Friday, August 29, 2008

Times story not the complete story on Telecom meeting

Jim Bemis' early comments on the Telecom Board meeting.
So much for the Times' coverage, which doesn't mention the complete policy prepared by the Board's Subcommittee on policy and procedure or the obvious disagreement on the Council's instructions to the Board.

The Council now will have to deal with a whole different policy proposed in the Bell "report" to the Telecom Board of last June, which introduces its own can of worms, rather than the complete policy prepared by the Subcommittee.

My guess is that the Council is not likely to want to turn the government channel over to the discretion of the City Administration to decide which meetings to show on both the government channel and/or the new webstreaming facilities on the Internet.
The Board also delayed any discussion of the Internet Policy until 2009, for a subcommittee also headed by Bell.
In any event, we aren't likely to see issue forums on the government channel until after the elections. The executive branch will have bypassed both the Council (legislative branch) and the Telecom Board, which are supposed to be "Fairness Committees" to assure checks and balances on the use of all the PEG channels.

Jim :: Northwest Arkansas Northwest Arkansas Times
Government Channel for government only
BY DUSTIN TRACY Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Friday, August 29, 2008
The city’s Government Channel will only air programming specific to government activity.
A 3-3 tie on Thursday by the Fayetteville Telecommunications Board could not pass several proposed changes to the city’s policy that would have allowed the airing of issue forums or round-table discussions that were not part of a government meeting.
Board members Richard Drake, Aubrey Shepherd and Fred Cusanelli voted for the changes. Angie Graves, Shelli Bell and Eric Sales voted against them.
The board was following through with its promise to present a policy by the end of August on whether the Government Channel could air discussions not related to government meetings.
Bell, who is the board’s chairman, said that if a citizen or private group wished to have a forum discussion aired on television, they could get in touch with the Community Access Television station and use the resources there.
" If the Government Channel did only air meetings, I think it would be accomplishing its purpose, " Graves said.
Former cable administrator Marvin Hilton told the telecom board that he would like to see the Government Channel become another public access channel. He tried to convince members that both stations are getting government funding, so there’s no reason they should not be open to the public.
" Do you want a specific Government Channel, or do you want multiple public access channels ? " Hilton asked.
Drake was adamant about passing some sort of measure to send on to the City Council. He said the process seemed to take forever and that the vote, in a sense, justified the board’s existence.
The discussion ended a four-month debate on what type of programming would be allowed on the Government Channel.
Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:

No comments: