Archive for the ‘streaming’ category

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/07/08

April 8, 2008

Don’t Downgrade Public Channels
by Scott Hanley
Hartford Courant (CT)


I applaud The Courant’s decision to encourage the General Assembly to protect the Connecticut Television Network from substandard delivery on AT&T’s U-verse video system [editorial, April 4, “Don’t Downgrade CT-N”].

The editorial did not mention that this “downgrade” will also have a significant impact on the many community-based public, education and government channels throughout the state. Just as CT-N has built a loyal following, these channels have become valued sources of information about community issues, school events and government services.

On cable systems, subscribers can find local channels without difficulty and easily monitor long-duration programming, such as meetings, by tuning away and back with the touch of a single button on the remote. The ability of subscribers to select and view community programming in a convenient manner is critical. Unfortunately, this might become a casualty of AT&T’s preference for an economical form of signal transmission.

Connecticut residents should not be penalized by the legislature’s efforts to ease the entry of AT&T, or any new competitor, into the cable TV market. These competitors should be required to deliver CT-N and all community access channels in a manner equal to that used for commercial channels.

AT&T will make money using the streets and poles throughout our neighborhoods. Good corporate citizenship is the least we should expect from them in return.,0,4319893.story

AT&T, cable rivals agree on rules for TV
Phone giant will have quota for offering statewide access
by Naomi Sntyder
The Tennessean


After months of secret negotiations between AT&T and the cable industry, both sides have agreed on many of the ground rules for AT&T’s entry into the television service business in Tennessee — including how many customers must get access and how many households must be in low-income neighborhoods.  Legislators set a deadline for today for both sides to come up with draft legislation so they could present it to the media this afternoon.  Under draft legislation that was still being negotiated over the weekend, AT&T would have to offer TV service to a minimum of 30 percent of its telephone territory within 3½ years after it begins offering television, according to people involved in negotiations.   —>

Announcement expected today for compromise AT&T, cable bill
by John Rodgers
Nashville City Paper (TN)


Leading lawmakers in the cable/AT&T negotiations over statewide television franchising will roll out their compromise legislation today.  The compromise bill marks the culmination of months of negotiations between the involved parties, dating back to late last year. House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington) spearheaded the effort.   —>

Compromise legislation expected today on competitive cable issue
Knox News (TN)

Tennessee lawmakers are expected to present compromise legislation today that would create a statewide system for permitting cable TV franchises.  The measure is supported by AT&T Inc., which wants to avoid having to seek hundreds of municipal permits as it enters the cable TV business.  Similar legislation stalled last year. But lawmakers have scheduled a news conference today to roll out legislation that is the result of behind-the-scenes negotiations between AT&T, the cable industry and local governments.   —>

Some school subcommittee meetings to be broadcast on local TV station
by Gerry Tuoti
Taunton Gazette (MA)

Some of the School Committee’s subcommittee meetings are returning to the airwaves.  A month after voting to no longer televise its subcommittee meetings, the School Committee passed a motion Wednesday that calls for any subcommittee meetings held the same night as a regularly scheduled full committee meeting to be televised on local access television.  The regularly scheduled full committee meetings are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month. The camera crew, which consists of high school audio/visual students and their teacher, is already present on those nights.   —>

GenderVision Releases First Video Program, “Sex & Gender” (MA)
by Nancy Nangeroni
Trans Group Blog

[ comments invited ]

Now available: the first show of the long-awaited video program, “GenderVision.” Produced and hosted by GenderTalk radio producers Nancy Nangeroni and Gordene MacKenzie, GenderVision continues the ground-breaking work of challenging and expanding our vision of gender and progressive politics. Cablecast in Beverly, it is also available for viewing and downloading at

This first program in the half-hour monthly show focuses on “Sex & Gender.” Nancy and Gordene speak candidly with their guest, medical sociologist, author and intersex activist Esther Morris Leidolf, about bodies and gender that differs from cultural expectations. Esther observes that intersex is more common than cystic fibrosis and Down syndrome combined. Their lively conversation explores the “medical normalization” of intersex bodies and the dangers of simplistic assumptions about sex and gender. Fans of “Raving Raven,” an animal issues commentator and regular on GenderTalk radio, will also enjoy a brief appearance by the “Bird with the Word” (not included in cable version due to time restraints).   —>

Wallingford public access TV available on Internet
by George Moore (CT)

Wallingford public access TV is still local, but its availability is now global, due to a new live video streaming arrangement.  Channel 18’s video is now being broadcast at, thanks to technology upgrades donated by Wallingford-based VBrick Systems Inc. The company is also providing the Web site.

VBrick, on Beaumont Road, is known worldwide for hardware that converts video and audio signals into digital data accessible over the Internet.  The company’s founder, Richard Mavrogeanes, is a Wallingford native and has lent support to the Wallingford Public Access Association’s effort to create a new headquarters. Mavrogeanes said it is important for WPAA and other public television groups to think beyond cable.

Not Your Father’s FCC
by Michael J. Copps
The Nation

“To the extent that the ownership of and control of…broadcast stations falls into fewer and fewer hands,” the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concluded, “the free dissemination of ideas and information, upon which our democracy depends, is threatened.” With those words, the FCC ordered the breakup of the leading broadcast network and banned a single company from owning more than one station per city.

Is this an FCC you recognize? Probably not. That’s because it’s not your FCC–it’s your father’s FCC (maybe even your grandfather’s). These media reforms were the work of James Lawrence Fly, the FCC chairman appointed by Franklin Roosevelt in 1939. A card-carrying New Deal trustbuster with good access to the President, Fly was a relentless opponent of “chain broadcasting”–the domination of local broadcasting by the CBS and NBC Red and Blue radio networks.

What a far cry from the media regulation we have today. In 1981 President Reagan appointed an FCC chairman who described a television set as nothing but a “toaster with pictures.” The commission went on to dismantle nearly every public-interest obligation on the books and to enable a tsunami of media consolidation. The results have been disastrous–reporters fired, newsrooms shuttered and our civic dialogue dumbed down to fact-free opinions and ideological bloviation.   —>

We won’t know what we never got
by David Isenberg

[ comments invited ]

Damian Kulash of the band OK Go, in Op-Ed in today’s New York Times:

. . . When the network operators pull these stunts [violations of neutrality — David I], there is generally widespread outrage. But outright censorship and obstruction of access are only one part of the issue, and they represent the lesser threat, in the long run. What we should worry about more is not what’s kept from us today, but what will be built (or not built) in the years to come.

