

HARARE (AFP) — Zimbabwe plans to closely screen foreign media intending to cover upcoming elections amid suspicions uninvited observers and security personnel might impersonate Western journalists, state media reported Sunday.  Accreditation of some 300 foreign reporters who applied to cover the country’s March 29 general elections will be closely supervised, as the government was aware of “the machinations to turn journalists into observers,” George Charmba, information secretary, told the state-run Sunday Mail.

In particular, he said, the government feared “uninvited observers and security personnel from the Western countries,” might be applying to cover the vote as reporters, the weekly quoted Charamba as saying.  Preference would be given to reporters from Africa and the “national identity of the news organisations will be a major determinant,” he added.   —>
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hfYTgDTfz3xJ68h9OnOD34XjOasw
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/06/08

March 10, 2008

NATOA Survey: Impact of State Video Services Legislation
Early Results Do Not Evidence Sufficient Competitive Benefits
NATOA.org
03/05/08

Alexandria, VA – The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) today released results of a preliminary survey it conducted among its members to obtain a snapshot of the impact state video services legislation has had to date on communities and subscribers. While state video franchising is still a relatively new concept, the survey posed questions regarding its effects on competition, rates and services, PEG (Public, Educational and Governmental) access, and consumer complaints. Responses came from 14 of the states which have adopted state video legislation. A total of 139 Local Franchising Authorities (LFAs), representing 10 million cable subscribers (15% of cable subscribers nationwide), participated in the survey.

The results of the survey indicate that incumbent cable providers are taking advantage of the change in law, with one third of respondents indicating that the incumbent had abandoned its local franchise for one issued by the state. New entrants are seeking only state franchises. In franchise areas affected by state legislation, 27% of participants report one new entrant, and 6% report more than one new entrant in operation. Thirty-five percent (35%) of LFAs report the new entrant has not built anything; 48% report the new entrant has built out to part of the community; while only 18% report that the new entrant is in the process of or has built out to the entire community.

…Read the Executive Summary of the Survey Here (pdf).
Contact: Libby Beaty, Executive Director, 703-519-8035
http://www.natoa.org/2008/03/natoa-survey-impact-of-state-v.html
~

Middleboro seeks answers from cable companies
by Eileen Reece
Enterprise (MA)
03/06/08

Comcast and Verizon representatives have been invited to meet March 17 with selectmen.  Verizon and Comcast officials have been invited by selectmen to address numerous complaints from residents.  Although Verizon began installing FIOS cable two years ago, selectmen Chairwoman Marsha L. Brunelle said some residents had questions as to when they would receive coverage and selectmen wanted to know when the town would have access to public education and government (PEG) coverage.   —>
http://www.enterprisenews.com/news/x1240624402
~

Video system would cost Taneytown at least $72,000
by Carrie Ann Knauer
Carroll County Times (MD)
03/06/08

[ 2 comments ]

If the Taneytown City Council chooses to purchase its own video system to tape and broadcast city meetings on the county’s municipal channel on Comcast, it can expect to pay at least $72,000.  Tony Hooper, operations manager from the Community Media Center, explained that each bid package included two video cameras, a new audio system for City Hall, two LCD televisions to display presentations and a control board that would allow someone in the building to operate the cameras. The bids ranged from $72,000 to $84,000, with the prices varying for different quality levels of cameras.   —>
http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/articles/2008/03/06/news/local_news/newsstory6.txt
~

Glitch puts hitch in JoCo’s cable television debut
by Finn Bullers
Prime Buzz: Kansas City Star (KS)
03/06/08

[ 2 comments ]

Some local government junkies were disappointed today when they were unable to tune in this morning’s Johnson County commission meeting from the comfort of their own home televisions.  Time Warner cable subscribers were unable to find the commission meeting on Channel 2 after technical and equipment glitches blocked the public access signal from being aired, county officials said. Time Warner covers much of northern and central Johnson County.  But Comcast Channel 7 in Olathe carried the signal, as did the county’s Web site.

