Archive for the ‘webcast’ category

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/11/08

March 11, 2008

[blip.tv ?posts_id=741828&dest=-1]Media Center Interns – Yeah, we rock.
Midpeninsula Community Media Center (CA)
03/11/08

[ comments allowed ]

Check out what the Media Center’s interns are up to: Videos! Editing! Office Assistance!
A short promo featuring interviews with campers and examples of their work. (03:00)
http://mcmcinternship.blogspot.com/2008/03/digiquest-2008-digital-media.html
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AT&T rolling out U-verse, a new TV, Internet service
by Kristie Swartz
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)
03/11/08

AT&T considers its Internet-based television service, U-verse, to be its next multibillion-dollar product, but the company has been rolling out the service in some parts of Atlanta with little fanfare and won’t say when the entire metro area will have access to it.

U-verse, which AT&T hopes will be another way to snag customers from cable companies such as Comcast, has captured 231,000 subscribers in 43 markets nationwide, Michael Antieri , senior vice president for consumer marketing, told investors at Bear Stears annual media conference in Palm Beach on Tuesday. The San Antonio-based telecom giant wants to increase that number to more than 1 million customers by the end of the year, he said. “We believe video is truly a game changer for AT&T,” Antieri said via a Web cast.

AT&T quietly started selling U-verse in some Atlanta neighborhoods last December. Spokesman Steven Smith offered few details as to which neighborhoods have U-verse now as well as which ones were next in line, saying the company didn’t want to tip off the competition. “We’re looking forward to expanding the service into the Southeast,” Smith said. “We’re very committed to this product and very committed to the Southeast.”

But there’s been little, if any, advertisement for U-verse, which costs $44 to $154 per month depending on the package. What’s more, AT&T did not announce that Georgia granted the company a statewide franchise last month, allowing it to offer U-verse across the entire state. —>
http://www.ajc.com/business/content/business/stories/2008/03/11/ATT_0312.html
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Verizon hearts suburbs
by Jasonix
(remix) feat. Elevato (MA)
03/11/08

[ comments allowed ]

As you might already know, the Boston Metro has a regular feature where people write in to Mayor Menino. On March 6, there was a letter about Verizon’s FiOS fiber optic cable/internet service and why we in Boston (or Cambridge or other big city in the metro area) are bombarded with ads about it, but can’t actually get the service. Turns out its because we aren’t in the suburbs.

Menino:
“Thank you for this question. My Office of Cable Communications monitors cable TV franchises and mediates consumer issues regarding cable TV service. I have recently written to Verizon asking them to bring FiOS to the entire City of Boston. To date, Verizon has declined the City’s repeated encouragement to enter a cable franchise negotiation, opting instead to slowly build in the suburbs. Meanwhile, the cities and towns of Boston, Brookline, Somerville, Cambridge, Everett, Revere, Chelsea, Medford, Melrose, Watertown and Quincy are left without this service.

“Verizon has said in the past that their business plans do not include urban areas, but how do they explain their FiOS builds in New York City and Washington, D.C.?”

I don’t know, man. —>
http://elevato.blogspot.com/2008/03/verizon-hearts-suburbs.html
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Public access TV may be on ropes
by Lewis Delavan
Saline County Voice (AR)
03/11/08

Public access television’s future may be threatened. No, not really from an irate alderman upset with programming, although backers of Benton’s public access Channel 12 may think so. The greatest threat to Channel 12 and community public access stations across the country is state, rather than local, control of content. AT&T, Verizon and other phone providers are lobbying state legislators to grant broadcasting rights for an entire state, an article in the February issue of Governing magazine says.

Local public access stations began appearing in the 1970s, but this threat arose in the past three years. In fact, 20 states have granted statewide broadcasting licenses in only three years. (Backers of constitutional amendments often could only dream of such fast action from legislators). Often with scant public notice before the legislation, local public access, education and government stations are being squeezed off the air. It could happen in Arkansas, so advocates of local public stations should take notice. —>
http://www.salinecountyvoice.com/news/2008/0312/news/018.html
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VON TV Webcast on Net Neutrality Features Leading Experts, and Intro Remarks by FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps
by PR Newswire
Sys-Con Media
03/11/08

Pulvermedia today announced that the live Net Neutrality webcast on the Internet TV Channel VON TV (http://www.vontv.net/) will take place today, March 11th, at 2 PM ET. As the Net Neutrality battle heats up in Washington D.C., today’s debate, featuring policy experts and industry professionals, promises to be an intense exchange of views on this controversial subject. To access this webcast, or for more information, please visit: http://www.vontv.net/events/080311/.

