Archive for the ‘media diversity’ category

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government September 17th Hearing on PEG Access TV, in YouTube Clips

September 21, 2008

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We thank the House staff and the staff of DCTV for their work in making this footage available.  Persons interested in cablecasting this hearing on their communities’ PEG access channels may obtain a copy by contacting the Alliance for Community Media at 202-393-2650 x 12.  Also, the whole hearing is available for viewing in one online file at http://blip.tv/file/1278920/ .

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01: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) Opening Statement (pdf)

In his opening statement Chairman Serrano expressed support for PEG access, explaining the purpose of the 1984 federal law that gave local franchising entities the authority to require PEG access channels.  “By granting this authority,” Serrano said, “Congress recognized that PEG programming is in the public interest and essential to our communties as an outlet for free speech, local information and opinions, and emergency communications.  PEG supports our democratic ideals by helping to develop a well-informed and educated society.  It benefits all of us to support and encourage PEG programming.”

Chairman Serrano also explicitly took AT&T to task for declining to attend the hearing.  “AT&T’s recent action relating to PEG channels goes to the heart of many of the concerns that will be raised today.  Let the record show that I consider their decision not to send a witness to be indicative of the company’s apparent disregard of the importance of PEG to local communities.”
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Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) & Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R)

02: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R) Opening Statement

In the absence of the Subcommittee Ranking Member Ralph Regula (OH-R), Rep. Mark Kirk (IL-R) made the opening statement for the minority.  He strongly reinforced the Chairman’s comments on AT&T, and the importance of PEG access.  “If there was any thought by AT&T that the Republican member here at the hearing would help them out, let me disabuse them now,” Kirk said.

Kirk continued, “I think this committee should take some action on this.  It does appear that AT&T is in direct violation of Illinois law, and so, whether it is in Springfield or in Washington, we should fix this to make sure that there is a very convenient place, especially for our seniors, to find what’s happening in their local community… I breeze through local access cable like everyone else does, except when we’re doing a zoning or other issue related to my neighborhood, and then we are locked on this like everyone else.”
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03: Monica Desai, FCC Media Bureau Chief, Testimony (pdf)

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04: Barbara Popovic, Alliance for Community Media, Testimony – (Written-pdf) (Oral-pdf)

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05: Howard Symons, National Cable Television Assoc., Testimony (pdf)

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06: Michael Max Knobbe, BronxNet, Testimony (pdf)

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07: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions – Territories

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08: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions

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09: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R); Questions

Rep. Kirk asked Monica Desai, “What are your plans to implement your testimony from the Commission, to make sure that AT&T is forced to bring PEG back to the basic – so that they have a channel, somewhere between 1 and 100, on the basic service tier, and are not exiled to on-demand?”  Desai replied, “I would be anxious to place this issue in front of the Commissioners for them to decide, with our view that this would be a violation of the statute.  But what we would need is to have a specific and formal complaint filed in front of us.  We would need something to act on.”
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10: Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI-D); Questions

Rep. Kilpatrick made mention of the Michigan law suit enjoining Comcast from channel slamming, then said, “I don’t want to see PEG relegated to some substandard something.  It ought to be right up there with the other major channels.  And whatever we have to do to get it there — it sounds like it’s a regulatory something, as well as a people something — and if we have to mobilize America to educate them to what it is, I think we have to do that.”

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11: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY-D); Questions

Rep. Hinchey asked about possibly establishing minimum levels of support for PEG access.  “I have a public access station back in my district, in the city of Binghamton,” Hinchey said, “that unfortunately is not provided with the facilities and training by its cable service providers.  So I’m wondering what you think could be done so that the Federal Communications Commission would have the authority to enforce perhaps a federal minimum of financial support that could be provided by cable service providers, so that rural areas generally have the same capability for public access as do larger cities?”

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12: Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN-D); Questions

"Oh, don't say that!"

Rep. Peter Visclosky to NCTA's Howard Symons: "Oh, don't say that!"

Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN-D) asked questions of Howard Symons about the cable industry’s commitment to community service.  In response to a question about Comcast’s closing of studios following passage of Indiana’s statewide video franchising law, Symons said: “You know, Congressman, the cable industry didn’t ask the state legislatures to change the law.”  Visclosky instantly replied, “Oh, don’t say that!  Don’t say that! I would suggest that that is not a correct statement — to be polite.”
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13: Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-D); Questions

Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-D) questioned Ms. Desai’s mention of the FCC’s requiring a formal complaint

“I’m surprised that it really requires that.  I would think if you have an oversight responsibility in this area, and you see major companies who are not complying with the statute, that you have the authority on your own to take action, to communicate with the companies that this does not meet the requirements of the statute.”
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14: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions, Round 2

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15: Michael Max Knobbe Answers Chairman Serrano

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16: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R); Questions, Round 2


Rep. Kirk asked Ms. Desai if a joint letter from the Committee would help the FCC expedite an inquiry into these matters.  “I would be willing to sign a letter, with the Chairman, to you, saying, ‘Hey, get on the case here.’  Is that enough for you to get rolling?”

Ms. Desai answered, “I’m sure a letter from you and Chairman Serrano would be taken… act on it post haste.”
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17: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY-D); Questions, Round 2

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18: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) Closing Statement

“We stay committed to the commitment I made before to Mr. Kirk and the Committee that the issues that have been discussed here will be placed by this Committee officially in a formal fashion before the FCC, to make sure that we begin to look at the whole issue and how best we can stick to the intent of the law, notwithstanding some changes that have taken along the way.”
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
http://alliancecm.org

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Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/09/08

April 11, 2008

AT&T-COMCAST PEG side-by-side demo
swoccstudios – Southwestern Oakland Cable Commission (MI)
04/08/08

[ comments invited ]

A side-by-side comparison of AT&T PEG channel and Comcast PEG Channel. Shows the length of time to change channels from a broadcast to a peg channel. [ Also compares AT&T’s U-Worse image quality to Comcast’s ~ rm ]
http://youtube.com/watch?v=v6A-btugKdA
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AT&T won’t say where it’d offer TV if bill passes
by John Rodgers
Nashville City Paper (TN)
04/09/08

[ 12 comments ]

Despite lobbying for a bill to start offering television services and compete with cable, AT&T will not say where it would offer those services if legislation were approved. “For competitive reasons, the company does not outline those plans,” said Bob Corney, an AT&T spokesman. “But, our goal is to try to get our product to as many customers as possible as quickly as possible.”

…The ambiguity about where AT&T would offer its services is just something that comes with state-issued franchising, said Stacey Briggs, the executive director of the Tennessee Cable Telecommunications Association, which had lobbied against the bill before signing off on the compromise. “I think that’s just the difference between the state process and the local process where local governments are losing control over where AT&T goes,” Briggs said. —>
http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=59467
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A Snowy Transmission
by Tomas Dinges
411 Productions (TX)
04/09/08

[ comments invited ]

A snowy transmission: Public access television threatened, by Tomas Dinges
http://jscms.jrn.columbia.edu/cns/2008-03-04/dinges-accesstrouble

Just weeks after Patsy Robles and her 15-year-old daughter stepped into the studio of San Antonio’s Channel 20 during the summer of 2004 they were on TV, a channel-surf away from the major networks. Motivated by a desire to “counteract negative media stereotypes of youth,” Robles, an accountant, learned to produce television. Soon, belly dancing, 10-year-old mariachi players and 16-year-old news anchors describing the impact of Hurricane Katrina on young people could be seen by anybody with a basic subscription to Time-Warner cable in the San Antonio area.

This was public access television. For almost two years their show, “411,” appeared four times a month. However, in late 2006, the studio shut down, and the channel went dark. “I was totally shocked,” said Robles, who said she was given no warning of the move. “I didn’t even know if the channel was coming back.”

What happened to her and other access producers in San Antonio was a harbinger of things to come in others towns and cities where cable lines lay. Last year, 21 production studios in Indiana and Michigan were closed. Funding for public access programming is expected to dry up entirely during the next five years in Ohio, Florida, Missouri and Wisconsin, according to the Alliance for Community Media, an advocacy group that organizes public access channels across the country.

The closings resulted from new statewide franchise contracts, which eliminated the longtime obligations of cable providers to local communities in 17 states. Public access television has existed in the past because of “its close connection to the local community,” said Anthony Riddle, executive director of the Alliance for Community Media. Established by Congress in 1973, the Public, Educational and Governmental channels were a trade-off for company use of public land to run cables and make a profit. They would be available for local groups and individual citizens to use in whatever manner they wished–sort of a modern-day electronic public sphere.