We hate when things are taken from us (so we rage at censorship), but we also love to get new things. And the providers are chomping at the bit to offer them to us: new high-bandwidth treats like superfast high-definition video and quick movie downloads. They can make it sound great: newer, bigger, faster, better! But the new fast lanes they propose will be theirs to control and exploit and sell access to, without the level playing field that common carriage built into today’s network.

They won’t be blocking anything per se — we’ll never know what we’re not getting — they’ll just be leapfrogging today’s technology with a new, higher-bandwidth network where they get to be the gatekeepers and toll collectors. The superlative new video on offer will be available from (surprise, surprise) them, or companies who’ve paid them for the privilege of access to their customers . . .

Exactly. Outright censorship is way too visible for them to get away with. Creeping proactive censorship built into a new infrastructure is a MUCH harder story to tell. And a MUCH bigger danger.  And they’re building it. And at first it will look exactly like legitimate network management.

At Freedom to Connect, Isenberg Asks Tech Industry to Save the World
by Alex Goldman
April 14, 2008 [sic]

Isenberg likes the people who make up the technology industry and knows most of the important ones, but at the conference, he pointed out that an epic global disaster is a possible outcome, and asked us all to work together to avoid it.

David Isenberg opened his Freedom to Connect conference with unusually passionate remarks, recorded in full here in his blog. He ditched the rhyming from previous years.  That’s because there’s a new sense of urgency. It’s not peak oil or the closing of the internet frontier. It’s this:

“Our planet is in danger of becoming hostile to life. I’m not talking about the flooding of Miami and New York and Bangladesh. I mean that because of the carbon we humans put in the air, Earth could become Venus, a place where life can’t live. So I believe—and I put this forward as a hypothesis—I believe that we can use the Internet to conserve more atmospheric carbon than its infrastructure generates. Furthermore, I believe we can use the Internet for global participation that transcends tribalism and nationalism to end war . . . for discussion! ”

So it’s no longer the fight against the telcos for the freedom to connect. It’s no longer the fight for democracy against governments like China and Pakistan that want to restrict it.  The most important thing we can use the internet for, Isenberg believes, is to save the world. And there’s not much time to do it.  Isenberg, an opponent of the current AT&T monopoly strategy who hails from Bell Labs as if it were his birthplace said, “It is the story of a Goliath composed of a thousand Davids. I am one of them.”   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media


Community Media: Selected Clippings – 12/13/07

December 14, 2007

Way Beyond YouTube! Wiki on US PEG Streaming
by Deep Dish
Waves of Change

The Alliance for Community Media has set up a Wiki with links to streaming PEG (Public, Educational and Government) channels in the U.S. You can get a sense of what sort of programming is being presented on these channels. Access centers can add their own url if it has not been included on the interactive site.

Opponents of cable bill lobby Doyle to again use partial veto
by Charles Brace
The Daily Cardinal (WI)

The bill relating to cable television passed the Assembly Tuesday, but opponents still hope Gov. Jim Doyle will veto portions of the legislation before signing it.  State Rep. Gary Hebl, D-Sun Prairie, (above) said he believes Gov. Jim Doyle is willing to veto portions of the recently passed cable bill.   —>

Cable competition bill concerns local officials
by Jeff Bollier
Oshkosh Northwestern (WI)

A proposal to replace local cable television agreements with a statewide licensing system only needs Gov. Jim Doyle’s approval to become law now despite the proposal’s impact on public access channel revenues and doubts about how much added competition will lower cable rates.  The bill, lobbied for heavily by AT&T, does away with the local licensing agreements that started in the 1970s and replaces it with a single statewide license. Getting one license to operate in the entire state was advocated by AT&T as a faster and more efficient way for it to enter the state’s cable market.

But Oshkosh Community Access Television Executive Director Jon Urben, a strong opponent of the bill because of its impact on community stations like OCAT, said he fears the bill will not reduce consumers’ cable rates. Urben also pointed out the city of Oshkosh’s franchise agreement with Time Warner Cable does not exclude AT&T, Charter Communications or any other cable provider from offering services in the Oshkosh market.  “The idea of more competition resonates so well with everyone, but nowhere in the bill does it say your cable bill is going to go down,” Urben said. “The system has been this way for more than 30 years and there’s never been a barrier to AT&T coming into the community. They just want to get into the market with less government regulation.”   —>

EDITORIAL: Cable deregulation harmful for Wisconsin Consumers
The Daily Telegram (WI)

Wisconsin consumers beware.  Legislation awaiting the governor’s likely signature claims to be in the best interest of video service network subscribers — cable TV viewers.  The objective of Assembly Bill 207 is to take franchise agreements out of the hands of local government and move governance of those agreements to the state.  The goal, the bill’s authors say, is to hold down costs by fostering competition. On its surface that sounds like a good plan, but it’s deregulation, which has rarely benefited consumers.

The bill offers little in the way of consumer protection. Mandatory standards of service are minimal. And if the cable provider fails to meet even those minimum standards, there is no enforcement mechanism.  A consumer’s recourse — file a court action and get a judge to order the company to comply with the law.

The bill does offer support to maintain public access, but critics are undoubtedly correct when they say the legislation will eventually starve it to death. Wisconsin offers a long list of examples of breaking its promises to balance the state checkbook on the backs of property owners — courts, public health, social services, shared revenue. It’s only a matter of time before fees to support public access are added to the list. However, it’s more likely to go away since AB 207 doesn’t allow local government to tax for the cost.

The bill already prevents local government from collecting permit fees when the cable company uses a public right-of way. It’s a fee other utilities are required to pay.  The governor should whip out his veto pen and send AB 207 back to the Legislature with instruction to follow the suggestion of Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma. Her idea is to adopt a bill that mirrors a cable bill adopted in Illinois.

The Illinois bill protects consumers, sets service standards and has a means to penalize companies that don’t meet those requirements. Illinois also has the mechanism in place to protect the general public interest, whether or not individuals are cable customers, by allowing municipalities to recoup costs for inspection of work in the public right-of-way.

Public access television to add second channel
New channel will air government, education
by Jenny Goldsmith
Sierra Sun (CA)

Community television has been a bit too successful in the North Tahoe area.  Coverage of Truckee-Tahoe government meetings has overwhelmed the public-access programming the region’s cable provider broadcasts to its viewers in the Truckee-North Tahoe area.  To stay true to its mandate of providing the public its own broadcast outlet, Truckee Tahoe Community Television will add a second public-access channel to improve community coverage.   —>

TV production training is free at MCTV
by Paul Boerger
Mt. Shasta News (CA)

If you ever had the notion to put on or be part of a television program – whether educational, talk show, entertainment or documentary, or running the equipment or learning any of the other many activities that TV production entails – then Mountain Community Television Channel 15 has the studio and people to make that happen for you.

