Archive for the ‘preservation’ category

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/23/08

April 27, 2008

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

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

The Senate’s commerce committee approved the measure 6-1 despite opposition from parish and city government officials who complained that the state was trying to snatch control over a significant part of their income.  The loss of control would likely mean a drop in revenue, said Dan Garrett, a lobbyist for the Police Jury Association.  “This bill strips local governments of franchise authority,” Garrett said.   —>
http://www.nola.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/news-38/1208986459310880.xml&storylist=louisiana
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Despite compromise bill, cable ads bashing AT&T still ran
by John Rodgers
Nashville City Paper (TN)
04/23/08

[ 7 comments ]

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

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

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

http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=59719
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Book Report Raises Questions About Texas’ SB5
by Jon Kreucher
Blogging Broadband (MI)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

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

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

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

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

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

Many thanks to Dr. Book for sharing her draft report — if you’d like to see a copy, you can download it here.
http://www.bloggingbroadband.com/?p=132
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U-Verse Rollout Continues — But Slowly
by Jon Kreucher
Blogging Broadband (MI)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

AT&T reported its first quarter 2008 earnings yesterday.  As with all such calls, the U-Verse rollout was an active topic for discussion.  AT&T noted that it remains on plan to meet its current 2008 U-verse subscription target — but the rollout must nevertheless appear to be painfully slow to regulators.  Not too long ago, AT&T told every state in its operating area that the need to obtain a service franchise from each local government was the only impediment to the widespread deployment of its new video product.  Time is now proving that the representation wasn’t altogether accurate.    —>
http://www.bloggingbroadband.com/?p=138
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(sob) All that work on the public access TV bill and then this…
by Larry Geller
Disappeared News (HI)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

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

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

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

It’s not just the hours spent testifying (and those coming in from other islands over and over had it worse than I did). There were also hours testifying before the Procurement Policy Board and on and on and on. This bill would have fixed everything.  And it just fell into a crack someplace? Gone, just like that? What can I say?
http://disappearednews.com/2008/04/sob-all-that-work-on-public-access-tv.html
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How come it’s never the manini bills that die by clerical oversight?
by Doug White
Poinography (HI)
04/22/08

[ 7 comments ]

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

What’s left unanswered by this article, however, is what the failure of this legislation means for the PEG providers we currently know (Olelo, Akaku, etc.). Will the Department award (or has it already awarded) the PEG contracts to new groups?
http://poinography.com/?p=5797
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Buckland, Shelburne: cable for all
by Jeff Potter
Shelburne Falls Independent (MA)
04/23/08

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

Mike Duffy of Shelburne and Glenn Cardinal of Buckland, representatives from the two respective cable advisory boards, appeared before Shelburne selectmen to discuss the document and its findings. Cardinal chairs the joint committee.  “We find, based on extensive testimony at extraordinary public ascertainment hearings, and based on review of more than 40 ascertainment exhibits, there is a compelling and great need for service area expansion and cable system build-out in the towns of Buckland and Shelburne,” reads the document in its introduction. “The overwhelming sentiment expressed at the hearings was that cable service in all its forms is no longer a luxury, but is now an absolute necessity for the long-term viability of our towns, and that no resident should be deprived of such services.”   —>
http://69.93.213.18/~sfindep/site/site07/articleexcerpt.php?id=2376&photodir=/home/sfindep/public_html/site/assets/photos/SFI94/SFI94.sf.cable/source/image/&photocount=0&issue=94
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Films: Preserving ‘Everyday People’ History
Celluloid archaeologists are striving to preserve a fast-decaying historical resource and, at the same time, show the world what they’ve got.
by Barbara Hesselgrave
Miller-McCune
04/23/08

[comments invited ]

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

Video: Watch 10 “orphan films

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

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

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

While many orphan films might not have commercial value — i.e., they are not a theatrical film for public distribution — Streible said many have tremendous historical value. As “orphans” are discovered, he and his colleagues’ mission is to preserve the images and make the information known to others.  He has a slogan that “most of the films ever made no longer exist” (because of deterioration). Of those that do, the majority are not preserved, and those that have been preserved are often known only to a handful of archivists or researchers.   —>
http://www.miller-mccune.com/article/316
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Los Gatos Rotary event will raise funds for KCAT, charities
by Marianne Lucchesi Hamilton
Los Gatos Weekly-Times (CA)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