Now, “the telecommunications companies are not connected to the public that they serve,” said Riddle. “There is no accountability on a state level.” Instead of having to negotiate new agreements with thousands of municipalities across the country, the cable and telephone industries heavily lobbied state legislatures for permission to strike the simpler statewide agreements. Local communities had no leverage. As a consequence, said Riddle, cable companies are out to make new rules or “take an interpretation of the rules to shut down an access center.” —>
http://411productions.blogspot.com/2008/04/snowy-transmission-by-tomas-dinges.html
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Black Evil Television, Low-Power FM Neighborhood Radio, and the Congressional Black Caucus
by Bruce Dixon
Black Agenda Radio
04/08/08

[ 4 comments ]

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce Dixon.

Even when corporate black radio does not ape the content of “Black Evil Television” it consistently fails the legal tests of serving local needs with local content and broadcasting in the public interest. Legislation is now in the Congress to open up licensing for hundreds of new low-power FM neighborhood radio stations in cities and towns across the nation. Though all three presidential candidates, along with Democrats and Republicans in both houses of Congress are co-sponsoring… the Low-Power FM Neighborhood Radio bill (HB 2802 & SB ) relatively few members of the Congressional Black Caucus are among them.

Click the flash player below to hear the audio of this Black Agenda Radio commentary. Broadcasters and others desiring an MP3 copy should visit the Black Agenda Radio archive page here. —>
http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=582&Itemid=1
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Two young women journalists working for indigenous community radio station in Oaxaca ambushed and shot
Reporters without Borders
04/09/08

[ comments invited at Corrugated Films: http://corrugatedfilms.blogspot.com/2008/04/community-radio-activists-murdered-in.html ]

Reporters Without Borders is deeply shocked by the fatal shooting on 7 April in Putla de Guerrero, in the southern state of Oaxaca, of Teresa Bautista Flores, 24, and Felicitas Martínez, 20, two women journalists working for La Voz que Rompe el Silencio (“The Voice that Breaks the Silence”), a community radio station serving the Trique indigenous community. “Although there is so far no evidence that these two women were killed because of their work as journalists, their murders will be traumatic for all of Latin America’s many community radio stations, which are too often ignored or despised by the rest of the media and by governments,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“We are conscious of the risks run by the press in Oaxaca state, where the political climate continues to be tense, where two journalists were killed in 2006 at the height of a period of social unrest, and where other community media have been attacked,” the press freedom organisation continued. “We hope the investigators quickly establish the circumstances and motives for this double murder and catch those responsible. And we join their community in paying tribute to the two victims.”

La Voz que Rompe el Silencio was launched by the Trique indigenous community in San Juan Copala (in the west of Oaxaca state) on 20 January, a year after the locality was granted administrative autonomy. The community appointed Bautista Flores and Martínez to manage and present the radio station, which is dedicated to promoting indigenous culture.

The two young women were returning from doing a report in the municipality of Llano Juárez in the early afternoon when they were ambushed and, after being threatened with abduction, were finally shot with 7.62 calibre bullets of the kind used in AK-47 assault rifles, Reporters Without Borders was told by CACTUS, an organisation that supports indigenous communities. Investigators found 20 bullet casings at the scene. Three other people were wounded in the shooting – Jaciel Vázquez, aged 3, and his parents. —>
http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=26511
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Independent radio reclaims the airwaves
“If you don’t have access and ownership and control of a media system, you really don’t exist,” said Loris Taylor, of Native Public Media.
by Michelle Chen
Straight Goods (Canada)
04/08/08

[Editor’s note: As the CBC public broadcasting system suffers the death of a thousand cuts, Canadians should pay attention to what US communities have learned about the importance of radio, especially, for building communities, delivering local news, and providing public space for airing issues of vital public interest.]

A mother’s voice stretched over the air to a son spending the holidays in a Virginia prison: “Keep your head up. I love you. Just do what you gotta do to survive.” The hushed message was one of dozens featured on Calls from Home, a project of Mountain Community Radio in Kentucky. Each December, the call-in program helps families of prisoners reconnect through holiday shout-outs, aired on stations across the country.

As broadcast conglomerates narrow radio’s political scope, activists are recasting the medium to once again empower underserved communities.

Since the first mass broadcasts crackled over the country’s airwaves in the 1920s, radio has defined itself as a democratic medium, providing communities that have few resources — from inmates to immigrant workers — a conduit for news and civic communication. But today, media activists say commercialism has reduced a vital institution to an industry of white noise. In response, alternative radio projects and media-justice movements have emerged to resuscitate a flagging public sphere. —>
http://www.straightgoods.ca/ViewMediaFile8.cfm?REF=15
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Columbia College Chicago/Community Media Workshop
New America Media
04/09/08

[ comments invited ]

NAM and the Community Media Workshop at Columbia College Chicago hosted an event with the Centers for Disease Control on the importance of flu shots with Chicago area ethnic media in November 2007, and are joining forces again for an ethnic media workshop on investigative reporting with IRE in Chicago May 17-18th.
http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=d289fe32384cdb8230278d4dcb1ca7eb&from=rss
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Ethnic Media Practice Serious Journalism at Risk of Peril
by Kenneth Kin
New America Media
04/09/08

[ 1 comment ]

Editor’s Note: Practicing the first amendment in America can be hazardous to your health, especially if you work in the ethnic media sector, according to editors at a New America Media-sponsored conference on ethnic media and freedom of expression in Los Angeles this week.

The First Amendment may have guaranteed the promise of a free press, but for ethnic media reporting on their own communities that can be as perilous as covering a war zone. In ethnic enclaves where the power of protest is mightier than the pen, it takes a combination of physical courage, mental perseverance and sometimes even the willingness to risk one’s own life to practice journalism.

A diverse group of leading editors from ethnic news media gathered in Los Angeles on April 7 to share accounts of threats they had received from their own communities. The roundtable discussion, “A Challenge for Ethnic Media: When Coverage Provokes Threats from Your Own Community,” was co-hosted by New America Media, the California First Amendment Coalition, USC Annenberg’s Institute for Justice and Journalism, CSU Northridge’s Center for Ethnic and Alternative Media, The Society of Professional Journalists-Greater LA Chapter, UCLA’s CCC (Campus Computing Council), California Chicano News Media Association (CCNMA) and other media advocacy groups.

Journalists, editors and publishers of ethnic media told harrowing tales of having been boycotted, protested, sued, harassed, and physically threatened by members of their own communities who wanted to dictate what the ethnic news media could and couldn’t cover. —>
http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=f68b62db82c0909a0f07e6c12123bea9
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S. F. event and national symposium in D. C. to counter mis-information on Venezuela
by Jonathan Nack
indymedia.org
04/09/08

[ comments invited ]

“The level of openness and participation in the community media in an inspiration. From what I witnessed, the democratization of the media in Venezuela flies in the face of practically everything I read about Venezuela in U. S. corporate media.”

SAN FRANCISCO – Mainstream media outlets have run many stories recently criticizing freedom of the press in Venezuela, but have ignored the story of the explosion of community radio and T.V. Greg Miller and Sean Kriletich explore the burgeoning community media movement spreading across Venezuela in their film, “La Revolucion Comunicativa: community radio and t.v. on the rise in Venezuela.” —>
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/04/09/18491508.php
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New Hope For Press Freedom With Election Upset
The Malaysian
04/09/08

[ 2 comments ]

The Malaysian government’s unprecedented losses in national elections last month will hopefully provide the long-awaited drive for media reform, say Malaysia’s Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA). —>
http://the-malaysian.blogspot.com/2008/04/new-hope-for-press-freedom-with.html
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Somerville Cares About Prevention (Part 1)
SCAT’s Vlog! (MA)
04/09/08

[ comments invited ]

On March 26 Somerville Cares About Prevention, a City of Somerville agency, held its 5th Annual Community Addiction Speakout at Somerville Community Access Television. The program featured a panel of experts on teen alcohol and opiate addictions, including two teens in recovery who shared their stories. SPF100, the youth group that promotes positive choices, showed their video about the problem of adults giving youth access to alcohol.
http://scatstaffvlog.blogspot.com/2008/04/somerville-cares-about-prevention-part.html
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Public access channel opens up its mics
Ventura County Star (CA)
04/09/08

Ventura’s public-access channel will hold “Open Mic Days” where people can sit down in front of a camera and say what’s on their minds for three minutes, organizers said. Participants must live, work or go to school in Ventura. Individuals will be responsible for their remarks and will have to sign a waiver releasing Community Access Partners of San Buenaventura, or CAPS-TV, from liability. The segments will be compiled into shows titled “What’s On Your Mind, Ventura?” and “What’s On Your Mind, Ventura — After Dark.” —>
http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2008/apr/09/public-access-channel-opens-its-mics/
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Chicago IMC Public Access TV Show Coverage of 5th Anniversary Antiwar Direct Actions
by Chicago Indymedia Collective
The War Stops Here
04/08/08

[ comments invited ]

ON THE SHOW THIS MONTH: Complete coverage of the 2008 Chicago Peace Protests during the 5th anniversary of the war in Iraq.

