Does the future of public access mean less access for the public? | Street Jazz

Does the future of public access mean less access for the public?


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Yesterday I took part in a panel discussion, “The State of Community Media Today and Tomorrow,” at the Create-Connect-Community Media Summit. It was an interesting discussion, and the participants were all experts in their fields. There were also a lot of good questions from the audience.

One of the things that sort of disheartened me was the fact that, to placate so many elected officials across the country who take offense at what local citizens do when they actually take advantage of their First Amendment rights, a growing number of stations are going out of their way to produce programs for the business community, or civic leagues, or what have you. This is actually a trend I have noticed for some time.

As I listened to the discussion, I had to wonder how much of the day - or even the week - was leftover for the average man and woman to come down and produce their shows.

I know from talking to some people who have traveled across the country that some access stations seem to be primarily  “feel-good” channels, and that private citizens may not be as equal in the grand scheme of things as the groups whose good will the station is trying to curry favor with.

I know that I have given the “Public access is a living tapestry of the community” speech so often that lots of people can give it it even better than I do, but it’s still true. Public access teaches us things about ourselves, and our community that we may not otherwise know exists.

That’s why I am such a fervent believer that every community needs some sort of access sation, be it city or county.

And when push comes to shove, when access stations are in danger, Feel-Good stations don’t have hundreds are people writing letters of support, or showing up by the busload to city council chambers.

Quote of the Day

There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes his whole universe for a vast practical joke. - Herman Melville, Moby  Dick, Chapter XCIII


The Tea Party will be televised

One of the organizers for the “Tea Party” planned for the Fayetteville Square on April 15 has informed me that the event will be videotaped, and shown on Community Access Television, which of course, can now be seen almost entirely world-wide - save for certain dictatorships, I suppose.


Fran Alexander: Unbowed

This week Northwest Arkansas Times columnist and long-time environmental activist Fran Alexander and I sit down to discuss the book Unbowed, by Kenyan activist Wangari Muta Maathai. This is the story of a woman who truly has had the cards stacked against her at several points sin her life, but still goes on receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in to sustainable development, democracy and peace.

To read more about this amazing woman:

C.A.T. is shown on Channel 18 of the Cox Channel line-up in Fayetteville. Those outside the Fayetteville viewing area can see the program online at:

Show days and times:

Sunday - 11:00pm

Monday - 3pm

Tuesday - 10am

Thursday - 3pm

Friday - 9pm

Saturday - 7:30pm

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