June 7, 2006
Has it been only three years since Mayor Street's administration endorsed launching a public-access cable television station in Philadelphia? And only two decades since the city's cable franchise law established the legal framework for a TV outlet for amateur broadcasters? How the years do roll . . . on . . . by. If public-access TV ever debuts in Philadelphia, its first arts-and-culture offering should be a community theater production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.
July 10, 2003
FAR MORE harmful to the U.S. Constitution than the collapse of a stage frame is the fact that the cradle of liberty - Yo, that's us, Adrian! - has for two decades squelched an important outlet for free speech by its citizens. Since 1983, when City Council passed a law allowing for five television channels to be earmarked for public access, we've kept those channels dark and unused, and in the process managed to rank as the only major city without public access television. So what's worse: losing an important constitutionally protected liberty like free speech and expression, or squandering one we already have?
April 11, 2004
For two decades, Philadelphia officials found plenty of excuses not to deliver on the city's promise to create a public-access cable television channel. Too costly, too controversial, or simply too much trouble - it was always "too" something. Those same gripes still hold sway, in fact, for folks lukewarm to the idea of throwing open the doors of a television studio to citizens. So that's all the more reason to cheer Mayor Street for sweeping aside the years of delay - and opening a dialogue with community groups pushing to make public-access television a reality.
September 20, 2007
Philadelphia is about to lose its dubious distinction as the largest American city without a public-access cable television outlet for amateur programming. Heard that before, right? Well, this time it's for real. More than four years after Mayor Street endorsed moving ahead with a long-delayed citizen-run TV station, a deal finally is in place. As announced Tuesday, the city's Comcast viewers will receive up to five channels airing programs created by fledgling producers, filmmakers and others.
March 15, 1989 |
Mayor Goode's decision to present his five year tax-budget package in a series of live cable telecast discussions with small groups of community leaders highlights the city's failure to develop public access programming on cable television. In fact, contrary to conventional opinion, public access and governmental use of cable TV in Philadelphia had a foothold as far back as 1982, only to have it slip away through governmental inaction during the last few years. Public access to the city's cable TV system, such as the mayor's budget addresses, begins with the city's cable TV enabling legislation.
June 16, 2006
ICOMMEND the Daily News and Dave Davies on the cover story on the struggle for public-access television. I'm a longtime Philadelphian and local independent filmmaker with a keen interest in creating more venues and opportunities for community media. Public-access TV provides our city with a public space for communications. It's like creating a public park where people of all walks of life can gather and enjoy it. In a country where these kinds of public spaces are becoming increasingly rare, I'm grateful for the people in the Community Access Coalition who have been working for so long to create these public-access channels for the city.
March 14, 1991 |
Cable television has been a reality in Philadelphia for more than six years. Because the city was one of the last to be wired, it now has one of the most advanced systems in the country. And yet Philadelphia is the only major urban center without one of the most interesting and potentially valuable developments that sprang from this technology. It warrants some attention, because it could easily become a reality. For more than 20 years, public access cable television has been a part of many people's lives in rural and urban areas.
July 13, 2012 |
The handful of students and alumni that gathered in Penn State's student center this morning to watch the release of the Freeh report live were stunned when the channel suddenly switched. While most of campus was still sleepy, the small group was viewing CNN on a large screen, or one of several smaller screens nearby, in anticipation of the 9 a.m. release of the report on the sex abuse scandal that has gripped the school. Most were hoping that the report, part of a seven-month probe by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, would exonerate legendary football coach Joe Paterno.
March 9, 1998 |
Now here's a grass-roots movement that's tougher to kill than chickweed. Fourteen years after Philadelphia agreed to help its citizens create their own television programming, a determined band of video-activists is trying to get the city to live up to that promise. "The city is solvent now and it's about time we honored these agreements," says Keith Brand, a local broadcaster and Temple University graduate student who is studying public access programming. Brand and his allies have formed the Philadelphia Community Access Coalition to lobby for implementation of the 1983 ordinance that was supposed to set up television studios open to anyone to broadcast over local cable television channels.
September 19, 2007 |
By early next year, the city's Comcast viewers may be able to click on up to five channels offering community-produced programs, ending the 25-year campaign to create public-access television in Philadelphia. "Public access in this city took too long to come, but it's here," Mayor Street said yesterday at a City Hall news conference announcing an agreement struck among the city, Comcast Corp., and the Philadelphia Community Access Coalition, an organization representing 80 groups.