MCTV15 is the non-profit Siskiyou County public access television station broadcast by Northland Cable. The studio is located at College of the Siskiyous in Weed, and the public is invited to be part of the station. In partnership with COS, classes on many aspects of television production are also available for credit.

“We have up-to-date equipment just waiting for the public to take advantage of,” said Audra Gibson, president of the board of directors. “We’re not the local news station. The programming is citizen generated.”  Gibson said the station is open to a wide range of programming.

“We invite you to take your creativity and bring it to MCTV15. We’re looking for a variety of programs including events, talk shows, educational, sports, kids activities, cooking, news magazines and school activities. Authors, musicians and artists can showcase their work,” Gibson said. “Let your imagination be your guide. If you are interested in getting an event or story on television, we can assist you in making that happen.”   —>

Tech companies and public interest groups form coalition to expand broadband access
by Kevin Bogardus
The Hill

Tech giants and public interest watchdogs joined forces Wednesday in a new coalition to support new portable wireless devices that will utilize underused parts of the spectrum for Internet service.  The Wireless Innovation Alliance (WIA) is a new group comprised of IT companies like Google and Hewlett-Packard as well as watchdog groups such as Free Press and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. They have teamed up as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considers rules for devices designed to provide broadband access using “white spaces” — unused parts of the spectrum that typically would be occupied by television frequencies.

“All government is doing is setting the road signs,” said Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), speaking at the press conference announcing the alliance. “But the private sector can’t move ahead until the road signs are established.”   —>–lobby/tech-companies-and-public-interest-groups-form-coalition-to-expand-broadband-access-2007-12-13.html

Today: TV static. Tomorrow: broadband.
by Richard Whitt
Google Public Policy Blog

Remember how, before cable and satellite TV became ubiquitous in our homes, we would have to turn the VHF dial on our old televisions to watch local channels? NBC might have been on channel 3, CBS on 10, and ABC on 17. And between those channels…was static.

Today, the spaces between those channels remain largely unused. But now a consensus is growing that those portions of TV spectrum — known as “white spaces” — could be used to expand Internet access through low power personal devices, akin to Wi-Fi. Best of all, new spectrum sensing technologies can ensure that this spectrum could be used for mobile broadband service without interfering one bit with television signals. Which means that not only would more Americans be able to reach the Internet, but also that I’ll still be able to watch The Colbert Report (at least once the Hollywood writers’ strike is settled).

Over the past few months, bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the House (by Reps. Jay Inslee and Nathan Deal) and Senate (by Sens. John Kerry and Gordon Smith) to open up this spectrum. We support these bills and thank their sponsors. At the same time, the Federal Communications Commission is currently evaluating the technology concepts behind this issue. As part of that process, we met last week with some of the FCC’s engineers and presented encouraging test results based on ongoing trials of wireless technologies.

Today, Google joined a broad-based coalition of technology companies, public interest and consumer groups, civil rights organizations, think tanks, and higher education groups to launch the Wireless Innovation Alliance, a new group to promote the numerous benefits that the “white spaces” can bring to consumers. The members of the coalition have already helped secure significant political support for our goals from Members of Congress, and we will be working over the next several months to educate more policymakers about the promise of white spaces. And while some have sought recently to politicize this process, we think the FCC should be allowed to conduct its analysis free of political considerations.

Between today’s TV channels lies the opportunity for more Americans to enjoy the Internet’s rich resources. We’ll be working hard to make sure this debate is marked by more clarity, and less static.   —>

Your Guide to Hyper-Local News
by Mark Glaser

From time to time, I’ll give an overview of one broad MediaShift topic, annotated with online resources and plenty of tips. The idea is to help you understand the topic, learn the jargon, and take action. I’ve already covered blogging, citizen journalism, widgets and other topics. This week I’ll look at hyper-local news.   —>

Cable Industry Launches ‘Our Time To Vote,’ a $5 Million National Multi-Cultural Voter Education and Registration Campaign
Public Service Announcements, Webpage, Hotline and Comcast Foundation grants to diverse organizations headline campaign
Comcast, Time Warner, Cox Communications, Inc. and Bright House Networks to support effort
PR Newswire

Comcast , the nation’s leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services, today announced the launch of “Our Time to Vote,” a year-long, non-partisan voter education and registration campaign designed to increase voting in diverse communities served by the cable industry.

“Comcast recognizes that broader participation in the democratic process is important for our nation, and we are very pleased to launch this partnership to pursue that goal,” said Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen. “This campaign reflects the cable industry’s commitment to strong local communities and to active public citizenship.”

The estimated $5 million campaign features four multi-cultural public service announcements (PSAs), as well as the creation and launch of two nationally available voter education resources: the webpage and a voter information resources hotline, 1.866.544.VOTE.

The PSAs will begin airing on December 15, leading up to the 2008 primary elections in Comcast, Time Warner, Cox Communications, Inc. and Bright House Networks markets. They feature appearances by African American, Asian American and Hispanic entertainers and leaders, including Ana Ortiz, George Lopez, Lou Diamond Phillips, Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Margaret Cho, encouraging diverse audiences to register to vote. A series of “Get out the Vote” spots will run from September 1, 2008, through November 3, 2008, just prior to the general election. The PSAs can be viewed at:

“Too few Americans vote and that hurts our democracy,” said FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps. “‘Our Time to Vote’ is a welcome and multi-faceted campaign to promote citizen participation in the electoral process. It’s a real public service.”

The Comcast Foundation has also awarded grants to the following organizations to help support their nonpartisan voter outreach efforts:
— Asian Pacific Islander American Vote
— The Hispanic Federation
— League of United Latin American Citizens
— The NAACP National Voter Fund
— National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 11/10/07

November 12, 2007


State of Emergency in Pakistan: An Analysis of Local Media
by Huma Yusuf
MIT Center for Future Civic Media

Much can be said about Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf’s decision to declare a state of emergency in my home country. In this post, I will set aside political commentary and restrict my comments here to the role that news media and new media are playing in the national crisis.

On Saturday, November 3, soon after proclaiming emergency rule in a televised address, Musharraf demanded that all cable operators stop beaming the broadcasts of all local and foreign new channels, except those of the state-owned Pakistan Television. Nearly 30 channels were promptly taken off the air. On Sunday, policemen raided the Islamabad offices of Aaj TV, a private news channel, and attempted to confiscate the channel’s equipment.

This nationwide broadcasting blackout was accompanied by sporadic efforts to cut telephone lines and jam cell phone networks, even though the telecommunications infrastructure in Pakistan is privately owned. According to VOA News, the telephone lines of Pakistan’s main independent news channel Geo TV were cut.

