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 (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.

Action Alert! from The Alliance for Community Media

December 8, 2006

Demand Fair Play for PEG Community,
Our Towns And Cities!

(From The Alliance for Community Media)

Take Action Now!

“The Alliance is calling on all supporters of Community Media to call and write the FCC no later than Wednesday, December 13!

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is preparing to issue a rule-making on video-franchising. This rule-making is the bureaucratic version of the national telecom laws we helped to defeat this past year. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. We cannot allow the FCC do to us what some members of Congress were unable to do.

Part of what is being proposed:

  • All PEG, I-Net and other in-kind services would be counted against 5% franchise fees. 5% would be an absolute cap.
  • Municipalities would have to approve new franchises for telephone companies within 90 days or allow them to operate without franchises.
  • There would be no build-out requirements allowed whatsoever.

We expect a vote by December 20th.”

Take Action Now!

Media Literacy Series at CCTV

November 29, 2006

From the Cambridge Community Television November 29, 2006 E-Newsletter:

CCTV and SCAT Team Up to Produce Media Literacy Series

“CCTV and our colleagues at SCAT (Somerville Access) have teamed up to produce a new media literacy TV series called ‘Critical Focus.’ Details about the series can be found at the show’s weblog here.

The program will be shot live each month, before a studio audience at either CCTV or SCAT, and cablecast to both cities simultaneously through a newly activated interconnect. And we have limited seating in the studio for those who wish to participate, through their comments and questions, in the conversations among the featured panelists. The first episode is about Media and War, and will be shot live in the SCAT Studio at 90 Union Square in Somerville on Thursday, December 14th, from 8-9 p.m. CCTV has a total of 10 tickets to give out to CCTV members or friends who wish to be part of the studio audience. So if this is a topic in which you have specific interest or questions, please contact John Donovan directly at (617) 661-6900 x123 or

Tickets for the other episodes will be announced about a month in advance of each episode. The first episode shot in CCTV’s studio will be on Thursday, January 11th, from 8-9 p.m.; and the topic will be ‘Growing Up with Media: How youth and media influence each other.’ Subsequent episode themes include: ‘Race and Religion in the Media’, ‘Gender and Sexuality’, ‘How Media Ownership Affects Content’, and ‘Changing the Media.’ If you know of people who should be invited to participate in any of these episodes, please add your comments to the show weblog or contact John Donovan directly.”

CTCVista Project Fall/Winter 2006 Digest

November 21, 2006

Over at the CTC Vista Project Digest Colleen Kelly from Project: Think Different writes about P:TD’s new Media Watch Team in her article titled, “Media Literacy on the Streets (of Boston)

“Our objective through the Media Action Series is to create a culture in which young people believe in their power to create change in the media and beyond, and to provide youth the education and access to resources to become well informed, socially responsible, and participatory citizens of society.”

The fall edition includes:

  • One Alumna’s Advice for CTC VISTAs, by (former CTC VISTA) Molly Szymanski – “Working on a project that requires knowledge of local resources can be difficult especially if you haven’t been in the city long enough to be familiar with community networks.”
  • Rethinking “Internet for Everyone” & Social Networking, by (current VISTA) Brittney Fosbrook – “Why would case managers use this technology tool, they questioned, if they could barely navigate the internet? It is true, many of the people in the office have not been provided with the intensive technology training that I have taken for granted.”
  • Community Networking Hits Media Mainstream (Almost)!, by Frank Odasz – “Perhaps future programs will focus on the lessons learned from thousands of community technology centers and community networks struggling to educate citizens, generate local content, and provide fiber and wireless broadband access.”

Learn more about the CTC Vista Project here.

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 ( 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 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 and let the FCC know what you think

2. Find out more about the issues and why this fight matters:

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 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

5. If you haven’t already, sign up for Media Tank’s email listserv (check out the left hand column at 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.

Ideas for How to Use Blogging

November 1, 2006

Colin @ Media Matters

Here’s some ideas from our workshop on how the participants can use blogging in their work:

  • Use it in the classroom to make argument instead of a regular essay; and other students can comment on each other
  • new medium for posting timely articles for the student newspaper
  • getting feedback on essay for feedback before handing it in
  • questioning local new media article validity
  • more youth voice in the media
  • Live Journal community to post announcements and community events (it’s informal now)
  • call out to females at my school to find out why they’re always fighting

Folks seemed to have a lot of questions about how blogs get traffic. We talked about blogrolls/liniking, tagging, and searching. Check out to find out more about tagging and try Google’s Blog Search at