Archive for the ‘on-demand’ category

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/04/08

February 6, 2008

Cable Franchise Hearing is this Thursday !
by Zenaida Mendez
Manhattan Neighborhood Network (NY)
02/04/08

On Thursday, February 7, 2008 all those who support Free Speech, the First Amendment and alternative media need to attend a hearing from 3pm-7pm at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

As part of the Franchise renewal process between the City of New York and TimeWarner Cable, a public hearing will be held to allow NYC residents an opportunity to voice their views and concerns regarding the cable franchise we will all be living with for the next 10 to 15 years. It is extremely important that our public officials hear loud and clear that Public Access provisions are critically important to our community and that continued and expanded support for the needs and interests of Manhattan residents must be included in any franchise agreement that is reached.   —>
http://www.mnn.org/en/cable-franchise-hearing-thursday
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Cable Hearing Reveal Strong Support for BRONXNET
by Osjua Newton
Lehman College Meridian (NY)
02/04/08

A panel from the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) assembled at Hostos Community College on January 17. They sought public testimony regarding Cablevision, the current cable company in The Bronx, for the first of several hearings throughout the city to discuss cable television franchise renewals.

As Cablevision nears the end of their 10-year agreement with the city to provide service in the borough, the 5-hour hearing was aimed at gathering feedback on four key subjects: first, whether Cablevision has been operating within the terms of its contract; second, whether their signal quality and billing were adequate; third, whether they could meet the community’s future cable-related needs; and last, whether they are fiscally and technologically capable of providing services for future projects.

However, the topic most echoed at the podium was a call to increase funding and support for The Bronx based public access television network, BRONXNET.  “Certainly it was helpful for us to see how the community feels about BRONXNET,” said DoITT panel member Radhika Karmarkar. She added that the topics discussed during this, and future hearings, will be considered during the negotiations.   —>
http://media.www.lcmeridian.com/media/storage/paper806/news/2008/02/04/News/Cable.Hearing.Reveal.Strong.Support.For.Bronxnet-3182355.shtml
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Naifeh rebuts Bredesen’s AT&T/Cable comments
by John Rodgers (3 comments)
Nashville City Paper (TN)
02/04/08

House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh today appeared to refute comments from Gov. Phil Bredesen that the speaker’s approach to finding a compromise between AT&T and the cable industry over television franchising wouldn’t work.  “I respectfully disagree,” Naifeh (D-Covington) said after being read Bredesen’s comments during a hastily called news conference this afternoon.   —>
http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=58715
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New laws aim to help TV customers get good service
Providers face competition, fines
by Laura Girresch (9 comments)
News-Democrat (IL)
02/04/08

Under two state laws passed last summer, companies can get a statewide license to provide television service — creating competition for local cable companies — and metro-east communities now can use the threat of fines to ensure customers are treated right.  Hoping to make protecting television customers easy, Belleville passed an ordinance last month that gave the city direct power to enforce good customer service, in accordance with the state laws.

One state law, the Cable and Video Customer Protection Law, says local governments and the Illinois attorney general can fine television companies for not telling customers how their rates will change after a promotion, disconnecting service for repairs for more than 24 hours, and only providing service where they can make the most money.  “It gives us an extra avenue to enforce or review or have some leverage to get customers the service they deserve,” Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert said.   —>
http://www.bnd.com/business/story/246478.html
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Unscripted Ending
The picture gets blurry for public access television.
by Josh Goodman
Governing
02/08

Every Monday evening for more than a decade in Portage, Indiana, Gordon Bloyer stirred up trouble. The middle-aged, mustachioed Bloyer used his 6:30 p.m. television talk show to lambast elected officials in the city of 35,000 on the shore of Lake Michigan. Not only were Portage politicians powerless to cancel the Gordon Bloyer Show — although at times they tried — they also were, in a sense, subsidizing Bloyer’s attacks on them: His show appeared on public access television. “People would get all upset,” Bloyer says, sounding satisfied. “So I figured that’s good.”

