Monday, January 15, 2007


The National Conference on Media Reform

It was a pleasure watching Bill Moyers address the National Conference on Media Reform in Memphis (links below). Even though I couldn't be there, through the miracle of the Internet and YouTube, my desk chair became a front-row seat.


Update: Bill Moyers' talk is on today's Democracy Now, which you can catch on public access TV today on Olelo or Akaku. The attendance was 3500, not 3000, and most important: Moyers announced that he'll be back on the air in April. Watch Democracy Now tonight at 10 pm on channel 56. And remember, if an organization that thinks like Fox News wins a bid for Hawaii's public access TV channels, you won't get to see programming like this on Hawaii's television screens.


As I listened to Moyers' address to the 3000+ strong crowd I thought of the threat to public access TV right here in Hawaii. He urged everyone at the conference to stand up to what is happening, stand up right now, before it is too late.

The same advice surely applies to Hawaii's public access TV channels. If the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs puts them out to bid, then we (1) risk losing them to an unknown entity that puts in a winning bid, even if that entity is a Mainland or special interest organization with an agenda to push, and (2) public access TV will be weakened and diminished if the service is disrupted by being put out to bid every three years.

The winners will be those who object to the content, those who wish to see public access TV crippled, and the commercial channels that want to capture viewers who used to prefer the variety and local coverage that only public access channels can provide.

Before I send you off to YouTube, I want to ask that you take some small steps to preserve Hawaii's public access channels. Remember, if you don't do something, one day your public access channels could be taken from you.

1) Call the governor's office and ask that she get her man Mark Recktenwald, Director of the DCCA, to refuse to put public access TV services out to bid. Governor Lingle may be reached at: Phone: 586-0034, Fax: 586-0006 or e-mail: . Don't worry, you don't actually get the governor when you call, but someone will take the message.

2) Try calling Recktenwald himself (again, no fear, you don't actually get him on the phone, he doesn't speak to ordinary people either): Phone: 586-2850. Tell him that public access TV channels should not be messed with, and should not go out to bid, 'cause we can lose them.

3) The Procurement Policy Board is meeting on January 18 (Thursday). They are under a lot of pressure because they have taken testimony without a quorem being present and have held discussions in secret meetings. In fact, one agenda item for Thursday is to meet with their attorney to talk about my request for minutes of their secret meeting on October 5. Your testimony can help. I'll post instructions tomorrow (Tuesday) on how to send testimony, but time is short, please check here tomorrow morning.

You can save a trip to their website for the meeting notice or agenda, though. As of a few minutes ago, I didn't see it posted there. There's a lot about holding public meetings that the PPB could learn, don't you think?

Ok, here are the links.

I find listening to Bill Moyers to be a real pleasure. His address to the conference is in two parts. Both are linked from the home page of the Free Press website, or here they are embedded for you on Disappeared News.

Bill Moyers - Part I

Bill Moyers - Part II

Amy Goodman (short)

Helen Thomas and President Bush (funny)


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