The county spent more than $650,000 on technology and remodeling in an effort to better communicate with residents and become more transparent in showing the public how decisions are made. The idea has been kicked around for at least three years.  The problems are expected to be worked out by next week’s meeting.   —>
http://primebuzz.kcstar.com/?q=node/10374
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Flaherty proposes comment rules
by Bobby Gates
Beverly Citizen (MA)
03/06/08

[ comments allowed ]

Changes to the 15-minute public comment period at the start of each City Council meeting would bar personal attacks — including on City Council members — and political speech supporting or opposing candidates for public office.  Those are among several rules being considered to regulate, and make official, a tradition of allowing the public to speak at the beginning of City Council meetings.  When possible changes were discussed in January, councilors said the most common problem with the public comment period is that speakers do not keep to the time limit.

The proposed rules allow each person to speak up to 2-½ minutes and limit the entire public-comment period to 15 minutes. The time would be filled on a first-come, first-served basis by signing up beforehand with City Clerk Fran Macdonald. The deadline to sign up would be noon on the Thursday before the City Council meeting.  The rules also would prohibit turning the comment time into a question-and-answer period and would limit the topics to issues that are pending before the City Council or are likely to come before the Council.

When Council President Tim Flaherty took over the council’s leadership earlier this year, he proposed moving the comment time to 6:45 p.m., which is 15 minutes before the usual start and before the broadcast begins on BevCam public access television.  But some councilors objected, saying the public time should be included in the meeting and be on TV.  Flaherty then said that the public-speaking time would be included within the meeting, but that he hoped to come up with a set of rules and procedures to handle it.   —>
http://www.wickedlocal.com/beverly/news/x1775725559
~

Chicago Net2 Tuesdays – Starting March 11th
MoveSmart.org (IL)
03/06/08

[ comments allowed ]

Join us, so Chicago can grow more technology savvy social change organizations that benefit our local communities.  Staff and volunteers of non-profits, web innovators, and any individuals pushing for change are encouraged to attend. Come tell us about your effort, your concerns, and what you need and want from a collective of like-minded individuals and organizations.

“Net Tuesday” meetings are a program of NetSquared whose mission is to spur responsible adoption of social web tools by social benefit organizations.  NetSquared is a project of TechSoup (http://www.techsoup.org) the technology place for nonprofits.   —>
http://movesmart.org/WordPress/?p=32
~

FCC Hearing, February 25, 2008
SCAT Staff Vlog (MA)
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

An open hearing of the Federal Telecommunications Commission on the future of the Internet at Harvard Law School. Footage of the hearing and testimony of individuals about net neutrality. A project of Free Press and Somerville Community Access Television.
http://www.scatstaffvlog.blogspot.com/
~

Access Somerville and Boston and Cambridge
Why we can’t stop watching cable access TV
by Carmen Nobel
The Boston Globe (MA)
03/06/08

It used to be that the thought of cable access shows garnered visions of shaky cameras, sewer commission meetings, school lunch menus, and that “Wayne’s World” skit from “Saturday Night Live.” We’ve always known the shows were there, we just didn’t think they were good for much.

But in November, the Hollywood writers’ union went on strike, and suddenly, there was a dearth of new material on our favorite commercial stations. So, resourceful couch potatoes that we are, we ventured into the vast world of community television. And lo and behold, we found entertainment.

Thousands of cable access programs are produced in Greater Boston each year. There are news shows, like Boston’s “What’s up in Trinidad and Tobago?”; how-to shows, like Watertown’s “Drawing With Fred”; art review shows, like Cambridge’s “Bitchin’ About Movies”; and yes, hundreds of hours of droning talk shows that double as insomnia cures.   —>
http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/articles/2008/03/06/access_somerville_and_boston_and_cambridge?mode=PF
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Hungry Critics
by Rob Kendt
The Wicked Stage
03/06/08

[ comments allowed ]

From my erstwhile LA Weekly colleague Steven Mikulan comes an alternately hilarious and horrifying piece about critics who eat, drink, and otherwise embarrass themselves at openings. There’s too much dirt in it to quote much, but this is a typical anecdote:

“I had a classic message on my machine when I was representing a free holiday celebration,” says one longtime publicist. “This somebody asked for backstage passes so he could go into the greenroom, where the refreshments were. And for this, he’d write 300 words on his Web site. He used the word ‘refreshments’ three times.”