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

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

The KCAT studio has been situated on the high school campus since 1983, offering students an opportunity to acquire hands-on training in digital media production.  “KCAT’s staff and board of directors are thrilled to be identified as a beneficiary of Los Gatos Morning Rotary’s upcoming fundraiser,” KCAT station manager George Sampson said.   —>
http://www.mercurynews.com/losgatos/ci_9028717?nclick_check=1
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No longer ‘PTTV’: Television for people who don’t like television
by Barney Burke
Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader (WA)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

“People who say, ‘I don’t watch TV,'” says Jonathan Stratman, provide the biggest challenge in programming Port Townsend’s community TV station.  Hired in October as director of Port Townsend Television, formerly known as PTTV, Stratman said the station’s content is being transformed, and not just because of new equipment.  “It’s television for people who don’t like television,” said Stratman of the increase in homegrown media.   —>
http://www.ptleader.com/main.asp?SectionID=21&SubSectionID=21&ArticleID=20680&TM=58613.97
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City, county plan joint Web site
Times Publications (IN)
04/23/08

[ comments invited ]

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

“This is an excellent first step in making local government more accessible through the internet,” added Commissioner Nelson Peters.  “We look forward to collaborating with our city partners on similar initiatives such as integrating public access television programming.”
http://www.fwdailynews.com/articles/2008/04/23/times/times_online/doc480f2cc1c877f104652276.txt
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South Africa: IEC Conference Discuss the Role of Media During Elections
BuaNews (Tshwane)
04/23/08

A conference discussing the role of the media during the elections is currently underway in Pretoria.  Hosted by the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), under the theme “the role of the media in promoting electoral democracy,” the national conference on Media and Electoral Democracy is bringing together relevant stakeholders to discuss these issues.   —>
http://allafrica.com/stories/200804230831.html
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Kazakhstan: Media Forum Focuses Attention on Stifling Journalistic Environment
by Joanna Lillis
Eurasianet.org
04/23/08

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

The guarded optimism expressed by some members of the journalistic community as last year’s Eurasian Media Forum opened subsided long ago. A new, more liberal press law that was then in parliament has been shelved, and slow progress on drafting another version essentially precludes the possibility of new legislation being in place before the start of 2009, when Kazakhstan will join the OSCE Troika of past, present and future chairs.   —>
http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav042308a.shtml
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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 – 02/13/08

February 17, 2008

Bush asked to use Olympics to push for media freedom
AFP
02/13/08

Reporters Without Borders, a global media watchdog, on Wednesday called on US President George W. Bush to use his attendance of the Olympic Games in Beijing to push for press freedom and other democratic reforms in China.  Bush should “push for change and urge the Chinese authorities to release political prisoners and end censorship,” Lucie Morillon, director of Reporters Without Borders USA, told a forum in Washington where the group’s annual report was released.  “This could be an important part of his legacy,” she said, referring to Bush’s last year in office after being first elected in 2000.

The annual report said 2007 was a tough year for the media with 87 journalists killed, the highest since 1994.  Eighty-two journalists, Internet users and bloggers are currently imprisoned in China, according to Reporters Without Borders.  Chinese authorities promised “total press freedom” when awarded the Olympic Games, which will officially open on August 8, “but none of their promises were kept,” Morillon said.  Chinese journalist He Qinglian, author of “How the Chinese government controls the media,” told the forum that even journalists who wrote on health and pollution issues were not spared in her country.  “The government is shameless. China is not a respectable member of the international community,” she said.   —>
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5irUNO7Nis-3k2Sttpn2tds1cir2g
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Hope may be dimming for public access TV
by Alicia Petska
The News & Advance (VA)
02/13/08

[comments allowed]

The possibility of lending city support to Lynchburg’s public access station is still on the table, although City Council unanimously approved a contract that could have the channel off the air as early as this week.  On Wednesday, Ward II Councilman Ceasor Johnson said he was willing to champion community television’s cause during this year’s budget hearings if there was interest in keeping the programming.  He made no promises of success, though, noting the city was facing a tight financial year.  “Kaine, he’s got a $1 billion loss right now,” Johnson said, referring to the state’s budget deficit. “That trickles down to local government and everyone’s going have to tighten their belts. I don’t know what people will be willing to do for public access.”