Now, Bloyer is up against a foe he can’t beat. AT&T, looking for a fast track into the TV business, recently persuaded the Indiana legislature to move most aspects of cable regulation from the local level to the state level. A little-noticed byproduct of the new law is that independent local voices such as Bloyer’s are being squeezed off the air. In fact, late last year many public access channels in northwest Indiana went dark.

Public access TV now faces a more uncertain future than at any time since its inception in the 1970s. In the past three years, some 20 states have, like Indiana, switched to statewide franchises for cable TV. In the process, public, educational and governmental channels — the so-called “PEGs” — are getting hammered. Many are losing funding or studio space, and in a few places PEGs are being shut down altogether. The wild sandbox that gave political gadflies, aerobics instructors, sex therapists and many others a place to hone their video skills, while entertaining those who dared to watch, may never be the same.   —>
http://www.governing.com/articles/0802tv.htm
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Leaving Localism Behind
StopBigMedia.com
01/31/08

In the January 7th issue of Broadcasting and Cable, Gene McHugh, general manager of Fox TV station WAGA in Atlanta, is quoted as saying, “We’ve determined that localism is the future for TV stations.” The article reported that WAGA and other Fox TV stations are adding an extra half hour of late night news to their schedules in 2008. More local news, however, may mean little if it is just more of the same sensational journalism and celebrity gossip that dominates both national and local news.

Yet, McHugh’s statement does represent a rare admission that stations could be doing more to serve the local public. Not only could they do more, but people are hungry for it. The statement strikes at the heart of the myth that the junk news that is so prevalent is just “giving people what they want.” McHugh recognizes that the citizens of Atlanta and people across the country are desperate not only for more local news, but also for better local news that addresses the critical issues like health care, the economy, safety, and the environment.

Just two weeks after this article appeared, the Federal Communications Commission took action on a long- overdue localism debate that dates back to the previous chairman, Michael Powell. Unfortunately, the FCC did not come to the same conclusion as Gene McHugh and WAGA. It seems the FCC, whose mission is in part to foster localism, thinks stations are doing just fine. The report, released on January 24th, concludes a proceeding that included six public hearings and thousands of comments from concerned citizens. While the comments submitted and the testimony given overwhelmingly suggest that the American people are dissatisfied with the way their local media are serving their community, the FCC barely acknowledged these complaints in their report. —>
http://www.stopbigmedia.com/blog/2008/01/31/leaving-localism-behind/
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An FCC watcher’s guide to Super Tuesday
by Matthew Lasar
Lasar’s Letter on the FCC
02/03/08

Super Tuesday is coming on, well, Tuesday. Twenty four states and American Samoa will hold primary elections or primary caucuses for Democrats and Republicans. And while the horse-race watchers obsess over which candidate will be most electable, LLFCC has kept track of their positions on broadcasting and telecommunications related issues.  Of all of the contenders for the Democratic nomination, John Edwards had the most clear and comprehensive set of positions on Federal Communications Commission related matters. Unfortunately, the former United States Senator has withdrawn from the race.

Candidate Edwards repeatedly pledged to strengthen rather than weaken the FCC’s media ownership rules. “Edwards believes extreme media consolidation threatens free speech,” his media page declares, “tilts the public dialogue towards corporate priorities and away from local concerns, and makes it increasingly difficult for women and minorities to own a stake in our media.”  Edwards also promised to strengthen public interest requirements for broadcasters, including disability access requirements. Edwards said that he supports net neutrality. And he assured voters that he would lift restrictions on the licensing of Low Power FM radio stations.

Congressmember Dennis Kucinich, who has also withdrawn from the race, also supported net neutrality and opposed the relaxation of the agency’s media ownership rules. Kucinich has been a strong supporter of locally controlled, public access television and Low Power FM radio.

Four candidates with clear records on the issues remain in the field.   —>
http://www.lasarletter.net/drupal/node/551
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Prescott considers new channel  on access television (1 comment)
Daily Courier (AZ)
02/03/08

A possible change in the city’s public access television programming and an engineering contract for levee analysis will be among the issues the Prescott City Council will discuss this week….  On the agenda will be discussion and possible direction from the council on the creation of a government channel through the Prescott Community Access Channel, Inc.’s Access13.