M20 Civil Disobedience and Arrest, Federal Plaza, Chicago – March 20, 2008, 7 activists, including Kathy Kelly, perform civil disobedience action at Federal Plaza, downtown Chicago, resulting in arrest. This was one of many actions in Chicago to mark the 5th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. Produced by Fred Hickler.

Chicago Anti-War Protest 2008 – Video by CIMC and Labor Beat. —>
http://thewarstopshere.wordpress.com/2008/04/08/chicago-imc-public-access-tv-show-coverage-of-5th-anniversary-antiwar-direct-actions/
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Cable Access Talk Show Spreads Positive Message
Northland’s News Center (MN/WI)
04/09/08

[ comments invited ]

“Well, howdy there, you buckaroos! Welcome to Late Night With Don!” is how Don Yoder introduces his show. Look out “Tonight Show” and “Late Night With David Letterman”. This is “Late Night With Don” hosted by Superior native Don Yoder which airs at the same time as the network’s late shows.

Yoder doesn’t think his cable access talk show is a competitor to the big boys of evening television. “I think it is an alternative I have. I don’t get up here and make fun of actors or actresses that are going through difficult times in their lives.” says Don Yoder. Don is a Marine Corps veteran and country and gospel singer who is back in the Northland after many years away. His show is taped in Proctor and airs there and in the Twin Ports weeknights at 10:30 pm on cable access TV.

After two months of production, the show is catching on. “The public reaction is good. People like to see local programming and I think it fills a void we’ve had in public access in this area and I think it’s a fun show to work on.” according to Peter Luke who runs Proctor’s cable access TV channel…

How to do a show on Proctor Trac 7 TV: You can be the Creator/ Producer and Director of your own Video show. You call the shots, you write the format of of your show and you edit the show. Whether you Produce the show In-Studio or on-Location, you have access to the latest Video Production Equipment. Call: Peter Luke, Cable TV Coordinator at (218) 628-6283 for more Information!
http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/local/17393714.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/04/08

April 5, 2008

Announcement of cable/AT&T deal set for Monday
by John Rodgers
The City Paper (TN)
04/04/08

[ comments invited ]

Leading lawmakers in the cable/AT&T negotiations over statewide franchising will roll out their compromise legislation Monday in a press conference, the House Democratic Caucus announced today.  The compromise bill marks the culmination of months of negotiations between the involved parties.  The deal is expected to have AT&T agree to “build out” its television service to a certain percentage of a town or city, as well as offer the services to some low-income residents.   —>
http://politics.nashvillecityblogs.com/?p=505
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Legislators Say Bill Sought By AT&T Finally Ready
The Chattanoogan (TN)
04/04/08

Legislative leaders said they have finally reached agreement on a statewide franchise bill sought by AT&T that is expected to result in a new cable TV option for Chattanooga residents and others throughout Tennessee.  On Monday afternoon, House and Senate members working directly in talks with AT&T and Tennessee’s cable companies are due to hold a press conference to announce the completion of a new telecommunications bill.  Officials said copies of the agreement will be provided after the Nashville press conference.

Set to take part are Speaker of the House Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington), Rep. Charlie Curtiss (D-Sparta), Rep. Steve McDaniel (R-Parkers Crossroads), Rep. Ulysses Jones, Jr. (D-Memphis), Rep. Randy Rinks (D-Savannah), Sen. Lowe Finney (D-Jackson) and Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro).
The bill was introduced last year, but has gone through a number of revisions before the compromise measure was reached.   —>
http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_125216.asp
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Comcast, AT&T work together on new bill for franchising rights
Memphis Business Journal (TN)
by Einat Paz-Frankel
04/04/08

After vociferously contending an AT&T, Inc.-backed bill on the state’s Capitol Hill last year, Comcast Corp. is now working with the telecom giant behind closed doors to create a new bill that will assuage both parties while changing the way video franchising rights are granted in Tennessee.  A resolution is expected this month, according to the Tennessee Cable Telecommunications Association and the Tennessee Municipal League, which has also opposed the proposed Competitive Cable and Video Services Act. The bill would allow television service to be provided through a single statewide franchise agreement, instead of negotiating with each municipality separately.   —>
http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/stories/2008/04/07/story8.html
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SEE ME, HEAR ME, PICK ME: Endorsement video of Dems for House Seat 1
by Ian Gillingham
Willamette Week (OR)
04/04/08

[ comments invited ]

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been inviting candidates to sit down with WW and make their case for your vote—and our friends at Portland Community Media have been there to catch it all on video. Every day for the next month, we’ll post a new video of our endorsement interviews on WWire.  Today and tomorrow, we’ve got the candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, First District .  First up: Democrats (incumbent David Wu, Will Hobbs).

For footage of more WW endorsement interviews, tune your TV to Channel 30, see Portland Community Media’s Blip.tv site, or just check back on WWire tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after….  Tomorrow: House Seat 1—the Republicans.
http://www.wweek.com/wwire/?p=11440
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Cable Increases, Franchise Renewal Up for Questions
by Bernice Paglia
Plainfield Plaintalker (NJ)
04/04/08

[ comments invited ]

—>  The notice reminded Plaintalker of another issue, the cable franchise renewal process. According to a BPU report, more than 12,000 households had cable in 2005. The three-year process to determine how well Comcast has served Plainfield should have begun in August of 2006, with a report due in August of this year. The franchise expires in August 2009.  The Plainfield Cable Television Board was supposed to hold monthly meetings during the ascertainment period, make annual reports, report regularly to the mayor and council and generally to be involved in any activities having to do with local cable television, including the city’s own Channel 74.

Plaintalker has harped on this subject since December 2005 but there is not much progress to report. Click here for a file of past stories.   —>
http://plaintalker.blogspot.com/2008/04/cable-increases-franchise-renewal-up.html
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Cable Access TV and the Arts
by Salma
Souldish (NJ)
04/04/08

[ comments invited ]

Monday, April 7 – A repeat of the successful 2 hr. forum will be held at SCAN covering topics on: a) Arts and cable access TV: how to get on TV for free b) The WIN-15 TV show & publicity c) Special TV production training for those in the art.  (7p, Free) SCAN Learning Center, Monmouth Mall, Rt 35 and 36, Eatontown, NJ; 732-938-2481
http://www.souldish.com/2008/04/04/body-of-war-shamans-way-of-healing-moses-code-horned-ball-sub-swara/
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Great Falls TV station needs home
by Matt Austin
KRTV (MT)
04/04/08

Many Great Falls departments are asking for more money in the next budget, and on Friday city commission members will talk about its budget priorities.  One group which always keeps an eye on commission meetings will also be watching the budget talks as a Great Falls television channel is looking for a home.  The community access channel, Cable 7, has become a nomad in Great Falls, moving four times in just five years.

The group is currently using the waiting area at the Central Avenue office of former  KRTV anchor Cindy Cieluch. Staff members tell us that the area works well for a studio and they use another office for the director and to store equipment. The non-profit films its six studio shows at the office, and also films government meetings.  “Cable 7 provides a public service, local events” explains Executive Producer Kevin Manthey. “This is something I feel is very important to the community of Great Falls and surrounding area.”   —>
http://www.montanasnewsstation.com/Global/story.asp?S=8118751
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PEG pact is unclear
by Alan Lewis Gerstenecker
Rolla Daily News (MO)
04/03/08

[ 3 comments ]

Steve Leonard, former President of Rolla Video Productions — the company that operated Channel 16 for the best part of seven years — has some concerns about an educational and governmental television channel currently considered by city and school officials and Fidelity Communications.  The PEG (Public Educational and Governmental) channel, which is in discussion stages, would be a partnership between Rolla city government, Rolla Public School District, and Fidelity Communications, Rolla’s cable television franchise holder.

