The Good News and the Bad News About Public Access TV
On the completely great side, the California Legislature passed AJR 39, a joint resolution from California's State Government asking the federal government to please fix the clause in the 1984 Cable Act that restricts much public funding of cable access channels to capital only without operational support. This clause, which is supported by virtually no one, has contributed to the closure of community media centers across the state of California.
On the less wonderful side, a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) rulemaking process on cable franchise renewals appears to be taking the path of least resistance under the leadership of Commissioner Peevey, and endorsing a rubberstamp process that ignores service level to the community and complaints received during the cable service renewal process. Media Alliance's latest set of (somewhat futile) reply comments can be found here.
More news in support of PEG channels like KOCT:
And recently, at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors, a resolution was made calling for the restructuring of the 1984 Cable Act. The resolution, which was passed unanimously, encourages the U. S. Congress to amend federal legislation pertaining to community access television stations. These stations like KOCT, currently receive Public, Educational and Governmental (PEG) fees. However, PEG funds. must only be used for capital improvements. The resolution calls for allowing those funds to be used for operation costs as well.
With the support of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, KOCT urges the U.S. Congress to make the minor legislative changes that will allow PEG fees to be used for the operations of our community access television station. The resolution supports the power of public access stations. Community television channels provide transparency and access for local governments with their residents and business owners by broadcasting City Council and hospital meetings, voter information for local elections, topical talk shows on local issues and topics and other events like the recent Independence parade.