On Tuesday, November 6, Iftikhar Chaudhry, the ousted chief justice of the Supreme Court who is currently under house arrest, called for mass protest against the government and for the restoration of the constitution via cell phone. According to the BBC News Online report, most mobile phone services in Islamabad went down during Chaudhry’s address, prompting suspicions that they had been jammed. The jamming of cell phone networks became de rigueur since emergency rule was imposed last weekend, as the mobile connectivity of the Supreme Court, protest sites, and the homes of opposition politicians and lawyers who are under house arrest is being jammed.

That said, SMS text messaging is being lauded across the blogosphere as the savior of communication in this time of crisis. According to unofficial reports issued by mobile phone service providers, record numbers of text messages have been sent in the past five days as the medium is used to stay in touch and organize protests….

…Given this scenario, designers and activists hoping to build new technologies that can foster civic engagement and community building should consider the power of mesh network options that are independent of centralized communications networks (such as cell phone transmission towers) that are dependent on the licensing mandates of potentially authoritarian governments. The fact that Musharraf chose to block television–the medium that attracts most eyes in Pakistan–should revive interest in local information dissemination options such as community radio and local newsletters.

Streaming meetings coming soon to city Web site
by Marsha L. Melnichak
Northwest Arkansas Times

Fayetteville residents will soon be able to watch city government meetings with a click or two on a computer mouse.  Recordings of Fayetteville government meetings, such as the City Council and Planning Commission, will be available for viewing at any time by way of the city’s Web site beginning in early 2008.  No specific date is set, but the service is coming.

“ Basically all the public meetings they do now on the Government Channel can be stream blogged, will certainly be streamed and kept for a year for public viewing, ” said Scott Huddleston, director of the city’s Information Technology department.  “It’s not just live streaming, see it and miss it. It’s live plus it’s stored for a year, ” he said…

… Cold CAT ? The plan for using vendor Web streaming does not include the city’s Cable Access Television (CAT ) station. Richard Drake, chairman of the Telecomm Board of Directors, said he believes board members were “ taken by surprise” by the Information Technology plan. He also thinks it is unfair. “ It’s a good plan, but CAT needs to have their programs on the Web. It would be unfair for everyone else in the PEG system to have their Web streaming costs taken care of by others, and expect CAT to fend financially for themselves. That’s not an even playing field, ” Drake wrote in an e-mail to the Northwest Arkansas Times Thursday.   —>

Allen City TV winning program accolades at state, national levels
by Carolyn Tillery
The Dallas Morning News (TX)

The tables have turned on the Allen City Television station. Rather than highlighting the achievements of others in the community, the station is in the limelight itself after winning numerous awards for excellence.  The Allen television station, which can be seen on Time Warner Channel 16 in Allen or online at, received five first-place awards, three second-place and one third-place honor from the Texas Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors.

The station also picked up two first-place awards and one second-place honor from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors and the Telly Awards, including an award for excellence in government programming.  “This is the first time in history a Texas station has won for government programming,” said Mark Kaufmann, video producer. “It’s kind of a big deal. This includes counties as well as cities. Second place went to a county station in Oregon.”

Since it launched, ACTV has won more than 70 local and national awards, including its first Lone Star Emmy in 2006.  It started in 2000, when Mr. Kaufmann was hired to run the televised production of the Allen City Council meetings. But he had a few ideas of his own.  “I had a bigger look on the whole station,” he said. “I started out with a VHS camera and a tripod with a bad leg. But in working with the mayor and the City Council, we’ve been able to grow to this.”  In addition to Mr. Kaufmann, the station employs another full-time person and Mr. Kaufmann’s assistant, Imran Ali, a radio, television and film student at the University of North Texas.   —>

F.C.C. Planning Rules to Open Cable Market
by Stephen Labaton
New York Times

The Federal Communications Commission is preparing to impose significant new regulations to open the cable television market to independent programmers and rival video services after determining that cable companies have become too dominant in the industry, senior commission officials said.  The finding, under a law that gives the commission expanded powers over the cable television industry if it becomes too big, is expected to be announced this month. It is a major departure for the agency and the industry, which was deregulated by an act of Congress in 1996.

Officials say the finding could lead to more diverse programs; consumer groups say it could also lead to lower rates.  Heavily promoted by those groups and by the commission’s Republican chairman, Kevin J. Martin, the decision would be a notable exception to the broad deregulatory policies of the Bush administration. Officials in various agencies have relaxed industry regulations and have chosen not to challenge big corporate mergers.

“The finding will provide the commission with additional authority to assure that there is opportunity for additional voices,” Mr. Martin said Friday in an interview. “It is important that we continue to do all we can to make sure that consumers have more opportunities in terms of their programming and that people who have access to the platform assure there are diverse voices.”

The commission’s conclusion that the cable industry has grown too large will be used to justify a raft of new cable television rules and proposals. They include a cap that would prevent the nation’s largest cable company, Comcast Corporation, from growing, and would prevent other large cable companies, like Time Warner, from making any new large cable acquisitions.

The decision comes as Mr. Martin is about to formally announce his plan to relax a different media ownership rule. That rule has restricted a company from owning a newspaper and a television or radio station in the same community.

How dominant the cable industry is has been a matter of dispute. The largest cable companies say they are under increasing competition from the satellite and telephone companies. But commission officials and consumer groups say that the large cable companies dominate the marketplace. They cite as evidence the fact that cable rates have risen significantly faster than inflation.

Next week, Mr. Martin is expected to formally propose that the newspaper and broadcast cross-ownership restriction be relaxed in the nation’s largest cities if the television station is not one of the largest in the community. He has told officials that he hopes to complete action on that rule in December.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/28/07

October 29, 2007

A well-informed citizenry
by Faith
Kerry Vision

In 2003, FCC Chairman Michael Powell attempted to loosen media consolidation rules, but was halted by a federal court in a landmark decision. Now, current Chairman Kevin Martin is threatening the same, and he’s meeting with bi-partisan opposition in the unlikely partnership of Senators Byron Dorgan and Trent Lott, along with legislators from both sides of the aisle.

What Martin is attempting is to allow media ownership of broadcast and newspapers by the same owner in the same market. And he’s given the public five days notice to voice our opposition.   —>


Senators Call For Net Neutrality Hearing
by Jason Lee Miller

Senators Bryon Dorgan (D-ND) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) sent a letter today to Sen. Daniel Inouye, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, calling for a hearing to discuss phone and cable companies’ recent discrimination against content on their networks, and whether current regulatory protections are enough.