City Manager Kimball Payne, who’s finishing his budget proposal now, told council members at Tuesday’s meeting that support for public access will not be included.  At the meeting, City Council unanimously approved a new franchise contract for cable provider Comcast. Under the terms of that deal and in compliance with recent changes to state law, Comcast will no longer be required to support local public access programs, which run on Channel 7.  Hosts still have the right to broadcast their programs, but will now have to pay to produce them – a possibility that could spell the end of Lynchburg’s 30-year public access  tradition.   —>
http://www.newsadvance.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=LNA%2FMGArticle%2FLNA_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1173354602451&path=!news!archive
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New Lynchburg cable franchise drops public access
by Alicia Petska
The News & Advance (VA)
02/13/08

[comments allowed]

Lynchburg City Council has unanimously approved a new cable franchise contract that drops support for public access programming.  Council, which previously voted against stepping in to save the city’s public TV station, did leave the door open for possible city funding in the future.  Ward II Councilman Ceasor Johnson asked that the issue be brought up again during this year’s budget talks, which kick off next month.

Prior to council’s vote, which was cast Tuesday night, 15 people came forward during a hearing to speak in support of public access. Lynchburg’s had public access TV since 1978.  In the past, its been supported by the city’s cable provider, currently Comcast. Changes to state law approved in 2006 no longer require companies to carry that burden.
http://www.newsadvance.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=LNA%2FMGArticle%2FLNA_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1173354593364&path=!news!archive
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Mayor leans toward state licensing on cable TV
by Andy Sher
Chatanooga Times Free Press (TN)
02/12/08

[1 comment]

Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield said Monday he is “basically comfortable” with legislation that would create a statewide cable licensing process although he noted he will need to see final language before making a definite commitment.  “I know a lot of maneuvering, a lot of writing and rewriting is going on and so when I see the final bill we’ll decide,” Mr. Littlefield said. “But right now I’m basically comfortable with AT&T’s latest proposal.”  Mr. Littlefield’s comments came as he and mayors from Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville visited with House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington, and Gov. Phil Bredesen on a variety of issues.   —>
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2008/feb/12/littlefield-leans-toward-t-state-cable-fight/
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League of Women Voter Returns – LWV discusses internet issues
by Kara O’Connor
Stamford Times (CT)
02/13/08

The Connecticut League of Women Voters gathered at Ferguson Library Monday to discuss the openness of the Internet.  In June 2007 the LWV began a state-level study on the emerging media issues, their relevance to democracy and the importance to Connecticut residents.  Cheryl Denson, the vice president for public affairs and Carol Young, the vice president for communications put together a presentation on the collected data for the members of the LWV.  “You don’t have to be an Internet wiz to care about this issue,” said Denson. “The media has changed so much in the 21st century, there is a whole array of electronic media that we all depend upon.”

The LWV spoke about three different issues; Internet neutrality, universal Internet access for Connecticut and community access TV and public affairs programming. The LWV asked their members if they agreed or disagreed with these three issues.  There are three levels of the LWV, the local, the state and the national level and all three levels conduct studies, according to Yara Burnett the President of the Connecticut LWV. These particular issues are state-level studies.   —>
http://www.thestamfordtimes.com/stamford_templates/stamford_story/292808632528005.php
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Medway officials fuming over Comcast contract
by Aaron Wasserman
Milford Daily News (MA)
02/11/08

Comcast has overcharged its 3,600 cable subscribers in town about $150,000 total in the last 10 years for a station manager who did not exist, said Selectman John Foresto yesterday.  Additionally, negotiations with Comcast on a new 10-year cable contract with the town have stalled, Foresto informed selectmen at their meeting last night, in part because the town wants a settlement for the $150,000. He is leading the talks for the town.

The current contract expires Feb. 22. It will not affect subscribers’ cable service, said Foresto, but will determine how much money the town receives to run its public access channel and studio at the high school.  The main hurdle is how much Comcast contributes for those operations. Verizon, in a 10-year contract negotiated last September, paid about $160,000 for equipment and gives 4 percent of revenue to the town for public access – costs it passes on to consumers, Foresto said. The town wants Comcast to agree to the same conditions, but the cable company wants to tie its payment entirely to revenues, Foresto said.   —>
http://www.milforddailynews.com/homepage/x1282062004
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City Receives $300,000 in Comcast Payment
Decatur Tribune (IL)
02/12/08

The City of Decatur recently received almost $300,000 in payments from the local cable company to help maintain local cable service and provide residents better access to government and the community.  City staff in recent months successfully negotiated a new cable franchise agreement with cable provider Comcast after years of delay from Insight, the city’s former provider.  Terms of the agreement call for Comcast to pay about $750,000 over the next 10 years to fund public programming in addition to its regular access fee. The city on Feb. 4 received a payment of $296,500, which includes a portion of the franchise fee and a payment of $75,000 as part of the settlement agreement with Comcast.

