Archive for the ‘redlining’ category

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/24/08

April 28, 2008

Killing TV Softly — Lone Star Public Access Survives, Barely
by Nathan Diebenow
The Lone Star Iconoclast (TX)
04/15/08

What if there was a television channel on which you could watch whatever you wanted? Anytime throughout the day, the content from his station would follow your heart’s desire. You have a pension for the history of your town. It’s on. Need to feed your obsession about belly dancing? It’s on. Try a planning and zoning committee meeting on for size. It’s all available with a click of your remote control.

Now, let’s take it a step further. What if you had the power to show just about whatever you wanted on this channel? Your church’s annual Easter egg hunt, your advocacy for veterans’ health benefits, and even your teen’s high school football game are all part of a string of endless possibilities.

Here’s the thing: this special channel and many others exist, and chances are your cable provider and city have teamed up to give you them. Surprised? Well, the concept was invented and implemented in the early 1970s. It’s called public access television.

But if you don’t act soon, public access might disappear from your screens.   —>
http://www.lonestaricon.com/absolutenm/anmviewer.asp?a=2672&z=237
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Panel backs TV bill
by Michelle Millhollon
The Advocate (LA)
04/24/08

[ comments invited ]

A Senate panel advanced legislation Wednesday that would allow telecommunications companies to get a statewide franchise to offer television service.  Proponents of Senate Bill 422 said the legislation would offer consumers better service, new technology and competitive prices  Opponents said the bill would strip local governments of the franchise authority they currently wield.

The bill would not impact Baton Rouge, at least as far as AT&T is concerned.  Although AT&T is backing the bill, the telecommunications giant reached an agreement last month with the Metro Council to offer television service in East Baton Rouge Parish.  U-Verse — AT&T’s package of fiber-optic cable TV, telephone and high speed Internet service — will be available in 18 to 24 months at a cost of $44 to $154.

The statewide franchise legislation is similar to a bill that former Gov. Kathleen Blanco vetoed last year because of concerns about the bill’s impact on local governments.  At the outset of Wednesday’s committee meeting, Sen. Ann Duplessis, D-New Orleans, warned that the debate would be limited to six speakers on each side of the issue.  “We’re not going to hear all 50 cards,” she said of the requests submitted to the committee by people wanting to speak.   —>
http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/politics/18098514.html
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AT&T, Cox: Our favorite flavor is Cherry/Red
by Mike Stagg
Lafayette Pro Fiber (LA)
04/24/08

[ 3 comments ]

This week’s edition of the Baton Rouge Business Report contains an informative story about the spirited battle that EATEL is waging against Cox on the eastern edge of the privately-held cable giant’s central Louisiana market footprint.  One comment that immediately jumped out was that the competition between EATEL (with its superior fiber network) and Cox (with its very deep corporate pockets) has prompted an in-your-face element of competition that neither the locally-owned phone company (EATEL) nor the Atlanta-based cable company (Cox) is accustomed to using:

“Brad Supple, the director of sales and marketing with EATEL, says the ads represent the first time they’ve countered the competition in such an aggressive fashion. Cox says it’s a first for them, too; the companies have battled for customers for nearly three years.”  […]

The real news, however, comes from a woman who once held McCormick’s job but now works as Cox’s vice president of government and public affairs, Sharon Kleinpeter. Commenting on AT&T’s push for passage of statewide video franchise legislation here, Kleinpeter confirmed a point made here recently — specifically, AT&T and the state’s largest cable provider are engaged in a carefully choreographed effort to relieve both elements of this communications duopoly from current legal requirements to serve all segments of the communities where local franchise agreements now exist.

Here’s the money passage:

“While AT&T’s earlier efforts to get statewide authority have failed, Kleinpeter says Cox doesn’t oppose it as long as it can also get options that would free the company from 55 20-year and 30-year franchises it has in 13 parishes, which have more stringent provisions. So far, AT&T hasn’t agreed to the move, which she says would otherwise give Cox a competitive advantage. Talks are under way on this issue.”

This is the Cherry/Red flavor of regulation they love.  That is, both AT&T and Cox (and other Louisiana cable providers) want the ability to provide services only in those neighborhoods where they believe they can make the highest rate of return and not have to provide services, say, all over Lafayette Parish as would be the case under the terms of the current franchise agreement here (and in, the article says, 55 other parts of the state).  They want to be able to legally cherry pick what they consider the best neighborhoods and legally redline those that they want to ignore. Cherry/Red.   —>
http://www.lafayetteprofiber.com/Blog/Blog.html
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Community radio the new voice of Congo rural women
by María Teresa Aguirre
digital opportunity channel
04/24/08

[ comments invited ]

The inhabitants of Mugogo, a village situated some 2,000 kilometres from Kinshasa, capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, will long remember January 4, 2008 as a very special day in the life of their community.   That was the day when the first broadcast of Radio Bubusa hit the air. An initiative of a group of rural women, the idea of the radio station was first mooted towards the end of 2003, and now, in 2008 and with the support of a grant from WACC, the idea finally came to fruition.

The first broadcast surprised more than one listener with its unique blend of traditional songs interspersed with a voice that announced in Mashi (a local dialect) the name of the station and the place it was coming from: Radio Bubusa, broadcasting from Mugogo.

Community media has long being recognised by social movements and development agencies alike as one of the most efficient ways for grassroots groups to articulate their demands and struggles for a more just and egalitarian society.  From Africa to Latin America, from the Caribbean to Asia, groups of marginalised people – often ‘invisible’ in mainstream media – have used myriad community media in order to claim and demand their rights both as human beings and as citizens.

And while sometimes, by their very nature, community initiatives may take time to become a concrete reality, in the end they do bear fruit as the inhabitants of this remote area in the Congolese province of Sud-Kivu well know.   —>
http://www.digitalopportunity.org/article/view/160093/1/1138
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CATV wants Mandan to partner with Bismarck
by Gordon Weixel
Bismarck Tribune (ND)
04/24/08

[ comments invited ]

When Community Access Television makes its pitch to the Mandan City Commission about televising meetings it will be more about forming a partnership with Bismarck than numbers of cameras and  when the reruns will air.  On Tuesday, CATV’s Mary Van Sickle will respond to the Mandan City Commission’s request for a proposal to cablecast commission meetings. But what Van Sickle will present is an opportunity for Mandan to join with Bismarck in funding of CATV.

“It’s really very simple, the bottom line, it’s a proposal for a partnership between Bismarck and Mandan to take over overall operation of CATV,” Van Sickle said.  “For 21 years Bismarck has been providing funding. Citizens of Mandan haven’t been treated any differently than those of Bismarck. They receive the channel and have used the services. CATV has never made a distinction of the people we serve. But it’s time to move on and it’s time for this discussion.”   —>
http://www.bismarcktribune.com/articles/2008/04/24/news/update/doc4810f2d79c765830844479.txt
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Announcing the WYOU 36-Hour ON AIR Film Festival
WYOU 4 Madison’s Community Television (WI)
04/24/08

[ comments invited]

WYOU to Host Film Fest
The Local Cable Access Station is looking for a variety of Film Submissions That Celebrate Local Talent.

In the spirit of Wisconsin’s booming film industry, WYOU public access Channel 4 will host it’s own 36 hour On Air Film Fest in June. After the festival’s completion viewers will get to vote for their favorite flicks on WYOU’s website. The films’ receiving the most votes in their category will be featured at a 2 hour screening the weekend following the On Air Film Fest.   —>
http://wyou4.blogspot.com/2008/04/announcing-wyou-36-hour-on-air-film.html
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Ossining cable access channel struggles to find new home
by Sean Gorman
The Journal News (NY)
04/24/08

[ 2 comments ]

Greater Ossining Television has to move out of the high school by the end of next month, the latest blow to the beleaguered local access station.  GO-TV, a cash-strapped nonprofit that over the years has struggled to stay on air, has to vacate the studio space it uses in a high school classroom by May 31 – the end of its latest lease extension on the site.  “We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure we don’t go (off the air),” said Mary Prenon, a GO-TV board member.