In introductory remarks pre-recorded for playback just prior to the debate, FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps calls on the FCC to adopt “a specific and enforceable principle of non-discrimination” that “should allow for reasonable network management, but make crystal clear that broadband network operators cannot twist reasonable network management into a not-so-reasonable mechanism for blatant network discrimination.” According to Copps, where “the line between discrimination and reasonable network management” is drawn should be determined through “a systematic, expeditious, case-by-case approach for adjudicating” discrimination claims.

Joining the debate will be Harold Feld, senior vice president of Media Access Project, Ken Ferree, president of the Progress & Freedom Foundation, Marvin Ammori, general counsel for Free Press and Lawrence J. Spiwak, president of the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies. The discussion will be moderated by VON TV legal commentator Marty Stern. The webcast will also include a special pre-recorded feature with Paul Gallant, Senior Vice President and policy analyst with the Stanford Group, discussing reactions on Wall Street to recent developments in the net neutrality debate, and how various potential outcomes may impact industry performance. —>
http://www.sys-con.com/read/516917.htm
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[ As “community” media moves inexorably onto the internet, its practitioners are faced with fresh questions and possibilities. Andrew Keen raises a couple good ones here. – rm ]

Anonymity: The Enemy of Civil Online Discourse
by Andrew Keen
The Independent
03/11/08

[ comments allowed ]

When it comes to the destructive consequences of online anonymity, Wikipedia is actually quite tame compared to the latest generation of open source information sites such as GossipReport.com, AutoAdmit.com and Wikileaks.org. GossipReport.com, for example, encourages its contributors to anonymously rate people — especially politicians — in terms of their personality, looks and skills in the bedroom.

Ten days ago, I coheadlined a Commonwealth Club of San Francisco debate with Jimmy Wales, the founder of the hugely popular open source Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia Latest News about Wikipedia. Held at the Bubble Lounge, a fashionable downtown San Francisco martini bar, this was a much-hyped dialectical wrestling match — pitting wiki-crusader Wales, the wannabe slayer of the Encyclopedia Britannica, against me, a wiki-skeptic lovingly described, by my Internet critics, as the Antichrist of Silicon Valley.

But, as so often happens at this type of staged gladiatorial contest, it transpired that Wales and I actually agreed more than we disagreed. So the debate, I suspect, might have tasted disappointingly bland for those in the Bubble Lounge audience thirsting for a splash of intellectual bloodshed to spice up their early evening martinis.

Naming Names

But the one issue over which Wales and I did profoundly disagree was Internet anonymity. Wiki technology undermines the authority of professional editors and enables anyone with an Internet connection to automatically become an author. But when you do away with editorial gatekeepers, there is no way of checking the identity of your contributors. Thus, Wikipedia’s content is created by a nameless and faceless army of potentially corrupt or ignorant contributors. Unlike Wales, I simply can’t trust information when I don’t know the identity of its authors. Rather than a right, I think Wikipedian editors have a responsibility to reveal who they are. As I told Jimmy Wales at our debate, I believe that Wikipedia will only become a genuinely reliable information resource when he changes the site’s rules to force Wikipedians to reveal their real identities.

When it comes to the destructive consequences of online anonymity, Wikipedia is actually quite tame compared to the latest generation of open source information sites such as GossipReport.com, AutoAdmit.com and Wikileaks.org. GossipReport.com, for example, encourages its contributors to anonymously gossip and rate people — especially politicians — in terms of their personality, looks and amorous skills in the bedroom. This site is, of course, just a way of legitimizing unverified and unverifiable witch-hunts against elected officials. Meanwhile on AutoAdmit.com, a notice board for law students, anonymous correspondents have posted so much abusive content about a couple of Yale University law students that the two women have been forced to take out a lawsuit against the site (Doe versus Ciolli). Meanwhile, Wikileaks.org — a Wikipedia-style site that encourages the anonymous leaking of corporate and political documents — recently posted content from a Swiss bank (the Julius Baer Bank) that revealed personal information from some of its clients.