“Staff from day one has realized the importance of television and video in providing useful information to the public in this day and age,” said City Manager Steve Garman. “We fought very hard with Insight to make sure that they would provide funding for this service for our residents, city government and the school district and Comcast has been exceptional to work with as we’ve moved forward with the specifics of this agreement.”   —>
http://news.mywebpal.com/news_tool_v2.cfm?show=localnews&pnpID=469&NewsID=876290&CategoryID=7026&on=1
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On Radio: Independent Bellevue station turns 35
Variety of music, local news, keeps KBCS-FM going
by Bill Virgin
Seattle Post-Intelligencer (A)
02/13/08

[2 comments]

As a radio station manager and programmer, Steve Ramsey knows all about the distractions that “take me away from our signal.” He’s got an iPhone, and through his computer and an Internet connection, he can listen to a friend’s station in California.  So what will motivate listeners to tune in to a small radio station such as KBCS-FM/91.3, out of all the media choices — or distractions — available?  Ramsey believes the answer is a combination of the latest technology and an old-fashioned radio model. “We’ve focused pretty intently on making KBCS the community radio station for Seattle,” he says.

As it marks its 35 birthday this month, KBCS, based at Bellevue Community College, seems to be having some success with that combination. Ramsey, KBCS’ general manager, says the station’s weekly audience has been growing.  Although dwarfed by such noncommercial/public-radio stations in this market as KUOW-FM and KPLU-FM, KBCS-FM still manages to draw enough listeners to show up in the quarterly ratings tables (behind the two NPR stations, KEXP-FM and KNHC-FM in fall quarter, according to the Radio Research Consortium).

KBCS hopes to build on that by rolling out new technology. This year it started an audio archive featuring programs from the previous two weeks that can be streamed an hour at a time, as well as a real-time playlist.  Next up is its digital transmitter, which the station hopes to have operating by the end of this summer. That will enable KBCS to use HD technology’s capabilities to provide three channels of programming — two for KBCS itself, the third a student-run channel tied to a curriculum program to be developed with BCC.

But lots of stations boast the same technology. What will set KBCS apart, Ramsey says, is its community focus, with a rich mixture of specialty music programs (featuring everything from vintage jazz to bluegrass, zydeco and Hawaiian) and public-affairs programming (nationally syndicated as well as local).  The local content is produced by about 200 volunteers who come through the station each month. KBCS has built that army of volunteers with training courses through BCC’s continuing education program to turn almost anyone into a radio producer.  “What I tell my students is, that piece of music you’re in love with, listeners can access from 10 different sources,” Ramsey says. What makes them and KBCS unique is their ability to weave that piece of music together with others, as well as conversation and information, “to tell a story.”   —>
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/tv/351195_radiobeat14.html
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MEDIA-INDIA:  Community Radio Stifled With Red Tape
by Keya Acharya
IPS
02/13/08

BANGALORE – Aspiring community radio operators from various parts of the country are complaining of long delays, frustration and bureaucratic red tape in obtaining licenses to run radio stations.  Following a landmark Supreme Court judgment in 1995 that declared airwaves to be public property for public good, members of civil society organisations as well as United Nations agencies such as UNESCO and UNDP held several consultative meetings to expand the eligibility criteria for community radio.

In 2006, the Indian government amended its broadcasting rules to allow independent radio operators set up non-commercial, community-based stations in rural and urban areas.  But the new rules do not allow community radio stations to network with one another and limited broadcast range; no news content is allowed and only five minutes per hour is allowed for advertisements.

“The low 100-watts capacity is fit only for a 10-km distance while urban community radio does not come about because of a lack of frequency,’’ says Stalin K, founder-member of a networking organisation called Community Radio Forum and of the Drishti Media Collective in Gujarat.  The radio frequency allowed by the government in urban areas has to be shared with commercial FM radio, wireless and cell phone operators, leaving community radio with very little frequency bandwidth to operate.

