Friday, December 29, 2006

Time Warner CORPORATE NEWS vs. Public Access Facility

Article today in the Binghamton Press and Sun Bulletin:

News channel plans local launch

Four to work out of Vestal satellite office

By My-Ly Nguyen
Press & Sun-Bulletin

News 10 Now, a 24-hour local news channel operated by Time Warner Cable, will launch in the Binghamton market by Feb. 15, spokesman Ron Lombard said.

Lombard, general manager and news director of Syracuse-based News 10 Now, said a satellite newsroom will open at Time Warner's Vestal office and employ three full-time reporters and an operations technician. Five workers also are being hired for the Syracuse office to manage news from the Binghamton site, he said.

In addition to headquarters in Syracuse, News 10 Now operates six bureaus in Ithaca, Cortland, Rome, Oswego, Watertown and Potsdam, he said. The channel also will launch in the Elmira/Corning markets early next year.

News 10 Now features a one-hour "news wheel format" similar to CNN Headline News, Lombard said. It provides weather reports every 10 minutes, traffic updates, live news updates and other news coverage, he said.

"A lot of people thought, when we launched up here in Syracuse (in November 2003), we would record a one-hour newscast and play it back for a few hours," Lombard said. "We record each individual story as it's ready for air. That individual story becomes part of a long play list of items. ... We continually update and refresh the news."

News 10 Now will be on channel 16 for Time Warner customers in the Binghamton area, Lombard said. Time Warner will notify customers about any changes in channel lineups to accommodate the addition of News 10 Now, he said.

"What you're going to get from us is really the news of the day, the major stuff that's going on," Lombard said.

Here is my response:

Bhuston Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:50 pm Post subject:

So now we're all supposed to say,

Great! Time Warner is swell. Providing local jobs, etc.

it's just more corporate media, fufulling a public relations role for big industry. More news about cancer walkathons, and not about the causes of cancer. More news about how capitalism will save us all, and nothing about the negative effects.

Do you think Time Warner, with their capitalist funding model, will tell us objectively, without bias, "THE" NEWS?

i.e., about how it is LIKELY that oil will be gone in 40-60 years, and it is also LIKELY that the world cannot sustain 7B people without oil, and it is therefore LIKELY that human population will return to a level prior to the age of oil (about 1B people). This means it is LIKELY in the next 40-60 years there will be a MASSIVE DIEOFF OF HUMANITY, like on the scale of 6 in 7 people, or 85%?

This is preducted by sound science.
And even if it is incorrect, IT SHOULD GET A VOICE IN THE MEDIA.
However, because the capitalists own all the radio transmitters, and the big printing presses, this information is suppressed. It does not get a fair treatment. Not a debate, not a discussion. These ideas are either COMPLETELY ABSENT, or it is rediculed and mocked. "Those Wackos", etc.

An important item to note is Time Warner's support for public access TV locally, i.e., they don't support it at all.

Public Access is one of the few remaining FREE SPEECH ZONE. Commercials are prohibited, therefore the information is generally free of capitalist biases. Public Access is a place, like the public square, where people are free to congregate and discuss any topic whatsoever, even the unconventional. Sometimes it's good to break with the habit of convention, or even necessary.

Here's some of Time Warner's abuses:

* Public Access doesn't play mostly on weekends and holidays when people are home watching TV. Why? There is no technical reason for this, since the commericial networks manage to play on the weekends. The only reason it is tolerated is because TW owns the courts, and local politicians are either apathetic, uninformed, corrupt, or have been convinced of their own impotence.

* There is generally no studio access ANWHERE for public access producers. We've been conditioned to accept that there is no right of access to the commercial stations, WBNG-12, WICZ-40, WIVT-32, WBGH-20 (despite that the airwaves is part of the commons, owned collectively by WE THE PEOPLE)

We've been conditioned to accept that there is no right of access to PUBLIC BROADCASTING WSKG-46. How bizarre this is!

And Time Warner Cable (along with predeccessors NewChannels and Empire), which is obligated BY LAW to provide studio facilities, live cablecasts, portable equipment, and training classes to satisfy "first come, first served, non-discriminitory access", has pissed on the law for 30 years.

And why do they announce this now? Just before the yearly rate increase? To help subscribers feel good about paying 5% more on their cable bill? Does Binghamton need another corporate news outlet? Did the people of Binghamton request this, or have any say about how these funds are allocated in Binghamton?

If Time Warner wants to hire 4 people to run News 10 locally, and probably build a studio, why not use the studio and the people to manage a public access facility? And train the local communty the skills of television production?

Now in addition to the Cyber Cafe, we have the Night Eagle Cafe, the Know Theater, and many other awesome downtown venues for music and arts events.

Would it be nice of local public access producers could take a portable studio out to these local venues to present local arts and cultural events to their 72,000 subscribers?

We need to have a community dialog on THE MEDIA. Please visit if you want to begin the debate.

-- Bill Huston, 607-724-1755

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