Fighting the Dark Side

Here’s an excellent post from Barry Orton at UW-Madison, rebutting the internet vs. public access television nonsense coming out of the Wisconsin debate on cable franchising.

Local filmmakers Aaron Yonda and Matt Sloan – creators of Chad Vader, Darth’s little brother – efficiently demolish the idea that YouTube and other social technologies replace the need for community television. They send much love to the Eau Claire and Madison operations where they began to learn their craft.

On Wisconsin!

Perhaps Barry should have been in Massachussetts this last weekend: There’s a parallel discussion on the Center for Citizen Media blog, which features a summary of a panel on The Future of Public Access from the Beyond Broadcast conference in Cambridge.

Why does an “expert” in citizen participation come up with an idea like this one, getting rid of public access over a five-year period? Has this person ever talked with any citizens who produce media at community media centers throughout the entire United States? Can we find a way to introduce him to some citizen producers and some viewers, like buy him a Greyhound bus pass to tour centers throughout the U-S?  Or maybe we need to find ways to get community television producers to attend Harvard and UC-Berkeley to learn about developing grassroots media…

Props go out to participants at the event who focused on building on a long tradition of citizen participation in media, and for focusing on innovation to make things better.


2 Responses to Fighting the Dark Side

  1. Danielle’s notes about “The Future of Public Access” workgroup at Beyond Broadcast 2007’s Wiki does not mention my participation. Perhaps I should edit it to include some of my comments, but I’m thinking the entire exercise was mostly a waste of time, and really, that we should all just move on. (Sorry, Colin R.)

    I’m really left thinking folks like Gillmor and their ilk are nothing more than trolls, tauting us periodically with “you should just go away and die now” pronouncements. Personally, I would have preferred attending six of the other concurrent workgroups, rather than have to sit through and yet again defend us against that kind of claptrap. Unfortunately, this stuff escapes into the MSM, and we’re forced into playing a defensive game.

    So I asks the good Mr. Gillmor – so what’s so different about PEG channels in this brave new world of the internet – that they should be removed from the cable lineup, but the other channels should not. (Ben Sheldon had raised the same concept in the on-line thread leading up to the day.)

    I don’t believe the gentleman had any response beyond a mumble.


  2. Be of good cheer. You made someone with answers mumble.

    Actually, we should be looking at promoting and supporting researchers and intellectuals who are interested in building community media practices. Besides U-Mass Boston, Columbia College, Antioch, where are these places? How can we build more academic centers?

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