So how, exactly, does the American law limit the rights of anonymous Internet users to post personal details about individuals, corporations or governments? It’s a highly complex set of legal issues around which American courts are struggling to legislate. Take the Wikileaks.org case for example. In mid February, Jeffrey S. White, a judge at San Francisco District Federal Court, ordered that Wikileaks.org should be disabled as punishment for its anonymous posting of confidential information about clients of the Swiss bank. But on March 1, White withdrew his order and so today Wikileaks.org is free to continue to publish its anonymous leaks.

A Challenge

The Wikileaks.org case shows the curse of Internet anonymity can’t be cured in the courts. As I told Jimmy Wales at our debate, discouraging anonymity is our collective responsibility. The solution to incivility of anonymous posts is education rather than legislation. We — parents, teachers, employers and policy makers — need to educate Internet users in to understanding that anonymity is the refuge of scoundrels and cowards. Wikipedia, GossipReport.com, AutoAdmit.com and Wikileaks.org are all fostering an ugly climate of personal irresponsibility.

Internet companies are also responsible for developing Web sites that actively discourage anonymous posts. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Latest News about Google is setting an excellent example here. Knol, Google’s open source encyclopedia, has been set up to bar anonymous entries. I publicly challenge Wales to follow Knol and force Wikipedian editors to reveal their identities. Come on Jimmy! Join the war against anonymity on the Internet and I’ll buy you a martini next time I run in to you at the Bubble Lounge…

Could the Internet Be Africa’s Savior?

Another week, another wrestling match. Last week, I was in London, at the swanky Holborn headquarters of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) debating Charles Leadbeater, the author of We-Think — likely to be the most controversial book about the Internet to be published in Britain this year.

Leadbeater, once a Tony Blair’s Internet maven, is Britain’s leading digital visionary, and We-Think is an optimistic take on our digital future. A highly readable British synthesis of James Surowiecki’s Wisdom of the Crowds and Chris Anderson’s Long Tail, Leadbeater’s We-Think is definitely an important book, even for skeptics like me who are suspicious of the seductive techno-utopian promises of the Web 2.0 revolution.

The Internet will revolutionize innovation, Leadbeater argues in We-Think. Collaborative Web sites will transform innovation from a selfish, individual preoccupation into the socially responsible activity of the community. The Internet will prioritize public interest over individual interest. The old Cartesian principle of “I think therefore I am” will be replaced by the communitarian credo of “We-Think therefore we are.” The consequences of this technological revolution on the future of capitalism, private property, the law and politics will be epochal, Leadbeater promises us.

We-Think is inspiring in its analysis of the impact of the Internet on the less developed world. Leadbeater suggests that the collaborative Internet will foster democracy, economic equality and social justice in Africa. For this insight alone, We-Think is thoughtful. I urge you to read it.
http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/Anonymity-The-Enemy-of-Civil-Online-Discourse-62042.html?welcome=1205284058
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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 – 12/28/07

December 31, 2007

Editorial: Is cable TV law really needed?
Commercial Appeal (TN)
12/28/07

When it was making the rounds in the Tennessee General Assembly last spring, a bill dealing with cable television franchising was jokingly dubbed “the Lobbyists Full Employment Act.”  The legislation would have allowed cable companies to get statewide franchising authority, which means they wouldn’t have been required to negotiate separate agreements with individual cities and counties.

The Competitive Cable and Video Service Act, as it was officially known, earned its nickname because so many high-powered lobbyists were involved in arguing the bill’s pros and cons. Even though the legislation didn’t win approval this year, AT&T Inc., the bill’s primary supporter, wants the debate to resume next year.  However, based on what’s been happening across the border in Mississippi, it’s fair to question if that would be a good use of Tennessee legislators’ limited time.   —>
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2007/dec/28/editorials-is-cable-tv-law-really-needed/
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A big year for the IT guy
Issues forced techies to the forefront in 2007
by Steve Lord
The Beacon News (IL)
12/28/07

GENEVA — The IT guy has long ago shed the nerd image and become the VIP of the office.  And in 2007, at least in the Fox Valley, the people who run Information Technology took it one step further and stepped out from behind the door to the server office, becoming a public face themselves.