The senators cite the contrast between recent cable and phone companies’ actions and their words. Companies from both industries promised they would not abuse their power as information gatekeepers, yet recent moves by Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast suggest other wise.  Here is most of the text from the letter:—>

U-verse TV battle moves to state court

by David Krechevsky

Republican-American (CT)


HARTFORD — The fate of AT&T’s U-verse television service now rests with a state superior court judge.  Judge Robert F. McWeeny conducted a hearing Friday before a packed house in Hartford Superior Court on a request from AT&T Inc. to overturn a ruling by state regulators that requires the company to seek a cable TV franchise license for U-verse….

McWeeny focused on two points: what legislators intended when they created the new video franchising law, and whether the federal judge’s ruling affected the new law…  After hearing all of the arguments, McWeeny said he would not issue a ruling Friday, but intends to have one “soon.”

see also:

AT&T’s U-Verse: Cable TV or Internet?

by Rob Varnon

Connecticut Post (CT)



Cable Access Channel Fights Back with Hitler Ads 

by Mitch E. Perry

WMNF Evening News Friday (FL)


    [ listen ]

Speak Up Tampa Bay, the Community access channel in Tampa and Hillsborough County, lost $355,000 from its operating budget after County Commissioners cut funding for the channel, claiming budget cuts as the culprit.

The Channel sued, and beginning tomorrow (Saturday) will begin airing ads asking its viewers to help out in its legal battle. And one of the ads is quite provocative, featuring the visages of Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Fidel Castro, before ultimately fading into the faces of Commissioners Jim Norman, Brian Blair, Al Higgenbotham, and Ken Hagen…

Meanwhile, in Pinellas County, organizers trying to get public access back on in that area say that they will be meeting with First Amendment Attorney Luke Lirot, and are contemplating legal action against the County Government. a


Bright House takes a dim view of customers

by Jeff Webb

St. Petersburg Times (FL)


Their incessant advertisements remind us that we should live in a Bright House.  But if the cable television company that serves Hernando County really cares that much about letting the sun shine in, it could start by not obscuring one of the public’s main views of its government.

Not long after the Florida Legislature foolishly freed cable companies from the burden of having to negotiate franchise agreements with local governments, Bright House announced it will shuffle its channel lineup on Dec. 11. In Hernando County, where Bright House is basically the only cable game in town, that means customers who pay $48.49 per month for the lowest tier of basic digital service will have to upgrade their subscription if they want to view the so-called “government channels,” currently 14, 19 or 20.

Bright House is moving those stations to the next tier of digital service, which means customers will need a converter box and pay extra to continue watching those public channels. If a customer chooses to purchase the complete second tier of service, the cost will be $59.45. If a customer wants just the government channels, he still has to pay an extra $1 a month, plus tax, for the converter box.  Count me among those whose disposition about Bright House is not so sunny right now.   —>


Rural life comes at high-tech price

by Hilary Bentman

The Intelligencer (PA)

They come from New York, Philadelphia, and other urban spots, seeking out the quiet, rural life that northern Bucks County offers.  Here, they find homes hidden in woodlands, relatively few cars traversing the country roads, and a night sky not polluted by glaring city lights.

But these city transplants also expect to have the modern, urban amenities, like cell phone reception, high-speed Internet and convenience stores.  These services, they soon discover, are hard to come by.  It’s created a clash of cultures of sort, and the latest battle ground is over cable.   —>


Access Humboldt executive director invited to join ZeroDivide Fellowship

Eureka Reporter (CA)



Sean McLaughlin, executive director of Access Humboldt, is one of 16 leaders from across the state of California selected by the Community Technology Foundation to join Class III of the ZeroDivide Fellowship. This highly sought-after two-year fellowship increases the capacity of leaders in California to promote social justice through the use of information and communications technology…

McLaughlin said, “Rural communities of the Redwood Coast have particular challenges and opportunities with regard to technology and innovation, so I am delighted to have this opportunity to join with colleagues from across the state and build a movement that brings people together.”   —>


Webcasts bring local cable to the world

by John Laidler

Boston Globe


Newburyport residents can watch political candidates in the city debating the issues or see their high school football team in action, even if they are thousands of miles from home.  Last month, the Newburyport Community Media Center, the new nonprofit organization that took over operation of the city’s cable-access station this year, began placing videos of some of its programming on its website,

“It’s important that, as we are providing content for our channels, we also evolve with the new media,” said Keri Stokstad, the center’s executive director.  Through its new “video on demand” feature, anyone with a computer and access to the World Wide Web can watch a Newburyport access program by going to the center’s website and clicking on one of the video offerings. By next January, the station hopes to begin streaming cable programs to the site live.

The Newburyport center is not alone in using the Internet to expand the reach of its programs. Across the country, an increasing number of local access stations have initiated or are exploring the posting of taped or live programs on their websites, said Stokstad, who was involved in such Web postings in her previous job as executive director of a cable-access corporation in Washington’s Puget Sound region.   —>


Airwaves Auction Still Faces Challenge

by John Dunbar, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Verizon Wireless has dropped its court challenge against the government’s consumer-friendly rules governing an upcoming airwaves auction — but it’s a bit early for supporters of the plan to declare victory.   —>


‘The State of Community Media in the European Union’
by Erkan Saka
Erkan’s Field Diary

The European Parliament has recently published “The State of Community Media in the European Union”  (PDF). From Executive’s summary Intro:

‘Community Media (CM) constitute a dynamic and highly diverse part of the European Union’s media landscape.  Yet, little information is available regarding the sector’s scope, its potential and on the status of CM organisations in different Member States.

The purpose of this report is to investigate the state of CM in the EU and to examine the factors that influence their development.  Particular attention has been focussed on examining how CM activity meets EU policy objectives.   —>


BCAT Looks at Bed-Stuy Blogs and WiFi Hotspots


BCAT’s (Brooklyn Community Access Television) presents Neighborhood Beat: The Bed-Stuy Parlor, on Thursday, November 1 at 8:30 p.m.  This month, host Monique Greenwood connects with Bed-Stuy’s hi-tech community: Petra Symister of; Peter Epstein of the Bed-Stuy Renovations Blog; Jonathan Butler of; and TRUE of the Bed-Stuy Yahoo Group BSHINE.  BCAT will also take us to WiFi spots Bread-Stuy, the Laundromat on Fulton Street, Tiny Cup on Nostrand Ave and Twofiftyeight Café on Malcolm X Boulevard.   —>



compiled by Rob McCausland

Alliance for Community Media




Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/15/07

October 15, 2007

AT&T’s U-verse stirs local access furor
by Luther Turmelle
New Haven Register (CT)

Will AT&T’s challenge to cable television in the state, U-verse, change local access programming as it now exists?  Stay tuned, industry observers and local cable activists say.

