Category Archives: Media Ownership

Mergers, diversity of ownership, and multiple perspectives.

PUC Needs Consumer Advocates: Reappoint Sandoval

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Update:  Sadly, Catherine was not re-nominated by Governor Jerry Brown. A big loss for California’s consumers.

Catherine Sandoval is one of the most qualified commissioners to ever serve on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The first person of Latino descent to serve on the agency in its 100-year history, she has been a determined public interest advocate and fighter for real people against the massive corporate interests the agency regulates.
Continue reading PUC Needs Consumer Advocates: Reappoint Sandoval

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18 Privacy Groups Say Hearings Must Include Them

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18 prominent privacy groups (including Media Alliance) wrote to the Senate Commerce Committee objecting to hearings held on national privacy legislation that included absolutely no consumer or privacy rights advocates.

The letter states ” There is little point in asking industry groups how they would like to be regulated. ”

MultiChannel News Coverage

Consumer Privacy Expert Witnesses fin

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Trashing The Public Records Act

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*Update: On March 13, Senator Hueso announced he was withdrawing Senate Bill 615.

A bill introduced in the CA State Legislature by Senator Ben Hueso cloaks in reasonable-sounding language a determined effort to trash the Public Records Act.

The passage of Senate Bill 1421 and Assembly Bill 748 in 2018, which placed police misconduct records and law enforcement body camera videos into the public records domain, have greatly expanded the body of documents available via California’s Public Records Act.

But Senate Bill 615 adds two new monumental hurdles to a process that can already be opaque and lengthy.

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Spectrum Speculator LocusPoint Files Injunction To Stop Sale Of KCSM-TV

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originally printed in the AFT Advocate

(The Media Alliance, at media-alliance.org, is a Bay Area democratic communications advocate. Tracy fought a lonely war to save KCSM-TV between 2011 and 2013.)

On October 24, LocusPoint Networks, a subsidiary of the Blackstone Group, the largest hedge firm in the world, filed an injunction to block the sale of KCSM-TV to KRCB/North Bay Public Media. The filing in San Mateo Superior Court can be read here. No date has been set yet for the injunction request to be heard. Continue reading Spectrum Speculator LocusPoint Files Injunction To Stop Sale Of KCSM-TV

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FCC Threatens Governmental and Public Channels

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Trump’s FCC chair Ajit Pai is a busy guy.  Every month or two, a new piece of the precious little public interest media regulation we have left,  goes on the chopping block.

The current victims are governmental, educational and public channels given to local communities as a benefit for a monopoly on using the cable infrastructure.

The FCC’s proposed rules would let cable companies count in-kind benefits as payments towards franchise fees, basically taking a huge chunk out of the funds that pay for governmental and public access TV and forcing cities and counties to make up the difference out of their general funds, or reduce services.

Comcast doesn’t need a discount on the pitifully small amount they provide in public benefits in exchange for the rights of way.

So we need to say hell no.

File a comment here. Enter proceeding # 05-311.

Comment deadline closes on December 14.

Here are our comments

Media Alliance Reply Comments 05-311

Continue reading FCC Threatens Governmental and Public Channels

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Culture Watch: In Old Age

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At the Magic Theater, old age is when time and objective reality start to melt. In Old Age, a cycle play from Mfoniso Udofia, in a multi-play series chronicling a Nigerian family in the United States.

When In Old Age begins, matriarch Abasiama gets an unwelcome knock at the door from a handyman hired by her children to fix up her old house, specifically the rotting wood floors. The play takes a few shot at the indignities of old age, including aching knees, difficulty moving furniture, not wanting to get up in the morning or change clothes, and dedication to television programs, but then moves on to the main event of old age as a portal between then and now and between the life of the mind and the life of the world.

As the two grouse and “get to know each other”, primarily on the basis of the workman wanting to get the job done, and the old woman resisting this unasked-for but somewhat welcome invasion, boundaries of all kinds start to slip and shift and merge. Time, space, and inanimate objects all get way too fluid as the two protagonists enter their battle, which is fundamentally a battle to connect.

For the handyman Azell Abernathy, played with charm by Steven Anthony Jones, the battle is unwelcome. What he really seems to want is to do the job and get out with joviality intact, but he cannot, and ends up confessing to a painful past, unable to answer Abasiama’s relentless inquiry whether or not he is a good man.

For Abasiama, whose past lacks a narrative but metaphorically occupies the beaten down house filled with junk and rotting floorboards, the struggle is to redirect from that vivid relationship with that past, illustrated by the groaning and muttering of the house she lives in, towards another person.

In the end, after the sort of violent transition that rips at both of them, they find themselves speaking each other’s truths, at least for a while.

For more on Mfonisia Udofia’s UFOT cycle, click here.

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