“It is clearly better to have specific frequencies to be allocated for community radio, like other countries such as Thailand or the United States,” says Stalin.  Steve Buckley, Asia-Pacific president of the World Association of Community Radio, (AMACR) says Australia has an active and lively tradition of community-based radio, while Indonesia follows as actively despite political upheavals.  The Philippines too has active community-radio, but with legal constraints, says Buckley.

In India, the Community Radio Forum, a network of NGOs in community radio had been advocating for some years for the Indian government to free the airwaves, still under State control, in spite of the Prasar Bharati Act 1990 which set up an ostensibly independent broadcasting corporation in India.  Though the government had intentions of allowing 4,000 community radio stations by 2008, no operators have yet been given licenses to broadcast. Seven community radio stations have been given a ‘letter of intent’ by the government to operate, pending final approval.   —>
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=41174
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North Carolina Democrats Go After FCC Chair Kevin Martin
by Matt Stoller
OpenLeft.com
02/13/08

[1 comment]

There’s some really interesting news on the open internet front.  First of all, FCC Chair Kevin Martin is now under genuine political attack.  He’s been setting himself up for a political run with his current tenure at the FCC for some time, buttering up powerful industries and acting as a Bush loyalist.  And so this criticism from the North Carolina Democrats is a big deal.  “The North Carolina Democratic Party today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Office of the Inspector General to obtain a detailed list of Chairman Kevin Martin’s recent travel.”   —>
http://openleft.com/showDiary.do;jsessionid=03D3B5D31C0E661A436F43E3F69DEC25?diaryId=3899
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He’s Had Enough of You
FCC’s Copps Wants His Media Smaller, Newsier — and Less Cluttered With Ads
by Mya Frazier
02/11/08

[2 comments]

It’s Jan. 12, 2007, in Memphis, Tenn., and Mr. Copps, preaching to the proverbial choir of nearly 3,500 self-described “media-reform activists,” proceeds to tell them what taxpayers get for that half trillion: “Too little news, too much baloney passed off as news. Too little quality entertainment, too many people eating bugs on reality TV. … Too much brain-numbing national playlists. Too little of America, too much of Wall Street and Madison Avenue.”

It’s not the kind of fiery rhetoric you’d expect from a 38-year Washington insider with a job title that can basically be summed up in one word — bureaucrat. Is this the same guy who dons a suit and tie each day and heads to a rather boring and morose building that wouldn’t look out of place in the middle of an office complex in, say, suburban Iowa?

Worthy adversary

Yes, but it’s also likely that few things keep Rupert Murdoch and Sam Zell up at night more than the prospect of Michael Copps becoming FCC chairman. Unlike Chairman Kevin Martin, Mr. Copps surely would not be a friend to Big Media.  So far, as one of only two Democratic commissioners — outvoted at practically every turn by three Republicans — he’s had little ability to actually push his vision of “media democracy” and has instead been limited to writing scathing dissents and firing up activists outside the Beltway. But it’s been an effective strategy nonetheless.

“He has been, by far, the most effective FCC commissioner in a minority role that I have seen in 37 years of working with the FCC,” said Andrew Schwartzman, president-CEO of the Media Access Project, which has fought media consolidation via the courts. “I have never seen anyone play a bad hand as well as he has.” He added: “I would hate to be in a poker game with him.”

Come 2009, the new president will appoint his or her own FCC chairman. And a Copps appointment would give him power to set the agenda, block media mergers with some help from Congress and overhaul the license-renewal process for broadcasters, a process he has called “slipshod.” (He proposed shortening the eight-year cycle to three in a New York Times editorial last year.) In other words, every three years the likes of Messrs. Murdoch and Zell would be asked if they were serving the public interest and should keep their broadcast licenses.   —>
http://adage.com/article?article_id=124973
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ACA: A La Carte Would Be Status Quo
Group Says Many Content Providers Already Offer This Option
by Ted Hearn
Multichannel News
02/12/08

[comments allowed]

Big cable programmers shouldn’t have a worry if the Federal Communications Commission adopts so-called wholesale a la carte rules because many content owners claim they make their channels available in that manner today, the American Cable Association said Tuesday.  “Many programmers say they already offer channels on a stand-alone basis. ACA’s proposals would simply codify this practice, and give a remedy in case stand-alone channels were not offered on reasonable terms,” ACA told the FCC in a filing. “As programmers and broadcasters claim they already do this, they should have no legitimate objection to the [FCC’s] incorporating this into its regulations.”