No one personified that more than Pete Collins, IT guy for the city of Geneva. Whether lobbying for a fair law governing cable and Internet video, helping get a deal for free wireless Web service or turning on the city’s webcasts of City Council meetings, Collins was certainly no quiet guy behind glasses and a pocket protector.  “I’ve got a cool job,” he says. “And to me, part of the job is I’m supposed to stand up and fight for the city.”   —>
http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/beaconnews/news/716018,2_1_AU28_FACES_S1.article
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Neighborhood Public Radio mixes up art and radio
by Reyhan Harmanci
San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
12/28/07

Every now and then since 2004, while scanning the lower end of the FM spectrum in certain parts of the Bay Area, it’s been possible to cut through the static and hear something unexpected.  You might have heard a raucous noise band performing live, or a teenager interviewing another teenager about life in Hunters Point, or a roundtable of artists discussing their work, or a man-on-the-street-style interview done on the street, all courtesy of NPR.

That’s not NPR as in National Public Radio, but, rather, a conceptual art project and mobile pirate radio station called Neighborhood Public Radio.  The loose collective, headed by artists Lee Montgomery, Michael Trigilio and Jon Brumit, typically sets up in an art gallery with little more than a banner, booth, microphone and transmitter and a rough schedule of hyper-local programs aimed toward maximum neighborhood participation…

Neighborhood Public Radio will be in New York City beginning in March for its three-month residency as part of the Whitney Biennial, but thanks to the Internet, you can listen to its broadcasts live or dig into its archived offerings. http://www.neighborhoodpublicradio.org.   —>
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/28/DD63U0PKS.DTL
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Cooking show keeps pastor busy
by Doug Zellmer
The Northwestern (WI)
12/28/07

Inspiration comes in many forms, and for Rev. Paul Stephens growing up meant spending time in the family kitchen.  Stephens, who lives in Omro, didn’t know it at the time, but his knowledge of how to cook from his early years has paid off in a cooking show he hosts on Oshkosh Community Access Television.   —>
http://www.thenorthwestern.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071228/OSH/71228125/1987
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Congratualtions Global Voices Online on such a wonderful initiative!
by David Sasaki
Global Voices
12/28/07

The inaugural group of Rising Voices citizen media outreach projects have given us new and powerful voices from communities that previously were rarely seen participating online. Last month we put out a call for new citizen media outreach proposals, of which five would be selected to join our current projects based in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Colombia, India, and Sierra Leone.

In total we received 63 project proposals from over 35 different countries. Although the quantity of applications was less than the 142 we received in July, the quality and innovation that stood out throughout all of this round’s proposals made the selection process far more difficult. The overwhelming response to the latest Rising Voices grant competition is, once again, a testament to the global enthusiasm for citizen media from rural Uganda to Orthodox communities in Israel, from the mountains of Guatemala to the working class neighborhoods of Serbia.

The five grant winners are representative of the innovation, purpose and good will that Rising Voices aims to support:

Youth Media Consultative Forum in Nakuru, Kenya   —>
Iran Inside Out: A Videoblogging Initiative   —>
Bloggers Desde la Infancia (Bloggers Since Infancy) – Uruguay   —>
Bringing Malagasy Forumists to the World of Citizen Journalism – Madagascar   —>
Diary of an Inmate – Jamaica   —>
http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2007/12/28/congratulations-new-rising-voices/
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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 – 11/24/07

November 26, 2007

[blip.tv ?posts_id=504973&dest=-1]
episode 22. drishti media & video volunteers
by noneck
On the Luck of Seven (India)
11/23/07

(T)he journey into understanding participatory culture doesn’t start with digital technology. the study of participatory culture should arise from the understanding that one shoe doesn’t fit all. since my time in ahmedabad, i’ve come to see drishti and video volunteers as the premier example of interactivity between online/offline, between old media/new media, between bitching and getting things done. the prime directive should not exist on earth. if we truly care about a participatory society, we must embrace tools as forms of technology and work hard to impart their use among all. i hope you check out more of video volunteers work.
http://luckofseven.com/vlog/episode_22
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Weapons of mass distraction
by asterix786
Straight from the Gut (India)
11/20/07