GO-TV – which provides government and public access programming – is seeking out a temporary site downtown where it can place an office and perhaps the equipment that broadcasts its shows, Prenon said.  The station’s original 10-year lease on the Ossining High School space expired in June of 2007, but the school district has granted it a series of extensions as the station sought out a new location.

“The Ossining school district has been trying to work with GO-TV … understanding that they need to find space,” Deputy Superintendent Raymond Sanchez said. “We’ve made extensions for that reason. Now we’ve reached the point where we really need to look towards supporting the (high school’s) instructional program as well.”  The district plans to use the space for video and production instruction for students, Sanchez said.   —>
http://lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080424/NEWS02/804240444/-1/newsfront
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Hingham OKs cable contract with Verizon
by Karen Goulart
The Patriot Ledger (MA)
04/24/08

[ 1 comment ]

Residents will have a choice of cable TV service providers as soon as this fall.  Selectmen approved a 10-year contract with Verizon on Tuesday night. It was negotiated during the past four months by the town’s cable TV advisory committee.  Verizon will compete with Comcast, currently the only provider of cable service in town.

Cable TV advisory committee Chairman Guy Conrad said the Verizon contract, which could greatly enhance the town’s public-access television service, is a win for both sides.  The contract calls for Verizon to pay the town $400,000 over six years. The money will go toward building and equipping a public-access TV studio. Beginning in 2010, Verizon also will give the town 5 percent of its gross Hingham revenues, to support educational, governmental and public-access programming.   —>
http://www.patriotledger.com/news/x2124112665
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Cable competition: Verizon added to TV mix
by Carol Britton Meyer
Hingham Journal (MA)
04/24/08

[ comments invited ]

Hingham cable TV subscribers now have two choices – Comcast or Verizon.  This week the selectmen signed off on a 10-year contract negotiated by the town’s cable TV advisory committee with Verizon, which will provide video services as early as this fall for some residents.  Verizon’s advanced fiber-optics network accommodates voice data, Internet, and video needs and offers more than 300 digital channels.

The committee will soon begin negotiations with Comcast “to ascertain terms of its continuing status as a provider to Hingham residents,” said committee chairman Guy Conrad. Comcast’s current 10-year contract expires in Aug. 2009, but negotiations may begin as early as three years prior to the expiration date.  The goal is to engage in a competitive process that maximizes the value of service at the most reasonable cost.   —>
http://www.wickedlocal.com/hingham/news/x1838789817
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Homeless Teens and At-Risk Young Adults Participate in 01SJ Global Festival of Art Enabled by Cisco
Certification Magazine
04/23/08

SANTA CLARA, CA – Homeless teens and at-risk young adults at Bill Wilson Center, a non-profit, community-based agency that provides counseling and support services to youth and families in Santa Clara County, will work with professional artists to develop new media artwork for the 2nd Biennial 01SJ Global Festival of Art on the Edge, June 4-8, in downtown San Jose. Festival organizer ZER01 and Visionary Festival sponsor Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO: 26.03, +0.59, +2.31%) announced today that all creative works will be displayed on a new “San Jose Culture Network” of digital signs powered by the Cisco Digital Media System technology at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center and several other locations throughout San Jose.

The young artists, ranging in age from 14 to 24, have already started attending weekly hands-on workshops staffed by new media artists and will continue their training through June 8. As part of the new “San Jose Culture Network,” their artwork will be showcased across more than 20 large screen LCD displays using the Cisco Digital Media System’s Digital Signage solution, which will allow for the easy management and publishing of the young artists’ compelling content.

The Cisco project, developed with artist Dorit Cypis, ZER01 and Bill Wilson Center, is called We-C. The goal of We-C is to engage young adults in transitional life situations to critically look at themselves and consider how they want to be “seen” by the public, to whom they are often invisible. The artists-in-training will work in a wide array of new media art and creative media formats, including digital still cameras, live music, poetry, and the performing arts.   —>
http://www.certmag.com/industry_news/2008/April/2575/index.php
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Nigeria: Make Peace, Devt Your Watchword, Djebah Urges Media
by Omon-Julius Onabu
This Day (Lagos)
04/24/08

Promotion of peace and development journalism has been identified as the best means of advancing the noble contribution of the profession to democracy and national transformation.  The Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Oma Djebah, who made the assertion yesterday in Warri, therefore, urged the media in Nigeria , particularly journalists operating in the Niger-Delta, “to promote peace and development journalism instead of engaging in negative reporting of the crisis, violence and militancy.” Djebah was delivering a guest lecture titled, “The Role of the Media in Niger-Delta Development”, during a seminar to mark the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Warri Correspondents Chapel held at Wellington Hotel, Effurun-Warri.

He stressed the urgent need for the media “to strike a balance between ethical journalism and certain limitations” bearing in mind that negative reports “have far graver consequences and impact on peoples and governments”.   —>
http://allafrica.com/stories/200804240679.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 – 04/23/08

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
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/20/08

April 21, 2008

Video franchise bills all take; where’s the give?
by Mike Stagg
Lafayette Pro Fiber (LA)
04/20/08

[ comments invited ]

The statewide video franchise bills up for consideration in the Louisiana Legislature are, in fact, bad news as John and the LMA (pdf) have made clear. But, based on the 2006 experience where only Governor Blanco’s veto prevented a version of this legislation from becoming law, I also believe it is clear that some form of this legislation is going to pass again this year and Governor Jindal will sign it into law.

First, let’s make clear that while AT&T is the prime mover of this legislation, the cable industry is on board. That’s because this legislation or a subsequent package will ultimately give cable companies the same freedom to cherry-pick and red-line neighborhoods that the phone company is seeking with these bills. They’ll demand a level playing field.

It was no accident that Cox Communications announced its latest rate increase just as the Legislature was heading into its Regular Session. That enabled the various astroturf movements to begin flooding newspaper editorial pages with letters to the editor, condemning the cable companies and singing the praises of competition.  Think of this as a choreographed fight for the benefit of the viewing audience, rather than a brawl. The cable companies and AT&T are partners in this dance. Cox stepped on a lot of consumer toes in order to make them receptive to the competition paeans that the phone company allies would produce.

Cherry/Red

That ability to selectively deploy new network technology is the heart of the issue.  How do I know this? Because John and I sat in on the 2006 negotiations on that year’s version of these bills when the phone company (still called BellSouth at the time) flatly refused to deal on offers that did not free them from community-wide build-out obligations.   —>
http://lafayetteprofiber.com/Blog/2008/04/video-franchise-bills-all-take-wheres.html
~

Westborough: Verizon Now Has Access
by John Dyer
Boston Globe (MA)
04/20/08

Cable television customers in Westborough who subscribe to Verizon’s service can now see local-access channels 24, 26, and 28, said Maria Sheehan, Westborough TV’s general manager. Since January, Sheehan said, Verizon had been promising it was going to provide viewers with the local access channels, which cover municipal meetings, school events, and locally produced programming. Late last month, Verizon subscribers still couldn’t see the channels, so Town Counsel Gregory Franks sent Verizon a letter saying its contract to operate in Westborough would be revoked if it didn’t provide the channels, as its contract stipulates, Sheehan said. Verizon had been in negotiations with rival cable provider Charter Communications on the issue. Charter owns the connections between Westborough TV and the wires that deliver the cable signal to homes.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/04/20/marble_scholarships/?page=4
~