ACA – which represents 1,100 cable companies with 8 million customers – has been battling Viacom, The Walt Disney Co. and other big programmers for many years on the wholesale distribution of cable programming. Small MSOs complain that the bundling of channels, also called tying, forces them to buy more programming than they want and pass along unwanted costs to unhappy consumers.   —>
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6531815.html?nid=4262
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Academic Community Takes a Long Look at Archival Project
by Avi Webb
Chabad.org News
02/13/08

For an academic body studying the nexus between religion and the media, a Chabad-Lubavitch archive and production outfit have become something of a test case of how a Chasidic Jewish community has embraced modern technology to document and preserve its modern legacy.

At their regular gathering in late December, 20 members of New York University’s Working Group on Jews, Media and Religion examined Jewish Educational Media, which controls an archive of 4,000 hours of audiotapes and video footage of the Sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, of righteous memory, and the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, dating back to the 1920s.

In its research, the working group – part of the university’s Center for Religion and Media – struggles with a conspicuous gap in available resources. Chasidic communities tend to hold out against technological advances, making it difficult to find documentation of their early growth in America. Until recently, the consensus was that, save for a burst of activity in the 1990s among young Jewish artists who took up various mediums to explore several Chasidic communities from the outside looking in, documentary evidence of such group’s early development in the United States was lacking.

Then Jewish Educational Media embarked on a preservation effort called “The Living Archive,” which over the past two years has attracted the interest of academics and such bodies as the National Endowment for the Humanities.  “There is absolutely nothing to compare with the video and audio documentation of a religious Jewish community that [JEM] has collected,” said Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, a professor of performance studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a co-convener of the religion and media working group at NYU.   —>
http://www.chabad.org/news/article_cdo/aid/637543/jewish/Looking-Ahead-in-Preserving-the-Past.htm
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Brookline Access TV show mixes current events with hometown humor
by Neal Simpson
Brookline Tab (MA)
02/13/08

[comments allowed]

You can call him the Jon Stewart of public access television.  For more than a decade, Mike Sallen has bought his own brand of political humor to the Brookline airwaves. Although the production has gotten smaller over the years, Sallen and two friends still meet every Monday night to poke fun at politicians and tease celebrities on “The Fun Show.”  “We’re having a good time,” said Sallen, a Thorndike Street resident. “We’re trying to get people to sit back and have some fun.”

A former public school superintendent, Sallen launched his TV career in 1997 with a black-comedy skit show called “Shorties” that involved props, costumes and a rotating cast of actors. The show was scrapped when the station changed studios.   “The Fun Show,” which airs live every Monday at 7 p.m., is a much simpler production. Sallen rarely leaves his chair, and his two co-hosts, actor Archer O’Reilly and radio journalist Kevin McNicholas, read from paper scripts in their lap.

The highlight of the show is Sallen’s scripts, which O’Reilly introduces each week as a production of the “BATV Unrehearsed Thespian Society.” O’Reilly and McNicholas rarely see the script before Sallen hands it to them minutes before the show.  “What Mike loves to do is put words in my mouth that I would never on earth have said,” said O’Reilly, Sallen’s neighbor on Thorndike Street.  “The Fun Show” starts each week with playful banter between the three men. Then, when Sallen signals, they begin to read, taunting each other and trading snappy responses that are never more than a few words long.   —>
http://www.wickedlocal.com/brookline/fun/x182025778
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannls.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/21/07

September 21, 2007

Community Forum Video Series
Media Issues Come To Marin (CA)
blip.tv
09/18/07

Media Action Marin and Be the Media present:
“Media Issues Come To Marin – a panel discussion”

[blip.tv ?posts_id=392197&dest=-1]

David Mathison – Moderator
Julie Akins – Executive Director, Petaluma Community Access
Flor Emert – Board of Directors, Community Media Center of Marin
Larry Bragman – Fairfax Mayor, Member MTA
Peter Franck – Chairperson, Media Action Marin
http://blip.tv/file/387134
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Hillsborough cuts funding for public access
by Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Evening News Friday (FL)
09/21/07