Apropos Playgoer’s recent point about the proliferation of under-qualified online amateurs crowding the field, Mikulan sums up the culprit(s) here:

Stuck at the bottom of what is literally a journalistic food chain are the writers whom publicists routinely describe as B-list or “second-tier” critics — reviewers for a vast, unincorporated territory of neighborhood broadsheets, ethnic tabloids, ad-for-review papers, student newspapers, public-access TV and radio programs, vanity zines, theater Web sites, and blogger-critics. This “B-list” has dramatically expanded its theater clout with the Internet, and, while the World Wide Web has democratized such formerly elite realms as political journalism, it has paradoxically reinforced the authority (some would say tyranny) of theater critics by increasing their numbers. The proliferation of reviewers has started a conversation in theater circles (as it has in film) as to who, exactly, is a legitimate critic and whether this proliferation weakens critical credibility.
http://thewickedstage.blogspot.com/2008/03/hungry-critics.html
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STUDIO ONE: Applications for fall 2008 internships
School of Communication at the University of North Dakota
03/06/08

[ comments allowed ]

STUDIO ONE: Applications for fall 2008 internships are now being accepted for Studio One! UND students are encouraged to check out internship opportunities at http://www.studio1.und.edu or call 701-777-4346. Job descriptions and applications are available on the website. Applications for the fall 2008 semester are due March 19th at 4:30 p.m.

There are several positions available at Studio One including reporter, web designer, photographer, TV production crew, marketing staff, teleprompter operator, graphics and more. Studio One offers credit for students that are interested in the internship. Working at Studio One is a fantastic opportunity to build your resume, learn networking skills and gain professional experience.
http://undscomm.blogspot.com/2008/03/scomm-e-community-week-of-march-10-2008.html
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Two New Versions of Miro: Sliced by Genre
by Dean Jansen
03/04/08

[ 13 comments ]

We have just launched two new versions of Miro: Food Edition and Christian Edition!  Each of the downloadable players comes pre-loaded with a handful of channels that relate to the respective community. With over 3,500 free channels in the Miro Guide, we think now is the perfect time to introduce a content-centered approach to internet TV.

These players make it really easy for a community to recommend internet TV that is totally relevant to its members. Furthermore, because Miro is free and open source software that empowers independent creators, these players are beneficial to both the viewers and the creators in the community.   —>
http://www.getmiro.com/blog/2008/03/two-new-versions-of-miro-sliced-by-genre/
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Many restrictions on media coverage of campaign for 9 March general elections
Reporters Without Borders
03/05/08

Reporters Without Borders calls on Spain’s political parties to respect press freedom and to stop imposing conditions that restrict journalists’ ability to gather, process and disseminate news in an independent manner. “Journalists should not be regarded as mere auxiliaries and news should not be regarded as political communication,” the organisation said.  The Spanish media have a long list of complaints about the restrictions imposed on their coverage of the 9 March general elections, ranging from limited access to candidates and bans on recording candidates’ addresses at rallies, to news conferences without questions.

Many Spanish journalists organisations are saying their freedom to report the news is being violated. In particular, they are criticising the control exercised by the two leading political parties, the Spanish Socialists Workers Party (PSOE) and the Popular Party (PP), over the way the press covers their election campaigns. Both state and privately-owned TV stations are allowed to film political rallies but not candidates. “We are puppets,” a journalist who follows PSOE told El País on 1 March.   —>
http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=26036
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Zambia: Media Houses Lobby MPs
The Times of Zambia (Ndola)
03/06/08

[ comments allowed ]

Fourteen media organisations have appealed to members of Parliament (MPs) to reject the Freedom of Information Bill (FOI) Bill if it is not made public before being taken back to parliament.

The media organisations have also petitioned the Speaker of the National Assembly Amusaa Mwanamwambwa to order the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Mike Mulongoti to present to Parliament the names of Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) board for ratification.

Press Association of Zambia (PAZA) vice -president, Amos Chanda who was speaking at the media briefing yesterday said the MPs and individuals needed to support the cause for FOI . The 14 media organisations included the Press Association of Zambia (PAZA), Press Freedom Committee of The Post, Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) – Zambia chapter, Zambia Media Women Association (ZAMWA), Zambia Union of Journalists (ZUJ) and Zambia Community Media Forum (ZaCoMef).

Others were Society for Senior Journalists, Catholic Media Association, PANOS Institute of Southern Africa, Commonwealth Press Union – Zambia Chapter, Southern African Editors Forum – Zambia chapter, Media Trust Fund (MTF) and Media Council of Zambia (MECOZ).