Bolton: Candidates Night
by Matt Gunderson
Boston Globe (MA)
04/20/08

Local candidates running for election this spring will square off at a candidates forum tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Davis Hall. The two candidates vying for a seat on the Board of Selectmen, Stan Wysocki and Connie Benjamin, have said they will attend the event, which is sponsored by the Friends of the Bolton Public Library.  Bolton Access Television will televise the candidates night.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/04/20/marble_scholarships/
~

Shrewsbury: Candidates to Debate
by Lisa Kocian
Boston Globe (MA)
04/20/08

Seniors for Responsible Taxation will host a debate for selectmen candidates to be aired live Tuesday at 7 p.m. on Channel 28. —>
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/04/20/marble_scholarships/?page=3
~

Cable show celebrates five years
Eagle Tribune (MA)
04/20/08

METHUEN — “Call To Serve,” a locally run television show on Methuen Community Television, celebrated its fifth anniversary with a special show taped last week.  “Call to Serve” has interviewed 56 veterans as part of its effort to preserve oral history of Methuen veterans. The show is hosted by Kathleen Corey Rahme and co-produced by Albert Grant and Corinne LaCharite. The show won third place in the 2004 Alliance for Community Media annual northeast fall video festival.   —>
http://www.eagletribune.com/punews/local_story_111010647.html
~

More Government on TV: WOOOOOOOO!
by Melissa Griff
Sweet Melissa (CA)
04/20/08

[ 3 comments ]

As you may know, this past Tuesday an ordinance passed on its first reading that will require more San Francisco political commissions, committees and conversations to be filmed and made available for public viewing. Now, there appears to be some fuzzy math surrounding the funding source for one of the part-time positions that this ordinance will create (according to Ron Vincent from DTIS, it will otherwise be paid for by the “cable franchise fund”), but you know I am generally all for more government on TV. And, while I know that watching it is doing nothing for my love life, every so often I get to see something truly great.

Take this video below (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrAe21fi_4c), for example, in which professional rassler Nature Boy Ric Flair was finally given his due on April 15 in the US House of Representatives.  I just love that the phrase “Figure Four Leglock” is now in the Congressional Record.   —>
http://sweetmelissa.typepad.com/sweet_melissa/2008/04/woooooooo.html
~

Our children will never know refreshment
by christa t
Pecanne Log (GA)
04/20/08

[ 2 comments ]

Everyone knows what an unmitigated disaster New Coke was. What most people don’t realize is that it was RuPaul and his Atlanta public access television friends who saved generations of children around the world from perhaps never knowing the taste of a Coca-Cola Classic.  The day New Coke was introduced in 1985, RuPaul and The American Music Show host Potsy Duncan took to the streets of Atlanta, leading other protesters in pouring out bottles of the new concoction and waving signs that said things like, “We want the real thing” and “Our children will never know refreshment.”   —>
http://pecannelog.com/2008/04/20/our-children-will-never-know-refreshment/
~

Students demand greater transparency in the legislature
by Loa Iok-sin
Tapei Times
04/20/08

“No more blindfolds! We want a transparent legislature,” students representing schools and student organizations shouted yesterday as they demonstrated in front of the legislature.  “We are here to demand public access to the video-on-demand [VOD] system, so that everyone can monitor the legislature from home,” Lin Pin-chun, president of Citizen Congress Watch’s (CCW) youth caucus and a sophomore at National Taiwan University (NTU) told a press conference.

Although legislative committee meetings are recorded and broadcast live online through the VOD system, it can only be viewed from within the legislature.  “As a concerned citizen, I only see lawmakers when their physical or verbal clashes are broadcast on TV — I want to know what they’re doing the rest of the time,” another NTU student, Lee Shao-tang said.

However, current restrictions make their wishes impossible.  “The time allowed for sitting on the balcony to hear the general assembly meeting is limited to 30 minutes per person,” said Ho Tsung-hsun, executive director of the CCW. “As for committee meetings, you must have the convener’s permission to be allowed into the meeting room.”   —>
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2008/04/20/2003409773
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/08/08; Tennessee Special Edition

April 9, 2008

[blip.tv ?posts_id=821027&dest=-1]

Cable Bill Compromise Passes Committee
Legislation Would Allow Companies To Avoid Seeking Many Permits
WSMV Nashville
04/08/08

[ includes TV news story video clip ]

Compromise legislation that seeks to provide statewide cable TV franchising is moving in the House with little debate. The measure unanimously passed the House Commerce Committee on Tuesday after Democratic chairman Charles Curtiss of Sparta had state Comptroller John Morgan address committee members to make sure they understood the bill…

Some committee members on Tuesday expressed concern about how AT&T will provide Public, Education and Government programming, or PEG. Currently, such channels can be accessed directly like any other TV channel. But under the new AT&T technology, Morgan said consumers will have to go to a certain channel, and then select the desired PEG channel from a list. “It’s the difference of getting it,” he said. “This is something … that requires a couple of extra steps to get there.”

There was also concern about the picture quality of the PEG channels under the new system. Morgan said there have been complaints that the picture quality is not good. “I don’t want to look at a picture I used to look at as a kid … when you had a lot of snow on the TV,” said Rep. Charles Sargent, R-Franklin. Morgan said if the picture quality is different, then AT&T is required “to tell people it’s going to be different.” —>
http://www.wsmv.com/politics/15826060/detail.html?rss=nash&psp=news
~

Compromise Reached on Cable Bill
by Erika Lathon
WZTV
04/08/08

[ includes TV news story video clip ]

State lawmakers have reached a compromise telecommunications bill.
http://www.wztv.com/newsroom/top_stories/vid_1430.shtml
~

AT&T Legislation Could See Fast Track
Nashville Public Radio WPLN
04/08/08

A bill that would allow AT&T to offer TV service statewide could be passed before the end of April, according to state officials. State Comptroller John Morgan stood for hours yesterday explaining the new bill to House Commerce Committee members. He says the legislation could be on the floor of the House and Senate in two weeks. Morgan leads the legislature’s most powerful research arm, the comptroller’s office, and was involved in threshing out the details between the giant phone utility and the state’s cable providers. —>
http://wpln.org/newstranscripts/?p=2182
~

Cable-AT&T legislation unveiled
Summary of the most anticipated bill of the legislature as well as statements from the groups involved
by Ken Whitehouse
Nashville Post
04/07/08

Members of the Tennessee State Legislature have unveiled what they call “The Competitive Cable and Video Services Act,” the most anticipated piece of legislation this session… If enacted by the legislature the bill would, according to the State Comptroller’s office:

* Allow new competitors to obtain a 10-year state franchise certificate from the Tennessee Regulatory Authority
* Require new large telecom competitors to build out to 30 percent of their existing service area in three and a half years
* Require existing providers to continue to pay local franchise fees directly to local governments
* Require new competitors operating under a state franchise to directly pay local governments franchise fees of 5 percent quarterly
* Preserve local regulation of rights-of-way with local permitting protected
* Specifically prohibits discrimination based on income or race, with violators facing strong monetary penalties
* Promote the use of minority contractors to provide competitive video service
* Prohibit existing cable companies from abandoning unprofitable areas
* Require new providers to demonstrate at the end of three and a half years that 25 percent of households with access to their service are low-income
* Give video providers that deploy broadband in new areas credit against their video build-out requirement to this extent: Four-to-one credit for broadband expansion to unserved areas and two-to-one credit for broadband expansion to underserved areas
* Create a broadband deployment fund to provide a potential mechanism for expanding broadband access
* Let local governments subsidize broadband deployment to underserved areas if a TRA review determines no private-sector interest exists
* Require all providers to meet FCC mandated customer service standards
* Allow the TRA to require credits if a provider does not remedy service complaints
* Require existing and new competitors to continue to provide Public, Education and Government (PEG, also known as community access channels) access and support

The full bill, with all of its complexities, will begin being heard tomorrow in the House Commerce Committee. There is obviously a whole lot more detail than what is listed above. At the end of the press conference announcing the compromise bill, both the incumbent cable providers and AT&T issued statements. —>
http://www.nashvillepost.com/news/2008/4/7/cableatt_legislation_unveiled
~

AT&T deal will skip local authority
Statewide TV franchise bill is expected to pass
by Naomi Snyder
The Tennessean
04/08/08

[ 24 comments ]

AT&T could begin selling TV service in Tennessee within the next three years under compromise legislation unveiled Monday by state legislators that would allow the company to get a state franchise and bypass local government control…

Over the past three years, 19 other states have passed similar legislation allowing state franchising. Groups that represent local governments and consumers cautioned that the legislation could end up eroding many of protections consumers have enjoyed under local control. “The reality is there will be neighborhoods where this infrastructure will not reach,” said Barry Orton, a telecommunications professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who has worked for local governments on cable regulatory issues in the past.