Leonard, 28, expressed some of those concerns during a recent City Council meeting and then again Wednesday.  “In its current state, the contract with the city doesn’t say what they’re going to get for that $50,000,” Leonard said. “As someone who used to do programming, I’d like to think that it would spell out just what the residents of Rolla are going to get.”…

“Don’t get me wrong. I’ve moved on with my life,” Leonard said. “But if they would have offered me $50,000 for programming, I would have told them exactly what I’d have given them. In addition to City Council, I’d have televised the Planning & Zoning meetings, the RMU (Rolla Municipal Utilities) meetings, done more spring (high school) sports. I’d have done it right,” Leonard said.  “If you turn on Channel 6 now, you hear a buzz. You can’t listen long, or at least I can’t without getting a headache. I don’t know if $50,000 is going to fix that or not,” said Leonard, who is now a full-time business student at Missouri University of Science & Technology.

For his part, Leonard said he is supportive of Fidelity.  “Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking Fidelity. They offer some great programming, and I think they offer more basic channels for the best price. I just want to see what they’re going to offer for the $50,000,” Leonard said. “I think anyone who reviews that contract will want to know what they’re going to offer.”

John Paul, Fidelity Communications Director of Sales and top official in Rolla, said Thursday the contract with the city, Rolla Public Schools, and his company, still is a work in progress.  “I can tell you we intend cover all City Council and School Board meetings. I can also tell you we’re not just going to cover those two and then run a community bulletin board the rest of the time,” Paul said.   —>
http://www.therolladailynews.com/articles/2008/04/04/news/news03.txt
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State PEGs Tune Into “Same Channel” to Support Free Speech
by Cynthia Thomet
Akaku: Maui Community Television (HI)
04/04/08

Hawaii People’s Fund Media Justice review panel granted $7,400 to Akaku in mid-March to launch the Free Speech Hawaii Coalition, a collaborative effort to build community and ensure diverse points of view on issues of free speech across the state. The coalition is made possible by the commitment of all of Hawaii’s public, educational and governmental (PEG) access organizations, including Akaku for Maui County, `Ōlelo Community Television on O`ahu, Na Leo O Hawaii on Big Island and Ho`ike: Kaua`i Community Television.

“We’re very grateful to Hawaii People’s Fund for their commitment to media justice to fund this public awareness coalition,” says Jay April, President/ CEO of Akaku, who invited `Ōlelo, Na Leo and Ho`ike to lead the coalition’s public education messages with their respective island audiences

The grant will cover some of the expenses required for the core coalition members to work together and reach out to their respective islands’ viewers about preserving public, educational and governmental (PEG) access services in Hawaii. Some outreach measures include a vibrant website, advertising to build community awareness and localized public education campaigns to get island residents engaged in protecting their right to public access cable television and other mass media venues.   —>
http://www.akaku.org/?p=74
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Participatory Media for a Global Community: BAVC’s Producers Institute 2008
by Wendy Levy
Bay Area Video Coalition (CA)
04/04/08

[ comments invited ]

With continued support from the MacArthur Foundation, the Producers Institute for New Media Technologies will happen May 30 – June 8 here at BAVC in San Francisco. The new crop of projects coming into this year’s Institute are part of a documentary-driven conversation focused on finding and engaging diverse audiences, creating social and political networks of participation, the notion of global community, the viability of Web 2.0 social change, emerging mobile media applications, games for change, and interactive strategies for multi-platform storytelling.

Check out full project descriptions from the recent press release.

The first panel of the Producers Institute will be open to the public this year, and it revolves around marketing social justice media. The always dynamic and uber-literate B. Ruby Rich will moderate. I’ll follow up with details of the where and when, but here’s the panel description. We are hoping to see if its possible for change-the-world stories to expand You Tube sensibilities, to rock CreateSpace, to shock iTunes, to blow out XBOX. And, of course, we want to know if you can actually make money while making a difference?   —>
http://bavc.wordpress.com/2008/04/04/participatory-media-for-a-global-community-bavcs-producers-institute-2008/
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US kept in slow broadband lane
by Ian Hardy
> Click
04/04/08

We all know that America is the technology hub of the universe. It is home to Intel, Microsoft, Apple, Sun, Google, YouTube, Yahoo, MIT – the list is endless. So why, when it comes to the basics, like delivering the internet to its citizens, has it fallen way behind many other nations?

In Manhattan people pay about $30 (£15) a month for a download speed of three megabits per second (Mbps) via a DSL line. Many people are very happy with that, until they realise what is going on elsewhere in the world.  US broadband speeds are much slower than in many countries  “In Japan you can get 100 megabits for $35,” says Selina Lo of Ruckus Wireless.  “I think that has penetrated some 30% of subscribers. The government is targeting for 100 megabit services to penetrate 60% plus of the subscriber base in a few years…

Today most New Yorkers have two choices for home net – via their phone or cable TV company.  But in New York state 52% of residents do not have any internet access, especially rural areas and low income families.  “We haven’t been able to overcome those barriers in terms of increasing the technology adoption rate of those households that are on or below the poverty level,” explains Dr Melodie Mayberry-Stewart, New York State’s chief information officer.  “I think if you look at where the US is compared to other countries, given our speed, we’re not competitive with other countries.”

The lack of competition has had other consequences. Comcast, the nation’s largest residential cable TV and net company was recently accused of interfering with the downloading of video files.  Internet video directly threatens the popularity of traditional TV, so Comcast’s answer is to curtail download speeds for its biggest users.

“As we get more and more things that tie us into the internet – Xbox 360, IPTV services, all sorts of broadband gaming – we’re all getting online more and more,” says Jeremy Kaplan executive editor of PC Magazine.  “And rather than opening up and getting better service, most of these cable and DSL companies are really trying to limit what we do, put caps on what we do. As consumers we’re suffering from that.”

Public wi-fi efforts have also been held back. Several city governments have given up or reduced efforts to provide blanket coverage for their residents.  This is because they have been worn down with lawsuits and lobbyists working for the telephone companies, who want consumers to rely on expensive cell phone plans to access the net on the go.  “Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore – they all have wi-fi in public areas. People can access broadband internet when they’re out in public,” says Ms Lo.  “It is the cheapest way to offer public access. As a quality of life, as a city service, I don’t know why our city government just don’t do that.”   —>
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/7329992.stm
~

More questions than answers
by Mark Jones
Reuters Editors
04/04/08

[ 1 comment ]

I was invited to a gathering of activists, academics and media practitioners by the Berkman Centre’s Media:Republic program in LA last weekend. Exhilarating to be in such exalted company but depressing to find them so anxious about the future of political engagement and so negative about big Media’s future.

The context of the meeting was to establish what we don’t understand about the emerging media landscape in order to inform the direction of future research programmes.  So, in the spirit of Donald Rumsfeld, what do we know that we don’t know?

How distributed can the production of meaning be?
An academic question from John Zittrain of Berkman but very much with real world concerns in mind. He’s worried about where the atomisation of media consumption and production will take society. In an elitist world, one in which communication channels (including media) are controlled by the few, then it is relatively easy to see how the politics of consensus and compromise can be pursued. But many felt that the new social technologies were creating new silos, reducing the quality of public discourse, accelerating disengagement from politics and, possibly, creatng the conditions for extremist politics.

How can we get the public to eat their broccoli?

Traditionally, nearly all media has followed a public service remit to some degree and mixed content with public policy relevance with the really popular stuff. So you get a smattering of Darfur in a diet of domestic news, celebrity and sports. But that only works when publishers control the medium.