There’s a looming threat of misinformation in the Indian subcontinent. Most media houses are either run by businessmen with strong links to politicians or worse, run by the khaki-clad themselves. If it was a covert operation earlier, today the ownership is out in the open. Every political party worth its salt is trying to gather as much media steam to envelop the country. Knowledge is power, but when the power of disseminating it is at the hands of netas, you have to take every information from their media vehicles with much introspection. —>
http://asterix786.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/weapons-of-mass-distraction/
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Why the Maghreb needs community radio (Morocco)
by Hélène Michaud and Andy Sennitt
Radio Netherlands Worldwide
11/22/07

All that’s needed to create a community radio station is a low-powered transmitter and antenna, a small studio and a microphone. Yet this phenomenon, considered irreversible and essential to development and democratisation elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, has not spread to the countries of the Maghreb. However, there are increasing calls, in particular in Morocco, to introduce community radio.

One of the main proponents is Professor Jamal Eddine Naji, who holds the UNESCO Chair in Public and Community Communication in Rabat. The reforms announced by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI to fight corruption and improve the country’s human rights records must be extended to the media, he says, in order to be successful.

Professor Jamal has been trying to mobilise Morocco’s burgeoning civil society to consider using community radio as a tool. Many private radio and television networks have recently been launched in Morocco, but “we need to go much further in the direction of the appropriation of the media by Moroccan citizens.” And this means opening up the media landscape to community radio. —>
http://www.radionetherlands.nl/features/media/071122-maghreb-community-radio
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Wired resistance in Pakistan
by Amber Vora
Rabble News
11/23/07

It should come as no surprise that on the fateful night of Musharraf’s first coup in 1999, one of the only showdowns occurred at the state-run PTV television station. The offices were stormed by armed men, some backing Musharraf and others backing then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. At the time PTV was the only news station in Pakistan, so controlling its broadcast meant controlling the news. PTV went off the air for 3 hours that night. When it returned, it was to announce the dismissal of Sharif’s government.

Loss of access to communications has become a warning sign to Pakistanis that trouble may be brewing. In September 2006, a massive power outage caused an interruption of television broadcasts, spurring rumors that another coup had transpired. In that instance a technical failure, not the Army, was to blame.

This time around, when Musharraf declared de facto martial law on November 3, there were many more television stations to shut down – ironically the very same private stations that were allowed to flourish under his rule. He also placed severe restrictions on print media, leaving most Pakistanis with limited information about what is happening inside their own country. However, such measures no longer control the flow of information as effectively as they did eight years ago…

Several LUMS students I interviewed spoke with the giddiness of those who have only recently discovered their power. Their sentences were peppered with the parlance of blackberries, blogs, facebook and flickr. A senior named Ayesha described how SMS’s spread faster than wildfire across the campus, announcing and coordinating meetings and rallies.

Photos of a favourite professor being arrested by police were circulated over the Internet, outraging previously apolitical students. Cricket star turned political party leader Imran Khan, who temporarily escaped arrest, issued YouTube appeals from hiding encouraging students to mobilize. —>
http://www.rabble.ca/news_full_story.shtml?x=64736
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Cable bill proves campaign reform need urgent
by Dave Zweifel, editor
Capital Times (WI)
11/23/07

On Sunday the State Journal ran a front page story that suggested the new “cable reform” legislation might not save consumers money after all. So what else is new? The story confirmed what opponents of the legislation had been repeatedly saying as loudly as they could for months and months while AT&T and others filled campaign coffers in the state Legislature.

It’s what we said in numerous editorials leading up to the final vote in the state Senate earlier this month and what several in-depth reports by our reporter Judith Davidoff revealed several weeks ago. Not only is this new law unlikely to save cable TV customers any money, it severely weakens the consumer safeguards that have been in place in Wisconsin since cable TV arrived on the scene.

A majority of the state Senate thumbed its nose at the consumer advocates, who wanted some safeguards written into the bill. Those advocates wanted to protect things like the funding of public access channels, which cable TV firms are required to provide now.

