Public Access Television: America's Electronic Soapbox

By Laura R. Linder; Douglas Kellner | Go to book overview
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and blues, reggae, jazz, and artist interviews; "Kidfest," a dance show for children six to twelve years of age; "Legislative News Update," featuring news from the North Carolina General Assembly; and "Wild and Wonderful," a monthly show from the North Carolina Zoo. One-time shows have appeared on such topics as land use, elder care, financial planning, and water quality. A weekly public affairs program, entitled "Democracy in Action," was dedicated to the memory of Sol Jacobs.

While the Greensboro journey is unique, the obstacles faced by local access advocates are similar to those encountered in other locales. The public discourse may have been more proscribed and the political climate more conservative than in other parts of the country, but the basic issues -- public participation, free speech, the terms of the franchise agreement, controversial programming -- are common to all such efforts.

In every location where people are trying to establish public access television or where public access television currently exists, there is always the threat that it will not be funded or that the funding will be inadequate. Describing the background and current status of public access television in the United States, discussing the nature of that underfunding and nonfunding threat, and offering methods for mitigation, are the goals of this book. The chapters that follow offer an overall view of public access television in the United States and recommendations toward securing the future of our electronic soapbox.


NOTES
1.
John Roberts, "Cablevision Plans Major Expansion": Greensboro (North Carolina) Record, 28 March 1979, sec.A, p. 1, 5.
2.
Application for Permit to City Council of City of Greensboro ( North Carolina), May 12, 1996. Early cable television systems were called community antenna television since that was all they were -- large antennae on top of tall towers, hills, or mountains to improve reception with lines going to nearby homes.
3.
Roberts, "Cablevision Plans Major Expansion": sec. A, p. 5.
4.
John Roberts, "Cable: Quality Programming is Necessary": Greensboro (North Carolina) Record, 30 March 1979, sec. A, p. 1, 10.
5.
Jim Clark, "Revolt in Videoland": Triad (North Carolina) 4, no. 1 (winter 1979), 18.
6.
Bill Lee, "Team Approach Lets Access TV Look Professional": Greensboro (North Carolina) Daily News, 21 February 1975, sec. B, p. 1.
7.
Quoted in Lindsey Gruson, "Cablevision to Post Bond, to Install Public Access": Greensboro (North Carolina) Daily News, 12 April 1979, sec. C, p. 1.
8.
John Roberts, "Cablevision: Local Government Decides CG Fate": Greensboro (North Carolina) Record, 29 March 1979, sec. A, p. 1.
9.
Winston Cavin, "City Council Blasts 'Sorry' Cable TV", Greensboro (North Carolina) Daily News, 7 March 1979, sec. B, p. 1.
10.
"Cable Television in North Carolina": N.C. Center for Public Policy Research, Inc., Raleigh, NC, 1978, 30-45; "Cable and the Public": Greensboro (North Carolina) DailyNews

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