The issue has raised enough concern that local access channel officials from around the state have arranged a meeting with AT&T officials for Oct. 29 to discuss their concerns. And last week, a Wallingford councilman expressed concern that U-verse could have a lasting impact on local access programming.  “The way this is being delivered, fewer and fewer people are going to be able to access these channels,” said Michael Brodinsky, a Democratic councilman from Wallingford.

Brodinsky based his claim on the fact that with the U-verse system, cable access programs will no longer have a dedicated channel — as is now the case with cable — but will be part of a “portal,” or home page from which residents will be able to select not just their own community’s programming, but also telecasts from other communities around the state.   —>

Community television weakened by FCC
by Rob Brading
Gresham Outlook

When Congress didn’t enact telecommunications legislation in late 2006, local governments and advocates of media that’s less concentrated, more diverse and more local breathed a sigh of relief. Less than a year later, those same folks are wondering if they should have paid more heed to the old adage about being careful what you wish for.

Congress didn’t act on legislation that would have severely weakened or eliminated local video franchising for telephone companies, so those companies took their lobbying prowess to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC, an appointed body that for the last several years has ignored overwhelming displays of public opinion on issues such as the concentration of media ownership and given media giants ever more power and reach, stepped in with a foot print that dwarfs Shaquille O’Neal’s size 23s.   —>

GenderVision Calls for Volunteers/Interns
by Nancy Nangeroni
GenderVision (MA)

GenderVision, soon to be a new community TV program out of Beverly, MA, featuring longtime GenderTalk Radio ( co-hosts Nancy Nangeroni & Gordene MacKenzie, is seeking volunteers and/or interns to help with the following:

* Graphic design: Our color selection, logo, set & website design all need your creative touch.
* Web/online distribution: Collaborate with our crew to create a new website to complement our new video offering, and help us establish online distribution of our video series via established hosting services such as YouTube,, other cable stations, etc.
* Promotion/Publicity: You’ll help us reach out to our viewers, locally, nationally and internationally, to keep them informed about this exciting new program. You’ll use established channels, and develop some new ones, to help us reach a large and diverse audience.
* Research: You’ll help us line up permissions, source materials like photos and film/video clips, topical information and potential interview guests
* Production assist: You’ll help us during the program shoot onsite at BevCam, welcoming and guiding guests, gophering, assisting the director, etc.

We look forward to collaborating with you; distance is no barrier in this work (except production assistance).  To become part of this exciting, cutting edge GenderVision production crew, please send an email to nancy [at] detailing your talents, experience and interest. All experience levels welcome.   —>

PTTV eyes webcasts across Peninsula
by Jeff Chew
Peninsula Daily News (WA)

PORT TOWNSEND – Public access television has a future on the Web in Jefferson County, says a community broadcasting leader, and one day could extend its reach west into Clallam County.  Karen Nelson, newly elected chairwoman of the Public Education and Government board, or PEG, says Port Townsend Television intends to establish Olympic Peninsula Network Media to connect the region through webcasts.

“So by the end of the year, we plan to come out of the closet with new OPEN Media,” Nelson said.  “We’re growing it for the region, a way of communicating what’s going on in the local region, then we will broadcast it regionally.”

The move comes at a time when a local television broadcasting gap has been left in the Port Angeles-Sequim market after Peninsula News Network, on cable television channel 3, discontinued operations.  PNN operated under an agreement with Port Angeles-based WAVE Broadband until it ceased operations in June, citing a lack of advertising revenues.   —>

Community Technology Foundation Announces ZeroDivide Fellows Class III
Fellowship Focuses on Community Technology, Social Enterprise to Advance Social Justice
AScribe Newswire

SAN FRANCISCO – The Community Technology Foundation (CTF) announces the selection of 16 individuals for Class III of the ZeroDivide Fellowship. This highly sought after two-year Fellowship increases the capacity of leaders in California to promote social justice through the use of information and communications technology (ICT), including digital media.

“The ZeroDivide Fellowship is about building a movement of technology users who can turn information into action to improve society,” said Tessie Guillermo, CTF President and CEO.  “These ZeroDivide Fellows exemplify the diversity of California’s communities, representing communities of color, rural communities, people with disabilities, and other underserved communities,” said Laura Efurd, Chief Community Investment Officer. “They have the passion and drive to use technology and digital media to advance social justice, and to influence technology policy to reflect the needs and desires of their communities.”

The ZFellows will build their technology and advocacy skills, engage in discussions with key policy makers, and explore collaborations with the ICT industry. During the fellowship, ZFellows will explore new strategies and relationships, work across traditional boundaries, and develop new ideas and solutions that will advance the field of community technology. The ZFellows will share their learnings and experience with their communities through the completion of a strategic impact project.   —>

Paper Tiger Television – 25th Year Anniversary
7pm & 9pm, 15 & 16 October 2007
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue (at E. 2 St) New York, NY 10003

In celebration of their 25th anniversary, progressive downtown media organization and one-time public access channel Paper Tiger Television hosts two nights of programming at the Anthology Film Archives. Over the years, PTTV has helped hundreds of New York media activists, students, art historians, video artists, and others produce videos with various goals and for various audiences. They are mostly known for the culturally critical documentary tapes with a certain PTTV-look that eschews slick production values for a sense of artistry and play.

Recommended tonight at the 7pm screening is sociologist Herb Schiller’s 1981 tape Herb Schiller Reads the New York Times: The Steering Mechanism Of the Ruling Class, which delivers on its titular promise. The video is an early manifestation of a video “reading” genre that PTTV pioneered. The form is one in which an intellectual or artist performs a critical, something theatrical, reading of a popular cultural publication, usually with the intention of deconstructing the language of the text and exposing the transparent constitutive ideologies in the process; Tuli Kupferberg of the Fugs made a tape reading Rolling Stone for the series in 1982, Martha Rosler reading Vogue in 1982, Alex Cockburn reading the Washington Post in 1983, Noam Chomsky reading the New York Times in 1986.

Tomorrow’s show at 7pm focuses on tapes dealing with race and class in New York, and includes Tompkins Square Park: Operation Class War, a 1992 documentary on the now deeply entrenched class divides of a then-gentrifying Lower East Side. The 9pm program features several tapes centered on LGBTSTQ perspectives, including Fenced Out, a 2001 documentary on the legal struggles for Christopher Street Pier, a long-established safe-haven for lower-income and homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, Two Spirit, transgender and questioning youth of color and an important 60s historical site of the modern gay liberation movement.

Art & Commerce: Death by YouTube
by Andrew Keen

Is the Web 2.0 cultural revolution of user-generated content good news for the ad industry? Will the explosion of fashionable blogs and social networks increase the size of the advertising economy? Can the YouTubification of professional creative content and the wikifying of mainstream authoritative media benefit advertisers and advertising companies?