The Hillsborough County Commission unanimously approved a $4-billion budget last night, their first since the state mandated budget cuts to cities and counties provide property tax relief. The budget eliminates 442 jobs, including 97 positions currently held by full-time employees. Overall, it cuts nearly $56 million from the budget. One of the biggest losers in the battle for fewer taxpayer dollars is the county’s public access channel, Speak up Tampa Bay. —>
http://www.wmnf.org/news_stories/show/4743
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Public access loses battle in Hillsborough County
Hillsborough County commissioners voted to cut funding for the public access cable channel on Thursday night.
My Fox Tampa Bay (FL)
09/21/07

An ongoing battle over public access television ended Thursday night at the meeting of the Hillsborough County Commission on balancing the budget. The cable channel lost all its public funding from the county, but those with their own shows are trying to stake a claim on the cable programming. —>
http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=4419783&version=2&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1
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County Approves $4 Billion Budget
by Anthony McCartney
Tampa Tribune (FL)
09/21/07

—> Virtually all the speakers Thursday night lobbied the board to restore spending for certain projects, while a few asked commissioners to make changes that would further lower property tax bills. Some asked for both. Most said they wanted $874,000 restored to two nonprofit television stations, The Education Channel and Tampa Bay Community Network.

Commissioners approved giving The Education Channel $250,000 next year, less than half of the $519,000 it received in this year’s budget. Ann Goldenberg, the station’s executive director, expressed gratitude, saying the money will help her station continue production of numerous local educational programs. “It’ll have to be enough,” Goldenberg said.

TBCN, also known as public access, was not as lucky. A bid to give the station $250,000 next year failed on a 4-3 vote, with Commissioners Jim Norman, Ken Hagan, Al Higginbotham and Brian Blair rejecting the motion. Joe Ramsey, who hosts the Gospel Music Hour on the network, raised his hand and prayed for commissioners to continue funding TBCN during his three-minute speech during public comment. “Continue public access and let freedom ring,” he said. “I’m very, very disappointed,” Louise Thompson, the station’s executive director, said after the vote. She said she would consider suing the county to get funding restored.

Commissioner Mark Sharpe, who made the motion to restore money for The Education Channel, said it may be the last time Hillsborough could help pay for the station’s operations. “I say to the advocates, times are changing,” he said. “The cheese is gone.” —>
http://www2.tbo.com/content/2007/sep/21/county-approves-4-billion-budget/?news-breaking
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Mild relief brings pain
The county budget cuts 442 jobs while only lowering taxes slightly.
by Bill Varian
St. Petersburg Times (FL)
09/21/07

TAMPA – Hillsborough commissioners unanimously approved a $4-billion budget Thursday that eliminates hundreds of county jobs while providing residents with modest property tax relief. Thursday’s losers include the county’s public and education access cable television, its planning agency, its parks maintenance and after-school programs, and employees who review building permit requests.

Commissioners voted 4-3 against giving the public access channel any money, without explanation, and gave the education channel one year on a scaled-down budget to allow time to find other fiscal patrons, that on a 5-2 vote. The final budget vote means dozens of parks, library and permit review jobs get slashed. —>
http://www.sptimes.com/2007/09/21/Hillsborough/Mild_relief_brings_pa.shtml
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Regional council wins freedom over local access programming
by Jared Newman
Wilton Villager (CT)
09/21/07

It may not be as popular as ESPN, HBO or NBC, but local access programming was the focus of a recent disagreement between Cablevision and the Area Nine Cable Council, which represents 10 Fairfield County municipalities including Wilton. When renewing a franchise agreement with the council, Cablevision added a stipulation that would prevent local access channels from being broadcast by other cable providers, should they move into the area. Town government coverage, such as board of selectmen and board of education meetings, would be seen on Cablevision only.

The council disputed the new rule with the state Department of Utility Control, which last week released a draft decision in the council’s favor. In other words, videos of town government and board of education meetings can be provided to any cable provider that moves into the area. An official decision is expected in October. —>
http://www.wiltonvillager.com/wilton_templates/wilton_story/289906196218144.php
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City Council approves increased cable franchise fee
by Emily Rusch
Columbia Missourian
09/20/07

COLUMBIA — On the surface, Monday night looked to be a watershed moment for Columbia’s chronically underfunded public access channel. The City Council approved raising the cable television franchise fee, a measure initially recommended to better fund Columbia Access Television. And to boot, the council signed off on $15,000 to keep CAT TV running until the end of the year.