City Manager Steve Norwood explained on Friday that officials with Access13 approached him recently with the proposal for adding another access channel for Prescott television viewers.  While City Council meetings and other programs currently air on channel 13, Norwood said the change would move that programming to channel 15. Channel 13 would remain as the channel for other access programming.   —>
http://www.dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&subsectionID=1&articleID=52166
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Waiting on FiOS Until It Can Deliver LMC-TV
by Judy Silberstein
Larchmont Gazette (NY)
01/30/08

Less than 24 hours after the Larchmont Village Board approved door-to-door sales of Verizon’s new FiOS (fiber optic) television service on January 7, the salesmen were at our door, and we eagerly signed on. (See: Verizon & Cable Board Agree on TV Franchise Terms and Verizon FiOS Ready for Sale but Not for LMC-TV.) We were lured by the promise of faster broadband, more reliable phone service, better digital picture and lower prices.

There was a hitch – a deal breaker for us. Verizon was not yet ready to provide local access television stations, including LMC-TV, and no one knew when that part of the service would begin. The salesmen and their supervisor had no clue.  Nevertheless, we signed up – having been assured that we could just delay installation until Verizon was ready to deliver LMC-TV.

Unhappily, we learned later that Verizon’s franchise agreement allows four months to conclude whatever process is necessary to enable broadcast of local access stations over FiOS. According to a Verizon spokesperson, the work is a priority – but it’s not easy. The likely completion date is April 10.  And, much to our regret, we learned that pushing off installation of our FiOS television and telephone was also not easy. The system could barely handle a short delay; multiple delays led to chaos…

…But, for us, the biggest problem was the specter of being without LMC-TV for months. Why do we care? For the Gazette, LMC-TV is our back-up for all the government meetings we cover. We rely on the live broadcasts when we can’t be at a session and on the replays when we need to review exactly what was said.

And why should you care? Judging from the number of citizens attending most sessions, very few of you actually turn up at Village Hall or the Town Center or Mamaroneck High School for board meetings. Many more of you – without a rating service, we don’t know how many – watch from home. We try to cover the highlights in our reporting, but if you want all the details, LMC-TV is the only source.  And then there are all the other LMC-TV shows that are hosted by community members and that feature our neighbors and our neighborhood.   —>
http://www.larchmontgazette.com/2008/techtalk/index.html
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City seeks to regulate its cable TV channel
by Angela Daughtry
News-Leader (FL)
02/04/08

Fernandina Beach – If City Manager Michael Czymbor has his way, the city’s local public access channel will have a new regulatory policy.  Czymbor has asked city commissioners to consider adopting a Public, Educational, and Government Channel Broadcasting, or PEG, policy for the channel the city has with cable television franchisee Comcast.  The PEG policy would designate what types of programs the city would allow to be broadcast. Any religious, political or commercial shows would have to pay Comcast for airtime and would not be allowed on the city’s public access channel.

“Our quandary is that we don’t have any rules and regulations,” Czymbor told commissioners at a Jan. 22 commission meeting. He pointed out that if the city allows churches to have free programming, it must also allow any organization, no matter how controversial, to run programs on the channel.

Commissioner Ron Sapp said the progression of public access cable “has been interesting to watch.” He noted that the cable company used to be “equal access,” providing free equipment and a studio for the public to air its own shows. “Now the taxpayers have to provide the equipment,” he said. “The First Amendment didn’t apply to Comcast, but it applies to us.”

Commissioner Bruce Malcolm asked Czymbor if there had been a problem with misuse of the channel. Czymbor answered that the channel had not been misused but without the PEG policy, the city would have to broadcast any program, “whatever the organization’s mission.”  He added that he thought the city should be doing “a lot more programs that would interest the general public,” such as tours of Egans Creek Greenway and the lighthouse.

Commissioner Ken Walker said he could not understand why the channel hasn’t been used more, but to “keep some form of civility to the channel we have to adopt some sort of rules.”  Sapp noted there has been community access programming since the early ’70s, with “no conflict, no controversy.”  “If there begins to be a concern, then we start to look at that,” he added. “So why pass some exclusionary kinds of rules?”   —>
http://www.fbnewsleader.com/articles/2008/02/04/news/00newscitycable.txt
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Town television offers new programs this month
Greenwich Post (CT)
02/04/08

In February, Greenwich Community Television Channel 79 will feature three programs on topics of public interest this election year: climate change, civil rights and equal education.

