PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE | March 1, 2021
Community Media of South Central PA
Hometown Media Award winner Community Media of South Central, PA is putting together an interesting approach to connecting their community around Gettysburg, PA. They are beginning a plan to provide the infrastructure to communicate in mostly rural Adams County.
The non-profit has received planning grants from the US Department of Agriculture and their county’s community foundation to put together a plan to extend fiber to communities that surround them.
If successful, the system would provide gigabit speeds to the mostly rural county – and support telehealth, education and business development applications.
You can find the plan here.
Hometown Media Awards
Oh and did I just mention the Hometown Media Awards? We are one week away from the deadline for applications! That’s plenty of time to get your submissions in on Film Freeway, but we’re suggesting you try to submit your entries soon as we have a history of NOT extending the deadline! We mean it, really!
Go here to enter - either for single categories of programs, or for overall excellence categories. I’m encouraging folks to talk to show off some of the extraordinary achievements of the last year – and to talk about the service you have provided communities in a time of need. New categories this year include health programming and emergency information programming.
So take some time this week and enter! Good luck!
ACM’s Inclusion, Equity and Engagement Caucus Upcoming Webinar
An interesting case of hate speech, community standards and access television has just unfolded in Lowell, MA. A school board member used an anti-Semitic slur to describe a former school administrator on a live morning program on one of the city’s access channels this past week.
The result? Local elected officials and community members used public pressure to force the man to resign from his $12K a year position which he held since 2015.
It’s interesting to me that there was criticism of guests who appeared on the program after the slur – but also that people who were live in the production said nothing at the time. I don’t think it’s uncommon for people to not react (or even listen) to other guests on a live talk show – that includes interviewers. Would you in the moment have the presence of mind to call someone out for this kind of slur on live TV?
But more importantly, this man has been removed from office because of the hateful things he said in public. That’s not “cancel culture” – that’s free speech in action. Speech always has consequences, and I have no doubt he used this kind of slur privately and was comfortable doing so (that’s actually the substance of the discussion that forced him out). The public, however, had been paying him for his service for six years!
Should the program have been pre-recorded and all the unpleasant and anti-Semitic bits removed? I’ll let you ponder that. Live TV on an access channel wasn’t the cause of this person’s removal, but it was an accelerant. That’s not a bad thing. How about playing a repeat of the program? Would you do that?
What are your thoughts on hate speech and free speech? ACM’s Inclusion, Equity and Engagement Caucus will be hosting a webinar discussion on April 9 – more details to come but mark your calendars so you can join us!