Weekly President's Message

April 9, 2019

Senator Markey Supports Community Media

Last Monday saw an extraordinary gathering of PEG operations in Massachusetts at a listening session and press conference with US Senator Ed Markey.

Senator Markey has been a stalwart supporter of community television and localism throughout his Congressional career, starting first in the US House and now in the Senate.  He began the effort in the Senate to push back against the FCC actions in the FNPRM on cable franchising that threatens so many access operations around the country, and now he is asking people across the country to fight back against the FCC's agenda to hand out giveaways to the cable industry at the expense of towns and cities across the country.

Senator Markey is calling on all communities and Congress, the people who represent communities in Washington DC, to stand up to the FCC.  If you haven't reached out to your US Senate and House offices, you need to do so today.

We'll be working with Senator Markey's office in the coming weeks as we continue the campaign to stop the FCC from defunding community access television.   We need to hear your community on the issue - keep circulating the ACM petition to Congress.

Here's one way to build Congressional support: have your Representative speak at your local center.  Vermont stations just did this earlier today with US Representative Peter Welch to talk about the importance of community media. You can see the video here.

BFree Awards Recap   

Are you mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore?

I was invited to present the First Amendment award at the 6th Annual BRIC BFree Awards in Brooklyn this last weekend.  It's a great event, filled with spirit, creativity and the belief in community that you find at that studio.   I got into New York a little early for the event, so I decided to see the Broadway matinee of Paddy Chayefsky's Network, starring the inimitable Bryan Cranston.

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the juxtaposition of the two media events.

Network documents the corporate takeover of news as its protagonist Howard Beale goes slowly mad on the air.  Originally a movie written in the mid-1970's, it still eerily depicts media today - more concerned with reflecting our desires, fears and prejudices to spike interest for ratings than to inform.  Its main characters are desperate, mad or numb to human experience as a result.

As a Broadway play, it's a fabulous and cynical show.  And it couldn't be farther from the spirit at the BFree Awards, which aren't devoted to a sham, but to the proposition that access television is devoted to building freedom, self, knowledge and community.

Congratulations to all the award winners on Saturday night in Brooklyn.   It was an honor to be a part of that special night!

Important ACM Dates & Deadlines 

We're hoping you are enjoying the new ACM website - which has a number of new features, including a member directory.   Please set up your ID for the site so you can take advantage of members-only content and can set up transactions for ACM events.  Tell us what you think!

Be sure to take advantage of deadlines this week for the Brian Wilson Scholarship (April 11th) and scholarships for Community Media Emerging Leaders Institute (April 12th).

Oh, and while you're at it, take advantage of Early Bird registration discounts for the National Conference in Portland, OR, which opens this week as well!