“The Economics of Climate Change: Risk, Ethics and a Global Deal,” a lecture by Lord Nicholas Stern, is part of The Walter E. Edge Lecture series at Princeton University…
…“Jim Crow’s Last Stand:  The Struggle for Civil Rights in the Suburban North,” a lecture by Thomas J. Sugrue, was given at Case Western University in 2007 as part of its Cityscapes Lecture Series…
…“A View From the Top:  A Conversation with Former Governors About Abbott v. Burke,” a 2007 program featuring former New Jersey governors Brendan Byrne, Jim Florio and Donald DiFrancesco, was held at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.   —>
http://www.acorn-online.com/news/publish/greenwich/28465.shtml
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Seeing is believing — or is it?
by Rick Siefert (1 comments)
The Red Electric
02/03/08

—>   Last week two Media Think colleagues (Joan Rutkowski and Matt Stockton) and I presented a televised discussion about television advertising.  We examined four ads for the above products in some detail.  In the course of the Metro East cable access program, “Community Hotline,” we considered several questions:

Who made these ads? How were they made and at what cost?  For whom were they made?  What devices were used to appeal to the “target audience”?  How successful were the ads in appealing to the audience?  What were the ads NOT telling viewers that they needed to know about the product.”

One hour wasn’t enough time to do justice to the questions or the answers, but we made a start. (The program will be rebroadcast, and I’ve listed the times below if you are interested in seeing what we had to say.)

The ability to “read” visual images critically (yes, I know, words are also visual images) is a necessity in our media-saturated culture. The field of media literacy tries to address that need. Media Think, one of dozens of groups around the country, is lobbying to make media literacy a “life skill” and a required subject in our schools.  Without the skill, we will be increasingly vulnerable media messages aimed not at our minds but at our emotions and basest instincts—never mind the cost to us, our society or the planet.

As I’ve done my own critical thinking about our on-air ad analysis, I wish we had shared some key concepts of media literacy and applied them to the ads.  Better late than never.  You can find varying lists of these concepts, but here are the ones that the Alliance for a Media Literate America (AMLA) circulates. After each. I’ve included my own parenthetical comments in hopes of giving you a sense of the concept’s significance.   —>
http://theredelectric.blogspot.com/2008/02/seeing-is-believing-or-is-it.html
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Kenyan Expatriates Access Live African Television Coverage of Crisis in their Homeland
by Howard Lesser
VOA News
02/04/08

A leading broadcaster of African television over broadband internet has noticed a surge in the number of Kenyan viewers and others around the world avidly following disturbing political developments in Kenya.  Africast-TV streams real-time and archived programming over the internet from more than 40 public and independent channels in 25 African countries to subscribers in 50 countries, who can also sign up to watch it on their television sets.  From its US headquarters in Westport, Connecticut, founder and CEO John Sarpong says that the contentious campaign and its violence-filled aftermath has stirred more than 120-thousand anxious new viewers to tune in, looking to fill a void in global media coverage of Africa.   —>
http://www.voanews.com/english/Africa/2008-02-04-voa4.cfm
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Broadcasters, cable operators blasted for bottom-line approach to content
The Canadian Press
02/04/08

GATINEAU, Que. – Actors, directors, writers and producers described Canadian private broadcasters as greedy capitalists who care little about Canadian programming, as week-long hearings on the future of domestic television programming began Monday.  “Our problem in this country is the broadcasters who have been demonstrating a slavish devotion to lowest common denominator U.S. shows and simulcast them at bargain-basement prices,” said Richard Hardacre, president of ACTRA, the Canadian writer’s guild.

