Try as I might, I just can’t warm up to the new and improved Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Any time there are fewer reporters covering a city, less news gets reported. And it ain’t like the happy news crews at the TV stations are picking up the slack, with their “trending” segments, viewer polls and cute kitten videos from YouTube.
I believe that a healthy society offers many different sources of information for citizens, but instead many of us seem to get our news from specialized news sources, whether it be conservative oriented, news for liberals, religious news or “news” for those who bathe in the waters of conspiracy three times a day.
It isn’t just simply because I have written for newspapers that I revere them so much; I like the idea of lots of folks knowing lots of things about the world and their own community. A shrinking newspaper decreases our chances of that.
But what is bad news for newspapers can be potentially good news for public access television.
I have been involved with public access since 1991, and over the years I have seen men and women, dissatisfied with coverage of important stories on TV or in the print media, who have taken it upon themselves to cover the stories with more depth and passion on public access.
True, in many cases the coverage may be one-sided, but the beauty of public access is that all are welcome, and all sides of a story can be presented, if someone should just care to present their side of an issue, to make their own shows, their own documentaries.
In the 1990s, for example, political activists in Fayetteville produced a respected series, 59 Minutes, which looked at a variety of issues in the New York City of the Ozarks.
Every election year candidates rediscover public access, and use the station to communicate directly with voters. In years past, such issues as the fight over an incinerator, or the battle over the city manager form of government might not have been waged so well, had public access not been available to the people of Fayetteville.
Even if folks don’t want to produce their own shows or documentaries, Fayetteville Public Access Television offers the Short Takes service, in which Fayetteville residents can come down and talk about any subject they desire.
And now that the station is also on the Infernal Internet, more people can be reached than ever.
For information on how you can take part in People’s Revolutionary Television (or by its proper name of Fayetteville Public Access Television, for the anal retentive), they can be reached at 444-3433.
On the Air with samuel Totten
Samuel Totten, respected expert on genocide and author of several nooks on the subject, including Genocide by Attrition: The Nuba Mountains of Sudan (2012), is the latest guest on my show.
The show can be seen online anytime at:
It can also be seen on Channel 218 on the COX Channel line-up in Fayetteville.
TV show times:
Friday - 6am/6pm
Quote of the Day
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it for anyone else. - Charles Dickens