If the Assembly concurs in a few changes made by the Senate and Gov. Jim Doyle signs the measure, and the betting is that he will, local control of cable will be taken away. The state’s Department of Financial Institutions, a department led by political appointees, will provide oversight instead.

In what has to be the irony of ironies, the supposedly corrupt state of Illinois enacted a much more consumer-friendly cable law when that issue came before its Legislature earlier this year. It remains a mystery why Wisconsin legislators couldn’t insist on at least the same safeguards.

And when the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, the organization that monitors campaign contributions, detailed the largess senators received from AT&T and others supporting the legislation, there were howls of indignation from the politicians. It’s irresponsible, one Senate staffer wrote me, after we printed the WDC’s report that the 23 senators who voted in favor of the bill received $1.2 million in contributions from the special interests backing the legislation.

No, what’s irresponsible is the Legislature’s continued failure to fix this system that allows special interests to ply government officials with huge sums of money and, in the end, get what they want at the expense of the public interest. Even if this were all somehow just a coincidence, the public perception is clear — our government is for sale to the highest bidder. —>
http://www.madison.com/tct/opinion/column/258402
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AOC & LUS’ Franchise
by John St. Julien
Lafayette Pro Fiber (LA)
11/23/07

This morning’s Advocate has a story focusing on one benefit from Tuesday’s approval of the LUS’ cable franchise: Acadiana Open Channel (AOC) will benefit to the tune of $50,000 dollars and a new capacity to offer on-demand programming.

As Blanchard points out, most of the franchise agreement is, for legal reasons relating to the (un)Fair Competition Act, a clone of Cox’s 2000 agreement. There are some differences, however, including the way the LUS agreement deals with the Acadiana Open Channel:

Each year, the Cox franchise agreement requires Cox to pay $50,000 to the open channel to run a public access channel, although that figure can go down if the city-parish doesn’t match funds up to a certain amount.

The LUS agreement calls for the open channel to get a flat $50,000 regardless of any conditions.

While there is a dark lining on this silver cloud, my guess is that Ed Bowie over at AOC’s Lee Avenue offices regards this as a good thing. After all, the perennially cash-strapped organization is getting a new, solid, continuing funding source for the next 10 years. With new federal regulations threatening to further erode the principle of local control of cable media by telling localities that they can’t demand much of anything other than cash for letting cable corporations rent their rights-of-way all public access groups are facing a bleak future. Likely LUS’ commitment will make it politically difficult for Cox to back out of its commitments just because the Feds say they can renege. Cox appears to have a good relationship with AOC. The corporation recently extended AOC’s reach into the surrounding communities recently (you can see AOC’s programming in X, Y, Z now) and provides AOC with net connection. (LUS should certainly match that.)

Even as AOC programming has solidified—it now really fills the two channel slots it has been allocated—and in part because of increased demand for its services AOC’s staffing problems have increased. This is especially true in the critical technical area that will be its future and the additional shot of money will no doubt be helpful there.

But there is a downside to the LUS’ unconditional gift to AOC. It’s unconditional. That means that should the council decide it doesn’t want to match LUS’ contribution in the same way it matches Cox’s then their decision to be chintzy doesn’t let LUS off the hook. With the Cox money the local government has to continue to support AOC or let Cox walk away with money that could be returned to the community. The way LUS has set up its contribution the city is freed from that responsibility. Of course that doesn’t free it from the moral obligation to help pay for valuable community resources. AOC is a magnet for creative types and AOC’s broadcasting of public meetings is an essential public resource. The city-parish should do the right thing. —>
http://lafayetteprofiber.com/Blog/2007/11/aoc-lus-franchise.html
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Mark Cuban upset with P2P freeloaders
by PelicanKiss
Housequake.com
11/23/07

In a blog titled “An Open Letter to Comcast and Every cable/Telco on P2P” Mark Cuban urges broadband Internet providers to “BLOCK P2P TRAFFIC , PLEASE.”

Calling P2P users “freeloaders” he urged internet service providers to charge commercial rates to users Seeding or relaying P2P traffic. He said “The last thing I want slowing my internet service down are P2P freeloaders. Thats right, P2P content distributors are nothing more than freeloaders. The only person/organization that benefits from P2P usage are those that are trying to distribute content and want to distribute it on someone else’s Bandwidth dime.”

