Author: Suzanne St. John-Crane, CEO
Last week I attended the National Alliance for Community Media Conference in Philadelphia, where for the first time they joined forces with the NAMAC (National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture) conference, making for interesting and diverse panelists and deeper conversations. At a time when big telecom media mergers are in the works and the media consumption landscape is changing dramatically, it’s critical that those of us defending the rights of We the People to have access to the airwaves band together and set a strategy that will preserve funding for media centers for years to come.
There was much discussion about this in Philadelphia. And on August 25, the FCC will hear the conversation. The Federal Communications Commission has opened up a public comment period as a part of the Comcast / Time Warner merger proposal. CreaTV San Jose will be filing comments letting the FCC know that as a part of the merger proceedings they need to address protecting the public’s interests. Public, education and government (PEG) channels like those run by CreaTV San Jose demand technical parity, i.e. HD channels, the ability to schedule DVR recordings using AT&T’s UVerse product, etc. We will also inform the FCC that the federal restriction on how we can spend PEG fees – which are essentially rent paid by the cable companies for using our public rights of way – needs to be lifted. Media centers like CreaTV San Jose cannot live on equipment money alone. Imagine the impact CreaTV San Jose could have if the funds we already receive could be spent on the digital media training and production programs that our community wants. Would be game-changing. Stay tuned.
Photo by Jon Funfar