Comparable laws in other states have provided a way for cable companies to abandon their obligations to local governments and consumers, including build-out requirements that typically force cable companies to serve most of a county or city, said Libby Beaty, the executive director of a group that represents municipal telecommunications, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors. “The biggest entity that takes advantage of statewide franchise is the incumbent cable companies,” she said. —>
http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080408/NEWS01/804080370/1006#gslPageReturn
~

Compromise AT&T bill said to benefit consumers
by John Rodgers
Nashville City Paper
04/08/08

[ 14 comments ]

At its bare bones, the legislation allows AT&T to get a statewide television franchise. Currently, those franchises are agreed to at the local level. But effectively, the compromise bill’s passage would pave the way for AT&T to offer television services and compete with cable…

Going into the negotiations, one of the biggest roadblocks was where and to what customers a statewide franchise holder would be required to offer television services. Local franchise agreements often require providers to “build out” to a certain portion of the population. Under the deal cut in the bill, AT&T would be able to get a statewide franchise, but would be required to offer its U-verse television product to at least roughly 600,000 Tennessee households by three and a half years from the time the franchise agreement is struck.

“So it’s going to be a long road,” Curtiss said. “But a decade from now, I think we’ll be able to look back and say we made a significant difference.” Of the households offered services, 25 percent would have to be low-income, which is specified at less than $35,000 annually. Violating the so-called build-out requirement would cause AT&T to be fined up to $10,000 per day, up to a maximum $2 million. Those penalties also extend to customers who are being discriminated against, up to $5,000 for each violation.

Another goal of the legislation was to expand broadband Internet access to rural Tennessee for economic development purposes. While AT&T would be required to offer its television service to roughly 600,000 households, that number could be lower if the telecom giant offers broadband Internet to rural Tennessee. Under the legislation, AT&T was offered an incentive to expand into rural areas. The telecom giant could offer its television service to fewer households — thereby reducing its expenditures in urban areas — if it offers Internet to underserved, rural parts of Tennessee. “Will that work? It remains to be seen,” said state Comptroller John Morgan, who was a key figure in designing the rural incentive. “I hope it does. —>
http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=59450
~

Cable bill to get first public hearing
May improve service; no guarantee of lower prices
by Richard Locker
Commercial Appeal
04/08/08

[ 5 comments ]

Legislators rolled out a compromise bill Monday to streamline and expedite the provision of cable-style video services in Tennessee by AT&T and others in competition with existing cable companies. The 67-page bill, drafted in closed-door negotiations over the last four months by AT&T, cable companies, the Tennessee Municipal League and legislators, will get its first detailed public airing today in the House Commerce Committee…

Naifeh, D-Covington, and the bill’s House and Senate sponsors cautioned that it “is not a silver bullet to rising prices, nor will Tennesseans see a reduction in next month’s cable bill” — despite a year’s barrage of competing television ads by the two major opponents on the issue, AT&T and the cable industry. AT&T’s ads have implied that lower prices for cable and video services will follow. “Once it’s deployed, it’s going to provide choice. I don’t think it’s going to drive prices down, but I believe it will level out the increases,” said Rep. Charles Curtiss, D-Sparta, a sponsor of the bill and chairman of the House Commerce Committee.

The bill essentially sets up a new regulatory scheme that lets “video service” providers apply to the Tennessee Regulatory Authority for a single, statewide franchise to deliver the kind of video programming that cable services now provide, over existing wire lines. Current law requires local franchises issued by city and county governments — the regulatory system that cable systems were built and operate under. —>
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/apr/08/cable-bill-to-get-first-public-hearing/
~

House committee members get overview of compromise cable bill
Associated Press
Know News
04/08/08

[ 2 comments ]

The chairman of the House Commerce Committee says he wants lawmakers to thoroughly understand compromise legislation for statewide cable TV franchising before voting on it. Rep. Charles Curtiss, a Sparta Democrat, had state Comptroller John Morgan address the committee today. —>
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/apr/08/house-committee-members-get-overview-compromise-ca/
~

AT&T, cable compromise bill debuts
by John Rodgers
Nashville City Paper
04/08/08

[ 1 comment ]

Tennesseans rooting for another alternative to cable television are a step closer to victory today as a compromise bill was unveiled that AT&T says it needs to offer television services. The compromise bill culminates 14 weeks of negotiations among lobbyists and lawyers for AT&T, the cable industry, and local government organizations as well as involved lawmakers. Those lawmakers, who presented the bill at a mid-afternoon press conference on Capitol Hill, all stressed that it was legislation that would benefit the consumer…

The details of the bill include:

• Requires AT&T to offer its U-Verse television package to 30 percent of its telephone footprint within 3.5 years, or about 600,000 Tennessee households. 25 percent of those covered must be low-income customers.
• Prohibits discrimination or “cherry-picking” of customers. Violators pay a penalty up to $5,000 for each case.
• Local governments in which AT&T offers TV service would receive 5 percent of the telecom giant’s gross TV revenues. The current average is 3 percent.
• Incents telecoms to expand broadband Internet into rural areas as an economic development and educational tool.

The bill is expected to be debated for the first time Tuesday in front of the House Commerce Committee.
http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=59431
~

State Cable Franchise Plan Moves Ahead
by Joe Powell
Cup of Joe Powell
04/08/08

[ comments invited ]

Yesterday state officials provided information about a draft agreement for the state to start offering statewide cable TV franchises, just as AT&T wanted, and along the way the state will create a new oversight agency and a new fund to “promote” broadband internet access.

The document is a 67 page maze of legal-speak, which you can read here [pdf] (thanks to R. Neal for the link). It will certainly take me some time to wade through it all and there is much to review. The proposal to allow for the first time a state franchise license doesn’t mean much to consumers yet – though if the legislature OKs it, it is set to become law in July. The state commerce committee is scheduled to look at the proposals today.

I admit I am troubled that once House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh’s wife Betty Anderson got a job with AT&T as a consultant, Naifeh then took the long-opposed plan through 3 months of closed-door meetings and magically came up with a plan he’s now willing to shepherd through the legislature. Anderson and Naifeh are both on record saying just because she’s a paid lobbyist, she does not exert undue influence on her powerful political husband. —>
http://cupofjoepowell.blogspot.com/2008/04/state-cable-franchise-plan-moves-ahead.html
~

Lawmakers say AT&T bill should promote cable competition
by Andy Sher
Chattanooga Times Free Press
04/08/08

[ comments invited ]

Lawmakers said Monday that Tennessee consumers should benefit from a compromise that allows AT&T to compete more easily with cable companies such as Comcast in offering television services. “The bill creates a climate for competition here in Tennessee,” said House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington.

Speaker Naifeh and other proponents said the legislation should encourage better services and faster deployment of new technologies for cablelike services and quick broadband Internet access. But the speaker cautioned the legislation “is not a silver bullet to rising media prices, nor will Tennesseans see an immediate impact on the next cable bill.”

