FCC Hearing in Portland last night

Chuck Igo chuckigo@maine.rr.com
Sat Jun 30 06:44:23 EDT 2007

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Greg Littlefield" <greg@gregsvoice.com>

>I was wondering if anyone either went to or caught a live feed of the
>public hearing about local content that the FCC held at Portland High
>School last night.  I watched the last two hours via a stream fed from
>WLBZ-TV's website and was actually pleased to have heard a few statements
>that were well thought-out.  It seemed that most folks don't consider
>PSA's, hour-long Sunday morning community affairs programs and weather
>bulletins sufficient to qualify as local content.
> Anyone else catch it?


   i caught a lot of it on local access tv, but was unable to attend as i
had a community volunteer meeting to attend - one of those things to which a
few people spoke in regards to broadcasters not caring about the local area.

there were two one-hour panel sessions - to which a select group were given
five minutes to present their impression of localism in broadcasting.
and there were two two-hour open mic sessions to which pre-registered
speakers were given two minutes to either praise or rail against

my favorite speaker came late in the evening - one who described mainstream
media as nothing more than reading propaganda filled press releases from the
RNC, and then doing it over and over and over again.

there were a few people from MA who made the trip up (one guy from
Somerville was, shall we say, interesting.  not quite sure what or who he
was mad at).

the broadcasting, advertising and non-profit community all turned out to
speak of radio & tv's continuous efforts to assist the community.
broadcasters rattled off a list of accomplishments, at least those they
could fit in under two minutes.
advertising partners chimed in with glowing words about radio & tv's ability
to get the word out and rally support.
the non-profit groups all to a person admitted they'd be dead where they
stood without the help of radio and tv.

the non-conventional folks (notably, most of the volunteer staff of wpmg),
were all seemingly pretty upset at the local commericial, out-of-state-owned
broadcast conglomerates who endeavor to keep the people down, keep the
people from choice, keep the people from information.  it was, in all,
pretty 60's-protest - esque

there were a few viable points made by people who live in the midcoast
(Rockland) region in regards to NO local info for them.  the stations are
either simulcast or programmed remotely.     it was a matter of pride here
in Maine that most towns had their own station.  sadly, most of those have
been consumed in the consolodation shuffle.  and now many of these areas
rely on the local LPFM to get their local news and whatnot.

if there are complaints about broadcasting's lack of localism, it would be
more germaine to areas that are no longer served on-the-spot, so to speak,
by area residents.  i would say that in larger areas, such as Portland,
Augusta and Bangor, the residents are pretty well served, even if the local
stations are owned by evil out-of-state conglomerates or investment happy

- -Chuck Igo

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