The comments came at a news conference in conjunction with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission hearings, which are examining recommendations to change the way Canadian-produced television and films are financed.  The federal regulator will be hearing arguments throughout the week on a proposal that would divide the $288 million fund essentially into two streams – one for commercial shows paid for by private broadcasters, and another supported by the government to produce culturally significant programming.   —>
http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5h9GJLN0K4Oxy0PZVNvs1MrTFm4pQ
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Survey: More Internet Users Watch Web TV Than Cable VOD
20% Of Internet Users Watches A Show A Week On The Web
by Todd Spangler
Multichannel News
02/04/08

Internet users are more likely to watch TV shows on the Web than access cable video-on-demand services, according to a survey by research firm Solutions Research Group.  The survey found that about 20% of Internet users in the United States said they watch TV episodes on the Web every week, compared with 14% who use a cable operator’s VOD.   —>
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6528505.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

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Community Media: Selected Clippings – 08/29/07

August 29, 2007

TV station tour meant to raise awareness of funding woes
by Regan McTarsney
Columbia Missourian
08/28/07

In order to plead their case for funding, Columbia Access Television volunteers gave Columbia City Council members Jerry Wade, Karl Skala and Barbara Hoppe a tour of their facility on Tuesday night. The council is set to vote next week on a drafted ordinance that may determine Columbia Access Television (CAT TV) funding.  Beth Pike, a member of the Columbia Cable Task Force, showed the council members the aging audio and video equipment — some of which dates back as far as the 1950s — and the potential for growth within CAT TV’s spacious Stephens College facilities.

“They really had some foresight when they built this, but unfortunately the equipment is outdated,” Pike told the council members.  Pike said that if CAT TV is able to expand its resources, there could be possibility for growth in partnerships with local schools.  “Before you can develop partnerships you need to update your studio,” councilman Skala said in agreement.

CAT TV has been surviving on $30,000 a year from Mediacom since its inception in 2004. Because CAT TV is still waiting for an installment of $10,000 from May, the station is down to its last $2,000.  “Right now, I figure we can last for about a month, and then I guess we’ll go off,” CAT TV treasurer Steve Hudnell said.   —>
http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2007/08/28/tv-station-tour-meant-raise-awareness-funding-woes/
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Struggling access channel makes plea for help
by T.J. Greaney
Columbia Tribune (MO)
08/29/07

The clock is ticking on public access television in Columbia. Without help from city hall, televisions tuned to Columbia Access Television will go black in October.  Supporters sought to tilt opinion in their favor last night by offering a tour of the studios where they operate free of charge at Stephens College. Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala, Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Wade and Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe took the tour, which was offered to all Columbia City Council members.

The council will hear a first reading Tuesday of an ordinance to increase the cable “franchise fee” from 3 percent to 5 percent. The fee is money paid by cable companies for use of public rights of way. If Mediacom chooses to pass the hike on to customers, it would amount to an extra $1 on a $50.

CAT TV said it needs about $600,000 in startup money and $250,000 annually for maintenance and full-time staff. The increased franchise fee would generate an estimated $334,000 each year. CAT TV also will ask the council for special funding in next year’s budget to stay on the air.

Council members on the tour seemed more interested in offering a helping hand than a constant funding stream. “In essence, this would be seed money so you can get other sponsors interested in this. If you have a successful product and people see there’s interest in the product, people will be more likely to chip in,” Skala said.

The money would be exponentially more than CAT TV now receives from Mediacom each year. The cable giant has fallen behind on its payments, CAT TV personnel said, and still owes $10,000 from May.  “Mediacom really just wanted you to go away, and you didn’t,” Skala said.  A message left for Mediacom yesterday was not returned.

If the franchise fee is approved, though, others have designs on the money. Columbia’s other two public cable channels, for education and government, have both expressed interest.    —>
http://www.columbiatribune.com/2007/Aug/20070829News002.asp
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Local access shows moving
Bright House to put school, government channels on digital tier
by Sylvia Lim
Bradenton Herald (FL)
08/29/07

Come Dec. 11, Bright House Networks basic cable customers won’t be able to catch school board or county commission meetings on TV anymore.  The company decided to move its government access channels to a digital tier, said Joe Durkin, a Bright House spokesman.  That means cable customers have to obtain a digital converter box for $6.95 monthly to view any local government channels, such as Manatee Government Access and Manatee Education Television, Durkin said. MGA can be viewed on Bright House Channel 20 and METV on 21.

