Friday, February 13, 2009

Bayview impact of public access cable crisis

Public access cable, known in these parts as ACCESSF, is in danger...something that will affect communities like Bayview Hunters Point where life and perspective are often outside the mainstream.

Zane Blaney, ACCESSF Executive Director, spoke at the Southeast Community Facility Commission meeting last night. He requested a letter of support from the Commission to the SF Mayor and Board of Supervisors. He also encouraged attendance at a meeting, when ACCESSF's future will next be debated, on Monday February 23rd at 10am at City Hall (2nd Floor, Room 203).

James Ross, a co-founder of the Quesada Gardens Initiative, has a show called "Life on the Block" which airs every other Friday evening on public access cable. The show is about positive things happening in a changing neighborhood.

James is a rare example of a Bayview Hunters Point resident who can connect his unique perspective about a generally misunderstood neighborhood to an audience, with no filter in between. Understandably, he wants ACCESSF to survive. He spoke at the Commission meeting to offer examples of residents and Bayview leaders who have gotten exposure on his show.

ACCESSF is a nonprofit organization that operates under contracts with broadband suppliers to supply public benefit programming. The agreements that have made the organization's work possible are expiring. The group trains community-based organization staffers and other local residents in the tools required to create content for broadcast and the internet.

The SECF Commission voted to create and send the requested letter of support for ACCESSF.

We're losing independent media at an alarming rate, even while new opportunities on the internet emerge, it seems, every day. See more about the impact of this trend on Bayview Hunters Point.

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