I know I wasn’t the only one to squirm as David Weinberger, co-author of the seminal Cluetrain Manifesto, described how increasingly anachronistic the Big Media model of editors deciding what it was appropriate for readers to read was beginning to seem. What seemed to worry this group more than anything else was that if consumers control their ‘DailyMe’ — a personalised news service — then how will the public service stuff get through?   —>
http://blogs.reuters.com/reuters-editors/2008/04/04/more-questions-than-answers/
~

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

Death. Resurrection? A Timely Meditation on US Corporate Media

March 21, 2008

Are US Media Violating the 1st Amendment?
by Fatin Bundagji
Arab News
03/21/08

[ comments invited ]

Last week Arab News printed in the “Letters to the Editor” column a letter by Ms. Lin Hansen Petro from Portland, Oregon, commenting on my article, “Peace & Stability: Pre-requisites for Reform” (March 7). Ms. Petro wrote that while writing her article, “Fatin Bundagji conveniently forgot, as Arab writers usually do, that the US was attacked by Arab terrorists which led to retaliatory action in the Middle East and out of America. All those glorious outreach programs she was describing that America used to do would still be in effect and there would be no war waging at the moment if the radical Arabs kept their opinions and hatred of American policies in the academic or political arena… the majority of Americans are getting pretty fed up with handling out billions of dollars in aid, education, medical care, technological advancements, and religious tolerance and so on to a world of egocentric ingrates”.

Ms. Petro has every right to her opinion. But as a citizen of a nation built on the values of liberty, equality and justice; a nation that regards a free press to be as important as its three independent arms of government, Ms. Petro also has the right to an accurate and unbiased media beaming into her home on a daily basis. This basic American right, the right to a free press, she, and most American citizens are systematically denied.

To most average hardworking and law-abiding Americans, their view of the international community is severely shortsighted and impaired. It is a worldview that is craftily fine-tuned, filtered and controlled by media outlets that are biased in favor of the sources that fund them.

In his article “None dare call it Censorship”, Jack Douglas, a retired professor of sociology from the University of California, writes: “All serious and intelligent journalists today know that the US government has massive media management brigades to carefully control what Americans see and, thus, what they are very likely to believe about things of which they have no direct experience, such as high-level politics, finance and foreign affairs. They also know that the government is extremely effective in secretly censoring the news by using devices such as ‘embedded reporting’ in nations like Afghanistan and Iraq which the US government invades, occupies, and governs. (If you do not know what ‘embedded reporting’ is, I strongly advise you to ‘Google’ it).”

Today, almost all media in the US are owned by for-profit corporations that by law are obliged to put the profits of their investors ahead of all other considerations. This goal of maximizing profit both jeopardizes the practice of responsible journalism and violates what the founding fathers of the US Constitution paid in blood to preserve: A free press — a free press that is protected by law in the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights; a free press that is regrettably being compromised by the elite on a daily basis.

The reasons for this compromise may vary but at the core, is the need for power and control. Power and control by US corporations, advertisers, and official agendas to name but a few. FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting), a US national media watch group. states that not only are most US major media owned by corporations, but that these corporations are becoming larger and fewer in number as the bigger ones absorb their rivals thereby reducing the diversity of media voices and putting greater power — and a narrow debate — in the hands of few.

According to FAIR, most of the income of for-profit media outlets does not come from the audiences, but rather from commercial advertisers who are interested in selling products to that audience. This gives corporate sponsors influence over what people see and read and all in favor of information that does not criticize the sponsors’ products or discuss any corporate wrongdoing.

As for the official agenda, FAIR states that despite the claims that the press has an adversarial relationship with the government, in truth US media generally follow Washington’s official line. This is particularly obvious in wartime, foreign policy coverage, and with domestic controversies. The owners and managers of dominant media outlets generally share the background, worldview, and income bracket of political elites.

Top news executives and celebrity reporters frequently socialize with government officials; and the most powerful media companies routinely make large contributions to both major political parties, while receiving millions of dollars in return in the form of payments for running political ads.

For true democracy to work, people need easy access to independent, diverse sources of news and information. The last two decades the US has seen a record corporate media consolidation. Whereas in the 1980s there were more than 50 media outlets nationwide, by 2000 they shrank down to a mere 6.

Big money buys big media and at the expense of the 1st Amendment. But luckily for the average American, the story does not have to end here. Independent news and media outlets are actively working at preserving a balanced coverage of the news so as to give the American public a broad and multidimensional aspect of what is being covered. FAIR, the one I mentioned above, is one of them, and Democracy Now is another. In addition, there are many more available online, and they are increasing in number and in national reach.

I urge Ms. Petro to Google “US media watchdogs” to empower herself to learn firsthand of whatever she chooses to be informed on.

This is her right, and I have to add her responsibility to her country, and to the world at large.

She may not know it, but by the sheer power and might of her country, any opinion she forms, however innocently, will by default affect the lives of millions of people in countries she may never have heard of.

I will conclude my article with a quote from Lee Atwater who masterminded media bias back in the 1980s and who created the most powerful Republican Media Propaganda Grand Strategy for controlling US pubic thinking. On his deathbed he said, “my illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: A little heart, a lot of brotherhood. The ’80s were about US acquiring wealth, power, and prestige. I know. I acquired more wealth, power, and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. What power wouldn’t I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn’t I pay for an evening with friends? It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime. I don’t know who will lead us through the ’90s, but they must be made to speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul.”
http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7&section=0&article=108071&d=21&m=3&y=2008

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/27/08

February 27, 2008

Verizon still not carrying BCAT
by Patrick Ball
Bedford Minuteman (MA)
02/27/08

[ comments allowed ]

Bedford Community Access Television programming might be the best it has ever been, but Verizon subscribers wouldn’t know it because they can’t watch the PEG Access programming they pay for.

“I want my BCAT,” is a complaint often heard by Bedford Community Access Television’s Executive Director Madeleine Altmann. “Now that BCAT is getting a lot more popular, and it’s 24 hours, people are bumming,” she said.  Bedfordites are disappointed because Verizon, eight months after becoming Bedford’s second cable provider, is still not carrying the town’s PEG Access channels broadcast from BCAT.

A technically separate but intrinsically related issue is that Verizon has also failed thus far to connect its FiOS to the PEG access points of origination – Town Hall, Bedford High School, the Bedford Free Public Library, the Town Center building and First Church of Christ, Congregational – on the Town Center campus.   —>
http://www.wickedlocal.com/bedford/homepage/x374196492
~

More TV Choice and Competition Near for Residents of Abington, Mass.
TMCnet
02/26/08

[ comments allowed ]

Residents of Abington are a major step closer to having another choice for their cable television services, thanks to a newly approved agreement authorizing Verizon to offer its FiOS TV service via the most advanced all-digital, fiber-optic network straight to customers’ homes… The Board of Selectmen in Abington granted a cable franchise Monday (Feb. 25) to Verizon, paving the way for video choice for approximately 5,000 more Massachusetts households…

The Abington franchise agreement contains provisions for the network’s future growth; financial support and capacity for educational and government access channels; cable service to government buildings; and other important benefits to the town, including insurance, indemnification and enforcement protections.   —>
http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2008/02/26/3292479.htm
~

They’re Back! Prometheus Asks Court to Vacate Ownership-Rule Change
Group Says Decision Was Arbitrary and Capricious and Beyond the FCC’s Authority
by John Eggerton
Broadcasting & Cable
02/26/08

[ comments allowed ]

As promised, anti-media consolidation activists asked a federal court to throw out the Federal Communications Commission’s recent media-ownership decision.  Media Access Project Tuesday filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on behalf of Prometheus Radio Project and in opposition to loosening the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rules, which the FCC did Dec. 18.

Tribune already took aim at the cross-ownership rules in a separate suit against an FCC decision granting it waivers from the rules — it asked for more regulatory relief than it got. But it is coming at the agency from the other direction: It saw the decision as a chance to try to get the cross-ownership ban lifted entirely by the courts.

MAP was instrumental in getting the FCC’s 2003 ownership-rule rewrite remanded to that court in the first place when it represented Prometheus in a filing to block that deregualtory effort. The result of that, after years of legal maneuvers and rule reviews, was eventually that December 2007 decision to loosen, but not lift, the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rules. But there is more for MAP to like in the rule rewrite this time around.

The group supported the FCC majority’s decision not to loosen the local TV or radio ownership caps. “We are going to be very supportive of some of the things the commission did,” MAP president Andrew J. Schwartzman said. But loosening newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership was not one of them and it made that clear in no uncertain terms. In its petition, the group called the decision “contrary to law” and “otherwise arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion and in excess of statutory authority.”  MAP asked the court to “vacate, enjoin and set aside the report and order and order such other relief as may be just and proper.”   —>
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6535600.htm
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Voices for the voiceless: Young Latinos are speaking out on air
by Ali Reed
Medill Reports – Northwestern University (IL)
02/27/08

A group of Chicago Hispanic teenagers say they are tired of how underrepresented their community is in mainstream media.  They have turned their frustration into action and are now vocal journalists on a mission to provide a voice for the underrepresented.