Manatee officials are worried Brighthouse’s decision will limit constituents’ knowledge about the workings of local governments.  “I think it’s unfortunate,” said Amy Stein, Manatee County Commission chairman. “I think that the government access TV and education TV are real public service.   —>
http://www.bradenton.com/local/story/132857.html
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A Tale of Two Cities
SavetheInternet,com
08/29/07

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  And when it comes to broadband, Tokyo is a long way from Little Rock.

The Japanese enjoy broadband speeds that are up to 30 times faster than what’s available here at a far lower cost. This faster, cheaper, universal broadband access – according to an excellent article in today’s Washington Post – “is pushing open doors to Internet innovation that are likely to remain closed for years to come in much of the United States.”  To the Japanese, our “high-speed” Internet service doesn’t look much different from dial-up:

“The speed advantage allows the Japanese to watch broadcast-quality, full-screen television over the Internet, an experience that mocks the grainy, wallet-size images Americans endure.  Ultra-high-speed applications are being rolled out for low-cost, high-definition teleconferencing, for telemedicine — which allows urban doctors to diagnose diseases from a distance — and for advanced telecommuting to help Japan meet its goal of doubling the number of people who work from home by 2010.”

Open Secrets – What’s the secret of Japan’s success? Open access.

Less than a decade ago, DSL service in Japan was slower and pricier than in the United States. So the Japanese government mandated open access policies that forced the telephone monopoly to share its wires at wholesale rates with new competitors. The result: a broadband explosion.  Not only did DSL get faster and cheaper in Japan, but the new competition actually forced the creaky old phone monopoly to innovate. As the Post explains: —>
http://www.savetheinternet.com/blog/2007/08/29/a-tale-of-two-cities/
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Burlington Telecom
by Dean Corren
The Prog Blog (MA)
08/29/07

Today was an exciting day. I got to sign up for telecommunications service with my city’s own provider – Burlington Telecom.  My wait had been just under two decades.  What took so long? In 1988, when I was appointed to the Burlington Electric Commission, I had missed the city’s consideration of whether to provide its own cable TV service. While Mayor Bernie Sanders had been clear on the need for local public control, the City Council had been divided and uncertain, and had looked to the electric commission.   —>
http://www.progressiveparty.org/blog/?p=190
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Schenectady City Council Committees Meetings
by Pat Zollinger
pat-zollinger.us (NY)
08/28/07

Last spring the Schenectady City Council voted on legislation that would have moved their committee meetings up to room 209 in City Hall so they could easily be videotaped and broadcast on our public access channel. With Council President Mark Blanchfield absent, the council members voted 3-3 on this legislation, causing it to fail.

The legislation was to be a pilot of sorts, where the summertime council committees meetings would be videotaped and a later decision would be made as to its continuance. Currently members of the community have to go in person to these meetings, to see and hear how our elected city council does its business. But that can be difficult for many of our seniors, for working people because of the time and for the disabled because of the room itself.

But a pilot of sorts did occur over the summer, and will continue as long as necessary so that the people of our community can see these council committees meetings on both SACC-TV 16 and the Internet. I along with Mr. Devin Harrison of Schenectady have provided this through videotaping and Internet accessibility and SACC-TV puts it on the air. The four committees meetings held in July and August have been aired and are on the Internet at Schenectady U-TV at http://sutv.iamdooser.org   —>
http://patzollinger.us/blog/?p=6
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Public Access TV moves
by Kathleen Kirwin
Westford Eagle (MA)
08/29/07

It’s lights, camera, action at Westford Public Access TV’s new home at 487 Groton Road.  The new studio is a welcomed change from the old studio cramped inside Nashoba Valley Technical High School.  “Here there is so much more room and we are more accessible to the public,” said Erica Davidson, member of the Westford public access committee.   —>
http://www.townonline.com/westford/homepage/x1846589386
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Greater Ossining TV Seeks New Home
by Westchester.com (NY)
08/29/07