The outspoken billionaire arguably has an interest in freeing up bandwidth currently being used for P2P traffic. His 2929 Entertainment venture is working to implement a distribution plan that includes simultaneously releasing movies theatrically at the same time they’re available in home video formats. No doubt he’d benefit from reduced P2P traffic as it would free up bandwidth that could be used to deliver quality hi-def content. However, rival content providers are testing P2P technology, most notably BitTorrent, for their own content delivery. Even the music industry is looking at the potential of a P2P distribution model. No doubt they’re less than thrilled with his proposal. —>
http://www.housequake.com/showthread.php?threadid=96912
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More cities broadcasting their business on the Web
In effort to increase transparency, more municipalities air meetings, offer services online
by Elizabeth Langton
The Dallas Morning News
11/24/07

Two decades ago, broadcasting city council meetings on cable access was cutting edge. But not in the age of wireless Internet, YouTube and podcasts. Now people expect information on demand, and government is responding by putting more and more of its business on the Web.

Municipalities across the Dallas-Fort Worth area offer a variety of online services, such as ways to report tall grass and broken streetlights or to pay parking tickets and water bills. Some have posted videos on YouTube and set up podcasts on iTunes. And a growing number provide on-demand video of council meetings. “It’s fast food, immediate gratification,” said Laura Hallmark, assistant to the city secretary in DeSoto. “Everybody is in a hurry. They want what they want, and they want it right away.”

The Texas Legislature first offered online video of proceedings in 1999. A handful of state boards offer webcasts of their meetings. When New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer took office in January, he ordered that all of the state’s public meetings be broadcast on the Internet to make government more accessible. —>
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/112507dnmetcitiesonline.16620d3.html
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The Role of Ethnic Media and Ways to Report on Minorities
by Andrew Lam
New America Media
11/24/07

It is very difficult to frame the picture of the US media because we’re in a period of great turmoil. We have cable, DSL, bloggesphere, major, alternative, youth, and ethnic media, just to name a few. More fragmentation is sure to happen as more individuals have the power to be broadcasters and reporters and entertainers than ever before. We’re also in the age of citizen reporters- people who have a mobile phone and tape and take pictures and film events and break news before any professional journalist can arrive to the scene.

Major news organisations are losing viewers/listeners/readers while small news providers sometime discover that they can reach far wider audiences than they ever dreamed before. The mainstream press is shrinking and many are putting their resources on-line. This is where it’s still dynamic and vibrant.

Ethnic media, however, are growing and there’s still room to grow as the US demographic shift is changing very quickly, toward more a pluralistic society. In California, one out of 4 persons is an immigrant and 40 % of California households speak a language other than English. Our news organization has a directory of ethnic media and so far we identified more than 2500 news outlets that serve ethnic communities in the US. We think the real number may be more than double of what we chronicled.

When we did a poll as to how many American adults access ethnic media, the results were astounding: 51 million American adults access one form of ethnic media or another. That’s about one sixth of the general population. Half of them use ethnic media as their primary source of information. It is estimated that by the year 2050, the white population in the US will be under the 50% mark. This means that there’ll no longer be a majority. It also means that we should all prepare ourselves to find good viable models for our very pluralistic society. —>
http://blogs.newamericamedia.org/andrew-lam/893/the-role-of-ethnic-media-and-ways-to-report-on-minorities
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Finding their own voice
by Matthew Ricketson
The Age (Australia)
11/24/07

HERE are two snapshots of the ways young people engage with the media: the first is from the shootings in April at Virginia Tech in the US, where, as Cho Seung-hui went on a rampage over several hours, students sought information and sent out news by using their mobile phones and laptop computers wirelessly connected to the internet.

They sent text messages to reassure their parents; they called friends, asking if they had heard of anything untoward at their college; they urgently searched online news websites for official confirmation, and they used their mobile phones to film the terrifying events as they happened.

In this snapshot, young people performed not only the traditional role of eyewitness to newsworthy events but used modern communication technologies to act as news-gatherers. When the mainstream media arrived, desperate to find out what had led one student to shoot 32 of his classmates and teachers, many young people showed an acute awareness of the media’s modus operandi and a savvy regard for the value of controlling their own “story”.