Mr Chanda further appealed to parliamentarians to repeal and amend other pieces of legislation that impinged on media freedom.   —>
http://allafrica.com/stories/200803060522.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 – 03/05/08

March 9, 2008

Public access may be hard to access on U-verse
by George Moore
MyRecordJournal.com (CT)
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

WALLINGFORD – The ability to find public access shows while channel surfing will play a central role in a struggle between public access advocates and AT&T’s new television service, U-verse.  U-verse will group all of the state’s community access channels under one U-verse channel, channel 99. After selecting 99, viewers could choose their desired public access program from a menu.

Not offering public access on a regular “surfable” channel will be detrimental, said Scott A. Hanley, manager of Wallingford Government Access Television. He said many people like to flip quickly between public access and other channels.  “This would just be an added obstacle to try to bring people to view the channel,” he said.
http://www.myrecordjournal.com/site/tab1.cfm?newsid=19363828&BRD=2755&PAG=461&dept_id=592708&rfi=6
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New take on an old lesson
by David Callender
The Capital Times (WI)
03/05/08

Adults of a certain age may recall the 1970s children’s TV series “Schoolhouse Rock” that set lessons in American history, civics and other topics to a catchy rock beat.  And, of all the episodes on the show, probably one of the best known was “Just a Bill,” featuring a talking piece of legislation that showed how a bill becomes a law.

Now with the help of Madison cartoonist Mike Konopacki and musician Peter Leidy, the reform-minded Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has turned the classic lesson into a more jaded look at contemporary politics called “Statehouse Crock.”  The video on the group’s Web site (www.wisdc.org/crock.php) shows how it sees special interests rigging the legislative process and keeping ordinary citizens like “Just Bill, I’m only Bill” from getting access to lawmakers.,,

Cable applications

In the wake of a new law deregulating the state’s cable TV industry, five cable firms have already filed applications to provide TV service to Wisconsin consumers.  And one of them — AT&T, which led the deregulation effort — has already had its application approved by the Department of Financial Institutions, the pro-deregulation group TV4US announced Tuesday.

The remaining applicants include other major industry players: Charter Communications, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and CenturyTel.  Advocates of deregulation argued that the bill would open the state up to more competition between cable providers. Under the old state law, cable providers had near-exclusive access to operate under franchise agreements with each community.

In a response to the group’s announcement, the Wisconsin Alliance of Cities said it is “imperative” that communities where the cable companies are seeking to locate contact the state and identify the terms of their old franchise agreements. The old agreements required cable companies to help pay for community programming — known as public, educational and government channels — in exchange for the right to operate.

“Failing to provide information on the number of PEG channels, PEG support and franchise fees to a video provider within 10 days of receiving notice of its application could lead to dire consequences: loss for months of community access and government channels and franchise fees,” the alliance warned.
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/275710
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KREX Rising
by John Linko
John Linko (CO)
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

—>   The quarterly membership meeting of Grand Valley Peace and Justice is tonight at 7:00 PM at the St. Joseph Church offices at 3rd and White, across the street from the church. The group’s meeting announcement indicated a discussion on alternative media will be part of the agenda.  This will hopefully include the development of a working group with certain benchmarks to achieve, and one of those will hopefully be persuading the City of Grand Junction to request the activation of their PEG Access Channel on the basic cable tier, which is part of the City’s current franchise agreement with Bresnan.

The recent developments surrounding the partial resurrection of KREX, through cooperation between media outlets, the sharing of equipment and space, and the rapid deployment of alternative programming sources, displays very well the level of expertise and goal-oriented thinking present in our local media and educational institutions.

What’s to stop the development of a coalition of these groups and outlets to provide for the space, equipment, organization, and administration of a community public access channel in Grand Junction? The answer to this and many other questions may make themselves better known starting this evening. Such a resource is long overdue in our community, as there are successfully-run examples (http://www.dcat.tv/) of such stations in smaller cities and towns across the Western Slope.   —>
http://johnlinko.blogspot.com/2008/03/krex-rising.html
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Jackson examines its cable contract
by Fraidy Reiss
Asbury Park Press (NJ)
03/05/08

[ 2 comments ]

For four years now, Cablevision has done business in this town without a franchise agreement to regulate the company’s presence here.  Soon, that might change. The Township Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday evening at the municipal building on a proposed 15-year agreement it has reached with the cable company. If the council approves the deal, it will head to the state Board of Public Utilities for review.