Stacey Briggs, the Tennessee Cable Telecommunications Association’s president, said in a statement that “AT&T and other companies have had the right to compete under local franchising rules for more than a dozen years. This new policy streamlines the franchise process, but it remains to be seen whether new entrants will compete in Tennessee.” —>
http://timesfreepress.com/news/2008/apr/08/lawmakers-say-t-bill-should-promote-cable-competit/
~

Tennessee Franchising Bill Aims To Extend Broadband Services
Proposal Would Assign Franchising Authority To State Regulators
by Linda Haugsted
Multichannel News
04/07/08

Legislators in Tennessee have been presented a new version of a state franchising bill with a unique scheme to incent new providers to extend broadband services. The bill language, which has been the subject of negotiations among effected industries, contains broad build-out language. Large telephone companies that become video providers must deliver that service to 30% of their existing service area within 3 1/2 years. But those companies can decrease the number of homes which get video if they deploy broadband services to areas that don’t currently have such services, or areas that are determined to be undeserved. —>
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6548732.html?industryid=47197
~

Compromise Reached on Tenn. Cable Bill
by Lucas Johnson
Houston Chronicle
04/08/08

[ comments invited ]

After months of closed negotiations, Tennessee lawmakers on Monday unveiled a compromise bill for statewide cable TV franchising with stiff penalties to make sure customers are treated fairly. —>
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/fn/5683682.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 – 02/17/08

February 17, 2008

Journalists, rights activists flay new media curbs
The International News (Pakistan)
2/18/08

LAHORE – Journalists and human rights activists have slammed the recent Pemra directions to the media, barring TV channels from covering the voting process and airing comments of political leaders.  They demanded the government immediately remove the restrictions, saying these restrictions would give a clear message to the international community and the people that the electoral process was not transparent.

Talking to The News on Sunday, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Director IA Rehman told The News that the Pemra’s directions were an attack on the freedom of expression.  He said the people of Pakistan were already facing chaos and free and transparent elections were a ray of hope for them. “A question mark hangs over the credibility of the general elections after the recent Pemra restrictions,” he added.

He said representatives of journalists should hold negotiations with the government to remove these restrictions immediately. “The recent restrictions are a bid to hide something during the voting and they show that you (the government) are going to do something illegal or against the norms of society,” Rehman said, adding that foreign observers could not monitor the voting as efficiently as the local media.

He said though such directions had restricted the electronic media for exposing rigging and maltreatment of opposition leaders and workers during the voting process, the print media would expose misdeeds of the government after a few hours.

South Asia Partnership (SAP) Coordinator Mohammed Tehseen termed the move unwise, saying the recent Pemra restrictions were aimed at announcing the desired election results, which could have been contradictory to the reports issued by the independent media.

“The presence of the independent media could jeopardise plans to rig the elections. But the move will not help the government in any case because the international community and the people can smell a rat in these restrictions,” Tehseen added. Citizens Group for Democracy Convenor Salman Abid said the recent instructions to the media would simply discredit the government’s positive move to allow a massive monitoring of polls by foreign observers, giving credence to the stance of those who had already predicted foul play.   —>
http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=96947
~

Berlin TV
by Redcoat
The Berlin Blog (CT)
02/17/08

[ comments allowed ]

Cruising though the channels this week, I came across the BOE presentation on their high school proposal. Regardless of one’s view on the subject, the BOE’s approach to this process certainly has been a thorough one. It’s hard to imagine a question or issue that they have not anticipated and addressed. See it for yourself. The next airing is February 24th at 5:00 on Public Access. Next Sunday, pop some popcorn, turn on Channel 19, and get informed on this critical issue.
http://berlin.ctlocalpolitics.net/?p=212
~

N.C. Franchise Law Driving … Cable Incumbents
AT&T, Other Competitors Have Yet To Apply For Statewide Application
by Linda Haugsted
Multichannel News
02/16/08

[ comments allowed ]

A bill designed to aid competitive video providers in North Carolina has actually deregulated many incumbent operators, while no new competitors have applied to serve the state, according to data compiled by a municipal consultant.

Not seeking a franchise yet: AT&T, strongest backer of the North Carolina Video Service Competition Act, which took effect Jan. 1, 2007.  Instead, the secretary of state has awarded 111 franchises, including ones to Time Warner Cable, Cebridge Communications and Charter Communications.  Only one small telephone company, which was already providing competitive services, has sought a statewide franchise, according to consultant Action Audits, which compiled the data…

The report said video prices have not decreased, though cable-rate reduction remains a key benefit touted to state legislatures in favor of statewide franchises.  The law instituted a video sales tax to replace locally collected franchise fees. The report asserts that funding, which was projected to be $28,000 per state-franchised community, actually averages $6,000.

Cities that had used some franchise fee cash for public, education and government channels now tend to funnel the money into other city services, said Catharine Rice, an associate with Action Audits.  The report jibes with data collected in Texas, the first state to adopt state franchising; and, more recently, Michigan.   —>
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6533111.html
~

AT&T video debate heats up
Company wants TV franchise that lets it bypass areas
by Naomi Snyder
The Tennessean
02/17/08

[ 7 comments ]

A key point in a contentious debate in the General Assembly revolves around who will get AT&T’s new TV service.  It has been rolled out in parts of 12 states, but not yet in Tennessee as a legislative battle over licensing rules plays out in the General Assembly. The cable industry wants to force AT&T to build out to a significant part of the state’s population, following longtime local rules where cable companies typically must serve nearly every home in a county.

AT&T wants legislative permission for a statewide franchise, bypassing local franchise agreements, saying it will increase competition and provide an additional choice that doesn’t now exist.

To fight AT&T’s proposal, the cable industry has been rolling out ads that include idyllic rural settings it says would be bypassed by AT&T’s proposed new fiber-optic TV service.  The cable companies also ran ads for weeks that featured an African-American consumer saying AT&T wants to pick and choose its customers, suggesting the phone company would redline neighborhoods.

The word conjures images of business owners drawing red lines on maps to exclude inner-city neighborhoods from investment.  “There’s no have and have-nots in the cable world,” said Stacey Briggs, the executive director of the cable industry’s Tennessee Cable Telecommunications Association. “Fairness is innate in the franchise program we have today.”…

AT&T said it now has more than 230,000 customers and is passing 7.8 million homes in 12 states. By the end of 2010, it plans to have access to 30 million homes.

So far, it’s choosing urban areas and suburbs around metro markets such as Chicago; Austin, Texas; Bloomington, Ind.; and San Francisco. Most of the states are those in which AT&T has already negotiated changes to state laws or favorable interpretations of the rules.

AT&T won’t provide demographic details of its customer base or say exactly what parts of counties or cities it serves. Industry newsletter publisher The Bridge Data Group analyzed neighborhoods where AT&T and Verizon had launched TV service and found that they tended to prefer wealthier than average neighborhoods.  AT&T’s U-verse served neighborhoods with an average household income of $74,000 a year, compared with a national average of $65,000, the group said.   —>
http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080217/BUSINESS/802170386/1003/NEWS01
~

Local TV Series Now in Third Year of Looking Beneath the Surface
Kitsap and Beyond (WA)
02/16/08

[ comments allowed ]

—>   I have long been aware that our area has some of the best cold water diving in the world. I became even more aware of the beauty beneath our waters when I worked on the http://www.VisitKitsap.com website and added a page on diving.  The information below is great – a TV show that shows off our spectacular area as only a few ever see it.

Featuring unusual way to raise money for children’s cancer research, “SEA-Inside: Pacific Northwest” kicks off its third year as the only TV series to focus on what’s underwater in the Pacific Northwest. “The beauty of this series,” describes its producer, John F. Williams, “is that it lifts oceanography out of its scientific pigeonhole and carries it into the worlds of art and story-telling.”