But what could prove more important for CAT TV, and the city’s other access channels, is what the council didn’t decide Monday: Who will benefit from the extra funds, estimated at $260,000 in 2008? “Nothing’s written in stone right now,” CAT treasurer Steve Hudnell said. “We want to be funded properly. We never intended to continue on $30,000 a year. That has been something that we never intended to go on this long.”

Both CAT and Columbia Public Schools, which runs the city’s educational access channel, have expressed interest in the money generated by the franchise fee increase. Video service providers, or cable and telephone companies, will now be charged 5 percent of their gross revenue earned within Columbia city limits to use public right-of-way. The 2 percent increase, according to a report to the council written by City Attorney Fred Boeckmann, would generate an extra $260,000 in 2008 and about $330,000 more in subsequent years.

In a memo to the council, Toni Messina, director of public communications, laid out a couple of options for the extra revenue. Funding city services or supporting some or all of the cable access channels are among the options. –>
http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2007/09/20/city-council-approves-increased-cable-franchise-fe/
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CATEC highlights career opportunities with guest lecture series
by lbanner
c-note (VA)
09/21/07

On September 25th & 26th the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) will begin its second season of producing the Guest Lecture Series for high school students and community members. The September lectures focus on Communications and Audio/Video Technology. Featured speakers include Andy Huffmyer and Tom La from CBS 19; Cass Cannon from Charlottesville City Schools; Denny King and Kent Williamson from Paladin Pictures; and Jeffery Hanna from UVA Public Affairs.

CATEC began sponsoring these programs last year as an opportunity to expose students to career opportunities. CATEC students, along with other Albemarle and Charlottesville students who register with their counselors, can attend the sessions which will take place in the Charlottesville Public Access studio from 1:30 – 3:15 p.m. The shows, which are aired on Charlottesville Public Access TV, are filmed, edited and produced by CATEC TV Video Production students. —>
http://cvillecnote.wordpress.com/2007/09/21/catec-highlights-career-opportunities-with-guest-lecture-series/
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Media Minutes: September 21, 2007
Free Press

Public interest groups want to know why the DOJ submitted a filing to the FCC against Net Neutrality – six weeks after the deadline. And OneWebDay’s founder talks about why we need to take time to appreciate the Web.
More Info | Download (3.6MB) —>
http://www.freepress.net/mediaminutes/
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PODCAST 114 – PUBLIC ACCESS TV
PhillyFeed.com (PA)
09/21/07

Shownotes for the 114th PhillyFeed, about the long-awaited arrival of public-access television in Philadelphia.
http://www.phillyfeed.com/archives/003824.html
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NYC Subway Finally Gets Wireless
Transit Wireless to serve 277 stations within six years (NY)
by Karl
Broadband Reports
09/20/07

The New York Times notes that New York City residents will finally be getting cell and wireless data access in all 277 city subway stations. Transit Wireless will pay New York City Transit $46.8 million over 10 years, on top of the estimated $150 million to $200 million the network will cost to build. Transit Wireless got the deal because they offered so much up-front cash; the report notes that the major industry players didn’t try very hard:

A consortium of the major cellphone providers, including Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, offered a total payment over 10 years of just $40, according to a summary of the deal that will be provided to the authority’s board members. (A transit official said the figure was not a typo.)

Six stations will be online within two years for testing: 23rd Street and 14th Street on the Eighth Avenue line, 14th Street on the Seventh Avenue line, 14th Street on the Sixth Avenue line and Eighth Avenue and Sixth Avenue on the L line. The company has six years to get all 277 stations up and running. —>
http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/NYC-Subway-Finally-Gets-Wireless-87716
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Scottsdale company teams with UPS to preserve cherished images
by Donna Hogan
East Valley Tribune (AZ)
09/20/07

A local audio-video processor for consumers is piloting a program with The UPS Store that could have the shipping giant selling the Scottsdale company’s services nationwide. Audio Video Editor, based in Scottsdale with additional stores in Mesa, Chandler and Surprise, provides various audio and video services. But the shop’s primary product is conversion of old, out-of-date visual formats such as 35mm slides, 8mm home movies, VHS, Betamax and the like into DVDs for preservation of cherished images, said company president Ron Stilwell.

The local company signed a national contract with The UPS Store that lets customers bring their image collections in any combination of formats to a UPS Store, which will pack it up and ship it free to Scottsdale for DVD replication. Audio Video editor will process the package and mail it back, Stilwell said. —>
http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/97831
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org