The town has been negotiating with Cablevision on and off since the previous franchise licensing agreement expired in December 2003. A major sticking point was the town’s insistence that the cable provider keep its discount for low-income seniors at 25 percent off basic cable-television rates.  Under the proposed deal, the senior discount would remain at 25 percent. Additionally, Cablevision would give Jackson a $7,500 grant the first year of the agreement and $4,300 per year for the next 14 years, for the town to use for any cable- or telecommunications-related purpose.  The deal also calls for Cablevision to give Jackson its own public-access channel.

Councilman Scott Martin said he would like to see that channel in place by summer. It would be used to broadcast community calendars, school events and advertising for local not-for-profits, he said. “To get information out to the public about what’s going on in town,” he explained.  Children would be thrilled to see their school events on television, added Councilwoman Emily Ingram, who predicted the public-access channel would “bring the town together.”   —>
http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080309/NEWS01/803090345/1070/NEWS02
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Council happy cable pact is shorter
Five years is time for innovations
by Nick Kotsopoulos
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)
03/05/08

[ 14 comments ]

City councilors last night applauded the new cable television deal the city has struck with Charter Communications, saying its shorter-than-usual term will benefit local consumers in the long run.  The councilors are betting that by the time the cable license renewal runs its course, technological advances in the cable field will reach the point in which additional companies may be interested in coming to Worcester to provide service.  They believe such competition would not only help lower cable rates, but also improve service and programming…

Traditionally, the city has had 10-year contracts with cable franchise holders. But city councilors had urged City Manager Michael V. O’Brien to limit the length of this license renewal to no more than five years because of the rapid, ongoing changes in cable technology and competition.   —>
http://www.telegram.com/article/20080305/NEWS/803050643/1101
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Net benefit
Cable pact charts course to fiber-optic forefront
Worcester Telegram & Gazette  (MA)
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

The most intriguing aspect of Worcester’s new five-year cable television contract is not what is in it but what is to be taken out.  For Charter Communications customers, the changes are apt to be largely invisible. The key elements are equipment upgrades for the public access, education and government channels and provisions to smooth the transition of the PEG channels to the digital tier over the next year.

In a radical departure, however, the city’s cable-based “institutional network,” owned and operated by Charter, will be phased out under the new contract. I-NET, the city’s communications link since 1993, was a technological leap forward in its day, but it now is inadequate for the city’s communications and business needs.

Replacing the I-NET will be a 20-mile fiber-optic loop linking about 100 municipal and school buildings. The cost of installing and operating the new network will be borne by a vendor to be selected through a bidding process. The vendor will recoup the cost by selling the vast excess capacity of the fiber-optic loop to public and private entities. Fees paid by the city for use of the network are to be offset by savings resulting from the phaseout of its existing infrastructure.

It would be only a slight exaggeration to say the change will be a revolution in municipal communications. The high-speed/high broadband network will transmit all forms of data, including e-mail and telephone links. It also will be available for security and energy-management monitoring, fire detection, wireless technology and more.   —>
http://www.telegram.com/article/20080305/NEWS/803050344/1020
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An urgent call: Give us broadband, Vermont towns say
by Daniel Barlow
The Barre Montpelier Times Argus (VT)
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

Vermont voters sent a clear message to the world of high-speed Internet Tuesday: We want in.  Voters in at least 19 towns approved non-binding resolutions to join in a regional effort to bring high-speed Internet via fiber-optic to their homes during town meetings held early this week and over the weekend.  In all on Tuesday, at least 13 towns approved the resolution to join the East Central Vermont Community Fiber Network and organizers of the effort anticipate a full sweep of the more than 20 towns that had the item on their agenda once all the results were in.   —>
http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080305/NEWS02/803050363/1003/NEWS02
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A Conversation with Laurie from the Community Media Center
by Marie-Claire
Digital Inclusion in Grand Rapids, MI
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

On Thursday, I had a brief but interesting lunch conversation with Laurie from the Community Media Center here in Grand Rapids.  We first discussed some of the CMC programs in place for area nonprofits and residents, http://www.grcmc.org/nposervices and then talked about a new program coming out once the city gets its WiMax working. It’s in charge of eventually processing and granting up to 5% of the area’s residents discounted rates on WiMax. They have also taken the task of traveling to local schools and talking about the available WiMax discount to schools.