In video-magazine format, each episode of “SEA-Inside: Pacific Northwest” features several underwater-themed videos by a variety of producers. This first episode of 2008 offers a whirlwind tour of the prior two seasons as a tribute to the many videographers, photographers, musicians and artists who have contributed content to the show in 2006 and 2007.

That is followed by a mini-documentary about a diveathon, an underwater fundraiser in which relay teams of divers created a presence underwater for 24 continuous hours in Puget Sound near Redondo. “No-one wants to hear that children, in particular, have cancer,” said event co-organizer Valerie Lyttle, who is also an emergency room nurse and an underwater videographer. The amount of money raised by this small group of dedicated divers was astonishing.

“SEA-Inside: Pacific Northwest” is a half-hour TV series produced by Suquamish, Washington resident and underwater videographer John F. Williams. “The point of this TV series is to introduce people in the Pacific Northwest to their underwater neighbors,” said Williams, “it’s the only thing like it in the region. The focus is on the Pacific Northwest, but a few videos from all over the globe are included, since similar issues are present in every ocean.”   —>

http://blog.kitsapimages.com/2008/02/local-tv-series-now-in-third-year-of.html
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Casting call!
by Jason McIntosh
The Gameshelf (MA)
02/11/08

[ 2 comments ]

The Gameshelf is looking to expand the pool of people it invites on the show to play games. Prior to this casting effort, this has been limited to game fans whom we already knew. I’d like to cast the net a little wider in an effort to get a broader variety of gamers on the show.

Guest gamers help the show by simply playing games on-camera, usually in SCAT’s Somerville TV studio and occasionally on-location somewhere. We then mix clips of this gameplay footage with the hosts discussing the game. To get an idea how this works, watch any of our recent episodes, or one of our YouTube excerpts, such as Werewolf or Acquire. We sometimes also invite guests to participate in the little skits that punctuate each episode.

Because The Gameshelf is a low-to-no-budget effort, guests are paid only with the glory of appearing on a community access TV show and video podcast, and having their names forever in that episode’s credit roll.

Guest gamers should either live in the Boston area or be able to visit without much hardship. They are punctual, showing up on-time for any shoot they agree to help with, and once arrived they are cool and good-humored under camera. Most importantly, though, Gameshelf guests love games, and want to be part of a group effort to bring the message of joy through game-playing to a global audience.   —>
http://jmac.org/gameshelf/mt4/2008/02/casting-call.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 – 02/01/08

February 2, 2008

Broadcasting a warning for television
Media advocate: Public programming needs to be protected
by Kristina Peterson
Palo Alto Daily News (CA)
02/01/08

Congress got a taste of Palo Alto’s civic engagement this week when a local media coordinator flew across the country to testify about the importance of preserving public access programming.  Annie Folger, executive director of the Midpeninsula Community Media Center, told the nation’s lawmakers Tuesday about the threats a new AT&T service poses to public, educational and government access channels in the Palo Alto area.

Folger said she testified before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet to “let Congress know about the erosion of support for PEG (public, educational and government) access” from various video providers.  “These companies are trying to make business decisions to save money and bandwidth so they can make commercial profit,” Folger said Thursday in a phone interview from Washington, D.C. “If they’re not checked, public access could be lost.”

Congress has been involved in protecting public programming since the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 established that cable companies must provide public access channels in exchange for using the public right of way, Folger said.  “It’s like reserving a public park – a place for people to gather so it’s not all commercial real estate,” Folger said.

The subcommittee’s chairman, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said in his opening statement Tuesday that without such structures in place, “the vast majority of this programming would otherwise not exist on the dial.  “It is important that cable operators, programmers and communities work together to ensure that consumer welfare is protected,” Markey said.

But when AT&T rolls out its new “U-verse” video service in Palo Alto at a date still to be determined, the system will probably pose some problems for community access programs, Folger said.   —>
http://www.paloaltodailynews.com/article/2008-2-1-pa-cable
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Leaders fight move of government channels to upper end of cable TV dial
by David Damron
Orlando Sentinel (FL)
02/01/08

Orange County Commissioner Teresa Jacobs is launching a statewide fight to stop cable companies from pushing government channels to the higher reaches of their digital-channel lineups.  Jacobs, head of the Florida Association of Counties, wants her group to battle a national trend of moving public channels onto what critics call the “second class” tier of the dial.

Orange TV, which airs county, city and School Board meetings, moved from channel 9 to 199 earlier this month on Bright House Networks. The change was part of a programming shuffle that also rolls out new channels today.  Other cable companies across the region and state are making similar moves.  People “are far more likely to tune in when it’s in the lower channels,” said Jacobs, adding that some residents actually have stumbled onto issues important to them while channel surfing. “We ought to guard that.”   —>
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/orl-cable0108feb01,0,6654254.story
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Bredesen questions tactics in cable-permitting fight
Governor says he may get involved in contentious proposal
Associated Press (1 comment)
Knox News (TN)
02/01/08

Gov. Phil Bredesen is questioning the approach by House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh in the fight to change cable-permitting rules in Tennessee to encourage broadband access around the state.  In an interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Thursday, Bredesen said he doesn’t “think what Speaker Naifeh is trying to do can be successful” because the two sides are taking opposite positions on the franchising authority request.

Bredesen, a Democrat, reiterated comments he said earlier this month that he may get involved in the contentious cable proposal.  “Last year and so far this year, it’s shaping up into what AT&T wants versus what the cable TV companies want,” Bredesen told the newspaper. “Maybe at some point, we ought to consider what Tennesseans want. It’s something I am taking a look at how I might have an influence on.”    —>
http://knoxnews.com/news/2008/feb/01/bredesen-questions-tactics-in-cable-permitting/
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Grumblings All Around About AT&T
But 10Mbps U-verse starts today
by KathrynV (10 comments)
Broadband Rports
02/01/08

AT&T is irking people all around with problems in different areas of its service. Yesterday’s outage was one source of irritation for 3G and EDGE customers who weren’t able to get online for much of the day. A more ongoing problem for some customers is the inexplicable reduction in size of pictures sent by MMS; some of those messages aren’t going through at all. And making headlines this week is a complaint filed by the Alliance for Community Media which attacks AT&T for providing sub-par service to public, educational and government (PEG) channels.   —>
http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Grumblings-All-Around-About-ATT-91521?nocomment=1
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So When Are We Going To See Some Of That Net Neutrality?
by djtyg
Blogging for Michigan
02/01/08

In what seems like eons ago (2006), the Legislature passed what was known as HB6456, a.k.a. The Cable Franchise Reform Bill, bloggers became worried about the lack of net neutrality that would result from the bill.  National bloggers even got angry with the Governor, causing a short lived fight between the local and national bloggers.  The local bloggers (i.e., us) asked “where were you when we were trying to make heads or tails of this bill months ago?” while the national bloggers conceded that we should’ve been working together on this earlier.

Governor Granholm promised us later that net neutrality would be brought to the legislature as “stand alone” legislation.  Well, it’s been over a year now.  And while Comcast hasn’t decided to start charging blogs like ours money so we won’t be censored by them (unlike a certain Republicon Senator we all know), it’s highly likely that without legislation we could be seeing it in the future given Comcast’s recent actions.   —>
http://www.bloggingformichigan.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=1490
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IGE Talks: Community Peace and Justice
Media Mouse (MI)
02/01/08

The Institute for Global Education (IGE) in Grand Rapids has started uploading its monthly IGE Talks show to the Internet following a decision by Comcast to move public access channels to digital cable. Starting with this episode, Media Mouse will be posting the show online in order to expand its audience in West Michigan and to support independent/do-it-yourself media.  The topic for January’s show is “Community Peace and Justice” and the show can be watched below.   —>
http://www.mediamouse.org/briefs/020108ige_t.php
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Are you laughing with your cable provider?
Media Mouse (MI)
02/01/08

About a year ago, Comcast ran an ad called the “Laugh Riot” which had the look of a Seattle style WTO protest, featuring cops in riot gear, people throwing things at the cops, and even street puppets. Unlike real confrontations between cops and street protesters where people get beat up and arrested, this commercial invited viewers to get Comcast cable and enjoy all the wonderful comedy programs they offered.