The answer to these three questions, I’m afraid, is unambiguously negative. No, no, no. Web 2.0 is, in truth, the very worst piece of news for the advertising industry since the birth of mass media. In the short term, the Web 2.0 hysteria marks the end of the golden age of advertising; in the long term, it might even mark the end of advertising itself.

It’s not possible to talk about the meteoric rise of Web 2.0 without discussing the equally dramatic fall of mainstream media. These two profoundly significant historical events are occurring in parallel, each a cause and an effect of the other. And the fate of the advertising business is intimately bound up with both Web 2.0’s growth and mass media’s decline.   —>

AMD Tunes into Cable HDTV
by Jeremy Charette
Digital Media Thoughts

“Those looking to tap into cable HDTV channels on their computers will soon have a new option. AMD announced the expansion of its ATI TV Wonder line on Monday, with three new models that pick up Clear QAM high-def content. The ATI TV Wonder 650 Combo USB will be the most flexible of the bunch, offering two tuners to allow simultaneous viewing and recording on different channels. Both tuners will work not only with off-the-air HD content, but also unencrypted Clear QAM cable channels, making the new models a significant advance from previous models, which only offered off-the-air capabilities.”

Color me skeptical. My family in upstate NY has Time Warner Cable service, and can get all the basic channels on the TiVos I bought for them with the built-in tuner. Whenever I’ve hooked a device up to my Time Warner service here in NYC, all I get is a couple snowy public access channels. I may pick one of these up just to try it out and see if I get anything at all. If it means being able to downgrade to basic service and save a few bucks every month, I’d be thrilled. Did I mention that I’m skeptical?,12689

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/11/07

October 11, 2007

Conference – Oct 19-21:
Redefining Media: Media Democracy and Community Radio (Canada)
by Paul Riismandel

Community radio CKUT in Montreal, Quebec is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a conference, Redefining Media: Media Democracy and Community Radio. I only found out about it yesterday and really wish I had the time and travel money to go. The conference happens Oct 19 – 21 and is “pay what you can.”

I’m always impressed when a licensed station is willing to deal with unlicensed radio. In this case there are two sessions at this conference dedicated to the subject, in technical detail: Building a Low-Watt Transmitter I & II. Plenty of other sessions looks good, too, especially: Radio, Art and Freedom of Thought, Community Radio Around the Globe and the closing panel, What is Media Democracy?

CKUT is a great station with a nicely diverse lineup of music and public affairs program. I’m a regular listener to the podcast of the International Radio Report.

Akaku Staves Off State Takeover In Court (HI)
Free Speech Alert

Akaku, Maui’s Community Television Network will not be put out to bid this month as the state had originally planned. Akaku’s motion for preliminary injunction to stop the Request For Proposal (RFP) process was heard before Judge August in the Circuit Court Thursday morning, October 4, 2007. After reviewing the matter, Maui Second Circuit Court Judge Joel August asserted that Akaku is likely to win itslawsuit claiming that the State’s current RFP process for Media Access Organizations violates State Law and due process requirements, however, the Judge decided to decline the issuance of the preliminary injunction at this time. —>

Halt sought in AT&T video service (CT)

The state Office of Consumer Counsel today filed a motion to stop the expansion of AT&T’s U-Verse video service in Connecticut. The state Department of Public Utility Control previously refused to stop the new television provider while a lawsuit was still open. Consumer Counsel Mary Healey argues that a federal court ruling has settled the issue. AT&T, she claims, is a cable company and must get a more onerous cable franchise license. AT&T says Connecticut law allows it to proceed without the license.

Prometheus on FCC Ruling
by Ernesto Aguilar
Rolas de Aztlan: KPFT/Pacifica/Media Notes

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission moved to limit the number of full power, noncommercial, educational radio stations for which any one entity or organization can apply, during the FCC’s imminent application window for these stations. This is the statement of Prometheus lead organizer on the full power FM radio window — Libby Reinish.

“The FCC, by taking this measure to limit speculation in these licenses, has improved the chance that there will be a diverse applicant pool of local, community-based non-profits who will be better able to meet the broadcast needs of their particular communities. These limits will allow prompt processing and a just distribution of licenses among many local entities. We look forward to working with the great diversity of new voices that build radio stations as a result of this application window.” —>

Why Black folks need broadband
by Garlin Gilchrist II
The Super Spade

The Center for Creative Voices in Media’s The Case for Universal Broadband: Now! study was released today. It says that this country needs everyone to have equal access to reliable high-speed Internet connections. I agree, and I think this is especially true for Black people.

As I alluded to in this podcast, I see Internet-access issues as issues of rights that should be protected. I take that thinking in part from the brilliant Dr. Robert Moses who wrote this concerning math education, “Mathematics education is a civil rights issue.”

Black folks must take advantage of the Internet and broadband technology at a deeper level. It’s cool to have high-speed internet access as a way to view retarded dances on YouTube or play checkers online. It’s even more cool to use the Internet as it was intended: as a tool to share information and ideas with the world. —>

The Case For Universal Broadband in America: Now!
Costs of Failure to Achieve President’s Goal of Universal Broadband by 2007 are “Staggering,” Says New Report
Include Hundreds of Billions of Dollars of Economic Growth and Over a Million Jobs
Center for Creative Voices in Media

The failure to achieve President Bush’s 2004 goal of universal broadband access to the Internet “in every corner of America by the year 2007” has cost our nation hundreds of billions of dollars in added economic development and over a million newly-created high-paying jobs, according to a report by the nonprofit Center for Creative Voices in Media released today at the Brookings Institution…
# The Case For Universal Broadband in America: Now! – .pdf of printed report (482.75KB)
# The Case For Universal Broadband in America: Now! – Word .doc (275KB)

Cable cost for city will increase
by Molly Tippen
The Romulus Roman (MI)

The cost of keeping cable television and Internet hook-ups at Romulus City Hall will increase because of the extensive cable franchising agreement signed into law last year. Romulus City Council members voted Monday night to amend the city budget to pay for the cost of cable at several municipal buildings.

Roger Kadau, the city communications director, said the Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act of 2006 effectively negated any local control the city had over cable connections. “We used to negotiate with Comcast about the fees, but because of the agreement, we can’t do that anymore,” he said. “It’s going to cost $269.70 more per month to keep the existing connections.”