Greater Ossining Television (GO-TV), the community’s public access TV station, is facing the possibility of becoming homeless in just another four months.  The lease at its current location at Ossining High School is set to expire on December 31, 2007.  An agreement between the school and GO-TV has allowed the station to operate a small studio rent-free for the past 10 years, in exchange for sharing some of its equipment with the school.   —>
http://westchester.com/Westchester_News/Entertainment/Greater_Ossining_TV_Seeks_New_Home_200708298266.html
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A demanding audience: On-demand TV breaking records in state
by Bill Hutchens
The News Tribune (WA)
08/24/07

In this age of instant information and gratification, many businesses understand that if customers can’t immediately get what they want they might move on.  The old “delivery may take six to eight weeks” advisory is almost unthinkable now that even next-day delivery from Amazon can seem to take too long. We want what we want, and we want it now.  So it is with television.

Local cable companies are seeing exponential growth in the usage of their “on-demand” services. Since the introduction of on-demand TV in Washington three years ago, viewers have ordered more than a quarter of a billion programs from Comcast, according to company records.  Included among the nearly 200 million orders of free video entertainment programs provided by the state’s largest cable company are hundreds of popular local features, said Comcast spokeswoman Shauna Causey.

And Mitch Robinson, spokesperson for Click! Network, said the Tacoma-run TV utility is committed to providing free local programming with its Video on Demand service.  Local features are produced by Comcast’s team of videographers in Puyallup and Click!’s community partners. To view them, cable subscribers select the “Get Local” button from the on-demand menu to watch high school sporting events, community festivals, local band spotlights, spelling bees, destruction derbies and more.   —>
http://www.thenewstribune.com/soundlife/story/140194.html
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Worldwide community media, at your local blog
by Bree Bowman
Center for Social Media
08/29/07

The venerable, but never less than edgy, grassroots media organization Deep Dish TV has launched a blog where you can find out about edgy, improbable and grassroots media worldwide: http://www.deepdishwavesofchange.blogspot.com.  Its task: to “celebrate the energy and success of community expression, but also look at problems of sustainability, difficult interactions with political power, stressful lives of volunteers, and the ever-present potential of co-optation by commercial interests. You can read today about South African kids’ comics and Mexican indigenous radio. Tomorrow? Winds of Change’s guru is DeeDee Halleck, author of Hand-Held Visions, a book that serves as a record of a life filled with exuberant grassroots experiments.
http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/blogs/future_of_public_media/worldwide_community_media/
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Media Giraffe – Journalism That Matters 2007: DC
Our Group  “After Action Report”
by Cho
ePluribus Media
08/29/07

After the 7 of us who went to the Media Giraffe Journalism That Matters sessions got home from our DC trip, we did an email round robin of the highlights and the low points of the two days.  Our aim was to grab our impressions for a sort of “After Action Report” for all of you with an eye toward:

* proving background information to any one planning to future events
* articulating the take-aways so that we can, in business speak, make them “actionable” — basically, be able to take some actions with what we learned
* identifying good things to do and bad things to avoid

Ilona Meagher, who has attended all three of the Media Giraffe symposiums, suggested that the vibe of this one was different, most likely because of the sheer number of participants (160 in DC as opposed to 50ish in Memphis).  The email exchange was so rich, with so many intriguing insights, I found it hard to pull together as I didn’t want to leave anything out.  So without further ado, as the cliché goes, here’s my maladroit gleaming from our discussions.   —>
http://scoop.epluribusmedia.org/story/2007/8/27/10182/8682
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Batavia’s broadcaster ready for school year
by Jimmy Gordon
Batavia Republican (IL)
08/29/07

—>   In addition to being a voice for Batavia’s 2nd Ward, Wolff is the voice behind the microphone of Batavia’s private access television production, channels 10 and 17.  “There are so many citizens that think public access television is simply an avenue to record and broadcast the typical monthly board meetings held at various places around town,” he said.  In fact, with enrollment in a 90-minute class citizens are allowed to use the public access channels for just about anything one might want to promote. Though most material is welcome, it is sports that take the top shelf. It’s a great tool for coaches to use while reviewing recent games for errors and future strategies, Wolff said.   —>
http://www.chicagosuburbannews.com/batavia/homepage/x1136425330
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org