Like other Comcast ads, this commercial tried to entice young audiences with visual messages that make their company seem edgy and lots of fun. Other ads have featured talking turtles-the Slowskys, a guy dressed in a Spiderman outfit, and the frequent Triple Play ad. The Triple Play commercial tries to seduce viewers with the idea that Comcast can provide all your communication needs – cable, Internet and phone service. Wow! You mean Comcast can do all that? So, how did this cable company become such a huge media player and why is that relevant to Joe and Josephine Citizen?

According to the group Free Press, “Comcast is the largest cable and broadband communications provider in the United States, owning about 28.9% of the U.S. market. Comcast gained 1.8 million subscribers from its joint acquisition of Adelphia with Time Warner. Comcast now has 23.3 million cable customers (plus 3.5 million) held in various partnerships.” Since Comcast is so large, it can wield a tremendous amount of power in the political arena. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Comcast is the 2nd largest campaign donor in the telecommunications industry in the 2008 Election cycle. As of mid-January Comcast had already donated over $1 million to candidates, with about 65% going to Democrats.

So what does Comcast stand to gain by funding politicians?   —>
http://www.mediamouse.org/commentary/020108are_y.php
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Verizon to soon offer TV-34
by Erica Zarra
Montclair Times (NJ)
02/01/08

Verizon FiOS subscribers will no longer be deprived of viewing municipal government proceedings or local festivities.  The cable provider has recently installed equipment that will enable it to carry Montclair’s free local cable access station, TV-34, which broadcasts news updates, emergency notices, and airs taped meetings and presentations.

By Valentine’s Day, Verizon subscribers will be able to watch the recently revamped station, which also offers chat programs, performances and cooking shows.  “Verizon is still fielding-testing it,” TV-34 Station Manager Sharon Colucci said. “Everything so far looks great.”

This development should placate residents who had left the municipally licensed Comcast Cable Television Service for Verizon FiOS, and soon discovered they did not have access to their local station.  “We’ve been waiting for a while,” Township Manager Joseph Hartnett said. “We’re happy that Verizon came in to make technical installations so that the citizens of Montclair can get our access channel no matter what service they have. We have been getting several complaints when people switched and weren’t getting TV-34.”   —>
http://www.montclairtimes.com/page.php?page=16665
~

Small Town Cable cuts some customers
by Bill Grubb
The Rogersville Review (TN)
02/01/08

SURGOINSVILLE — Small Town Cable (STC) has cut off service to some residents in the Surgoinsville area and others may soon be losing their connection because it is no longer “cost effective” for the company to serve those customers.  Vincent King, chief executive officer of Small Town Communications, the parent company of STC, met with the county commission’s TV Cable Committee Wednesday to discuss the local cable provider’s actions.   —>
http://hawkins.xtn.net/index.php?template=news.view.subscriber&table=news&newsid=147860
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San Jose paves way for new public access TV studio
by Stephen Baxter
San Jose Mercury News (CA)
02/01/08

San Jose’s public access TV channel is preparing for a surge of new participants, facilities and a fresh multimedia approach.  The San Jose City Council on Jan. 29 approved channeling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Comcast Corp. to San Jose Media Access Corp., a nonprofit group that will manage Channel 15 beginning July 1. The group also plans to open a new TV studio at a location to be decided and try to bring in new volunteers to improve its programs.

A Comcast studio at 1900 S. 10th St. has been the main production center for Channel 15 for at least 15 years. In December 2006, Comcast agreed to get the nonprofit group on its feet with more than $3 million, and Comcast pledged to continue with annual payments of roughly $1.2 million – or about 1 percent of its quarterly gross revenue.   —>
http://www.mercurynews.com/valley/ci_8141715?nclick_check=1
~

Early Winner in FCC Auction: Choice
by Dibya Sarkar
AP.google
02/01/08

WASHINGTON (AP) — No matter who winds up winning a large chunk of the public airwaves, consumers aching for wireless choice won’t be on the losing end.  When a $4.7 billion bid came in for that swath on Thursday, it effectively kicked open the gate on beachfront wireless property, allowing consumers to come in and use any cell phone or service they want on the resulting network.  A $4.6 billion minimum bid was needed to trigger the so-called “open-access” requirement.

While bidding is anonymous, analysts speculate that Google Inc. and Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC, are likely bidding against each other for that block, which is about one-third of the total spectrum currently being auctioned…

…Several consumer and public interest groups, including the Consumer Federation of America and U.S. Public Interest Research Group, also hailed the open-access benchmark.  “We hope that the freedom that will develop as the new spectrum opens up will carry over into the existing cellular network,” the groups said in a statement.   —>
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iyVJ1qW6rZpN-bPn8lQ-8uEWYpawD8UH8C0O0
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Viewers Question Infomercial’s Airing
by Marcia Chambers
New Haven Independent (CT)
02/01/08

What belongs on a town or a city’s public access television?  In the aftermath of the infomercial “New England Estates v. the Town of Branford,” starring the lawyers who won a huge $12.4 million verdict and “reporters” Duby McDowell and Tanya Meck, residents in Branford have asked if an infomercial that pretends to be a news show should be allowed on public access television.

The 30-minute video, accepted for airing by the seven Comcast towns that make up a shoreline franchise, ran in December and January. Its run ended in East Haven on Jan 26. The video is a thinly disguised advertisement for the law firm’s positions on a variety of topics that go far beyond the Tabor land trial. It was designed to serve the interest of the sponsor, Shipman & Goodwin, one of the state’s best known law firms. Branford’s community cable station, BCTV, has received complaints from viewers.

Yet it was aired. Why?   —>
http://www.newhavenindependent.org/archives/2008/02/lawyers_lobby_o.php
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Black New Yorker: Veronica Keitt
by Demetria Irwin
AmNews (NY)
02/01/08

“I just love to talk,” said Veronica Keitt when asked about what prompted her to become a cable access television personality. The ageless beauty and mother of two is well-known to New Yorkers who tune in to her half-hour show, “VK News.”  As lead correspondent on her nine-year-old self-titled show and producer of the hour-long “Community Cop,” hosted by the 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement, Keitt is a veteran of public access television.  “My comrades and I all have cable access shows and we document history. That’s what we do. Cable access television is very important because we control that. The mainstream media is not for us Black folks,” said Keitt.

Raised in the Astoria projects in Queens and currently living in Harlem, Keitt says her natural curiosity is what determines her show’s content. Tune in on any given night and you could find footage from an Obama campaign event, feedback from a rally about the drummers in Marcus Garvey Park or any number of topics.

“Being in the studio is fine, but I love being in the field the best. Everyone has a story to tell,” said the John Jay graduate. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in public administration. Keitt utilizes her education and professional experience to run 360 Media, a multi-media consulting firm she co-owns.

One major project 360 Media is currently promoting is “365 Days of Marching, ” a documentary about the community reaction to Amadou Diallo, an unarmed African immigrant who was slaughtered in a hail of 41 NYPD bullets in 1999 as he returned home to his Bronx apartment. The murder of the 23-year-old received international attention and rocked not only the Bronx community where it occurred, but also the entire New York City population.

Keitt explained how the Diallo case united activists in different areas. “New York doesn’t normally come together as a unit, but this brought everyone to the streets. People marched and protested about racial profiling, police brutality, poverty and a lot of other important issues. People were fed up. This story needs to be told.”