So there will be education about our new wireless access, and discounted rates from an organization in the city. I’m not meaning for that to sound small, I mean for it to sound like a step in the right direction.  I explained to Laurie about our project idea. I talked about the pilot program, the gaps in the system, and some other stuff we’re working on. She seemed genuinely excited. She all but volunteered a venue for the pilot program when I explained some of our current stumbling blocks.   —>
http://forgr.wordpress.com/2008/03/05/a-conversation-with-laurie-from-the-community-media-center/
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Community for Hope develops TV series
by Aldrich M. Tan
The Northwestern (WI)
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

Lisa McLaughlin said she’s always a little nervous before going on camera.  However, the topic of bullying prevention programs is an important and familiar topic for the South Park Middle School principal so it was very easy for her to talk.  McLaughlin’s interview will be part of a television series that Community for Hope of Oshkosh is producing with the help of Oshkosh Community Media Services. It is part of a six-part series that started airing last month and will feature area people addressing mental health issues and suicide, executive director Mary VanHaute said.   —>
http://www.thenorthwestern.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080305/OSH/80305164/1987
~

Obama Speaks Part 6
The 411 Show (TX)
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

Obama makes his campaign stop in San Antonio Texas for the 2008 primary election. Part 6. This clip aired on San Antonio Public Access TV.
http://411show.blogspot.com/2008/03/obama-speaks-part-6_05.html
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Oregon Law Librarians (back) on TV: Topic: Family Law
by Laura Orr
Oregon Legal Research
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

On Thursday, February 28, 2008, from 8-9 p.m., the Clackamas County Law Librarian, and I, the Washington County Law Librarian, appeared again on “Legally Speaking” with the host of the show, attorney Jim Hilborn. The subject was family law. (We also sent some photos from this show into the AALL Day in the Life contest so stay tuned.)

Some of the legal information sites we talked about included: OJD Family Law website;  Legal Aid Services of Oregon; Oregon State Bar public information; Oregon Council of County Law Libraries (OCCLL) Directory.

Legally Speaking is a call-in cable public-access TV show that airs live on the 4th Thursday of each month, out of the TVCTV studios in Beaverton, Oregon and is rebroadcast at different times throughout the month on Portland metro-area cable access channels, Channel 11 or 23.   —>
http://oregonlegalresearch.blogspot.com/2008/03/oregon-law-librarians-back-on-tv-topic.html
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Video Jam to Air at Drake University, Iowa
by Tracy
WCCA TV (MA)
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

Video Jam, WCCA TV ‘s local originated music video show, created by Mauro DePasquale and hosted by Tracy Foley, has been asked to present their show on the Residence Life Channel 7 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa! Video Jam has produced over 500 shows since 1992 and it is seen not only in Massachusetts, but New Hampshire, California, North Dakota, and now Iowa!
http://www.wccatv.com/node/12100
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Stars Shine in Sunshine Week Print, Broadcast Public Service Ads
American Society of Newspaper Editors
The Earth Times
03/05/08

[ no comments ]

A series of broadcast and print public service ads featuring 13 actors, who are high-profile members of The Creative Coalition, speaking about the importance of open and accountable government has been produced for Sunshine Week, March 16-22, and can be used throughout the election season in conjunction with the Sunshine Campaign. The PSAs were developed by the Radio-Television News Directors Association and Foundation, and the American Society of Newspaper Editors, in cooperation with The Creative Coalition, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.   —>
http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/stars-shine-in-sunshine-week-print-broadcast-public-service-ads,303943.shtml
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AmericanTowns.com Offers Unprecedented Access to Local Information for Every Town in America
Network of “Community Webspaces” Provides a Better Way for People To Find and Share Local Content Online
Business Wire
03/05/08

AmericanTowns.com LLC today raised the bar in the hyperlocal space by launching a new version of AmericanTowns.com. This version, which features a new and unique “community webspace” for each town in America, lets local residents find and share an unprecedented combination of local information: community events, local news, train schedules, charitable organizations, local videos, farmers’ markets, jobs, real estate, privacy protection, “sales and savings,” local services and a host of online and previously offline community resources.   —>
http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080305006021&newsLang=en
~

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