Take Action to Support Independent Media

July 12, 2007

From Free Press:

Save Small and Independent Publishers

“Postal regulators have accepted a proposal from media giant Time Warner that would stifle small and independent publishers in America. The plan unfairly burdens smaller publishers with higher postage rates while locking in special privileges for bigger media companies.

In establishing the U.S. postal system, the nation’s founders wanted to ensure that a diversity of viewpoints were available to ‘the whole mass of the people.’ Time Warner’s rate increase reverses this egalitarian ideal and threatens the marketplace of ideas on which our democracy depends.

It’s time stand up for independent media. Demand that Congress step in to stop the unfair rate hikes. Sign the letter below to alert Congress and put the Postal Board of Governors on notice.


State House Hearing on Tuesday June 5 at 10AM in Gardner Auditorium

June 2, 2007

From Cambridge Community Television:

Join CCTV at the State House 6/5 to Oppose the Verizon Bill!

“Verizon is pressing hard to change the way that cable companies do business in the Commonwealth. They have proposed a bill at the State House that threatens CCTV’s channels and funding, as well as the City’s control over our streets and sidewalks. We need YOU to come to the State House on June 5th at 10 AM to tell our legislators to Kill the Bill!

The hearing before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications is June 5th at 10 AM in Gardner Auditorium (or meet up with other CCTV members at 9 AM to travel to the State House together). Even if you do not plan to speak, your presence will have an impact. If you DO speak, talk briefly about your experiences as a user of CCTV’s services, and your fears that public access will lose funding and channels under the proposal.

In the meantime, please contact your state legislators and City Councilors and urge them to oppose the bill. Attached is a 14-point list of reasons to oppose the bill and contact information for our legislators and those on the Telecommunications Committee. If you do contact anyone in writing, please send a copy to info@cctvcambridge.org, or CCTV, 675 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. 02139.

You can read more about the bill here:
and here:

Here is what YOU can do:

  • Contact your state legislators and those who are on the Joint Telecommunications Committee, and urge them to kill the bill! (contact information is attached to this article)
  • Contact your City Councilors and urge them to oppose the bill
  • Come to the State House Hearing on June 5 at 10 AM in A-2
  • Download “10 Reason to Oppose the Verizon Bill” (PDF download) to learn more about the issues and take action!
  • Download a list of Legislative Contacts (PDF download)


CCTV on Verizon’s State Video Franchising Bill

April 2, 2007

Cambridge Community Television writes

“Verizon, having failed to change cable franchising in Congress, is now pushing state legislation that would remove local control over the public rights of way and threaten funding for Public, Educational, and Governmental access channels and funding.”

There is a public hearing on May 15 at the Massachusetts State House in Room A-2. Please come out and show your support for community media.

In the meantime, if you live in Massachusetts, please contact your state legislator and tell them that you oppose “An Act Promoting Consumer Choice and Competition“. To learn more about this bill and ways that you can get involved, visit MassAccess.org (The Massachusetts Chapter of the Alliance for Community Media).

Verizon Bill Strategy Blog

March 8, 2007

John Donovan (CCTV) created People First, a “weblog/strategy piece”, as a way for people to work together to defeat the Verizon bill in the Massachusetts State House. The site provides a comprehensive approach towards achieving this goal.

“Verizon has introduced a bill into the Massachusetts State Legislature which is a disaster in more ways than one could even count, and they are putting a full-court lobbying and media press on to pass it, with extraordinary local and national dollars behind it. We need to kill this bill, but it’s going to take a seriously organized effort to win.

If you’re concerned about the future of community access to media and free speech, check out the blog and get involved.

Media Tank Action Alert!

November 16, 2006

Media Tank

The FCC is reviewing the National Media Ownership Rules — Now is the time to raise your voice!

CALL TO ACTION: We are asking all of our supporters to file an official comment with the FCC (www.mediatank.org/resources/ownership/comments.html) because…

Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it would once again be reviewing the rules that determine how large media conglomerates are allowed to grow. If these rules are further relaxed, media giants like News Corp., Clear Channel, General Electric (NBC), Disney and CBS will be allowed to buy up more media outlets and grow even bigger. This poses a major threat to our media system and our democracy.

This is the first time the FCC has revisited these rules since 2003, when the commission voted to loosen a number of the remaining media ownership limits. However, the FCC’s attempt to relax the rules was thwarted when a federal judge ruled that they had not adequately justified their decision to loosen the rules.

In order to help people figure out what is going on, Media Tank put together an online resource that can answer lots of questions about what this all means and the importance of media ownership rules. Check our out resource guide at http://www.mediatank.org/resources/ownership/ and file an official comment voicing your opinion:

6 Things You Can Do To Make A Difference!

If you’re able to do any of the following things, you will be joining millions of other Americans across the country who are standing up against further media consolidation and the major media giants!

1. Make your voice heard by filing a comment with the FCC. Media Tank has made it simple for you. Visit www.mediatank.org/resources/ownership/comments.html and let the FCC know what you think

2. Find out more about the issues and why this fight matters: http://www.mediatank.org/resources/ownership/

3. Mark your calendar! Join Media Tank and other Philadelphia groups for a public hearing with FCC Commissioner Michael Copps here in Philadelphia on January 18th, 2007. Location, time and additional panelists TBA. If you would like to RSVP early, please email info@meditank.org with FCC RSVP in the subject line and we’ll make sure to get you event details as soon as they are available.

4. Would you like to file public testimony at the event in January? We’ll be keeping a list of those who would like to speak directly to the FCC at the public forum, so let us know if you’re interested by emailing info@meditank.org

5. If you haven’t already, sign up for Media Tank’s email listserv (check out the left hand column at http://www.mediatank.org) and stay up-to-date on the issues and the upcoming forum in January

6. Forward this email along to your friends! Tell them to file a comment too and bring them to the public hearing in January.

Media Reform Groups Speak Out Against FCC “Scandal”

September 19, 2006

Press Release from Free Press and the Future of Music Coalition:

Second Secret Study Surfaces at FCC

Whistleblower leaks radio ownership report buried under Powell administration

” A Federal Communications Commission study on the negative impacts of radio consolidation came to light Monday after being buried at the agency for at least two years. This was the second secret FCC study on media ownership to surface in as many weeks.

‘This is a scandal,’ said Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press. ‘Apparently, FCC officials are willing to deep-six any research that contradicts industry’s pro-consolidation claims. They can’t be trusted. There needs to be an independent investigation and a full review of all research conducted under the leadership of Michael Powell and Kevin Martin.’

The study, a ‘Review of the Radio Industry’ conducted by the FCC Media Bureau, found that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 had led to a drastic decline in the number of radio station owners — even as the actual number of commercial stations in the United States had increased.

A copy of the study is available at http://www.stopbigmedia.com/files/radio_ownership.pdf

The press release is here.

Save Public Access!

August 31, 2006

(From Cambridge Community Television‘s E-mail Update for Sept. 1, 2006)

“When the US Senate reconvenes, it is expected to consider H.R. 5252, the Advanced Telecommunications and Opportunity Reform (ATOR) Act.

This is the bill that has been pushed through Congress by Verizon, in an attempt to remove local control over cable franchising and allow telecommunications service providers to pick and choose which neighborhoods and communities they wish to serve. The bill also threatens internet neutrality. (See Save The Internet for more information.)

We need you to call our Senators and say ‘I urge the Senator to do everything within his power to keep H.R. 5252 from being voted on. If it IS brought to a vote, I urge the Senator to vote against the bill.

To take action:

Call Sen. Kennedy now at 617-565-3170.

Call Sen. Kerry now at 617-565-8519.”