Public Access Television: America's Electronic Soapbox

By Laura R. Linder; Douglas Kellner | Go to book overview

provided through franchise agreements, and funds solicited directly from the public are usually supplemental. This means that communities are being offered a service for which they do not have to pay, except in the form of costs that may be passed along by local cable operators. This would seem to make public access television an "easy sell" to communities and to local officials, but such is rarely the case. Fund raising has been identified as a problem by most nonprofits, and this survey offers clear evidence that this problem is compounded in the field of public access cable television.


NOTES
1.
Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook 1998, vol. 2 (New Providence, NJ: R. R. Bowker, 1998): xi; and U. S. Code, vol. 47, sec. 541-42.
2.
David J. Saylor, "Municipal Ripoff: The Unconstitutionality of Cable Television Franchise Fees and Access Support Payments", Catholic University Law Review 35 (Spring 1986): 676-77.
4.
U.S. Code, vol. 47, sec. 542
5.
Linda K. Fuller, Community Television in the United States: A Sourcebook on Public, Educational, and Governmental Access, ( Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994), 2; and Ralph Engelman, Public Radio and Television in America: A Political History, (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1996), 260.
6.
See, e.g., Davis Community TV, Santa Fe Public Access, DATV -- Dayton Access Television, Redding Community Access Corp., and Mid-Peninsula Access Corporation, Community Media Resource Directory, ( Washington, DC: Alliance for Community Media, 1994), 13, 27-28, 179, 184, 197. Perhaps the most important fund raising tool that nonprofit organizations have is their nonprofit certification, bestowed by the Internal Revenue Service ( IRS). This certification allows donors to deduct contributions from their taxes. How much one can deduct depends upon the type of nonprofit organization (the IRS has several categories), the organization's tax bracket, and other variables.
7.
In 1996, a total of $150.7 billion was given to nonprofit organizations in the United States. Of this figure, individuals gave 85.5 percent or $130 billion. ( Ann Kaplan, ed., Giving USA 1996, Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 1996, [ Norwalk, CT: AAFRC Trust for Philanthropy, 1997], 16-17.) The reasons people are so generous, according to Michael Seltzer, a pioneer in nonprofit management and fund raising, fall into six areas: to act on their values and beliefs, to help create and maintain a sense of community, to increase their sense of personal worth, to leave something for posterity, to have fun and create pleasure, and to feel good. Typical sources of funding include individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Although there is a tendency to think of foundations and corporations as being the biggest contributors to nonprofit groups, as mentioned earlier, almost 90 percent of the total private (nongovernment) dollars given to nonprofit organizations comes from individuals. Therefore, except for nonprofit agencies such as Head Start that are largely supported by government, most nonprofit fund raising efforts should be directed toward individual donors. ( Susan A. Ostrander, Money for Change: Social Movement Philanthropy at Haymarket People's Fund, [ Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995], 13-14; and Michael Seltzer, Securing Your Organization'sFuture

-68-

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Public Access Television: America's Electronic Soapbox
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures and Tables ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Notes xix
  • Acknowledgments xxi
  • Introduction xxiii
  • Notes xxix
  • 1 - History of Public Access Television 1
  • Notes 13
  • 2 - Making Sense of Public Access Regulations 17
  • Notes 32
  • 3 - Current Status of Public Access Television 35
  • Notes 48
  • 4 - Current Funding Sources, Techniques, and Problems 51
  • Notes 68
  • 5 - The Future of Public Access Television 71
  • Notes 81
  • Appendix 1 - Questionnaire and Data 83
  • Appendix 2 - Federal Laws Regarding Public Access Procedures and Content 105
  • Appendix 3 - Table of Cited Law Cases 119
  • Appendix 4 - Special Resources 123
  • References 127
  • Index 147
  • About the Author *
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