These youth, or “producers” as they are called at work, get their voices heard on the radio for an hour every Monday through Thursday evening.  They are volunteer journalists at Radio Arte, 90.5 FM, a nonprofit Latino public radio station based in Pilsen. The 10-year-old station has made a place for teen producers since it was founded.  “Our voices are oftentimes disenfranchised by larger public media and commercial media,” said Silvia Rivera, general manager of Radio Arte.  “So what we’re trying to do in our small slice of the world is to try to be as representative as possible of our community.”

Radio Arte’s small slice of the world covers a 14-mile broadcast radius stretching southwest from Pilsen, an area with more than 500,000 residents.  Each year a group of 30 youth journalists, ages 15 to 21, are chosen from applicants for the station’s 10-week training program. They learn to write, research, interview and hone their on-air delivery skills.   —>
http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=79597
~

Missing: Minorities in Media
by Laura S. Washington
In These Times
02/26/08

[ 3 comments ]

In the wake of racial upheaval, the 1968 “Riot Report” concluded the media had to improve its coverage of Black America. Has it?

America was burning. The riots unleashed by the April 4, 1968 assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. were terrorizing cities across the nation.  Chicago was no exception. Warner Saunders got a desperate call from WLS-TV, the local ABC affiliate. They needed blacks on the air, and they needed them now. So Saunders, who was a community activist and executive director of Chicago’s Better Boys Foundation, signed up as co-host of a hastily arranged television special, “For Blacks Only.”

The special, which aired in 1968, snared such high ratings that the station gave it a regular slot and kept it going for 10 years. Saunders eventually became a full-time reporter. Today he’s the top news anchor at Chicago’s NBC station.

Saunders’ foray into TV news came weeks after President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Kerner Commission report declared, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white — separate and unequal.”  The report, also known as “The Riot Report,” released 40 years ago this month, was a response to the urban riots of the late ’60s. Blacks, outraged over poverty and racism, took to the streets and shook up America’s powers that be.

The commission produced an exhaustive look at media coverage of communities of color and responded with a key recommendation: if the United States hoped to cool down the searing anger in its inner cities across the nation, it must do a better job of covering African-Americans.  The report’s authors slammed the media, writing, “the journalistic profession has been shockingly backward in seeking out, hiring, training and promoting Negroes.”

Four decades later, there has been undeniable progress. Our cities are no longer burning. Yet in many ways, we are running on ice.   —>
http://www.alternet.org/rights/77789/
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Is it finally time for a national broadband policy?
by Carol Wilson
Telephony Online
02/20/08

There seems to be a consensus growing that the U.S. should (finally) have a national broadband policy. Now the question is, what will that policy include?

I think now is the best possible time to start answering that question, and here is why: We are in the midst of a presidential election campaign that promises to be hard-fought, and one of the major issues will be the U.S. economy. There is nothing more central to our economic problems than the ability to have true broadband access everywhere, and to make it affordable to consumers and businesses alike.

I’m far from the first person to say this. As manufacturing jobs have increasingly gone overseas, what is replacing them? Supposedly we have become a service economy, but digital communications enables service jobs to be shipped abroad as well, as many in the customer service and software development industries know all too well. The only way to ensure that the U.S. workforce remain employable is to give that workforce the best possible tools in the digital age, and that starts with broadband.   —>
http://telephonyonline.com/broadband/commentary/national-broadband-policy-0220/
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Williamstown faces broadband, water, tax break issue at Town Meeting
by David Delcore
Times Argus (VT)
02/26/08

[ comments allowed ]

—>  Among the forward-looking items on the Town Meeting Day warning is a proposal to enter an inter-local contract with other area communities for the purpose of establishing “a universal, open-access, financially self-sustaining broadband communications system.” That system would provide residents of participating communities with services ranging from high-speed Internet access to telephone and cable television.   —>
http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080226/NEWS02/802260346/1003/NEWS02
~

Social Media Challenge: Telling a life story
by Jake McKee
Community Guy
02/26/08

[ 7 comments ]

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my grandmother recently passed away at the age of 83. During the festivities (and I do use that word specifically… we are, and she was Irish Catholic, after all), I volunteered to take Grandma Pat’s photo albums and some other keepsake books home to archive digitally. The theory went, if I took them, I could scan them so they could be easily reproduced for all six kids to do what they wanted with the content.

Pat was nothing if not an organizer, and so I find myself with a wealth of wonderful, decades old content, including recipes, household tips collection, photos, and baby books. I’ve been thinking a lot about the opportunities that this content presents when combined with the tools that exist both on my Mac and on the Web.  Honestly, I’m a bit overwhelmed.

The most obvious solution goes something like this:

* Scan the photos
* Upload the photos to Flickr, allowing family members to comment on each photo
* Use iPhoto to create a slideshow, then export the slideshow to a DVD or Web video
* Share the Web video on YouTube or Blip.tv
* Send an email to friends and family alerting them that the photos and videos are live.

The thing is, I want to do more than simply digitize the content, and hope that someone leaves a comment on the public version. I want to do something with the content…. and more importantly, I want my family and her friends to do something too. I want stories to be told. I want to create opportunities for her kids and grandkids to share their own memories, photos, videos. I want to involve the extended family (which again, Irish Catholic – no small feat).

So I turn to you, my internet social media friends. What processes & methods (technical or otherwise), software, Web apps, or anything else would you suggest? How can I use the tools at hand to help me tell stories as vibrant as she was and always will be?   —>
http://www.communityguy.com/1384/telling-a-life-story/
~

Code4Lib 2008: The Internet Archive
by Nicole Engard
Blogging Section of SLA-IT
02/27/08

[ comments allowed ]

What a great way to open a conference like Code4Lib.  The first keynote was presented by Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive.  Brewster started by reminding us that the reason he was there talking to us and the reason he is working on the Internet Archive is because the library metaphor easily translates to the Internet – as librarians we’re paid to give stuff away!  We work in a $12 billion a year industry which supports the publishing infrastructure.  With the Internet Archive, Brewster is not suggesting that we spend less money – but that we spend it better.

He started with a slide of the Boston Public Library which has “Free to All” carved in stone.  Brewster says that what people carve in stone is take seriously – and so this is a great example of what libraries stand for.  Our opportunity now is to go digital.  Provide free digital content in addition to the traditional content we have been providing.  I loved that he then said that this is not just a time for us to be friendly together as librarians – but to work together as a community and build something that can be offered freely to all!

He went on to say that what happens to libraries is that they burn – they tend to get burned by governments who don’t want them around.  The Library of Alexandria is probably best known for not being here anymore.  This is why lots of copies keeps stuff safe. Along those lines, the Internet Archive makes sure to store their data in mirror locations – and by providing information to the archive we’re ensuring that our data is also kept safe and available.  This idea of large scale swap agreements (us sharing with the Internet Archive, us sharing with other libraries, etc) in different geographical regions finds us some level of preservation.

How it started — The internet archive started by collecting the world wide web – every 2 months taking a snap shot of the web.  Brewster showed Yahoo! 10 years ago – ironically a bit of data that even Yahoo! didn’t have – so for their 10 year anniversary they had to ask the Internet Archive for a copy of what their site looked like!  He showed us the first version of Code4Lib’s site and exclaimed “Gosh is that geeky!” because it was a simple black text on white background page.