City Hall has several cable connections to allow employees to monitor news and weather, and to allow them access to information. Under the statewide franchising agreement, local governments were limited in their negotiations with cable providers to provide the service. When the agreement was enacted, it allowed Comcast to charge for connections that had been covered by the negotiated agreement between the city and company. —>

Meetings streamed live online
by Kara Fitzpatrick
Bucks County Courier Times (PA)

The Northampton supervisors are now providing a high-tech option for residents who want to be informed about local government happenings. For the first time ever, the supervisors Wednesday meeting was broadcast live on the Internet using the township Web site. The supervisors have chosen to stream the meetings live because Verizon, which is a Comcast competitor, does not currently offer its local cable customers public access channels. —>

League of Women Voters forbids filming of San Francisco mayoral forum
by Josh Wolf – San Francisco (CA)

Almost all of the candidates, including the mayor, will be taking part in a candidate forum tonight. It’s sponsored by the League of Women Voters of San Francisco, and it will take place at 6:00PM in the Koret Auditorium at the main branch of the public library. The event will be taped by SFGTV, the local government television station, and according to an e-mail I received from Jolinda Sim, the Candidate Forums chair for the League of Women Voters, “no videotaping or flash photography [will be] allowed due to the fact that SFGOV TV is taping this forum for broadcast.” —>

30 Years of Brattleboro Community TV!
by BCTVProg (VT)

On October 10, 1977 Brattleboro Community Television broadcast for the first time. BCTV was the first community television station in Vermont so Brattleboro was navigating in uncharted waters at that time.

…We’ve included a few photos and videos here. We’ll be posting additional programs soon including a classic episode of “Brattleboro Tonight” from BCTV’s early years. We would welcome volunteers who would like to help put classic programs up on the video websites for non cable viewers to see. And please include links here to other programs that have been shown on BCTV over the years. There are already dozens of episodes of “The Pulse of Brattleboro” and other local programs on Google Video so feel free to check those out. —>

What now is so beautiful, was once so very ugly
by Tom Watkins

—> The man who captured the essence of human decency and brought tears to my eyes for his humility and sense of human decency, was Lake Orion resident Joe Johnson. Joe is the Outreach Coordinator and Lead Trainer at Community Media Network, located in Troy. Joe has trained hundreds of community members in video production. When people with disabilities signed up for his class, Joe did not create a “special” segregated class for these men, but enthusiastically included them in his “regular” class. The fact that Joe has the active support of H. Jay Wiencko, Jr., Executive Director, just adds icing to the cake of human decency.

In accepting his award Joe said he was honored and, like all before him that had given so much of themselves to be a friend, he felt he received much more than he gave. Yet it was the simple truth that had the greatest wallop to me and the hundreds in the audience when he graciously accepted his award and said, “I long for the day that common human decency to our fellow man, being kind, thoughtful and giving to ALL people is the norm and not something to be singled out for recognition.”

Yes, Joe, it will be a great day of celebration when that day comes but, until then, thank you and Community Media Network for helping to set the stage and lead the way for us all! Remember, dignity is nothing more than the freedom of allowing people to be themselves.

OLLI Offers Past Courses on Public Television

PITTSFIELD – The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute makes its television debut this fall when it airs some of its most popular courses from past semesters on CPAT. OLLI is a volunteer-run educational organization that offers courses and events at academic and cultural institutions throughout the Berkshires.

…The first course is a six-part series on “The Great Depression: A Storied History.” Professor David Auerbach originally taught the class at Berkshire Community College in 2005. It examines the political and economic events such as the stock exchange crash and the development of new government agencies. The series received excellent reviews from the students who attended. It airs the week of Oct. 21 through Nov. 11. Two other courses will be aired later in the fall.

Local participating cable-access stations are Community Television of the Southern Berkshires, PCTV, Willinet and Northern Berkshire Community Television. —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/29/07

September 29, 2007

Freedom of Speech and Publc Access
by Jennifer Sloane, Producer
Access Pinellas

A PSA on Freedom of Speech and Public Access Television featuring Civil Rights Attorney, Luke Lirot.

We Interrupt This Broadcast
by Qwertz

—> There was a campaign here in Key Midwestern Swing State to “open the doors to cable competition.” There was a bill. It passed and was signed by our new Governor, Liberal Democrat. Large National Telephone Company was the primary lobbying force behind the bill. The bill abolished all municipal cable franchise agreements.

“How wonderful!” I can hear you exclaim. “Key Midwestern Swing State has taken a great step towards a true laissez-faire cable television market!”

But alas, this is not the case. The bill did away with municipal franchise agreements by creating a State franchise agreement! Instead of local tyrants dictating the terms on which customers may purchase cable television and Internet services, State tyrants will get to do it. And have done it. And have prices dropped? No. Because the bill didn’t actually open the doors to cable competition. It just made it so that the telephone company can get it’s “fair share” of the public pie. Are there new choices? No. The choice is still “cable or DSL,” not “which cable company?” Actually, when the bill was signed, my cable bill went up by four and a half dollars a month. And now the service is getting shitty.

Tyrants are everywhere and they’re not going away. What amazes me most is that people are so confused about what tyranny is that they’ll embrace a bigger tyrant who comes along to “save” them from the petty ones.

Where Mentors Guide Young Filmmakers
by Joseph P. Fried
New York Times (NY)

James Duarte, 16, says his plan to become a film director and screenwriter can be traced to when he was 9 years old and persuaded his father to buy him a camcorder. These days, Mr. Duarte is conceiving, shooting and editing short films in a two-year after-school and weekend program run by the Downtown Community Television Center, a 35-year-old nonprofit production and training organization in Manhattan. The center’s professional filmmakers produce television documentaries (15 of which have won Emmy Awards), and its trainees include high school students, some of whom are bent on pursuing film-related careers.

“I definitely want to be in the film industry,” said Megan Rosado, a 17-year-old trainee. “It’s kind of a dream of mine to have my own film company.” Ms. Rosado, a Bronx resident, and Mr. Duarte, also of the Bronx, spoke about their plans recently while editing film they had shot for separate projects.

Each year, 8 to 12 high school freshmen and sophomores are admitted to the program, which began in the mid-1990s and is called Media Fellowship. They receive stipends of $7 an hour for nine hours a week, though the program’s administrators say that most devote more time to the program. —>

Pacifica Community Television
About this channel

This is a live stream from Pacifica Community Television, a public access media organization covering life and event in Pacifca, California. Please visit for schedules and further information. —>

5 Reasons Social Media Makes Me Want to Claw YOUR Eyes Out
by Justin Kownacki
Cafe Witness

Once again, I must qualify this post with a disclaimer: I create social media. At times, what I create is quite good, and I enjoy the process. I also enjoy the community aspect of social media. However.

There’s a LOT of fluff and very little substance to social media (so far), and that extends to the way in which we frame our arguments. So, if at all possible, I’d be extremely pleased if I never had to hear the following statements again: —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media