These young people are not just consumers of the media, but “pro-sumers”; that is, producers as well as consumers, who in the world of web 2.0 interact with media outlets and even create their own media.

The second snapshot comes from a survey, released in the same month as the shootings, that tested young people’s knowledge of news and current affairs. Conducted by the Pew Research Centre, a philanthropically funded nonpartisan “fact tank” based in the US, the survey showed that 56% of people aged 18 to 29 performed poorly on its test. Only one in six performed well. The test asked Americans to identify various public figures and tested their knowledge of recent events such as the Democrats gaining a majority in the House of Representatives, as well as their understanding of issues such as whether more civilians than troops have died in the Iraq war. The Pew Centre found that only one in four young people could identify Nancy Pelosi, who this year became the first female Speaker of the House, but that 95 per cent could identify Arnold Schwarzenegger — they got a tick if they identified him as either California Governor or a former action movie star.

What are we to make of these seemingly contradictory snapshots? When it comes to media, are today’s young people free-thinking innovators or self-centred escapists? Are we looking at a possibly disastrous decline in public knowledge, or a youth-led backlash against elitist and increasingly irrelevant traditional media?

Discussion of the issue is fraught, both because young people act as a lightning rod for society’s anxieties and because the media are a conductor for those anxieties. Further complicating the picture are the changes blowing through the media — the biggest since the introduction of television more than 50 years ago. So how, exactly, are young people using the media? —>
http://www.theage.com.au/news/in-depth/finding-their-own-voice/2007/11/23/1195753307168.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1
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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 – 10/28/07

October 29, 2007

A well-informed citizenry
by Faith
Kerry Vision
10/28/07

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.   —>

http://www.kerryvision.net/2007/10/a_wellinformed_citizenry.html

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Senators Call For Net Neutrality Hearing
by Jason Lee Miller
WebProNews
10/26/07

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:—>
http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2007/10/26/senators-call-for-net-neutrality-hearing
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U-verse TV battle moves to state court

by David Krechevsky

Republican-American (CT)

10/26/07


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.”

http://www.rep-am.com/articles/2007/10/26/business/293511.txt

see also:

AT&T’s U-Verse: Cable TV or Internet?

by Rob Varnon

Connecticut Post (CT)

10/26/07

http://www.connpost.com/ci_7292902

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Cable Access Channel Fights Back with Hitler Ads 

by Mitch E. Perry

WMNF Evening News Friday (FL)

10/26/07 


    [ 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

http://www.wmnf.org/news_stories/show/4860

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Bright House takes a dim view of customers

by Jeff Webb

St. Petersburg Times (FL)

10/28/07


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.   —>

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/10/28/Hernando/Bright_House_takes_a_.shtml

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Rural life comes at high-tech price

by Hilary Bentman

The Intelligencer (PA)
10/28/07


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.   —>

http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/113-10282007-1431086.html

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Access Humboldt executive director invited to join ZeroDivide Fellowship

Eureka Reporter (CA)

10/26/2007

 

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.”   —>

http://www.eurekareporter.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?ArticleID=29994

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Webcasts bring local cable to the world

by John Laidler

Boston Globe

10/28/07

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, portmedia.org.

“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.   —>

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/10/28/webcasts_bring_local_cable_to_the_world/?page=full

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Airwaves Auction Still Faces Challenge

by John Dunbar, Associated Press
Physorg.com
10/27/07

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.   —>

http://www.physorg.com/news112677715.html

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‘The State of Community Media in the European Union’
by Erkan Saka
Erkan’s Field Diary
10/2707

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.   —>

http://erkansaka.net/blog/archive/2007/10/the_state_of_community_media_i.html

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BCAT Looks at Bed-Stuy Blogs and WiFi Hotspots
mcbrooklyn

10/26/07

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 Bedstuyblog.com; Peter Epstein of the Bed-Stuy Renovations Blog; Jonathan Butler of Brownstoner.com; 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.   —>

http://mcbrooklyn.blogspot.com/2007/10/bcat-looks-at-bed-stuy-blogs-and-wifi.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