While it may have seemed a bit ambitious to archive the web, the Wayback Machine gets about 500 hits a second.  And it turns out that the out of print materials on the web are often just as valuable as the in print information on the web.  People are looking for the way things were for historical or cultural research reasons and this tool makes it possible.   —>
http://sla-divisions.typepad.com/itbloggingsection/2008/02/code4lib-2008-t.html
~

TV coverage is factor in Southington BOE venue decision
by Jason R. Vallee
MyRecordJournal.com (CT)
02/27/08

[ comments allowed ]

SOUTHINGTON – When the Board of Education meets tonight, it will be asked to determine whether to continue meeting at the John V. Pyne Meeting Center or consider moving to Town Hall. The decision is based on what would most effectively allow the board to improve the quality of its cable broadcasts, and the panel appears to be leaning toward technological changes rather than a physical move.  Three weeks ago, Southington High School Television Coordinator Rit Campbell said the district made a broadcast conversion from VHS to DVD format. The conversion, in which Cox Cable replaced all public access equipment with digital simulcast technology, immediately helped improve the video quality by 80 percent, though sound has remained a problem.   —>
http://www.myrecordjournal.com/site/tab1.cfm?newsid=19339338&BRD=2755&PAG=461&dept_id=592708&rfi=6
~

Midterm
by Erin Semagin Damio
Erin Semagin Damio
02/27/08

[ comments allowed ]

—>  Isa Chandra Moskowitz, a vegan living in Brooklyn, New York, offered her own solution. In 2006 she started a public access cooking show called the Post Punk Kitchen. In an interview with Gothamist magazine, she described the show, which she cohosted with Terry Hope Romero, as a response to the lack of vegan cooking shows on Food Network. Today, episodes of the show are available on Google Video. Moskowitz’s easy-to-make vegan cupcakes and other delicious dishes have earned her the distinction of “America’s Most Popular Vegan Chef” in her Barnes and Noble biography. She and Romero have written three bestselling cookbooks, including Vegan With A Vengeance, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and Veganomican. She also maintains a website, which includes forums and her own blog.   —>
http://ensd113.blogspot.com/2008/02/when-lauren-ulm-of-boston-started.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 – 02/25/08

February 26, 2008

FCC Online Digital Television (DTV) Conversion Workshop for People with Disabilities – Feb. 28
by Darrell Shandrow
Blind Access Journal
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

Marlaina from ACB Radio reminds us all about an upcoming FCC workshop (Feb. 28) covering the impact of the impending digital television (DTV) conversion on people with disabilities.  This subject arose on my show this evening, and i promised to post this far and wide. Here is a copy of the e-mail I received from Jill Pender of the FCC regarding their upcoming workshop on conversion from analog to digital tv.  Let’s keep asking why our video description has not been restored. Or, when might we expect it to be restored.   —>
http://blog.blindaccessjournal.com/2008/02/fcc-online-digital-television-dtv.html
~

Iraq Vets Against the War organize the second Winter Soldier: March 13-16
by Leslie Dreyer
Art Threat
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

Mark your calendars and organize a screening in your community. Let this Winter Soldier gathering March 13-16 in Washington D.C. be the most observed and talked about event this year.  The four-day event will bring together veterans from across the country to testify about their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan – and present video and photographic evidence. In addition, there will be panels of scholars, veterans, journalists, and other specialists to give context to the testimony. These panels will cover everything from the history of the GI resistance movement to the fight for veterans’ health benefits and support…

For those interested in watching or organizing around the proceedings at Winter Soldier, there will be a number of ways to watch and listen to the event.
* Live television broadcast via satellite TV, accessible through Dish Network as well as public access stations that choose to carry our broadcast – Friday and Saturday only
* Live video stream on the web – Thursday through Sunday
* Live radio broadcast via KPFA in Berkley California and other Pacifica member stations – Friday through Sunday
* Live audio stream via KPFA’s website – Friday through Sunday   —>
http://www.artthreat.net/2008/02/iraq-vets-against-war-organize
~

GH leaders unhappy with cable project
Muskegon Chronicle (MI)
02/25/08

GRAND HAVEN — Telecommmunications giant AT&T is making good on promises to deliver competition in the cable television market to West Michigan this year by proposing franchise agreements with area governmental units.  But not everyone is happy about it.

The company has sent letters to local governments in West Michigan requesting franchise agreements for delivering television service over its fiber optic and telephone lines.  Under a 2006 state law backed by phone companies AT&T and Verizon, the agreements are a take-it or leave-it proposition. Local governments have 30 days to accept the terms laid out by AT&T or risk having an agreement imposed on them without receiving any franchise fees.

In Muskegon and Oceana counties, AT&T is not the historic telephone company. In these Verizon Communications communities, similar requests to provide television services are not being made at this time, a Verizon official said.

In Holland, Mayor Al McGeehan said he was “very angry.”  Grand Haven City Manager Patrick McGinnis said the 2006 state law limits local control over public rights of way.  “We were adamantly opposed to it. And when I say ‘we,’ I mean the people of the state of Michigan. It was a real bad deal,” he said.   —>
http://www.mlive.com/news/chronicle/index.ssf?/base/news-6/1203952516283700.xml&coll=8
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Congressmen seek media coverage of Asian vote
India Post
02/24/08

Several Members of Congress have sent letters to CNN and MSNBC to highlight the lack of coverage of the Asian American and Pacific Islander vote during the 2008 presidential campaigns. In the letter, Members of Congress said, “We are deeply concerned that the lack of coverage of Asian voters in the 2008 presidential race by media unfairly suppresses a growing and significant political constituency. We request a meeting to discuss these matters.   —>
http://indiapost.com/article/usnews/2145/
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Task force approves proposal from public access programming
Group plans to take ideas to city council
by Phil Wright
The East Oregonian
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

A city task force examining how a public access channel would function for Pendleton has approved a proposal to launch government and education programming.  The city council created the task force in November 2007. The task force members include Councilman John Brenne, chamber of commerce Executive Director Leslie Carnes, Pendleton Arts Councilman Jack Sanders and Pendleton residents Peter Walters, Ben Talley and Robert Tally, who manages Internet technology systems for Blue Mountain Community College…

Channel 5 is the Pendleton area’s public access channel. Charter primarily uses to deliver product advertisements.  Task force members recently visited Richland CityView Cable 13, the public cable access channel of the city of Richland. CityView provides free programming and coverage of public meetings. From what the task force learned, it created a proposal to deliver initial programming.

The proposal calls for education and local government programming six hours a day, from 3-9 p.m. That would include 4 1/2 hours of the Classic Arts Showcase, a free cable television program featuring classic arts, including musical and ballet performances. A scrolling calendar noting public meetings and events would fill the other 90 minutes, with the scroll running in 30-minute segments.

The chamber would generate and control the calendar scroll and BMCC would download and transmit programs to Charter. The rest of the day would be public access and whatever advertisements Charter would run. The proposal also calls for the Pendleton Arts Center Board to appoint and oversee a local access channel advisory committee, which could include representatives from the Pendleton Public Library, BMCC, the Pendleton Center for the Arts and possibly city government.

The task force plans to bring its proposal to the city council’s March 4 meeting.  But, before that, members said they still have some bridges to build, including who would handle the work at BMCC, which Tally estimated could come to about 4 hours per week at the start.  He suggested two BMCC audio-visual technicians could handle it, but he would have to mull that over with the college’s human resources department. That’s because wages could run as much as $80 per week, or about $4,000 per year. Benefits could add another $2,000.  Sanders said he would approach the city, the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce and the Umatilla-Morrow Education Service District to contribute funds.

City Councilwoman Marjorie Iburg said this beginning level seems “pretty doable,” but to really move forward, the right person needs to head up this process. And finding that person could take some time, she said.  While locals would handle the government and education side, City Attorney Pete Wells said Charter would run the public access side.  Well said at City View, the public access side is independent of the government and education side, which is also how the task force wants to start.   —>
http://www.eastoregonian.info/main.asp?SectionID=13&SubSectionID=48&ArticleID=73872&TM=64865.39
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Our 20th Anniversary Membership Drive
WCTV Journal (IN)
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

2008 marks the twentieth anniversary of Whitewater Community Television serving Richmond and Wayne County. It has been a tremendous journey, starting with just a couple of VHS decks and some borrowed cameras, growing to the full broadcasting facility with editing suites and a three-camera studio that we enjoy today.

From just a few programs on one channel, we have grown to more than sixteen hours a day of original, first-run programming across three channels, airing more than 75 programs a week and supporting more than 40 local producers. Richmond currently enjoys the third largest public access television operation in the state of Indiana.

Along the way we became a critical source for local information in Wayne County, offering gavel-to-gavel coverage of city and county government meetings, educational programs and sporting events from area high schools and colleges, election results and weather alerts and more, as well as acted as an outlet for local producers to provide their own original content to the public.   —>
http://wctvjournal.blogspot.com/2008/02/our-20th-anniversary-membership-drive.html
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PAC 14 preserves Shore history
by Brice Stump
The Daily Times (MD)
02/24/08

[ 1 comment ]

SALISBURY — History will go high-tech soon, as Public Access Channel 14 launches a campaign to digitally capture the Shore’s present and past.  In an unprecedented venture, PAC 14 has garnered the support of more than a dozen history-oriented organizations to preserve Delmarva’s past on video using the best of today’s electronic technology.