The name for the film comes from the fact that New Yorkers marched for the year’s time it took between the crime and the not-guilty verdicts delivered by an upstate jury. Footage from rallies, demonstrations, marches and forums are included in “365 Days of Marching. “ There are interviews with politicians, activists and regular people on the street.

A screening of the film will take place on February 4th at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (515 Malcolm X Boulevard).   —>
http://www.amsterdamnews.com/News/article/article.asp?NewsID=85748&sID=4
~

Imagine Raises the Bandwidth Bar
by Jeff Baumgartner
Cable Digital News
01/14/08

The customer is always right.  That business axiom appeared to be in play Monday when Imagine Communications introduced a digital video processing platform designed to cram 50 percent more MPEG-2-based broadcast channels into a slice of 6 MHz cable spectrum. (See Imagine Unveils Platform.)  Imagine’s ICE Broadcast System, introduced here at the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers Conference on Emerging Technologies, aims to pack three high-definition linear video networks or as many as 15 standard-definition networks into a single 6 MHz channel. Those improvements are boosted by a variable bit rate (VBR) video quality engine called the ICE-Q. —>
http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=143076&print=true
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/20/08

January 21, 2008

Televising local municipal meetings in the air
Move on to bring sessions to TV. Viewers in Lackawanna County watch meetings there.
by Bill O’Boyle (2 comments)
Times Leader (PA)
01/20/08

Taxpayers gave rave reviews when Luzerne County Commissioner meetings were televised briefly in 2001.  An estimated 25,000 viewers tune in weekly to Channel 61, the Lackawanna County public access station that airs Lackawanna County Commissioner and Scranton City Council meetings.

This phenomenon of allowing the cameras to roll as legislators do their work started nearly three decades ago with the advent of C-SPAN and is spreading to municipalities throughout the nation.  And, it could be coming to a TV screen near you.

Citizen activist Tim Grier wants to videotape Wilkes-Barre City Council and Luzerne County Commissioner meetings because he believes that would give residents a more complete picture of what elected officials are doing.  He’s not alone.  Some county and city officials welcome the idea – and so do local media experts and some citizens who were interviewed last week…

…[Professor Jayne] Klenner-Moore said with advance notice and advertising, viewership would increase over time, particularly when hot button issues arise.  “I think that any opportunity for the citizenry to participate in any way in local government is of great value,” she said. “I would recommend that if this does happen then someone should do audience analyses of what is being watched, how often, and for what reasons. This will help to understand how the process can be improved.”
http://www.timesleader.com/news/20080120_20_govt_tv_ART.html
~

Mount Carmel seeks programs for public access channel
by Jeff Bobo
Kingsport Times-News (TN)
01/20/08

Mount Carmel leaders can’t promise they’ll make you a star, but they can get you on TV if you’re willing to volunteer time toward creating programming for the town’s public access TV station.  Since last March, Mount Carmel has controlled public access Channel 16 for Charter Cable customers in Mount Carmel, Church Hill, part of Surgoinsville and much of eastern Hawkins County.

It’s currently used mainly as a message board for Mount Carmel announcements and a calendar of events. But Alderman Rick Gabriel and other town leaders have a vision for this channel, and they’re asking the public to help make this vision come true.

“Our public access channel is a tremendous resource for promoting our communities, our businesses, and for informing and entertaining our residents,” said Gabriel, who will be chairing the newly formed Public Access Cable TV Committee. “It’s public access, and it should be for the public and by the public. That’s why we’re asking for the public’s help.

“We want to present programming produced in our communities for our communities.”  The committee’s inaugural meeting is scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m. in the Mount Carmel City Hall boardroom. Videography enthusiasts interested in producing programming for the channel are encouraged to attend this meeting.

The committee is interested in meeting people willing to volunteer their time to film school sporting events; school concerts or other school events; community festivals and parades; church events; city council meetings; chamber of commerce promotions; or any other type of community interest programming suitable for all ages.  The committee is also interested in hearing new ideas for potential programming.

Mount Carmel Police Chief Jeff Jackson noted that the operative word is “volunteer” because Mount Carmel doesn’t have any money to spend on this project.  Thus far the police department has taken the lead in the public access TV programming, mainly because Patrolman George Copas has the technical expertise to operate the control panel.   —>
http://www.timesnews.net/article.php?id=9004756
~

Aspiring TV stars offered chance to audition for show promoting city
by Jennifer Gentile
The Reporter (CA)
01/20/08

Vacaville’s public access station, Channel 27, is calling all aspiring TV stars to try out for its newest show.  Auditions are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in building G of Country High School, located at 100 McClellan St. Producer Dave Baker encourages men and women, ages 20 to 50, to bring a smile and something to read in front of the camera.

“We’re trying to do sort of an ‘around town’ show, with interviews with public figures and business owners,” Baker said. “It’s basically sort of a magazine program, and we need someone to be the anchorperson.”

The show “is something we came up with to showcase the city a little bit,” he said. The station’s programing now features resident-produced pieces, as well as footage from community events like Fiesta Days and Merriment on Main.

Describing the person he wants for the new show, Baker said the anchor must be comfortable on camera.  “We want someone who’s professional looking, who has a vibrant personality,” he explained, “someone who can come up with interview questions and is comfortable talking to people.”   —>
http://www.thereporter.com/news/ci_8027437
~

AT&T fights against local franchise rules for video services
by Brian Lawson
Huntsville Times (AL)
01/20/08

Whether Huntsville is going to get the latest 21st century video technology will depend, it seems, on how a law passed in the 19th century is interpreted.  Telecom giant AT&T, which offers voice and Internet services here, has been moving into the video delivery market with Internet Protocol TV, essentially TV that comes through the phone line…

… it is a wide-open question whether Huntsville customers will ever enjoy the service.  AT&T says it will be reluctant to enter the Huntsville market if the City of Huntsville seeks to require it to enter a franchise agreement for video services, similar to deals the city has with Comcast and Knology.

Dave Hargrove, AT&T’s regional manager for external affairs, said the company is willing to pay the city the same rate, up to 5 percent of its annual gross revenues for video services, but it does not want to be subject to “build-out” requirements that are common in franchise agreements, which compel companies to work to offer their services citywide.  “We don’t believe a city government should be in the business of telling a business how to deploy its services, where to deploy and at what rate,” Hargrove said. “We think the marketplace should decide.”   —>
http://www.al.com/business/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/business/1200824128207980.xml&coll=1
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Mystic Babylon Open Mic Poetry Podcast TV: Cable Access 29: Podcast 51
by John Rhodes
Mystic Babylon Open Mic Poetry Podcast (CA)
01/20/08

Hello. This is John Rhodes and this is the third special airing on this Access TV Channel in San Francisco of my poetry show, which is also podcasted from my audio/video poetry podcast site Mystic Babylon. Today we are grateful to have as our guest Clive Matson, who will be reading for around 18 to 20 minutes. I will end the show reading from my podcast novel, “Little Bird Told Me” . Please also visit my podcast novel site, which is serially produced for free.
http://mysticbabylon.podomatic.com/entry/2008-01-20T18_27_48-08_00
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Video Vortex: Participatory Culture
by Twan Eikelenboom
Masters of Media
01/20/08

Do you think Participatory Culture is all about friendly cooperation? Fans flocking to Star Wars conventions or squad based play in the latest MMORPG? The Participatory Culture session at the international Video Vortex conference in Amsterdam, proved that practices such as “cutthroat capitalism” also belong in this category. And how can, from an Asian instead of a Eurocentric perspective, the changing concept of authorship be understood when everyone can build new meaning upon an original work? This session provided practical examples as well as theoretical context.   —>
http://mastersofmedia.hum.uva.nl/2008/01/20/video-vortex-participatory-culture/
~

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