Called Digitizing Delmarva’s Heritage and Traditions, the project is being developed by Mike Goodson, manager of PAC 14, in conjunction with Salisbury University and the Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Council and other historical organizations.  Alarmed that much of Delmarva’s oral history by older residents in particular is being lost, Goodson appealed to various group to support the undertaking. “Time is working against us. Our people, places and traditions are fading away before our eyes. In some cases our history is being washed away with the tides,” he said. “Time is not on our side.”

From the lives of watermen, artists and ball players to farmers recalling days of homemade sausage, scrapple and hams, Goodson and others want to save the charm and history of the old Eastern Shore.  Under Goodson’s direction, PAC 14 has created a temporary part-time position that will deal exclusively with the production of “historical videos.”  Tom Taylor, author and videographer, will handle production assignments now through July. By July, Goodson hopes that DDHT, as administered through Salisbury University, will have a SU history graduate on staff to continue the project.   —>
http://www.delmarvanow.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080224/LIFESTYLE/802240335
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TV show focuses on mental health issues
Fremont minister Barbara Meyers hosts local cable program
by Andrew Cavette
The Argus (CA)
02/25/08

The Rev. Barbara Meyers sat in a makeup chair Wednesday night in the corner of a small, public-access cable-TV studio, ready for her show to start.  Meyers, a minister for the Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation, is the host of “Mental Health Matters,” a program shown in the Tri-City area and other parts of the East Bay.

Cecelia Burk, who volunteers her cosmetological talents for the show, touched up Meyers’ cheeks before letting her rejoin the small group of enthusiastic Bay Area residents buzzing around the studio’s equipment. They adjusted the cameras, fixed the lighting, checked the sound, and then the show began.

After working for IBM for 25 years, Meyers went back to school and, in 2004, earned a master’s degree in divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley. Her ministry focuses on mental health issues.  One day Paul Clifford, a member of Meyers’ congregation, approached her about a project.  At the time, Clifford was producing another public-access cable-TV show and thought Meyers should produce a program about mental health. Clifford loaned Meyers his crew and his studio time to do a pilot episode.

In that episode, Meyers talked about the stigma attached to mental illness. It was recorded last March.  “I got a fair number of people who told me they had seen it,” Meyers said after the show premiered. “I could see that it was something positive.”  She recruited a crew from her congregation, some of whom have someone in their family with a mental illness or have mental health issues themselves. Other crew members simply want to learn more about television work.

Gwen Todd, a member of Meyers’ congregation,produces her own public-access cable-TV show for Toastmasters International and had contacts with Comcast in Fremont. When she heard Meyers’ idea for the show, she offered her services.  “It’s a very good show and is very much needed,” Todd said. “The crew is getting a lot better as we all develop our skills.”   —>
http://www.insidebayarea.com/argus/localnews/ci_8357715
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Community access TV programming
Post-Bulletin (MN)
02/26/08

[ comments allowed ]

Belau Report:  A proposal to expand Mayo Civic Center, how it would be paid for and community benefits will be discussed by Brad Jones, executive director of the Rochester Convention and Visitor’s Bureau; Donna Drews, executive director of the civic center; and Dennis Hanson, president of the Rochester City Council, on the Belau Report at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on Charter Cable channel 10.
http://news.postbulletin.com/newsmanager/templates/localnews_story.asp?a=330094&z=2
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BOF & BOS Meetings on Metrocast Channel 22
by Wtfd Nuc Sailor
Waterford Political Blog (CT)
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

According to today’s, February 25, 2008, New London DAY Public Access TV Schedule the February 12, 2008 Board of Finance Meeting will be on Metrocast Channel 22 Thursday, FEB 28, 2008 at 7:00 PM.  This meeting was relatively short for BOF meetings.  The February 19, 2008 Board of Selectmen meeting will be on Channel 22 on Friday, FEB 29, 2008 also at 7:00 PM.  This is the meeting where the BOS approved $95,000 for architect design services for the Municipal Complex Phase II.   —>
http://waterford.ctlocalpolitics.net/?p=189
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Viewers could be seeing more of Fort Erie council
by Ray Spiteri
Niagara Falls Review (Canada)
02/24/08

There is a growing number of citizens with an active interest in local government.  Town council is taking notice.  Elected officials recently approved a report asking staff to take steps to broadcast council-in-committee meetings on TV Cogeco and to investigate the feasibility of broadcasting real-time council and council-in-committee meetings online for future budget deliberations.

Regular council meetings, held every second and fourth Monday of the month, are televised by the local network, however, council-in-committee sessions, held on the first and third Mondays of the month, are not.  Coun. Bob Steckley, who has been pushing for such an intiative since he was elected at the tail end of 2006, said broadcasting all of council’s meetings will provide citizens more of an opportunity to see their elected representatives at work and make politicians accountable to the public.  “It’s nice to see that we are investigating the possibility of this because it will enhance the openness of government and public access to how we conduct our business,” he said.   —>
http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=915311
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Brooklyn Paper, Daily News, Brooklyn Eagle, Courier Life at Reporter Roundtable
mcbrooklyn (NY)
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

BCAT (Brooklyn Community Access Television) brings us what promises to be a rousing Reporter Roundtable today at 1 p.m. (also Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and more showings Thursday and Friday).  In this episode, editor Gersh Kuntman of the Brooklyn Papers is joined by Jotham Sederstrom of the NY Daily News, Sarah Ryley of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and Tom Tracy of Courier Life. The panel discusses Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s recent State of the Borough address, Atlantic Yards, Super Tuesday in Brooklyn, the Gowanus canal development and residential parking permits.
http://mcbrooklyn.blogspot.com/2008/02/brooklyn-paper-daily-news-brooklyn.html
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York public TV an outlet for free speech
Pennsylvania Nonbelievers
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

If you are in the York area, try out the local public access station, Comcast channel 16 for a selection of Atheist, Humanist and free thinking opinions.  Here is the link to the station. White Rose Community Television Check out the schedule and tune in!
http://panonbelievers.blogspot.com/2008/02/york-public-tv-outlet-for-free-speech.html
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The FCC, Mickey Mouse & Media Cross-ownership
by Norman Horowitz
Huffington Post
02/25/08

[ 2 comments ]

The FCC has now done the “dirty deed” of eviscerating the long standing Cross Ownership rules. I looked back on something I wrote on the subject over five and a half years ago and decided to “re-issue” it.  The “they” who control the system in this regard who are to serve in the public interest, serve only in the interests of the mega media companies, and lest we forget, the interests of the incumbent administration.  How sad for our country.

The FCC, Mickey Mouse & Media Cross-ownership – July 23, 2002
A former senior FCC staff member told me years ago that virtually all FCC rulings are based on the politics of the issue rather than the merits of the issue. I believe that this is a fair assessment, and I have seen nothing that the FCC does as being in the public interest.   —>
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/norman-horowitz/the-fcc-mickey-mouse-m_b_88285.html
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[ Here’s is a very detailed look at Verizon’s FiOS services, with performance comparisons with cable modem service from a number of US Cities. – rm ]

Verizon FiOS Installed: Macintosh Compatible, Free and Fast
by Adsense Turkiye
Photoshop & Adsense – Art of devil free blog
02/25/08

[ comments allowed ]

FiOS on MacsWell Verizon FiOS Internet became available in my town in New Jersey and I had it installed last week. I ordered the 15MB/2MB (15MB downstream, 2MB upstream) package in our home. Since the Internet is probably more important to us than TV, air, and maybe even food sometimes this was a big decision. Well not that big really, since our cable modem service provided by Cablevision’s Optimum Online has not exactly been great. No matter what the cable company claims about speed our experience was never all that good. More about this later as I will compare Cablevision’s Optimum Online and Verizon FiOS Internet.   —>
http://artofdevil.blogspot.com/2008/02/verizon-fios-installed-macintosh.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

New Voices Grant App Deadline; LSE Conf Call for Papers

February 17, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

Grant guidelines and online application can be found at www.J-NewVoices.org. Project proposals are due February 20, 2008.   —>
http://www.j-newvoices.org/site/story/apply_now_funding_to_start/
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Community and Humanity Conference
by Charlie Beckett
Charliebeckett.org
02/06/08

[ 1 comment ]

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

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

The conference is at London School of Economics and Political Science, London, Sunday 21st – Tuesday 23rd September 2008.  Abstracts should be submitted by 1st March 2008. Go here to submit abstract and/or register.
http://www.charliebeckett.org/?p=406
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org